The Comedy Of Unemployment

I’ve had many jobs in my 25 years of working.  During my time in high school and college, I held two or three jobs at one time to pay the bills and knock out some school debt.  I always had a good work ethic, and I always took a direct approach toward management when dealing with issues connected with a job.  In many cases, the results were beneficial for both parties and the work environment continued to be positive.

In October of 2015, I was fired from my job of five years.  This was the first time I was ever let go from a position.  It was clear that I did not agree with how day-to-day activities were being managed and my work performance suffered because of it.  I held my ground and stood up for myself, for I believed in my heart I knew what was right for the company and my own sanity after working without much strain for the first four years I was there.

Without going into too much detail, the drastic change in the final year of my job was the attempt of management to combine our billing system with our inventory management system.  I was their warehouse guy, and I never had real issues with the existing application I had all along.  Once the launch of the new system took place, my job became harder to do, especially when somebody in my department had the day off.  Did I mention we had two people in the department?  The old system was more efficient and allowed for some cross-responsibilities; the two of us could help each other when one got caught up with their work.  I had a hard time keeping up with the volume in the new system when we were both there five days a week!  So my co-worker and I were separated most of the time under this new application, which cooled our relationship with each other.

So where’s the comedy?  This sounds dreadful so far, right?  I will spare you the rest of the details and I will share with you what the heck I have experienced while being out of work during the major holidays in the United States.

The most important event that came from my job loss was the ability to be with my two-year-old son more often that normal.  To save money on day care I have watched him 17 days and it would have been more days if it was possible (We have to keep his spot there in case I find work, there is a waiting list with many day care centers near us).  Being with him made the sting of receiving 60 percent of my original pay worthwhile.  It’s pretty funny how this worked out in my favor, right?

I remember the days where the local newspaper would have hundreds of jobs in the Sunday edition.  There, I found many of my old jobs, including the one I was just sacked from.  It was easy to navigate the pages since everything was grouped together by occupation.  I knew what I could and could not do, so I knew what pages to look at when I would scan through them.

NOW, every online job board claims to have filtering devices to make your job search easier.  My ass they do.  I probably waste two to three hours per week looking at jobs that I would never be qualified for.

I have read these so-called “Career Experts” in various publications over the last three months.  99 percent of the time the advice is the same to stressed out career-minded individuals with real problems, using fancy words to tell people to kiss their supervisor’s ass no matter what the problem is, and MAYBE the situation will get better.  And if you are having a hard time finding work, check with temp agencies to see what openings they have.  Because a TEMP AGENCY is a long-term solution.  I’ve worked at two temp agencies over the years and they were a complete waste of time if you are looking for meaningful career work.  People get PAID to give this type of advice!  Where did we all go wrong!?!  What a life.

The state I reside in wants to see progress in your job search.  I get it, because I am sure there are thousands that try to work around the system. But have you ever tried to find work around Christmas and around Thanksgiving if you live in the U.S.?  It is next to impossible because the people who post the jobs are all on vacation!!!  I found myself applying for jobs I would never consider just to fulfill the requirements of the state.  Now that January is here, more promising positions are popping up online.

Even though I have been humbled by this experience it is nice to remember that I have had many positive days during my job loss.  If you think your time without work is hard, just remember that there is a man of middle age out there who is trying to reinvent himself while he has many worries on his mind.    A man of middle age who will share 1,000 words when he can to calm his nerves and maybe help somebody laugh in a tough time.



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