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Posted by Rorie (3169 posts) -

I was unemployed from April 1, 2012 to April 22, 2013. That was a pretty long time to be out of work, as you can probably appreciate.

(Note that I'm graciously leaving out a five-week period in which I was Executive Editor of GameSpy.com, mostly because the bulk of those five weeks were spent getting used to the CMS for the site rather than actually creating content for it. It was an honor to write for a site that I greatly respected, but it was pretty clear that IGN didn't really have a lot of resources to bring to bear on GameSpy. In the end, getting laid off was a pretty fortunate turn, especially since it freed me up to come on board over here.)

look at this pup

Anyway, I was out of work for almost a year, aside from occasional freelance assignments. The great state of California is fairly close to the mean when it comes to unemployment benefits, kicking out $450 a week at the maximum level, which I qualified for. Some citizens might have gnashed their teeth at the prospect of living on the dole, but I figured that I had put my fair share into the system over the past eight years of my working life through the contributions that the companies I had worked for had paid out to the state unemployment ledgers. I didn't really feel too bad at getting a workable amount of financial support while I was actively looking for work.

No one takes any kind of pride in living off of government assistance, obviously, but neither was the prospect of drawing unemployment any source of shame or depression to me. Not to get political, but I think most sane people can agree that it's better for a society to support someone who finds themselves unemployed during their search for a new job (for a reasonable amount of time) rather than let said citizen be turned out on the street. I was supported by the state to a not-inconsiderable sum during the year that I was looking for work, but now that I'm back on the job, I'm paying the state of California a not-inconsiderable sum in taxes, and will be for some time into the future. Which is a good thing for everyone concerned, in my opinion.

(One annoyance worth mentioning: when I would report freelance income on my unemployment forms, the following check would deduct the bulk of that income from my benefits. I can kind of get the reasoning behind this, but at the same time it seemed to eliminate most of the motivation to look for part-time or freelance work, since you would wind up making practically the same amount of money not doing that work as you would actually doing it. That conundrum, combined with the amazing annoyance that freelance contracts often wind up being, were almost enough to convince me to write for free rather than ask for payment for them. (Almost.))

I can't claim that my situation was necessarily a standard one, though: despite the fairly ridiculous cost of living in San Francisco, I was still fortunate in that the unemployment benefit that I was drawing covered all of my rent and bills, with a bit left over for food. I say "fortunate," but in the end that situation was just as much a result of my life choices as it was a result of circumstances: I managed to pay off my student loans a couple of years ago, I don't have children, and I don't own a car, the latter two of which are likely to be immediate concerns for the majority of people who are filing for unemployment. (To be fair, the "not owning a car part" is kind of built into the cost of living in San Francisco, since it's such a bike-friendly city; I might pay a few hundred dollars more a month to live here than I would elsewhere, but I wind up saving that money through not having to pay for a car loan, parking, gas, tickets, and etc.)

I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm the best at making smart financial decisions, but I did at least learn to avoid debt pretty early on in life from some unfortunate family mistakes, and I've always made it a point to try and stay away from large financial commitments unless I'm relatively sure I can pay for them immediately without incurring monthly bills. To that end, I don't think I actually even have any real debt; I have a credit card, but I make it a point to pay it off every month and just get some points from spending on it.

look at this pup too

Being unemployed also encouraged me to be frugal in other ways, though. For instance: paper towels? Mostly unnecessary! You can wipe down dishes and stuff with rags pretty easily, and they're completely reusable if you're willing to wash and wring them out regularly. Cable television? Cut the cord! Video games? No need to get them right away! Wait for a Steam sale! Haircuts? Why spend 30 bucks a month when you can buy a set of Wahl clippers for 20 bucks on Amazon and do it yourself? The back of your head might wind up looking suspiciously like a mullet, since you can't actually see it when you give yourself a buzz, but you'll wind up saving a boatload of money over a year.

