Wednesday, October 03, 2012

I am the 47%

So I'm currently sitting in Busboys and Poets, which is a really cool restaurant/cafe/bookstore, etc.  And I am unemployed, though I have a Macbook Pro, which makes me feel like i fit in over here.


This really isn't that exciting.  Basically due to some internal politics, I lost my hours on a project and not given any heads up, which caused me to go from 60-0.  I used my 4 weeks of overhead, which the company was quite gracious enough to give me.  And now I'm officially on Leave Without Pay.  LWOP.  I'm using vacation time, as I have a little over two weeks before I end eating out of the garbage.


I'm kidding of course.  I'm fine.  Well, as fine as one can be I suppose.  My girlfriend has a job she likes that allows her to help pay more of the rent than before.  And I've got some funds that I can tap into if I need to.  This is the first time I've been unemployed and I have to say that it's quite something.  I realize that this sounds quite naive, given that we have just been through a terrible recession.  But I've learned that I need to get up in the morning and get coffee, and then I've started coming here to work because there are less distractions.  And by work, I mean look for work.

I think I'll have a job soon, but I'm sure a lot of people thought they would have a job soon.  Losing your job does make you think about the value of work though.  At my last job, I made $105,000 as a consultant.  I'm not sure I deserved to make that much.  I didn't teach children in the inner city.  I didn't tar roofs in the summer or work construction in the winter.  I have soft skills, which is a nice way to say I'm good with people and can bullshit well but will be screwed during a zombie apocalypse.  Unless, they need consulting assistance.  And then I can bill the shit out of them.

I applied for unemployment insurance last night online through the great Commonwealth of Virginia, which was quite easy. I also enjoyed the fact that the fake check needed for direct deposit of benefits belonged to one Marty McFly.  Someone was very clever about 21 years ago when they needed a name for the check.  My weekly benefits which I assume will be the max come out to $378.  I hear about people not wanting to go back to work if they're going to clear less than they would in unemployment.  The last time I made this little, I carried a firearm and was right out of the Academy.  Kind of funny that I make the same on the dole that I did as a cop.

But that made me realize just how lucky I am to wonder how to make ends meet on $378 a week, when there are doubtless many people, some with children, who figure this out for even less.  It makes you really consider how fortunate you can be in the midst of your misfortune.  I'll find another job.  I'll get back on my feet.  But losing my job, especially in this incredibly partisan time, when people collecting benefits they paid for are labeled "mooches," makes me much more cognizant of what I have and what I'm given.

Oh, and if anyone is looking to pay someone to work in a climate-controlled office in a job that requires terms like "synergy" and "resilliancy" then I'm totally your man.  I'll even lower my rate by a few bucks an hour to help you out.

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