Monday, April 19, 2010

So, Unemployment

abner begging 1
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
I am considering today my first actual day of being unemployed, because Thursday and Friday basically just felt like a long holiday weekend and Monday is traditionally the day when one, or, well, me, wakes up and says "OH FUCK." This Monday that particular exclamation was followed by the sad realization that that paycheck did come in pretty handy after all, didn't it? That was bad enough and then I paid a visit to the unemployment office, which I will be revisiting tomorrow morning for, god help me, a video. A training video, I think - I guess it's to train me to be unemployed, perhaps with two perky people saying useful things like, "Consider getting up in the morning! Pajamas are overrated while clothes are a good thing! Perhaps a brisk walk around the block before immediately going for the vodka would be helpful in your new life!"

This is my second bout with unemployment. When I did it five years ago, it was totally simple. I filled out a form online and then every so often went back to the same site to type in a response that went more or less like "Nope, no job yet. Send more money! Thanks!" and it was generally quite painless. I will always go for the website over actual human contact (note to potential employers: I am lying! I am cracking jokes! I love making phone calls! Now that was lying!) and my experience with unemployment was pretty much all positive except for the part where it came to an end. This time around, however, probably because just about everyone except the myriad people who work at the unemployment office are unemployed now, they have made getting unemployment money incrementally more difficult. There is no more registering online, free and easy. Oh no. You have to actually go down to the office now and be surrounded by other desperate people - and by that I mean the employees, not the clients. You have to answer questions and explain your checkered work history and say politely that you think, ha ha, driving to Greeneville, Tennessee for a $7.25 an hour job is just not what you really, really want to go for right now. Ha ha! Let's chortle nervously!

And, in a complete nonsequitur from the weekend update news team, we had a successful dinner party on Friday night. Flat out telling everyone you're poor and demanding food from them turns out to work really well; I recommend it. Parties are also a great way to hear about interesting community events, which is how the next morning, Charlie and I went to a UFO yard sale, where, alas, we failed to summon up the nerve to ask to see the UFO room. You see, we had been told that the people throwing the yard sale were flying saucer enthusiasts with a UFO room - this is, of course why we went. Well, that and the possibility that they were selling off their alien artifacts. It was a good yard sale, if disappointingly earthbound, and they probably would have shown us Area 51 if we'd asked. Somehow, though, just looking at strangers and saying "HEY! Can we see your freaky alien room? We heard you had one of them freaky alien rooms." wasn't in our repertoire, given not only the Saturday morning yard sale ambiance of it all but also the undeniable malign next day influence of the margaritas from the night before. We did, however, buy some random excellent shit including the worlds' most awesome orange ashtray, a Hawaiian shirt and a strange glass object that just might be an oil lamp - from Venus. It was a good yard sale Saturday.

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