I wish I could say that I had much of a point to all this; this is really more of a series of thoughts than any kind of narrative. I appreciate all the good wishes that everyone had for me during my time out of the limelight, but in the end, I guess my dirty little secret about unemployment is this: I kind of enjoyed it. I wish I hadn't been unemployed for so long, but after a series of jobs where working 60 hours a week was normal, it was kind of refreshing to be able to read a bunch of books, hang out at bars until they closed, work through some of my game queue, and most importantly sleep as much as I goddamned please for a while. There was a bit of anxiety here and there, but not nearly as much as I would've experienced if I had had kids to feed or a bunch of debt to worry about. I wasn't kicking around like it was a vacation - I was actively looking for work the whole time - but at the same time it was nice not to have to worry about getting up and heading into an office every day.

That's not to say that being out of work for so long doesn't breed a bit of cynicism. I'm a bit of a pessimist to begin with, and I'm still pretty sure that we'll all be unemployed and underwater well before the robots take over in 2060. In the near future, though, it's a good thing to remember that corporations might care about your happiness insofar as it affects your productivity, but that they'll also cut you loose as soon as the calculus shifts against your continued employment. I suppose that's fair, so far as such things go, but it's also a good thing to keep in mind when figuring out how to balance personal needs and the needs of your employer.

Anyway, it's good to be back in the fold of the working man, and a bit of positive cash flow now brings the exciting prospect of actually buying some stuff that I've been holding off on purchasing for a while, like new shoes and some glasses and a new TV and such. But I'll leave that for another blog post, I suppose.

#1 Posted by EquitasInvictus (2040 posts) -

Wow, this gave me a lot of insight on unemployment, as I kind of considered myself as someone in the camp against unemployment benefits prior to reading this. Thanks for sharing; while I don't plan on being unemployed anytime soon, this definitely put a lot of things into perspective for me.

#2 Posted by EuanDewar (5092 posts) -

$$$$$$<3$$$

So glad you're here rorie

#3 Edited by NorseDudeTR (428 posts) -

Good man. Welcome back.

#4 Edited by ArclightBorealis (1563 posts) -

I'm not quite in the same position as you were, given I've only finished my freshman year of college and don't have any student loans or other expenses to worry about (not yet, anyway). Reading this just reminds me how nice it is to actually earn some money, something I haven't been doing since the end of last summer, and I hope I get some results from my job search for this summer.

Still, glad to have you here and gainfully employed. It's great that you're doing this much interaction with the GB community.

#5 Posted by ReyGitano (2467 posts) -

I'll be graduating from college soon in the bay area and still need to find a job. Nice to have someone that I can relate to. I'm glad you found a job though Rorie in a place that you can enjoy working at.

#6 Edited by myketuna (1736 posts) -

@rorie said:
Being unemployed also encouraged me to be frugal in other ways, though. For instance: paper towels? Mostly unnecessary! You can wipe down dishes and stuff with rags pretty easily, and they're completely reusable if you're willing to wash and wring them out regularly. Cable television? Cut the cord! Video games? No need to get them right away! Wait for a Steam sale! Haircuts? Why spend 30 bucks a month when you can buy a set of Wahl clippers for 20 bucks on Amazon and do it yourself? The back of your head might wind up looking suspiciously like a mullet, since you can't actually see it when you give yourself a buzz, but you'll wind up saving a boatload of money over a year.

I started living on my own (with my younger brother actually, but we're both students and not working) and I learned a lot of this as well. Strangely, since both of us don't really know how to cut hair, our heads still look mullet-esque. We're both too scared that we'll cut too far up to overcompensate the "mullet effect" and end up looking even weirder, so we just leave it as is.

Anyway, I was always secretly curious how you were doing that whole year without (much) work. But I didn't want to ask because I felt it seemed too prying and creepy. Glad you posted this Rorie, but more glad you're here with the GB crew and community. Where you belong.

Emma is glad you're here, too.

