Labor Day 2013: A Day In the Life of the Unemployed*

I’m here today to talk about my experience thus far as a member of the undercaste of America’s labor force.  This undercaste doesn’t have the liberty to complain about their unpaid, 30-minute lunch break that never seems to be long enough.  They also don’t have the option to attend protests about the country’s minimum-wage laws for America’s fast food workers either.  You want to know why?

I had to pay them a visit last month and we were given the option to watch an unemployment video or read the script.  This gentleman who was trying to date me exclaimed, "I aint tryin to read $h!t!  Where the video at?!"  Fail.

I had to pay them a visit last month and we were given the option to watch an unemployment video or read the script. This gentleman who I’d met only moments earlier and was trying to date me (it wasn’t happening) exclaimed, “I aint tryin to read $h!t! Where the video at?!” Fail.

This is because this undercaste is America’s unemployed.

Overall, when I’m honest with myself unemployment actually hasn’t been the worst thing in the world.  A perk of being registered with the unemployment office is that I’m able to collect my weekly unemployment checks.  Now granted, they are a mere fraction of what I was earning before, but something is better than nothing.  My rent’s paid every month!  (There is a yin to this yang however; perhaps I will share that another day.)

Since many know I’m unemployed, I’ve been questioned how I spend my time.  While my days do have their share of job-hunting and eating home-cooked meals, all while chatting with my girlfriends about our upcoming free plans for that week(end), a major part of my unemployment experience has been my rededication to my life’s first love, reading.

I read a lot.  When I was employed, it might have been four hours or so a day.  Now, at the very least it’s double.  With my increased reading, I’ve noticed my vocabulary has shifted a tad…I have more words to choose from, new ways to use old words and I have a bunch of new stuff to talk about.  Below, is an average day in my life as an unemployed reader lol.

  1. Wake up/read social networks for news that I missed while I was sleeping.  CNN is especially clutch for this.
  2. Shower/dress/breakfast (yes I get dressed even though I probably have nowhere to go except the store).
  3. Read social networking for more news I missed, and to get details/full articles I briefly learned of when I first woke up.
  4. It’s inevitable that one of the sites leads me to popular culture-now I’m reading celebrity news.
  5. I begin to feel guilty so I begin reading health/diet/wellness related news.
  6. I then feel guilty I’ve wasted my entire morning reading tons of nonsense so now I head over to Craigslist and start sending out resumes.
  7. I then head over to and other more professional sites and apply to jobs.
  8. It’s inevitable that I need to research one of the companies I’m about to send a cover letter/resume too, so I begin reading recent news articles about them.
  9. I now find myself reading current, updated business stories.
  10. It’s now late afternoon/evening and I recognize I’m getting hungry.  I head off for a store run and cook a nice dinner.
  11. Now I’ve realized I’ve spent all day bullcrapping and settle down to try to write something of substance for my blog and other sites.  Sometimes I’m successful, many times I’m not.
  12. I now am sick and tired of reading AND writing, so I turn on Netflix and watch a few hours of whatever show I’ve recently become obsessed with (Weeds has been my current obsession until Orange is the New Black comes back on).
  13. I now need to wind down so I pick up one of the actual books I’m trying to finish reading (right now I’m in the middle of both The New Jim Crow and The Four Agreements).
  14. I then hop back on social networking to catch up on any news I’ve missed throughout the day and read until I fall asleep.
  15. If I wake up in the middle of the night, *surprise surprise* I hop on social networking and read about some more news.

My life isn’t always the most exciting, but for right now, this chapter of my life, I’m managing to deal with it okay.  Many of my closest friends are in places of transition so we are able to offer each other uplifting words of encouragement, entertainment and good cheer.

So what about you?  What does Labor Day mean to you this year?

*This post was inspired by Shelby Stone-Steel


6 thoughts on “Labor Day 2013: A Day In the Life of the Unemployed*

  1. I agree & great post! I would also like to suggest you incorporate networking. There are a lot of various groups you can connect with on LinkedIn in your area and affinity groups as well that host networking events to meet others. I too am unemployed and have found it to be very helpful in my job search, especially because I have moved into a new area and building new relations with people. Lastly, & are also good job board sites. If I can help in any way, please let me know. 🙂

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