Will Work 4 Food: Standing in the Unemployment Line

If you thought looking for work was emotional, try being flat out unemployed. Everyone has been there because not everyone wakes up, wants a job and then has one five seconds later. Whether the hunt takes a day, week, month or year…it’s always the same idea. Like looking for work, it sucks. Last week touched on that and how it can be an emotional journey, but anyone can look for work. Those with and without jobs are equally on the hunt every day, but imagine how it feels to be completely void of a paycheck while seeking employment. The stress is intensified and you have to sit and stare at those around you with jobs complain about Mondays. You’d complain too but it’s hard to hate a specific day when you’re unemployed because they start to run together.

Alida Nugent graduated with a liberal arts degree and found herself doing nothing for about six months. Like many, she thought a career would be right around the corner of her diploma. While she indulges about dating and drinking heavily in Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse, she also spends time on her adventures with jobs, especially her time without them. She recounts what it was like when people would ask her is she was okay, saying people often “asked with the same tone people use” after learning someone has croaked. The best and most relatable is her note about friends asking her about her current state just to brag about what they were doing. Note, your unemployed friends do not want to talk about work. They’re happy you scored a cool job but it’s like this – it’s like being the only single gal at a couple’s retreat. Get it now? Anyways, the positive side of Nugent’s situation though is that it made her want more, “…you find your trajectory for your daydreams, of getting more or wanting more or wanting something different.”

The good and bad news of being unemployed is that there are endless opportunities and you can really try and start fresh in some cases. How many times have you watched Chopped and heard the story of the down and out person who all of a sudden decided culinary school was their way to something new? However, with all that’s out there – one can see how it would be overwhelming as well. While there’s a tiny bright side, there is a whole lot of shade cast on those without work.

People often think those aren’t working are lazy but in some cases, times are just rough and they can’t catch a break. Many with jobs often forget what it’s like to be without one and it’s like Charlie laments in The Perks of Being a Wallflower about how you forget what it’s like to be 16 when you turn 17. For those employed, think of how you got your current job. Were you lucky enough to intern there and move up, did a friend give you a tip? Not everyone has that fortune so if people with would help out those without, unemployment may cease to exist. Never assume someone doesn’t want the help and it doesn’t take a lot of time to pass along a link or say, “Hey, such and such is thing.” Cindy and Cora who we met last month, they’re always lending me a helping hand like that and I do the same for others when I come across postings since I’m the queen of job boards and spend at least an hour a day on them.

While looking for work is a headache for everyone, it’s more so for those completely out of work in the first place because they have to deal with bills coming in that are further from getting paid and that alone makes their struggle a little more real. Plus, they have to deal with friends asking about their search – knowing very well it’s not going great, as they’re still coming up with the most outlandish excuses to avoid going out when invited because being social – that’s an expensive ticket.

The Highs and Lows of Being Unemployed

  1. The current unemployment rate is 4.9%, with Georgia having the highest at 7.9%.
  2. 50% of those surveyed here said they were unemployed.
  3. 33% of those unemployed said the reason behind their current state is that no one will hire them.
  4. When it came to the biggest high of not having to go into work every day, half of you agreed that it was all the extra free time.
  5. The same amount said the biggest low is the feeling of worthlessness.

Over the next four days we’ll talk to someone who has tried time and time again to find work but continues to come up short, tell you why you can never be unemployed but underemployed – oh hell yeah, talk about Will Smith’s endurance and wind it all down the usual way.


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