#7 Posted by Shinmaru007 (343 posts) -

I was unemployed for a year right out of college -- not a fun time! (Not that I take offense at you looking on the bright side a bit with your unemployment experience, mind.) It was pretty demoralizing to put four years (and a summer internship) of work into getting a degree and then immediately sit on my ass for a year because nobody wanted to hire me. Maybe it would have been better if I actually lived somewhere not boring, though, haha.

#8 Posted by posh (522 posts) -

great post, glad to hear you're back on your feet and have a great job now. also one thing you have over Dave is you're not a libertarian. bless you for that (I still love Dave)

#9 Edited by Mento (2732 posts) -

A long stretch of unemployment has long since sapped any will to get up in the morning. I just wanted to say as much as the extended holiday might seem like a gas to those outside looking in, I'm relieved you got out of it when you did and I'm impressed that you weren't more of a nervous wreck by the end of it. Unemployment has a way of wreaking havoc on your confidence after that long a dry spell.

Moderator
#10 Posted by Truitt (92 posts) -

As someone who has been on unemployment for a similar amount of time as you over the past few years (somewhere in the neighborhood of a year over the past three years - and unfortunately someone who is about to be on it again soon...), I find that my opinions on unemployment are exactly the same as your own.

When people asked me why I didn't look for part-time work, I had exactly the same answer as you: to me, unemployment is there for you to have enough time to look for a job similar financially to the one you had previously, and taking a part-time job eats in to what money you get each week while also eating into the time you could focus on finding a better job as well.

I completely understand why people have negative opinions on unemployment (it can be fairly easy to game the system, in all honestly), but it is the only reason I have survived some of my post-college years in a rough economy. I will be going in to apply for benefits next week, and I'm glad that it's there for people like you and me who work in high-turnover positions. Unemployment is the only reason I'm not super worried about the next year of my life, and I'm sure it will keep me afloat until I find my next path.

#11 Edited by robin_smith (98 posts) -

It's good to see that you got by with little issue during that year. Or less problems then you could have faced and that it was a relatively positive experience for you too.

#12 Posted by NoobSauceG7 (1262 posts) -

Good for you being smart with your money during unemployment. That's got to be a scary thing for some people but being able to manage it like you did was the best thing to do. Great to have you back to, Rorie (also those pups, adorable!)

#13 Edited by Winternet (8035 posts) -

I'm with you Mr. Rorie until the part of no haircuts. That I can't agree with. Getting haircuts is high on my "what I really need to survive" list. Although to be fair, I don't get haircuts every month and I definitely don't pay 30 dollars for it.

#14 Edited by jimmyfenix (3859 posts) -

YOU ARE BACK HOME BUDDY

#15 Edited by pyromagnestir (4333 posts) -

30 bucks a month on haircuts?! Were you getting 2 haircuts a month or something?

#16 Posted by SuperTess (142 posts) -

It's nice to see someone talking about unemployment assistance in a positive light. I totally get what you mean by it being kind of vacation-like. When I was laid off, well it sucked, but it had been such a negative and sometimes hostile workplace that finally I could relax. And I was definitely not ready to jump right back into another full-time office grind. I'm still not working full-time, but I enjoy what I do and unemployment gave me a chance to get to the point where I could only work part-time and still make ends meet without the assistance.

Glad you're back, Rorie!

#17 Edited by JasonR86 (9762 posts) -

@rorie:

I think the unemployment benefit system works best when a person who has worked and put money into that big pot for everyone to use when things are hard. Those are the sorts of stories I like hearing regarding unemployment benefits. I know you said it but I'll say it again; don't feel bad about relying on something as a crutch that you helped build and maintain.

Online
#18 Edited by D8K (15 posts) -

Glad to have you back!

#19 Posted by Xtrememuffinman (958 posts) -

I'm (relatively) unemployed, and let me tell you. It's amazing.

I say relatively because I was working part time retail on top of being a student, and quit because "fuck my boss" (real dick, but that's another story). So I don't have to worry about bills and such because of my parents, but I can't go and buy video games and eat out like I was used to. My bank account is running low though, so I'm going to start some job searching this summer. But it was nice.

