January Is The Cruelest Month — For Layoffs

I have wondered whether these were merely my personal circadian rhythms or whether maybe there were other larger forces at play. Do other people also get hired in late spring and let go in winter?


How Many Safety Nets Do You Have?

How many nets would each of us crash through before we ran out of options? It’s not the world’s happiest thought, but it’s certainly something I’ve wondered about more than once in my adult life. (By “more than once” I really mean “more than once a month.” Adulthood is scary.)


Sudden Unemployment

I woke up on a recent Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. with a slight hangover and nowhere to go, except maybe to my laptop to casually browse the internet for some sort of inspiration. I no longer had to program my alarm for 7:10 a.m., and it was no longer of a pressing nature to get to the gym before going to work because, well, there was no work, and truth be told, no desk job was forcing me to be bound to a desk. I could do Zumba in my living room at 2 p.m. if I wanted to, provided my downstairs neighbors weren’t feeling too cantankerous.


Dreams I Had While Unemployed

I am leaving a grocery store with my dad. It is daytime. Dad walks ahead of me in the parking lot towards the car, but when I pass a parked car, a man runs up behind me.


“I Stopped Carrying a Wallet When I Became Homeless”

I suppose I could use my old wallet, but it’s full of a life I no longer lead. The owner of that wallet once had an apartment, a full time job, and disposable income, an abundant life that utilized all of the slots.


1 Source Of Income: Good. 12 Sources: Better!

I paid two months of COBRA premiums with my winnings from Cash Cab, since I no longer had a job and was able to do things like be on a game show at two in the afternoon on a Monday.


Working When You Have No Sleep, A Guide

New York Mag’s new blog, The Science of Us, published a servicey guide to surviving the work day when you didn’t get any sleep the night before. There are no quick fixes — ain’t that the way? — but lots of coping strategies. Among them: don’t hit the snooze button, get outside in the daylight without sunglasses on as soon as you can, eat a healthy breakfast and a healthy lunch, do the hard work right away and save the busy work for the afternoon, when you are truly ready to die. True, true, and true.


Brief Periods of Unemployment After College, as Told to Me by Friends

A few months after getting my first steady job since being unemployed, I still hadn’t let go of a lot of the habits and anxieties I’d developed during that time. I’d go up and down the grocery store aisle price-comparing boxed pasta, shaming myself for ever spending more than $20 at a time. I joked to friends that I was a recovering unemployed person, working my way through a twelve-step program.


Adjusting Our “New Financial Advice” to Include Unemployment

Continuing the idea that we need a new kind of financial advice:

The “old” financial advice model, by which I also mean the current financial advice model, presumes that you’re going to have a job at all times. Technically, it knows that you aren’t going to have a job at all times, but it brushes that uncomfortable truth into the corner by quickly shouting something about a three-to-six-month emergency fund.

And, of course, if you don’t have a job, you are advised to immediately trot on down to the nearest Walmart, Starbucks, or nurse’s aide training program.

Never mind that these jobs are not known for their long-term stability, and never mind the fact that you can’t get a coffee shop job just by asking. A link was bouncing around the internet yesterday about 1,701 people applying for eight Costa Coffee jobs (I only now realized that the story is a year old but probably still makes its point), and the last time I was in a coffee shop a man literally walked in, shouted “is anyone in this industry actually hiring?” and then argued with the barista before stomping out.