Monday, August 24, 2009

Thanks, I Needed That

Tomorrow is the anniversary of my "termination." That's a nice phrase, isn't it? It sort of implies that, yes, you don't have a job anymore but it wasn't your fault. Saying "you're terminated" is nonjudgmental, unlike "you're fired." It's another way of saying, it's just one of those things.

One of those things that has happened to several million people since December 2007.

I've been trying to keep my mind off the upcoming anniversary. And how am I doing that? Well, for starters, I read an article at that was written by John Devore. It is titled "8 Ways To Stay Positive About This Goddamn Stupid Recession."

OK, that probably isn't the best way to accomplish my objective. Forgive me. I've been out of work for a year.

On the other hand, maybe it is the best way.

Recently, the pastor of my church delivered a sermon about the role of humor in faith. During his sermon, he quoted Charlie Chaplin, who said, "To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it."

My pastor spoke about people who have experienced real physical pain. Cancer victims. Being out of work isn't painful in that way, but, trust me, it is painful enough.

So, in the spirit of "laughter is the best medicine," I read Devore's article. And I have to give him credit for summarizing some things pretty well.
  • Being out of work is "exhilarating," he says, "like being chased by bears."

    I've compared it to trying to climb a mountain while an avalanche is coming down around you. But Devore's analogy is probably funnier.

  • When he wrote about making new friends, I could sympathize with his observation that "[l]aughs will be had with Raaj at the copy center, as I fax my resumes off to prospective employers and crack jokes about how I'll never ever hear back from them."

    I know the feeling. I often feel like I am dumping my resumes in a black hole.

  • And Devore makes some profound (and often humorous) observations about the things he is learning about life.

    "I've learned how to beg," he writes, "because you can't eat integrity. That God doesn't answer prayers, as he's an aloof prick."

    And then there is this one: "On Facebook, no one can hear you scream."
I'm thinking about putting that last one in as my status update on Facebook. And leaving it there indefinitely.

But maybe I won't. It might be too depressing to realize that no one is paying any attention to it.

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