#20 Edited by Deathpooky (1437 posts) -

Good to have you back and interesting perspective, especially on unemployment benefits, which I've luckily never had to use but completely agree with you on.

In the near future, though, it's a good thing to remember that corporations might care about your happiness insofar as it affects your productivity, but that they'll also cut you loose as soon as the calculus shifts against your continued employment. I suppose that's fair, so far as such things go, but it's also a good thing to keep in mind when figuring out how to balance personal needs and the needs of your employer.

I'd say this is the most important thing you noted. I know a ton of people who kill themselves for their employers, or that have outsized loyalty for companies that care little for them beyond their profit line. Loyalty, doing good work, and working hard are all great qualities. But never forget that you're working for a company that's primary concern is profit, not you as a person, and you should have the same view in return.

#21 Edited by Jimbo (9931 posts) -

Unemployment benefits are fine as a safety net. Less fine when they're the lifestyle choice they are here in the UK.

#22 Posted by Nicked (257 posts) -

I am unemployed right now and it sucks in a way that news coverage of unemployment can't quite articulate. Mostly what kills me is the amount of free time because I always feel like no matter how much I get done in a day I should be being more productive. Life can't be enjoyed when you feel guilty any time you try to relax. That plus the minutia of cover letters and resumes where you're constantly worrying that if one little thing is wrong you'll be passed up for the job. And of course there's the necessity of being hyper-frugal (<$20 for a haircut around here so thankfully haven't had to do it myself yet!).

I did have a stroke of luck with a freelancing thing I've been doing recently, so I'm getting published regularly, which is great, but it's little comfort when I start thinking about healthcare.

#23 Posted by ArmedBear (223 posts) -

Rorie should record himself rambling. Ramble on.

#24 Edited by MattyFTM (14423 posts) -

I was unemployed for a little over two years a while back. It's not a nice situation to be in. I had dropped out of university early. I earned a qualification, but it was much less than the degree I had hoped to achieve. I'd never had a job in my life. And finding someone to give me a chance to prove myself was no easy task. It didn't help that I was low on confidence and self-esteem. And when I finally built up some confidence, a couple of failed job interviews would send it crashing back to the ground. It was depressing. At the time I felt like everyone was judging me, thinking I was lazy and not actually looking for work. In hindsight, I'm sure that's not true.

Eventually, I managed to break out of the continuous cycle. I put a huge part of it down to my dieting and exercise. I was (and still am) very overweight. In the summer of 2011 I decided to change that. I started walking everywhere and eating much healthier. I lost a bunch of weight, and felt genuinely good about myself for the first time in a long while. I was confident and happy with myself. Towards the end of the year, I had a job interview. Feeling confident, going into it, I aced it and got the job. It was just a supermarket job, but a job is a job. And it was just temporary, but it was a foot in the door and a chance to gain experience. And I clearly made a good impression, because they kept me on after the temporary period was up. I'm still there now. I don't plan on working in a supermarket for the rest of my life, but it's a hell of a lot better than being on the dole.

Since then, I haven't continued to lose weight. I partly blame that on the job giving me less time to walk, exercise and prepare healthy meals, and partly on now being happy in spite of my weight. I still need to lose weight for the sake of my health, but that's a different conversation.

Anyways, the other thing I wanted to touch on was the same issue Rorie touched on about his freelance income. I had exactly the same experience. Once my temporary contract was up and they brought me on permanently, I initially only had a few hours a week. Three and a half to be exact. There were hardly any hours available at the time, so they just gave me a few to keep me there before they could offer me more. I obviously didn't earn nearly enough to live on. So I continued to claim benefits. How it works in the UK is that they let you keep the first £5 of your earnings, then anything else you earn gets taken off your benefits. The woman at the Job Centre told me with much enthusiasm "So you'll always be £5 better off in work". "Except my bus fare to work is £6.50" I told her. I was actually worse off in work than I would have been if I were unemployed. Of course, £1.50 is largely inconsequential, and the most important thing was that my foot was in the door. But if you're worse off in work than out of work, something is wrong with the system.

