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So, I finished my first week of "funemployment". I packed my things up in Washington DC last week, and Thor moved them into a storage unit a few blocks from O/our new apartment. I'm glad all my stuff is safe and secure. The new place is great... spacious, and full of everything I need right now. Moving took up all my energy in December, and now I'm without a job but with tons of free time.

Actually, that's not true. I'm not doing "funemployment". I've never taken unemployment money in my life, so I'm coasting on savings and credit cards. I don't criticize people living on a free monthly check - it's not a lot of money, and doesn't cover the rent and food and everything else you need, much less want to buy. It's terrifying when work isn't available and money is running out and you are wondering if you'll soon be homeless. I feel bad for anybody right now without a job - myself included.

But then again... there was this guy I knew back in San Jose. The whole time I lived there, he never had a job. In fact, he is still "funemployed" in 2011, since I think he only had a few week-long temp jobs in the last 4 years. The guy is healthy, and in his thirties. Not going to school... he spends the entire day surfing the web and smoking. But still, he always had money to go out drinking at the Lone Star every weekend. He didn't miss a Lazy Bear Retreat, and always seemed to be going on fabulous vacations. I don't know... maybe he sold drugs for cash. But I was jealous of him.

Let me put it this way. You know all those errands you have to do, but you don't have time for? Running to the store, organizing your life, doing laundry and cleaning the house? I've got all day. I can alphabetize my CD collection. This morning, I built a table. Or, I could watch and entire DVD box set. I need to be careful when talking around my friends, because I know I could quickly sound like an asshole: "Oh pity me... when I woke up at noon, I didn't have anything to do except play World of Warcraft for hours. Life is hard."

It's a trade-off, isn't it? Money vs. time. You either have a paycheck and try to squeeze friends and chores and hobbies into your limited hours. Or, you have no money (with the fear that goes along with that), but you have the time to do all the little things that you've always wanted to do. My self-esteem is pretty low right now. Being without a career can do that to you - as if the job hunt isn't soul-crushing enough. Going to work gets you up in the morning and keeps the creditors away. But then again, I'm left with a question in my mind whether there is more to life than being a harried wave slave.

This is what I wear all day since I don't have to shower or leave the apartment anymore: a red union suit and fuzzy bear slippers.



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No, I won't take unemployment. I'm lucky that I have resources most people don't have.

You are cute in your red union suit and fuzzy bear slippers!

Hope things will be okay - and that a new job is in your immediate future!

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Unemployment isn't a free ride, it is not a government benefit. It is insurance that is part of a person's compensation package. You have to have been employed to collect and ALL of the funds paid out are a result of that employment.

With the rate of unemployment in the Bay Area sometimes exceeding 15 percent, some people calculate that there as many as 5 people chasing every job opening.

I know people who are making the best of being long-term unemployed and are trying to find some happiness, but I actually know very few who wouldn't rather have a job.

Just remember Unemployment isn't free -- like Social Security, it is insurance, employers and employees pay into it. So, it is really a part of everyone's compensation package. It is NOT a government benefit. Even the extensions are loans to the states.

Having said that, in most cases, it is difficult to collect Unemployment when someone leaves a job voluntarily.

As for your friend, there are lots of people around here with invisible means of support, and possibly invisible disabilities. People have private incomes, and there are A LOT of what I call Tech Lottery Winners. There are other, darker possibilities.

thornyc scolds me for noticing how other people demonstrate their means. I constantly struggle with how to communicate to people what they need to know about dealing with my means. (Much as I would love to, I can't just pack a bag and join a friend for $1,000 weekend in Hawaii, or a $50 lunch, and I have to find ways to communicate that point without seeming to dwell on the fact that the other person can.)

As someone with an invisible disability, I have to deal with people who think I am a slacker. They don't understand why I don't work, and it's clear in different ways that others resent it. When I notice it, I try very hard to clarify without resorting to pedantry or condescension, but it's hard not to come off that way.

I think the moral is... I actually judge people a lot less than people think I do. (I notice what people do. It's how I'm wired. I'm smart and perceptive, and I can't turn that off. It's why I have aptitude as an artist.) I notice, but I try not to judge -- except when people are shallow, or mean.

So, do what feels right for you, and hope everyone else is doing the same.

"Be kinder than is necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." -- Philo of Alexandria

one essential addition to a Union suit would seem to be either a nice fat buttplug or a puppy tail, and it might add greatly to the "fun" part.....

The union suit is hawt. i notice a railing there that might be useful for certain fun! It looks like a spacious apartment

I know what you mean about not wanting to sound like an asshole about not working. Since I retired I try to keep quiet about it. I know too many people that are in desperate situations now because work is so scarce right now.

As always, pup... [[cuddles]] :o)

As someone with a "non-traditional income source" (I'm mostly "grey market" economy, selling my services for cash for the most part) I get the "Why don't you get a job?" thing a LOT... :o(

very cute, very happy for you *hugs*

'Funemployment' gets old QUICKLY! Sure it seems great now. But in a few months you'll get into the 'I have so much free time, I can procrastinate because I can do said task at some other time' mode. I just started a job this Tuesday, and it feels so much better to be 'on a schedule'.

^^^This. Right down the line, including the going-back-to-work-this-past-Tuesday step.

After 20 months of "UnFunemployment", it feels wonderful to again be a contributing member of society. Or, at least, our household.

From your email message in 12/8/06: "Liked the photo of you in yer heavy weather carhartts," I've watched you and had something to do with your getting on to LJ. You're in the right place now, and, LOL, I love wearing red union suits, too. In a bootsm4m AOL chat room many years ago, Thor said "be yourself." That is also what I'd say to you now. Hugs!

why, oh why does the internet still lack scratch-and-sniff technology?

When I was unemployed, I also temped and it's how I got my current job, never mind it pays shit, but hey, I'm employed in this crappy economy, I can't deny that aspect of temping and unemployment really was just my fall back as both usually didn't pay quite what I needed to live AND pay bills, the job now does alright but barely.

I am blessed to be where I am right now, while not ideal, it could be MUCH worse.

That's how I saw unemployment and it worked out in the end.

its the cover for my next novel!!!!

Maybe we can have lunch sometime :) My office is pretty close to your apartment

It's a trade-off, isn't it? Money vs. time.
That is very true.

The union suit is hot.
Enjoy yer funemployment. If I'm not mistaken, you usually find work once you commit yourself to it.

I love the 2nd pix. Great angle. Long and lean.

So vvhere are you novv? Should I say vvelcome to NY? Manhattan or Brooklyn or Queens? I'd be surprised if you vvere in the Bronx.


I'm in Manhattan... right in smack dab in the very center of the island!

Vvelcome to NY! At long last :-.) Love to meet up! Are you in Chelsea often? I go to FIT vvhich is betvveen Chelsea and 34 St.

Hey Mud,

I'm contingent faculty, which means I work on contract, and I don't earn paychecks for 3 months of "funemployment" a year. I try to stretch and put that time to use on my own work. Here's the thing: even if I was terminated, under the NYS Perkins Law I'd be ineligible for unemployment, since the law -- designed to prevent full-time teachers from "double-dipping" -- has been used by my employer to avoid payments.

If you don't want unemployment, that's your call. But you and your employer have paid for it. Always keep the long-run, big picture in mind. It's there to help replace a portion of what you're losing, and it's there because the system has already culled it from you over time.

Best of luck in the job search. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the union suit and slippers. I also love that you're in NYC!

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