Elly’s Guide to Unemployment

Look.  I get it.  The economy sucks ass.  It’s terrifying to be jobless.  Discovering that the world actually CAN revolve without you is a blow to anyone’s ego.  Trust me, I know.

And yes, the financial aspects are horrifying.  It’s hard to watch the balance on your savings account drop.  It sucks to feel guilty about buying a lunch out (or a pitcher of beer if you have your priorities straight).

I have a whole mess o’ loved ones between gigs at the moment, so we’ve been talking about these issues quite a bit (over pitchers of beer – because, as mentioned previously, I have my priorities straight).  So far, not a one of them seems able to stop and smell the foam head.  (Roses are out of season, after all.)

But here’s the secret, Interwebz.  It doesn’t have to be all bad.

Take it from me, the MASTER of unemployment.  You WILL get another job someday.  (Don’t you shake that head at me.  I believe in you!)  And when you get that other job your going to say, “Damn.  Where did that time go?  That’s the longest vacation I’ve had in years and I spent the whole time fretting and reorganizing my hard drive.”

So here’s my preachy coaching tip for you, my little muffins.  (And yes, muffin is totally slang for vagina.  Hi Mom!!)  Think back to when you were working full time, trapped in your fluorescent-lit cube farm (or execu office, or Mac truck).  Now try and remember what it was you used to daydream about while you were trapped to your desk (or backhoe, or operating table).  I used to imagine escaping to a sidewalk cafe on a quiet side street with a good book and an ice cold pint of beer.  Maybe you pined to see a movie in the middle of the day or spend an afternoon baking chocolate yumminess.  (Side bar, if you daydream about baking, call me.  I like eating baked good.  Win-win.)

Fast forward back to reality where you’re unemployed again.  Now how many times have you done that thing you used to daydream about?  Mmmmhmmm, that’s what I thought.  (I’m looking at you with both stern disapproval and intense compassion, FYI.  Also, you can’t tell from my typing, but my hair looks really nice today.)

Well Interwebz, that glass isn’t going to blow itself.  (I’m assuming at least one of you always wanted to take a glass blowing class.  Also I was worried this post might end up with a paragraph that lacked a parenthetical aside.  Crisis averted.)  So get out there and drink that pitcher of beer (or start a blog, or crochet your own gimp).  You can send out those resumes once Happy Hour is over.

Disclaimer: If your workday fantasy was to sprint to the nearest Porsche dealership, buy the latest model, then cover yourself in gold leaf and vaseline before driving to the country and buying an alpaca farm, you should probably ignore this post entirely because a) whoa, dude and b) I’m talking about an extravagance that costs $20 or less.

As for you lucky stiffs enjoying the spoils of a regular job, there’s nothing to say you can’t knock off early one afternoon and play a little hooky yourselves.  I’d even put down my paperback and split a pitcher of beer with you.  (Unless the paperback was Twilight.  Because that’s a little hard to set down.  Not that I’ve read it multiple times.  Or, you know, ever.  Say, we’re supposed to be talking about you, here.  Look a pony!)

But if you’re just playing hooky and still gainfully employed, you should pop for the pitcher.  You should also probably buy me an alpaca for my birthday.  Or this little tiny gilded giraffe that I want so badly.


  1. So true… when I was working FT outside the home, I always daydreamed about being at home. Now that Im home.. I often think about work. I can decide if my glass is half full or half empty… that could be because I drink it too fast =]

  2. so true. you’d think being “self-employed” would trigger you to do these things just because you can, but now that i’m working a full-time job as well i’m realizing “holy shit, i was so obsessed with work while working from home that the most exciting things i did were sleep in, stay up til 4am, drink while working and wear yoga pants or leggings all day.” now i’m working in an office all day (at a job i love, though) and thinking “damn, now i can’t drink on the job AT ALL. i should have milked that a little more.”

  3. Too true! I wish I’d have read this before I was out of work for 6 months way back about 7 years ago!

    Also, I had to read “the glass isnt’ going to blow itself” before I realized you weren’t talking about about BLOWING glass.

    I think I need to lay down… preferrably with some glass.

  4. i’m so excited to be unemployed. probably too much but THAT’S what happens when you’ve been employed entirely too long.
    you lose your mind and rationalize that no job with no money is better than the alternative.

    joblessness is the new black, baby…

    1. Every time I see a cute pair of shoes I’m tempted to buy I think, “Are they really cuter than me sitting at home in a sweatshirt drinking wine and writing?” So far, the answer is a consistent no.

  5. 1) foam is always in season.
    38) sometimes a good hair day is all is takes to turn that frown upside down. (yeah, i’m shallow. new shoes work, too.)
    XX) my “extravagances” are never less than $20. are you saying i have a problem? would that be a drinking problem or a shopping one? oh hell, why analyze?
    %$*) which of the muffins who you’re writing to wants my job? i’m taking the elly-plan.

  6. God, I love you and I’m not afraid today so!
    I used to dream away the workday thinking about what I’d do as soon as the florescent lights were done sucking all the vitamins and health from my sallow skin and it was a LOT like what you describe here.
    My stint on the tour bus made up for most of the years I was held captive by the machine but just barely. I might need a bottle of something strong, a fast car with no top and a firearm to make up for the rest.
    Ps I love giraffes.

    1. Okay, ruined the power & passion of my own statement with bad typing.
      That should read
      I love you and I’m not afraid to SAY SO

  7. Ummm, where was this advice when I was losing my job and immediately jumped into the shitty one I have now that sucks the marrow straight from my bones????? Well, I’m waiting for the answer? Oh!Em!Gee!I’m onto you! You were expecting this pay raise to fund your miniature giraffe. So selfish, Elly!! Pffft!

  8. Thanks for making me feel better about staying in my Pajamas all day today. I really needed it, and you are totally right…When I had a full time job I daydreamed of laying around and doing nothing. From now on I’m gonna be all Carpe Diem and shit…thanks again!! xoxoxoxo

  9. You just inspired me to call in sick tomorrow. Though I’m kind of feeling sick, but you didn’t inspire that.

    Also, I think “slang” is slang for vagina around here.

  10. Foams and muffins… I love you. I was holding a half eaten muffin and I dropped it and it made a thud that frightened me. I have no idea what I am saying. I need to start drinking again.

  11. I am one of those stuck in my cubicle and dreaming of being anywhere but here. (Wait, wasn’t that a movie?) I make up for the fact that I loathe my job by arriving late, leaving early, and taking hour-long coffee breaks. I am an exemplary employee. 🙂 Hey, who actually works an entire eight hours a day in the cube? And what did we do before the Internet? I think I must have just stared at the wall for minutes at a time, but I can’t remember.

  12. Work WAS a justification for buying more clothes… and then the after work happy hours… and the beauty of SATURDAY…

    But I am in pajamas, right now. And that’s awesome.

  13. I feel embarrassed complaining about my job nowadays. I dug the hole so I should lie in it. Even though it is soul sucking, I do need the extra income to support my lavish lifestyle. I’ve got man servants to feed you know. And now I need to take on another job so I can have enough money and magical powers to obtain one of those giraffes!

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