In any case, I've rambled on about my unemployment experiences for too long. Long story short, It's not nice being unemployed, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel, however far away it may seem.

Moderator
#25 Edited by TyCobb (1976 posts) -

@deathpooky said:

Good to have you back and interesting perspective, especially on unemployment benefits, which I've luckily never had to use but completely agree with you on.

In the near future, though, it's a good thing to remember that corporations might care about your happiness insofar as it affects your productivity, but that they'll also cut you loose as soon as the calculus shifts against your continued employment. I suppose that's fair, so far as such things go, but it's also a good thing to keep in mind when figuring out how to balance personal needs and the needs of your employer.

I'd say this is the most important thing you noted. I know a ton of people who kill themselves for their employers, or that have outsized loyalty for companies that care little for them beyond their profit line. Loyalty, doing good work, and working hard are all great qualities. But never forget that you're working for a company that's primary concern is profit, not you as a person, and you should have the same view in return.

I think it really depends on the company. I have worked jobs where I knew I was appreciated for the extra work and effort and it paid off very well, while others couldn't give a shit which just meant I had more free time on my hands at the end of the work day. Mom and Pop corporations are the best places to work and anyone who finds a nice gig at one of them should bust their ass because it should and probably will pay off in the long run.

I will hold my tongue on the whole unemployment issue, but will just say this -- depending on the position/career path you have chosen, companies do not like to see someone on unemployment for a long period of time. A couple of years ago companies were throwing resumes and applications away if they saw someone was on unemployment for long periods. If you can find a job that pays a little less or the same as unemployment, fucking do it; it makes you look better. Also, you do not and did not pay into unemployment; your employer did.

#26 Posted by VincentLonga (66 posts) -

Thanks for your perspective Rorie!

I have experience with unemployment also. I took 5 months of benefits when I separated from the Air Force, before I started school. I used that time to adjust to civilian life and prepare for college (a Louisiana high school diploma left a lot to be desired) and it was great. After I graduated I delivered pizzas (sociology degree and whatnot) then got a job doing phone support for comcast video from home. I ground away 11 months of my life at that job, before I quit because it was too stressful, pay was too low, and there wasn't enough room for advancement. But because I quit and was not fired, I was denied benefits. Fortunately for me, my wife had a job (and even found a better job while I was unemployed) so we were doing ok financially. But it struck me odd that someone who gets fired is eligible for benefits, whereas someone who quits a job for a legitimate reason is not eligible for benefits (this took place in Utah btw). Unemployment benefits are great, but policy still needs some work to make it better.

#27 Edited by TyCobb (1976 posts) -

@vincentlonga said:

But it struck me odd that someone who gets fired is eligible for benefits, whereas someone who quits a job for a legitimate reason is not eligible for benefits (this took place in Utah btw). Unemployment benefits are great, but policy still needs some work to make it better.

No. It depends on why you were fired. If you get fired because you show up to work late or misbehave, you do not get benefits. If you get laid off then, you get benefits. No one who quits a job should get unemployment. Nothing against you, but states would be even more in debt if people just decided to quit their job and go on unemployment for a year.

Being laid-off and fired are not the same thing.

#28 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3689 posts) -

Mad props Rorie for surviving for a year unemployed in San Fransisco. Think if I was in your shoes if I hadn't found something in 6 months I'd probably be on my way out of SF due to the cost of living over there.

#29 Posted by marbleCmoney (488 posts) -

Good read.

#30 Posted by PoToSkull (108 posts) -

This blog post is nothing but real talk. Ya feel me?

#31 Posted by Rorie (3169 posts) -

@equitasinvictus: Thanks! Yeah, unemployment's weird. But then perception of it is often driven by the worst cases of abuse when by and large the majority of the outlays are to people who genuinely need it. It's expensive, sure, but I'm pretty sure the social costs of not doing it would be pretty severe, as well.

