Several months ago I ran across a job posting that was being marketed as The Best Job in the World, which was basically a brilliant PR campaign and contest for the position of island caretaker for the Great Barrier Reef. I know, right? Where are these types of jobs now and why didn’t you apply, dumb-ass? Well, I didn’t apply for the obvious reason (I had what I thought was a secure job sitting on my ass at Microsoft) and after watching the winner’s application video, I’m glad I didn’t apply because I would have looked like a big ass boring loser (BABL) next to this bloke!
Ok so maybe I was underqualifed for the island caretaker position, but what about this new job posted by the U.S. Department of Labor? You think I have a shot? Comes with some cool perks like 12 weeks paid vacation and a company rocket pack. Really, the only downside to the job is the “hot-tub study” (sounds like some pretty shady shit) – but no job is perfect and beggars can’t be choosers in this job market so how do I apply?
First it was the clowns getting pink-slipped and now the recession is hitting the puppets over at Sesame Street, this reduction in workforce apparently pushing Oscar the Grouch over the edge. Kudos to the brilliantly clever people over at unemploymentality.com for the Oscar report. Had to share with my readers because a) it’s really funny and b) I have nothing really clever to say today. In fact, I think I am having a case of the Mondays. Maybe it’s sympathy pain for those of you that had to get up early to drive to Rat Park where you jump on your hamster wheel and suckle from the morphine-laced sugar water dispenser all day in order to keep yourself numb to the fact that Rat Park might be sucking out your soul.
As a pink-slipped unemployed person, with this new found freedom, there are days, like today, when I sort of miss Rat Park. It was safe and familiar. I knew how my cage and wheel worked. There was the company of other rats and everyone was drinking the morphine-laced Kool-Aid. I considered myself “normal.” Now I consider myself to be a bit “abnormal” because I am choosing to hold off on my immediate return to Rat Park while I explore my new cage. Yes, I am still in a cage, at least temporarily because it’s only been 2 months post layoff and knowing that I can choose to do whatever the hell I want is totally intimidating, scary-Larry and unfamiliar! But, the cage is different than what I had at Rat Park. There are doors and windows, all of which remain open during the day and my wheel is totally pimped out! Whether or not I choose to step out of my cage and explore is competely up to me, but every day I get a little more confident. I am alone and often bored with myself, but out of the old cage nonetheless.
I understand that being fearless takes time, patience and lots of practice. I feel like “Grasshopper” trying to learn that “fear is the only darkness.” But I must say, I really hate the idea that “life’s a buffet” and I should just “dig in and try it all!” Can someone please just give me three choices because my new park – Career-change Park – is pretty overwhelming. I have decision paralysis, especially after being in a cage so long with very few choices. And, this buffet has WAY too much chocolate and other treats that seem to be giving me a muffin top! Oh well, guess I will just shut-up, embrace my muffin top and explore the buffet. Mmm, is that an ice cream cookie sandwich I see?
I really try to avoid being Debbie Downer, but here’s what was reported in today’s news in a matter of 6 minutes on MSNBC:
- In a CNBC interview, Warren Buffett reported that the economy has “fallen off a cliff” and he wants Obama to make a clear statement on whether or not he’s going to bail out the banks.
- Out of Illinois, it’s reported that a 27 year old shot his pastor to death at the 8:30am service.
- Extreme windstorms in the mid-west flattened neighborhoods and there’s a huge brush fire in Denver
- Chomper, a dog in CA, won the 14th annual ugliest dog contest. Oh hooray, good news for today!!!
- 700 people applied for 1 janitorial job at a school in Ohio.
After watching todays news and experiencing my own personal reality (below), I thought I would check on suicide rates in the U.S. for 2009. I only uncovered rates for military personnel and turns out they’ve been experiencing record high suicide rates since January and if their investigation proves true, “more soldiers will have killed themselves than died in combat last month.”
And below is my own personal reality today, but because of Chomper the ugliest dog courtesy of MSNBC news, I am no longer planning on following through with my death by chocolate, at least not today.
- I am still jobless, have a leaky pipe in my shower and my heating bill for the month was $200.
- My investment portfolio is down close to 70% from one year ago, according to my statement from Ameriprise. It’s fallen 25% in just the past 3 months. If I am lucky enough to actually get a job, it seems that I will now need to work well past 65 in order to live comfortably during retirement. That is of course if I actually live to the age of 65 because as it turns out, there are asteroids the size of 10-story buildings flying towards earth.
Thankfully there are people like me who try to report news that falls into the category of “slightly amusing” such as toothless employed men wandering the streets wearing house pants.
OK, I about choked on my coffee when I saw the news today that that Children’s Hospital started laying off clowns because donations are down. I thought recessions were good for the entertainment industry (such as Netflix), but apparently clowns aren’t funny enough to survive! My big problem with this is that while many adults don’t really find clowns to be funny (likely because of the movie Poltergeist), most kids respond to these costumed crazies and doesn’t laughter make the best medicine?
This is sad and thankfully I have my health and am not suffering from a terminal illness, but I do have my ups and downs post layoff and find that a great escape is to laugh. If a clown showed up at my door, I would probably freak out at first and think to myself – who is this freak-show and why are they here? But imagine the laughs after the fact – not only would I be rolling on the floor laughing, but I would email everyone I knew a photo of the clown at my door trying to make me smile. Then THEY would be laughing that this happened to me and they’d probably email it to everyone they knew just for kicks. Laughter is contagious and it is the best medicine. I can’t believe the hospital is choosing to give the big-shoed, red nosed, happy-makers their walking papers over something else. Might be time I take my costume-less clown self out of hiding and step out into the world to entertain those that need a good laugh the most.