Friday, February 27, 2015

Long Haul; What Not to Say to the Unemployed

*posted 2/27/15, updated 7/13/16*

If you haven't been unemployed recently or for an extended period of time, there may be things about being jobless that you might not know.  I will concede that this might explain some of the inane things people have asked me about being unemployed. In case you missed my memos or you are a slow learner, here are some things you might want to reconsider asking. Warning - Large Dose of Snark Ahead.

  • Are you actually looking? - Oh wait, I have to look for work?  You mean they won't bring jobs to my house.  Rats, I've been doing it wrong this whole time.
  • Have you tried lowering ... (random criteria like salary) ? - If you wouldn't tell someone to lower their standards when dating why would you think its ok to suggest that its my own fault that I am just too good for the work I am applying for?  
  • Can you do volunteer work until you find the right job? - Because nothing fills my soul like giving myself away for free.  It took me years to pay off my student loans.  I don't want to go librarianing for charity. I still do not have an income so I don't love the idea of gallivanting around the state frittering away my savings on gas money. 
  • Have you considered offering someone a green card for money?  - Yes, that has crossed my mind on several occasions.  It does solve my money issues for a while but it still won't get me a job. 
  • God/Universe only gives you what you can handle - Well this is my yelling uncle.  No more, I've had enough.
  • When one door closes, another one opens - The door is open but there is still a screen so now what genius?  What if the door that opens is just the dog door?
  • You can't get them all - yes, however one sure would be nice at some point
  • No one said it would be easy  - did you want to give it a go?
  • Don't take the first offer -  Since I have no idea when the second offer might be, I don't think this is the best advice.  
  • The right job is out there - It's out there in Borneo that's why you haven't applied yet. 
  • Good things come to those who wait - the person who has your dream job is about to die so if you can just hang out a bit so your response isn't too tacky that would help.
  • You can sell plasma - ok this isn't the worst idea but why do we only think of it in times of personal need. Blood banks are always looking for donors.  I would put this on your list of things to do after you gain employment.  But seriously if you are on a limited income and maybe don't qualify for food assistance why would you want to do something that might make you feel ill or at least very hungry?  You are on state insurance until you find work so be careful.

Go With the Flow (Chart) by @tbskyen
As with challenging situations and just life in general, remember to measure your words. If it does not need to be said, maybe keep it to yourself.  If you feel inclined to submit your opinion be prepared to have the receiver think you are a complete ninny. 



  1. I am not a complete ninny and think you have made some valid points.

    1. Being a ninny is a lighthearted way to live, unfortunately it can lead to saying flip things that are unfounded and hurtful.

  2. I agree on the concern with volunteering: not only is money necessary for labor, but it eats away at early-career jobs if too many people are willing to contribute large amounts of labour for free.

    See e.g.: :-)

    1. I know a lot of libraries do not use volunteers due to conflicts related to their union. But I also know many libraries who could not function without their volunteers. That said, I do not like the way to solve the salary slide is to put under trained or untrained people in professional positions and then let degreed folks train those with the jobs. We should encourage libraries and governments who facilitate funding to value our education and instead of just continuing to tighten our belts.

      *steps off soap box*