Life · Unemployment

At least I’ve got options

imageHere I go again, complaining. I know, other people’s complaints are a waste of your time. Go ahead. Ignore me. I don’t mind. I won’t even lay the guilt on you. People leave all the time… 🙂

It’s the holiday season and I am still looking for a real job. Husband has an interview this week which looks pretty promising, and that would be the best Christmas present of all. I have some part time work here and there, and I actually really like what I’m doing. It’s not a lot of time, and not a lot of money, but it’s really rewarding and even fun. It’s like having all the fun parts of teaching witout the horrible testing and dealing with adults all the time. Refreshing. Still, I can’t help but feel awful that I’m not really contributing to the family much. I try to clean and cook and do the household thing, but we were always a two working-parent family before, so I feel guilty all the time.

Even so, our excitement for Christmas will not be contained. I was out shopping today at a huge mall on my way to see my mom. It was so nice to be walking around in the middle of the day, Christmas music playing, people full of the joy of the spirit. Ok. Maybe people weren’t too joyful. And some were not joyful at all. Are there any people on the planet more distressed at the holiodays than those mall kiosk workers? Seriously?! They look like they would be happier with no jobs at all, at least the ones who are not openly watching movies on their smartphones, headphones in and everything. I don’t really care about making sure I get great customer service at a kiosk, to be honest. I know these are seasonal employees who are just waiting it out. I rarely even shop at them, unless there’s something that I can’t live without. Which happens. Don’t judge me.

Anyway, there I was, walking around the mall, thinking about how these people need to cheer the hell up, when I see a woman working at a kiosk who sort of sends me over the edge. She’s my age, looks more despondent than anyone I’ve ever seen, and writing in a notebook. She looks like the manager of a department of some company. Classy lady. I mean, she just looks sort of perfect for the business world. Want to know what she’s doing? Selling pillows. Of emojis. Poop emojis. Oh, dear, dear God.

She looks like she is about to walk into her office at the top of a skyscraper, and she’s selling pillows that look like poop with eyes. At what point in her life did this become a viable option? Where was the line that she crossed when it suddenly became ok for her to sell decorative poop? I know I’m being a horrible person and judging this woman in about a hundred ways from the way she looks to what her life must be like, but that’s who I am in this moment and I am nothing if not honest. I’m standing almost paralyzed with sadness and fear and confusion staring at this lady (I almost said “poor lady,” more judging there. She might be very happy, I know.) wondering what went wrong. That’s when it hits me.

I’m so damn lucky. I have so many options, gifts, and opportunities. I complain about the work I am not able to get, jobs that have rejected me, organizations that have labeled me “highly qualified” and taken me to the last round of employment only to reject me in the end because of thier policy of hiring veterans first (bitter? me?), but never have I needed to accept a job doing something I think is ridiculous, find demeaning, or even simply something I would not enjoy. This lady, who may think that poop emoji pillows are hilarous and the perfect gift for everyone on anyone’s list, is sitting there at her seasonal job. Yeah, she looks miserable, but maybe she just had a bad morning. Maybe she loves her seasonal job. Or maybe she needed it. Maybe she was some sort of executive and now this is her life. Maybe it rips out her soul to go to this job every day because she used to have a job that made her feel important and now she does this. She’s getting it done though. She’s working and providing for herself or her family or her cats or whatever. And I think she’s probably a little better than I am.

Merry Christmas

One thought on “At least I’ve got options

  1. When I came back from the Peace Corps unable to work, it was a huge blow to me. I had worked good jobs all my life. I have an ivy league degree, but I was applying for part time jobs doing house cleaning. Eventually, I got workers’ comp, because I really couldn’t even handle house cleaning.
    It sounds like there aren’t a ton of good jobs right now. While there is so much pressure (in my opinion) to work, my two cents is that while you will of course try to find a job, you should also try to enjoy the hell out of this time that you have. Everyone says that they don’t have enough time to do the things they want to do. So, while you wait, do some fun stuff that you didn’t have time to before. There probably is someone out there judging you, but the people who care about you probably all think that you should be happy.


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