Tag Archives: laid off

Make this your “Summer of George”

Seinfeld fans out there know what I’m talking about, but for those of you who don’t, watch the video clip below. Most days Seinfeld character, George Castanza, is overflowing with useless information except in this episode where George gets laid off and decides that he’s going to make this the “Summer of George.” That he’s really going to do something with this time off and he’s going to taste the fruits and let the juices drip down his chin.

Maybe we should all follow in the footsteps of George. Why not? We’ll never get this time back and the minute we step back into our employed lives (wherever that may be), we don’t want to be kicking ourselves saying “I wish I had done more with my time off.”  It doesn’t mean we don’t still job hunt. It just means that we need to try to have a life outside the job-search and quit worrying the hell out of the day.

So what’s stopping you from making this YOUR “Summer of George?”

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Filed under Life, Sanity tips

The video resume

So, a couple weeks ago while spinning on my cycle trainer, I came up with a great idea of starting a video resume website to help differentiate candidates from the other wolves in the job-hunting pack. However, like most of my ideas, someone already beat me to the punch. CareerBuilder.com tried it a few years ago and now a local company, InterviewStudio, has launched something more robust. They are also offering FREE services to the first 1000 applicants, so it might be worth checking out. I know nothing about this company, so this post doesn’t necessarily mean it has the LOL stamp of approval. Just sharing because most jobless people really like free stuff.

As much as I think a video resume is probably a decent idea, I’m just not sure that I am confident I can keep a straight face during the taping of my video resume. In fact, I am pretty sure I would at some point want to “worm-out.” Now, for those that don’t know what worming-out means and need a visual, check out the Orville Redenbacher Popcorn commercial. Most of my good friends know my motto “when in doubt, worm-out” and have witnessed me on several occasions worming-out in bridesmaid dresses on the dance floor, or during a long musical interlude at karaoke. Bummer I missed Orville’s casting call. 

The worm adds that flavor and shock-factor to any given situation. When people are in shock, they tend to forget what it was they were doing prior to being shocked. For example, you are sitting in a meeting with your boss…or wait, jobless people don’t usually have bosses. OK, um…how about you are in a heated situation (argument with spouse, job interview that’s going side-ways, etc.) and you are getting grilled to the wall about something. This person is being a real prick trying to trip you up,  your head starts spinning and you can’t find any words to recover the situation. The tension in the room is increasing. What do you do? You worm-out. Straight up, just do it. What’s the worst that could happen? And, if you are jobless, you really have nothing to lose, right? I mean, if you find yourself being grilled in an interview, this person is a prick and there’s a good chance you don’t want to work for prick anyway, right? So why not worm-out? There are really only two things that could happen. The guy will either laugh and hire you on the spot because he just realized that he needs comic relief in his office. Or, the interview will end abruptly, not wasting anymore of your time away from house pants. Furthermore, you will be remembered thus differentiating yourself from the other candidates. I only wish I remembered to worm-out after I got laid off. Damn, that would’ve been a hell of an exit!

OK, so enough about the worm and back to the video resume idea. After watching some of the interviews produced by InterviewStudio, I sort of feel they lackluster. But maybe that’s because I’m rarely good at being all business, similar to the backside of a mullet hair-do.  On the resume video front though, I think I really prefer what my friends over at Unemploymentality have come up with. You should check it out, it’s pretty entertaining and doused with extra cheese sauce.

Curious how many people have ever done or considered doing a video resume? If you’ve done one, leave a comment and let me know what you thought of it and whether or not it got you any interviews. 

 

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Filed under Economy, Job search tips, Layoffs, Life, Resources, Sanity tips, Slightly amusing

Branding the unemployed

Thank god the pink-slip fashion police weren’t patrolling my neighborhood this morning or I would’ve been ticketed. I was sleeping off  the Advil PM when I woke to the sound of the garbage truck. As I was yelling “shit” (and likely other profanities), I jumped out of bed, ran to the back door and slid into my red gardening clogs. There I went, rushing down the driveway, trash can in tow, towards the curb wearing my level 1 pin-stripe house pants with blown out knees.

Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve broken the LOL club member rules relating to house pants and trash duty. In fact, I do this pretty regularly and I have received looks from a couple neighbors (that don’t yet know I am jobless ) and I know what they’re thinking as they climb into their car on their way to work  “Wow, look at that. Doesn’t she know she looks like shit?”

I am not the only jobless person who’s considered wearing a sign in order to explain why we don’t always look put together. Newsweek just did a feature on a pink-slipped father who’s not only emasculated by the fact that his wife is now bringing home the bacon while he plays Mr. Mom, but what’s worse is that when he drops his kids off at school he’s receiving strange looks from all the mothers in the other cars. And he’s sick of it and wants to make things easier for everyone to understand by stitching a “Scarlet U” on his clothing.

One new reader reported yesterday that she’s wearing a different type of branding and says that “people actually recoil in horror” after learning she’s joined the “masses of the unemployed”  as if she’s “contracted some kind of  laid-off leprosy.” She also seems to be wearing a second sign, a “Scarlet B” because she came from two of the industries responsible for taking down our economy, never mind the fact that she was on the commercial side, her potential employers don’t seem to care.

“Laid-off Leprosy”  reader, this post is dedicated to you. Today is the day that you trade in your old signs for something new. An LOL sign is a badge of honor and a slightly more positive spin on a really shitty situation. Best of luck to you.

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Filed under Economy, Layoffs, Life, Outfitting, Slightly amusing

You too can have a muffin top

Ah, the muffin top – the jiggly inner-tube of skin and fat that sits atop ones waistline and grows exponentially during unemployment. If you are jobless due to a layoff and interested in growing your own friendly little muffin top to keep you company during the long lonely days of job searching, below is my recipe. Enjoy!

  • 1 pair of low waist jeans
  • 1 pair of level 1 house pants
  • 1 month supply of woman’s PMS (optional)
  • 6 c pink-slip
  • 6 c shock, anger and resentment
  • 6 c booze (your choice; beer seems to add bulk quickly)
  • 3 c economic recession
  • 2 c bills
  • 1 c stress and anxiety
  • 1/2 c sleep deprivation
  • 6 c comfort foods – chocolate, chips, etc.
  • 1/4 c exercise

Upon receipt of your pink-slip, your body temperature will naturally increase slightly due to stress. Once it reaches 100 degrees, drop the pink-slip into a large bowl (toilet bowl suggested) and beat aggressively with shock, anger, resentment, economic recession, stress, anxiety and bills for about 2 weeks until the pink-slip mixture begins to percolate. Once it’s active, introduce booze and sleep deprivation over the course of one week until the mixture forms a tranquil pond of goo. DO NOT ADD EXERCISE JUST YET. For maximum puff factor in your muffin top, it’s imperative that these negative energies co-mingle long enough to successfully interact with the remaining ingredients. 

Over the next week or two, add in the remaining ingredients starting first with the comfort foods alternating as chocolate-salt-grease-chocolate-salt-grease until the mixture starts to rise over the course of another two weeks. If you have access to a woman’s PMS, add that now for the extra bloat factor. Once you feel that the pink-slip mixture has enough puff, begin to introduce exercise starting first with sit-ups to really build up the muscle underneath the fat. This will create that cute little jiggle in your finished muffin top.

Drop the mixture into your house pants and bake in bed overnight. That next morning, zip yourself into your low waist jeans and Mr. Muffin Top will appear. Be sure to wear a short shirt and show him off to everyone you know. My muffin top responds positively to zerberts* and enjoys long walks in the park.

 

 

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Filed under Life, Slightly amusing

Identity crisis

When you are laid off, you feel like a big loser and you start to have an identity crisis cuz you were “this”: 

“I am a creative marketing and PR pro with entrepreneurial instincts and proven ability to ramp up quickly and deliver results in a dynamic and ambiguous environment.”

And now you’re becoming a twisted version of your former self that looks a little like this:

“Maybe I am just a no talent ass clown of a loser?”

“HEY! Listen up – don’t talk about yourself like that! You were given a gift of time, remember? Now use this time to find the perfect career for you and make yourself happy!” 

