On Being Unemployed

Last Friday at 4:55 PM, I got a phone call from my boss telling me that the company had been sold and I was out of a job.  It wasn’t all that unexpected since I’ve known for roughly two years that they were in financial trouble, like every other company in the world, due to the greed of bank executives and real estate profit mongers.  Still, even if you know it’s coming, it doesn’t make it any easier.  It’s hard not to take it personally when the company you’ve been employed by for nine years gives you the boot.

I received a phone call because I called in sick that day due to my inability to walk (see On Being Handicapped).  I took a vacation day only to find out that I was on permanent unpaid vacation.

My boss and some of the other employees still have jobs, but they were all given pay cuts.  Given that I could hardly make ends meet while fully employed, I’m almost glad that they just laid me off straight out.

I’ve been laid off from every single job I’ve ever had with the exception of the ones I had in high school.  This is nothing new for me.  Normally, at this point, I’d be freaking the fuck out, giving myself an ulcer with stress over not having an income.  This time though, things seem different.  Maybe it’s the fact that it was a shit job where I was underpaid and undervalued.  Maybe it’s the smile that flashes across my face when I think about never again having to deal with certain employees who drove me to murderous intents.  Maybe it’s the fact that it wasn’t personal; it was merely a business transaction.

The main problem I have now is boredom.  I’ve always been pretty good at entertaining myself, but it’s difficult to find things to occupy you when you can’t even walk.  So, I write.  I’ve been writing and reading.  I’ve hardly turned the television on at all, which I have to say, is pretty impressive.

I don’t have a routine yet. I’m still running on vacation time. Every day, I find myself going to bed later and waking up later.  This morning, I was awakened by a phone call from a friend at 9:30AM.  “Oh, that’s right, I forgot you’re unemployed and might still be sleeping.”  Nothing makes you feel quite so much like a failure as sleeping through the morning and having no real reason to even get out of bed.  At this rate, I’ll be a full-blown night owl before long. I’m trying to avoid that since it will make it harder when I do get a job, but if that’s my biggest worry, I’ll take it.

It’s been one week since I had a job.  One week.  Who knows how long it will be before I get another one.  There’s this shitty economy, thanks all those greedy assholes, and things are still pretty bleak out there. The state has graciously given me half a year of unemployment with which to scrape by.  The worst thing about being unemployed is having all the time in the world to do whatever you want, but none of the scratch to do it with.  As soon as my ankle heals, things will be easier.

Handicapped and unemployed within two days is a lot to take in, but things will be alright.  I’ve been too complacent.  I’ve needed a fire under my butt for a while now and I got my fire.

This post is part of the On Being Series.