Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/.

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving!

Trillian McMillian
Trillian McMillian
Create Your Badge





www.flickr.com





Instagram






Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

Find State Officials
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

Contact The Media
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State





Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)

Quasar
Hyperbole
Amenable
Taciturn
Ennui
Prophetic
Tawdry
Hubris
Ethereal
Syzygy
Umbrageous
Twerp
Sluice
Omnipotent
Sanctuary
Malevolent
Maelstrom
Luddite
Subterfuge
Akimbo
Hoosegow
Dodecahedron
Visceral
Soupçon
Truculent
Vitriol
Mercurial
Kerfuffle
Sangfroid




























 







Archives
<< current
ARCHIVES
4/27/03 - 5/4/03 5/4/03 - 5/11/03 8/3/03 - 8/10/03 8/10/03 - 8/17/03 8/17/03 - 8/24/03 8/24/03 - 8/31/03 8/31/03 - 9/7/03 9/7/03 - 9/14/03 9/14/03 - 9/21/03 9/21/03 - 9/28/03 9/28/03 - 10/5/03 10/5/03 - 10/12/03 10/12/03 - 10/19/03 10/19/03 - 10/26/03 10/26/03 - 11/2/03 11/2/03 - 11/9/03 11/9/03 - 11/16/03 11/16/03 - 11/23/03 11/23/03 - 11/30/03 11/30/03 - 12/7/03 12/7/03 - 12/14/03 12/14/03 - 12/21/03 12/21/03 - 12/28/03 12/28/03 - 1/4/04 1/4/04 - 1/11/04 1/11/04 - 1/18/04 1/18/04 - 1/25/04 1/25/04 - 2/1/04 2/1/04 - 2/8/04 2/8/04 - 2/15/04 2/15/04 - 2/22/04 2/22/04 - 2/29/04 2/29/04 - 3/7/04 3/7/04 - 3/14/04 3/14/04 - 3/21/04 3/21/04 - 3/28/04 3/28/04 - 4/4/04 4/4/04 - 4/11/04 4/11/04 - 4/18/04 4/18/04 - 4/25/04 4/25/04 - 5/2/04 5/2/04 - 5/9/04 5/9/04 - 5/16/04 5/16/04 - 5/23/04 5/23/04 - 5/30/04 6/6/04 - 6/13/04 6/13/04 - 6/20/04 6/20/04 - 6/27/04 6/27/04 - 7/4/04 7/4/04 - 7/11/04 7/11/04 - 7/18/04 7/18/04 - 7/25/04 7/25/04 - 8/1/04 8/1/04 - 8/8/04 8/8/04 - 8/15/04 8/15/04 - 8/22/04 8/22/04 - 8/29/04 8/29/04 - 9/5/04 9/5/04 - 9/12/04 9/12/04 - 9/19/04 9/19/04 - 9/26/04 9/26/04 - 10/3/04 10/3/04 - 10/10/04 10/10/04 - 10/17/04 10/17/04 - 10/24/04 10/24/04 - 10/31/04 10/31/04 - 11/7/04 11/14/04 - 11/21/04 11/21/04 - 11/28/04 11/28/04 - 12/5/04 12/5/04 - 12/12/04 12/12/04 - 12/19/04 12/19/04 - 12/26/04 12/26/04 - 1/2/05 1/2/05 - 1/9/05 1/9/05 - 1/16/05 1/16/05 - 1/23/05 1/23/05 - 1/30/05 1/30/05 - 2/6/05 2/6/05 - 2/13/05 2/13/05 - 2/20/05 2/20/05 - 2/27/05 2/27/05 - 3/6/05 3/6/05 - 3/13/05 3/13/05 - 3/20/05 3/20/05 - 3/27/05 3/27/05 - 4/3/05 4/3/05 - 4/10/05 4/10/05 - 4/17/05 4/17/05 - 4/24/05 4/24/05 - 5/1/05 5/1/05 - 5/8/05 5/15/05 - 5/22/05 6/5/05 - 6/12/05 7/24/05 - 7/31/05 7/31/05 - 8/7/05 8/7/05 - 8/14/05 8/14/05 - 8/21/05 8/21/05 - 8/28/05 9/4/05 - 9/11/05 9/11/05 - 9/18/05 9/18/05 - 9/25/05 9/25/05 - 10/2/05 10/2/05 - 10/9/05 10/9/05 - 10/16/05 10/16/05 - 10/23/05 10/23/05 - 10/30/05 10/30/05 - 11/6/05 11/6/05 - 11/13/05 11/13/05 - 11/20/05 