“Who is that talking???? OMG – I totally have a split personality disorder! When did that develop? Is that why they gave me the pink-slip because my ‘otherside’ came out at the office?”

“No…that’s not what’s going on, silly. I am your inner critic, don’t freak out and start searching WedMD. You got as far as you could at Microsoft doing ‘that’ and while you were good at ‘that,’ you weren’t fulfilled. So why don’t you explore writing?”

“Oh, thank god! Ok, how about I start a blog? Yes! I will start a blog that will be about…hmm…living life as a laid off person…and it will make people laugh! Yes! God – I am SO brilliant and someone will take notice and want to hire me because I am fucking funny! Oh dear…”

“What?”

“The stats on my blog are down. Damn-it. People don’t like me. Oh wait!!! They are up to 120 visitors today! Oh wait, now they are down to 12. God you loser, where’s that bag of Cadbury Mini-Eggs?!? Wait, look at that!! 164 visitors from that posting on forcing socialization! Gosh, you are SO clever….you are MONEY baby!”

Somehow, this blog is shaping my new identity and I think my mood seems to be mirroring my blog stats. For the unemployed person who’s new to blogging and deprived of human contact, visitors to my blog equate to friends. 

Blog stats|Mood indicator

Blog stats|Mood indicator

Yes, we (the pink-slipped, jobless and hopeless) tend to get a little pathetic and that’s why I started writing this blog. I’ve noticed that my stats (friends) increase considerably when I post a story that’s self-deprecating in nature and void of anything really important. I know I am not the go-to blog for anything of great value and I am ok with that, as long as you keep coming back because you are slightly amused. And, all I ask of my “friends” in return is that if you are slightly amused by my blog, PLEASE SHARE MY BLOG WITH FRIENDS so I can have more friends. I am lonely and bored and every single day I am working for you! I keep a notepad handy so that when something slightly entertaining pops into my head or crosses my path, I write it down so I can share this useless and possibly funny story with you, my friends, for FREE!

So, it’s time to give back to me – the jobless who’s getting very sick of spending all this time with herself. I need volunteers to co-manage my new campaign – the “help Keri find the perfect job” campaign! Anyone? Anyone? If  you are interested in volunteering, please email me at lol.seattle.kr [at] gmail [dot] com. More to come on the campaign later…

If you don’t want to help that’s fine too. Just be forewarned that one day you may hear a knock on your door and when you open it I will be there – unshowered, wearing house pants exploring the contents of my navel, gorging myself on chocolate and fiddling with my new friend, Mr. Muffin Top. Then, we’ll talk ;)

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Filed under Uncategorized

House pants: what they are and why you need them

Any good unemployed individual (or LOL) learns quickly how important it is to be comfortable. You spend hours on end each and every day surfing the Internet looking for jobs, emailing contacts, and Facebooking. A good part of the morning is probably spent with your laptop, sitting on your couch surfing away with The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN or Ellen blaring in the background. Or, you might choose to do your job search in the afternoon from a local coffee shop offering free wifi and possibly other unemployed humans for company. In either scenario, comfort is key and this is where house pants come in.

What are house pants? Comfortable pants you normally wear in your house, usually made up of some stretch fabric and possibly having a drawstring waist band. House pants are mostly worn by women, but I have known some men with house pants and it’s accepted by society and the LOL clubJ. What’s important to know about house pants is that apparently there are different levels, according to a graphic designer friend of mine. And, depending on their level determines whether or not it’s ok for you to wear them outside your house. Here’s how the levels breakdown:

Level 1 – 2: These pants are probably not meant for anyone’s eyes other than your own. They are probably what you would think of as PJs, most likely patterned; meant only to give you comfort while sleeping and sipping coffee, tea or wine from your couch when are alone or with someone who really likes you and has accepted you just as you are. They might be really big and at some point they turn into clown pants with knees blowing out requiring a wash/dry cycle to return them to their originals shape. Or, they could be scandalously form-fitting or cling too much to different body parts, showing things other people don’t want to see. If you still question whether or not your pants fall into this category, you should ask yourself if the UPS driver walked up and rang your bell, would you answer the door wearing these pants?