#32 Posted by cooljammer00 (2000 posts) -

@rorie I'm also currently unemployed, and have been for the better part of 6 months. How close were you throughout your search for employment to trying to find a job in some sort of service industry? Food/beverage/hospitality, stuff like that? Or did you feel that due to your skill set and work experience that you would be better off finding a job that was more like what you're doing now?

I've got a degree and no job, and I kinda hated doing food stuff when I worked in food.

#33 Posted by Rorie (3169 posts) -

@myketuna: Thanks, good to be back!

@reygitano: Yep, the Bay Area job market is a bit weird. Hope you find something!

@alaska_gamer:thanks! Always like to be involved.

#34 Edited by ghostNPC (793 posts) -

Ramblin' Rorie on paper! I missed ya buddy. It actually makes me feel genuinely relieved that you found a place to work and be happy in that work; especially the fact that you get to come back to your fans, like me. Now get on some videos damn it! And welcome home.

#35 Edited by Brackynews (4094 posts) -
@mattyftm said:
I partly blame that on the job giving me less time to walk, exercise and prepare healthy meals, and partly on now being happy in spite of my weight.

That is interesting. The fittest and slimmest years of my adult life were the five I spent working produce, and I always bought the freshest stock for eating well at home. What is your department? I can assure you that office jobs make it ten times harder to find the time for exercise. :/ Good for you on staying positive!

(n.b.: I am so sick of this new editor being unable to un-quote text. Bring back the Code button!)

@deathpooky said:
or that have outsized loyalty for companies that care little for them beyond their profit line.

Gosh, that sounds familiar eh? *cough*systemwars*cough*

I recognise how very fortunate I am to have always been either working or a student for my entire adult life (rather a long time, I'm almost the same age as Jeff). I recall being on Unemployment Insurance for approximately 3 weeks before I got called in for another contract term. Still, I personally have quite a bit of debt, but thanks to family support I was also able to put my career on pause to finish a second degree. Part of the reason I work at every opportunity is it's 90% of my self-esteem, so I totally understand the depression that comes from inactivity.

What I wish regularly, of course, is that I had more time to be contributing to Giant Bomb, or rebuilding my Burgertime cabinet, or playing my new EVE subscription, or any of the hundred games in my pile of shame that I could "afford" to buy, but can't start or finish when I'm spending 16 hours a day on campus or working until 2am at the office. I wish just one of the multiple packages I've sent to the GB offices actually got on a mailbag, or even a thank-you note. I am basically invisible online, and that's sometimes good, but I don't quite feel like part of a community I love.

There is no perfect answer to the balance of time/money, you have to make the best of your situation and set things aside that are less important. That Burgertime cabinet isn't going anywhere, but spending 90 minutes tonight on Giant Bomb is absolutely the most fun I've had all goddamn day. ;)

#36 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2396 posts) -

I was unemployed for a total of 10 months over the last 2 years and I have to say that it was absoutly the worst time of my life. The constant stress of needed to fine work (living off my savings) was a complete nightmare. Luckly I had the help of friends and family, but I never want to go through that again.

#37 Posted by Demoskinos (15097 posts) -

God Unemployment is the WORST so much paper work and stress of trying to find a workable job before the finance monster gains ground and you run out of funds that you've saved up. Granted, the month that I was unemployed last year I did manage to absolutely destroy Final Fantasy XIII-2 which was pretty great.

#38 Posted by Sgtpierceface (639 posts) -

I will read whatever you write Rorie. So glad you're back!

#39 Edited by Hailinel (25201 posts) -

It was about this time two years ago that I returned to work after being laid off. I was out of work for close to five months. I'm thankful that I had unemployment money coming in to pay the bills while I was on the job search, but it was a nerve-wracking experience for me. On the other hand, the two weeks in between the day I signed my current employer's offer and the day I returned to work were two of the most blissfully relaxing weeks of my entire life.

Congratulations on returning to work, Matt!