11/20/05 - 11/27/05 12/4/05 - 12/11/05 12/11/05 - 12/18/05 1/1/06 - 1/8/06 1/8/06 - 1/15/06 1/15/06 - 1/22/06 1/22/06 - 1/29/06 1/29/06 - 2/5/06 2/5/06 - 2/12/06 2/12/06 - 2/19/06 2/19/06 - 2/26/06 2/26/06 - 3/5/06 3/5/06 - 3/12/06 3/12/06 - 3/19/06 3/19/06 - 3/26/06 3/26/06 - 4/2/06 4/2/06 - 4/9/06 4/9/06 - 4/16/06 4/23/06 - 4/30/06 4/30/06 - 5/7/06 5/7/06 - 5/14/06 5/14/06 - 5/21/06 5/21/06 - 5/28/06 6/11/06 - 6/18/06 6/18/06 - 6/25/06 6/25/06 - 7/2/06 7/2/06 - 7/9/06 7/30/06 - 8/6/06 9/10/06 - 9/17/06 9/17/06 - 9/24/06 10/8/06 - 10/15/06 10/29/06 - 11/5/06 11/5/06 - 11/12/06 11/12/06 - 11/19/06 11/26/06 - 12/3/06 12/3/06 - 12/10/06 12/17/06 - 12/24/06 12/24/06 - 12/31/06 12/31/06 - 1/7/07 1/21/07 - 1/28/07 1/28/07 - 2/4/07 2/4/07 - 2/11/07 2/11/07 - 2/18/07 2/18/07 - 2/25/07 2/25/07 - 3/4/07 3/4/07 - 3/11/07 3/11/07 - 3/18/07 3/18/07 - 3/25/07 3/25/07 - 4/1/07 6/24/07 - 7/1/07 7/1/07 - 7/8/07 7/8/07 - 7/15/07 7/15/07 - 7/22/07 7/22/07 - 7/29/07 7/29/07 - 8/5/07 8/5/07 - 8/12/07 8/12/07 - 8/19/07 8/19/07 - 8/26/07 8/26/07 - 9/2/07 9/9/07 - 9/16/07 9/16/07 - 9/23/07 9/23/07 - 9/30/07 9/30/07 - 10/7/07 10/7/07 - 10/14/07 10/14/07 - 10/21/07 11/4/07 - 11/11/07 11/11/07 - 11/18/07 12/9/07 - 12/16/07 1/6/08 - 1/13/08 1/13/08 - 1/20/08 1/27/08 - 2/3/08 2/3/08 - 2/10/08 2/10/08 - 2/17/08 2/24/08 - 3/2/08 3/2/08 - 3/9/08 3/9/08 - 3/16/08 3/16/08 - 3/23/08 3/23/08 - 3/30/08 3/30/08 - 4/6/08 4/6/08 - 4/13/08 4/13/08 - 4/20/08 4/20/08 - 4/27/08 4/27/08 - 5/4/08 5/4/08 - 5/11/08 5/11/08 - 5/18/08 5/18/08 - 5/25/08 5/25/08 - 6/1/08 6/1/08 - 6/8/08 6/15/08 - 6/22/08 6/22/08 - 6/29/08 6/29/08 - 7/6/08 7/13/08 - 7/20/08 7/20/08 - 7/27/08 8/3/08 - 8/10/08 8/10/08 - 8/17/08 8/17/08 - 8/24/08 8/24/08 - 8/31/08 8/31/08 - 9/7/08 9/7/08 - 9/14/08 9/21/08 - 9/28/08 9/28/08 - 10/5/08 10/5/08 - 10/12/08 10/12/08 - 10/19/08 10/19/08 - 10/26/08 10/26/08 - 11/2/08 11/2/08 - 11/9/08 11/9/08 - 11/16/08 11/16/08 - 11/23/08 11/30/08 - 12/7/08 12/7/08 - 12/14/08 12/14/08 - 12/21/08 12/28/08 - 1/4/09 1/4/09 - 1/11/09 1/11/09 - 1/18/09 1/18/09 - 1/25/09 2/1/09 - 2/8/09 2/8/09 - 2/15/09 2/15/09 - 2/22/09 3/29/09 - 4/5/09 5/3/09 - 5/10/09 5/10/09 - 5/17/09 5/17/09 - 5/24/09 5/24/09 - 5/31/09 5/31/09 - 6/7/09 6/7/09 - 6/14/09 6/14/09 - 6/21/09 7/12/09 - 7/19/09 7/19/09 - 7/26/09 7/26/09 - 8/2/09 8/2/09 - 8/9/09 8/9/09 - 8/16/09 8/16/09 - 8/23/09 8/23/09 - 8/30/09 8/30/09 - 9/6/09 9/20/09 - 9/27/09 9/27/09 - 10/4/09 10/4/09 - 10/11/09 10/11/09 - 10/18/09 10/18/09 - 10/25/09 10/25/09 - 11/1/09 11/1/09 - 11/8/09 11/8/09 - 11/15/09 11/15/09 - 11/22/09 11/22/09 - 11/29/09 11/29/09 - 12/6/09 12/6/09 - 12/13/09 12/13/09 - 12/20/09 12/20/09 - 12/27/09 12/27/09 - 1/3/10 1/3/10 - 1/10/10 1/10/10 - 1/17/10 1/17/10 - 1/24/10 1/24/10 - 1/31/10 1/31/10 - 2/7/10 2/7/10 - 2/14/10 2/14/10 - 