Level  3 – 4: These pants are ok for quick visits to the curb to drag the trash out or grab the mail, but they might also be ok for a run to the mini-mart or the local coffee shop for Joe-to-go (to go…means you are in and out, no lingering in these pants). These pants may show some wear and tear, but overall they are still presentable for the public, but only for brief drive-by scenarios.  

Level 5: These are your nicest pair of house pants. They don’t have any holes or discoloration; they aren’t misshaped in any way and you don’t look like a homeless person. These could be nice Nike workout or running pants or they could be nice cotton or polyester lounge pants. Or, they could even be your most comfortable pair of jean with stretch factor.

Well, I hope this was enlightening and if you have any question as to whether or not your house pants can go on a field trip outside your house, feel free to drop a comment and our community can help you decide.  BTW – I just did an inventory of my house and I have no level 5 house pants so seems that I have to go shopping – anyone who knows where to find the best deal on level 5 house pants, please let me know!

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Filed under Life, Outfitting, Resources, Slightly amusing

3 weeks post layoff…

Today is week three – to the date – post layoff. I must say that time flies when you aren’t tethered to a desk plugging away all day in an office!  As you might have read in the “About” section, this is my second layoff in about 3 years. One would think that this would feel like old hat to me and I’d be able to skip a range of emotions that naturally flood in when you are “let go”, but that’s not the case.

A layoff feels like a break-up or a death in your family of oneJ. Its considered a major life changing event, so for those of you who find yourselves feeling what you are feeling, don’t worry, you are normal and if you don’t feel anything…then you need to tell me what drug to take to numb the mind!

First there was the shock, but in my gut I knew it was coming – my dream 3 weeks prior pretty much painted the picture for me. Then I celebrated my 35th birthday with my closest friends, 3 days after the layoff and discovered that it was difficult for me to feel happy. It was great seeing my friends and knowing that I have such an amazing support group, but I think at that point the layoff was starting to set-in along with the fact that I was no longer feeling young and not sure what I was going to do in the next phase of my career.

Week two was spent fighting off a horrible cold that had probably been brewing for about a month prior to the layoff and it finally took hold, taking me down by the jugular. And boy, did I ever feel like a big loser – a 35 year old snot-face, house pants wearing, 2 days without a shower or visitors, jobless loser.

After feeling sorry for myself for a couple more days, I finally saw the light and started taking action – plugging away on my resume, setting up the online job search feeds and networking. After all, people would not be knocking on my door offering me jobs! In looking back at my “crazy energy” during this time, I think it was more of an anger frenzy driving me to try to tackle this new problem head on and not let “THEM” tell me I was a loser!

Now it’s week three – and I’ve settled into my new life, however temporary, and have accepted whatever the universe has in store for me. Setting up a weekly routine is helpful and I’ve also started exploring hobbies that were put on hold, like photography, and I’ve begun new ones like blogging and soon plan to start painting abstracts. Exercise is also key – especially cycling, walking, boxing and yoga (love the boxing and yoga…beat shit up then relax away the bad energy!). And, most importantly, I’ve been given the gift of time to share some quality time with my almost 90yr old grandmother (birthday is this Sunday), helping her with grocery shopping, listening to her stories even if they sometimes feel like stories from “back in St. Olaf” – she loves the company and I have an opportunity to make her day brighter with these visits.

So – I realize I have rambled on a bit – so going to end this with a few words of advice to those loved ones who are possibly concerned about “how you are doing” post layoff. Remind them that you will experience a range of emotions, some of which are hard to watch you go through.  But, you have to go through the cycle and the only thing they can really do to help is listen, validate your feelings and show compassion and empathy. They can’t fix the problem or give you answers and the last thing they should be doing is telling you what you SHOULD be doing. The “shoulds” don’t help – it just feeds the anxiety and we know what we “should be doing” and will do it when we are ready. Just get us out of our house pants, out of the house and find ways to make us smile – the rest is up to us.

 

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Filed under Diet, Health and Exercise, Life, Mental Health, Random thoughts