#40 Edited by Shaunage (722 posts) -

I'm a recent journalism graduate in the same position, and while the job search is getting frustrating, I've used the free time to watch like.... a thousand movies.

#41 Posted by EvilNiGHTS (1093 posts) -

Not taking the cost of living in San Francisco into account, I'm more than a little surprised by the unemployment benefit offered. $450 amounts to roughly £300 per week, which is more than I've ever made working full time.

In typical fashion, the only job I had that got me close to that figure I quit for the sake of getting NCTJ qualifications, knowing full well that would set me up for notoriously shittier pay.

#42 Edited by daedelus (99 posts) -

Unemployment makes everyone better off. It actually helps smooth shocks to the economy and makes recessions less intense. This is because people can keep spending money, while looking for work. Keep in mind that when you spend money to get a burger that is keeping somone in a foodservice job. That money then goes back into the economy and keeps it going. Otherwise people would have to be out on the street quickly or cautiously spend down savings, either way less spending, slowing down the economy. No one should feel bad about taking unemployment and a minority abusing it is not justification for getting rid of it.

#44 Edited by zFUBARz (637 posts) -

I managed to not work for about 14 months a couple years back, living of savings and good will(the store and the concept) and family, as a student I'm pretty much the only person my age I know that isn't paying off substantial student loans or moving on to a second kid at this point, so like you said it definitely helps. I know you may not wanna walk into a Berman Braum office any time soon, but I say go sit in on a This is Only a Test episode, get some input on the TV, You and Will were always a fun combo.

Also congrats again on the job, as well as weathering last year so well, you're an inspiration to us all, and I say that only mildly sarcastically.

#45 Edited by supamon (1334 posts) -

Props to you on being able to survive a year like that. I had a brief 3 month stint of unemployment and I was going bonkers with day and night not meaning anything to me. I would sleep in the morning and wake up in the evening feeling just as lethargic. I had to make it a point to go running every alternate days and work out on the others else I would have no semblance of structure. Regardless to say, I was happy I found work.

#46 Edited by Rorie (3169 posts) -

@shinmaru007: That was basically my experience getting out of college in 2001, which was a terrible job market in the wake of the dot com bust. Wound up working in a bookstore for a few years. Good experience overall (everyone should be forced to work retail for like six months imo), but definitely not what I planned to do after I graduated.

#47 Edited by Rorie (3169 posts) -

@posh: everyone loves dave! I can't wait to see his baby sometime.

#48 Posted by Rorie (3169 posts) -

@noobsauceg7: Yep, I've always tried to be relatively smart with my money. I'm stupid in some ways (I spend a lot of money on eating out), but I don't really have a lot of expensive hobbies or anything.

@robin_smith: Yeah, it wasn't too bad. Definitely survivable, at any rate.

@truitt: Yep, it's tough to feel too bad. I've paid into the system via the companies that I've worked for over the past eight years, so I didn't feel too ashamed or anything. And it's not like it's hookers-and-blow money or anything.

@mento: That's too bad! There were definitely some low times, especially around month 6 or so, but I've never really had too many problems with being cooped up by myself for long periods of time. Actually enjoy it, mostly.

#50 Edited by me3639 (1837 posts) -

I have been lucky to never been out of work for close to 20 years now. However, about 2 months ago i got news that i knew was inevitable the company was downsizing and my position was being terminated. Luckily i was able to reapply for the same position at another regional office and was offered the job. The downside, i had to move from Minneapolis to a small town about an hour from Philadelphia. I found it funny reading your post, as i thought i was the only one, who was clear of debt, cut their own hair and only use CC for credit purposes. Im currently living in a Hotel, the company is paying, while i ponder renting or buying in this quiet side of the world. It is beautiful and very peaceful, but i do miss the active lifestyle i grew to love the 8 years i was in Minneapolis. I dont know if i made the right decision but it is what it is. Sometimes you have to do things you dont want to just to survive. Glad to have you back with the GB team. Now how do we get Will and Norm back?