2/21/10 2/21/10 - 2/28/10 3/14/10 - 3/21/10 3/21/10 - 3/28/10 3/28/10 - 4/4/10 4/4/10 - 4/11/10 4/11/10 - 4/18/10 4/18/10 - 4/25/10 4/25/10 - 5/2/10 5/2/10 - 5/9/10 5/9/10 - 5/16/10 5/16/10 - 5/23/10 5/23/10 - 5/30/10 5/30/10 - 6/6/10 6/6/10 - 6/13/10 6/13/10 - 6/20/10 6/20/10 - 6/27/10 6/27/10 - 7/4/10 7/4/10 - 7/11/10 7/11/10 - 7/18/10 7/18/10 - 7/25/10 7/25/10 - 8/1/10 9/19/10 - 9/26/10 10/3/10 - 10/10/10 10/10/10 - 10/17/10 10/17/10 - 10/24/10 10/24/10 - 10/31/10 10/31/10 - 11/7/10 11/14/10 - 11/21/10 11/28/10 - 12/5/10 12/5/10 - 12/12/10 12/12/10 - 12/19/10 12/19/10 - 12/26/10 12/26/10 - 1/2/11 1/2/11 - 1/9/11 1/9/11 - 1/16/11 1/16/11 - 1/23/11 1/23/11 - 1/30/11 1/30/11 - 2/6/11 2/6/11 - 2/13/11 2/13/11 - 2/20/11 2/20/11 - 2/27/11 2/27/11 - 3/6/11 3/6/11 - 3/13/11 3/13/11 - 3/20/11 3/20/11 - 3/27/11 3/27/11 - 4/3/11 4/3/11 - 4/10/11 4/10/11 - 4/17/11 4/17/11 - 4/24/11 4/24/11 - 5/1/11 5/1/11 - 5/8/11 5/15/11 - 5/22/11 5/22/11 - 5/29/11 5/29/11 - 6/5/11 6/12/11 - 6/19/11 6/19/11 - 6/26/11 6/26/11 - 7/3/11 7/10/11 - 7/17/11 7/31/11 - 8/7/11 8/21/11 - 8/28/11 8/28/11 - 9/4/11 9/18/11 - 9/25/11 9/25/11 - 10/2/11 10/2/11 - 10/9/11 10/9/11 - 10/16/11 10/16/11 - 10/23/11 10/23/11 - 10/30/11 11/6/11 - 11/13/11 11/13/11 - 11/20/11 11/20/11 - 11/27/11 11/27/11 - 12/4/11 12/4/11 - 12/11/11 12/11/11 - 12/18/11 12/25/11 - 1/1/12 1/1/12 - 1/8/12 2/5/12 - 2/12/12 2/19/12 - 2/26/12 3/4/12 - 3/11/12 4/1/12 - 4/8/12 4/15/12 - 4/22/12 4/29/12 - 5/6/12 5/13/12 - 5/20/12 5/20/12 - 5/27/12 6/24/12 - 7/1/12 7/1/12 - 7/8/12 7/8/12 - 7/15/12 7/15/12 - 7/22/12 7/22/12 - 7/29/12 7/29/12 - 8/5/12 8/5/12 - 8/12/12 8/12/12 - 8/19/12 8/19/12 - 8/26/12 8/26/12 - 9/2/12 9/2/12 - 9/9/12 9/9/12 - 9/16/12 9/16/12 - 9/23/12 9/23/12 - 9/30/12 10/7/12 - 10/14/12 10/21/12 - 10/28/12 11/4/12 - 11/11/12 12/9/12 - 12/16/12 12/23/12 - 12/30/12 1/6/13 - 1/13/13 1/13/13 - 1/20/13 1/20/13 - 1/27/13 1/27/13 - 2/3/13 2/3/13 - 2/10/13 2/10/13 - 2/17/13 2/17/13 - 2/24/13 3/3/13 - 3/10/13 3/17/13 - 3/24/13 3/31/13 - 4/7/13 4/7/13 - 4/14/13 4/21/13 - 4/28/13 4/28/13 - 5/5/13 5/5/13 - 5/12/13 5/12/13 - 5/19/13 5/19/13 - 5/26/13 6/16/13 - 6/23/13 6/23/13 - 6/30/13 7/14/13 - 7/21/13 8/11/13 - 8/18/13 8/25/13 - 9/1/13 9/8/13 - 9/15/13 9/22/13 - 9/29/13 10/13/13 - 10/20/13 10/20/13 - 10/27/13 11/10/13 - 11/17/13 12/1/13 - 12/8/13 12/15/13 - 12/22/13 12/29/13 - 1/5/14 6/29/14 - 7/6/14 9/14/14 - 9/21/14 9/21/14 - 9/28/14 10/12/14 - 10/19/14 11/23/14 - 11/30/14 12/7/14 - 12/14/14 12/28/14 - 1/4/15 1/25/15 - 2/1/15 2/8/15 - 2/15/15 2/22/15 - 3/1/15 3/8/15 - 3/15/15 3/15/15 - 3/22/15 3/22/15 - 3/29/15 4/12/15 - 4/19/15 4/19/15 - 4/26/15 5/3/15 - 5/10/15 5/17/15 - 5/24/15 5/24/15 - 5/31/15 6/14/15 - 6/21/15 6/28/15 - 7/5/15 7/5/15 - 7/12/15 7/19/15 - 7/26/15 8/16/15 - 8/23/15 11/6/16 - 11/13/16



Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue

Slanglish

It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"


















 
Mail Trillian here





Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.



Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.





Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


< chicago blogs >





Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Monday, August 01, 2011  
Well, there it is. Two years of unemployment.

I'd like to say that time flew by. That it passed in a blink of an (lined with worry) eye.

But it didn't. Time has dragged treacherously slow.

A few weeks after I was laid-off the sting was wearing off and reality was hitting. I hoped it wouldn't be long before I found a new job, hoped I'd land on my feet, or at least on my one good, strong, healthy foot. But I knew, based on unemployed colleagues' and friends' dismal job searches, that it would most likely be a few months, maybe a year at worst, before I found a job. I took a long look at the reality of the economy, job market, housing market, the stock market and the local food markets and knew I had to budget very, very carefully assuming a little money would have to stretch many months, possibly years. I also knew what little emotional fortitude I had left would have to see me through those same months or, gulp, years. I told myself that since I'm a reasonably smart person I had to assess and plan for all aspects of "my situation" and make some smart plans, going on the assumption there would not be a quick fix and that there were some bleak days ahead - financially, emotionally, and every other -ally.

So I made a few vows/rules/promises to myself. I wrote them down on paper, as you do with all good, real vows/rules/promises. I review it occasionally, mainly when I lapse into a pit of despair and remember that I made vows/rules/promises to myself to use in times such as those when I lapse into a pit of despair. Or when I realize it's been two years since I was laid-off.

Yep. Two years. Count 'em. 24 months. And yes, yes I have had some short-lived part-time jobs and I've done some consulting, so technically I haven't been "out of work" for a continuous 24 month, 24/7 span. But. I haven't had a full-time, steady, reliable, livable-wage-income above poverty level for 24 months. I started working taxable income jobs when I was 16. Since then the longest span of time I've gone without a paycheck of consistent, reliable, regularly scheduled ilk was 8 months. And five of those months were by personal choice during a particularly demanding semester of college. So this is staggeringly weird for me. On a lot of levels. But I do pat myself on the back for having the presence of mind and foresight to write those vows/rules/promises at the onset of all this weirdness.

Recently someone asked me how I cope with "my *situation.*" Which was kind of unusual because most people stopped asking me any questions related to my unemployment, job search and mental health at about the 13 month mark. I guess when you hit that one year anniversary people kind of give up on you or figure you have give up on you and they just stop asking questions. Plus it's just kind of obvious that nothing's changed, you haven't found a job, and things are bleak and growing bleaker. And mostly I'm okay with being written off. I'd rather be written off than have people worrying about me. People felt sincerely bad for me and that made me feel responsible for their feelings. I felt I had to assure them that everything was okay, that I was doing okay, that apart from the financial stress I was mentally okay. I didn't want people worrying about me, especially my family.

So, when people stopped asking I felt like they stopped caring and therefore stopped worrying and that was kind of a relief. The little jabs at my credibility hurt, but I get over it. Every now and then someone says, "That guy from Bob's office finally found a job, he was laid-off about the the time you were laid-off..." voice trailing, lips smirking, eyes giving pointed wincing. The implication being that if that loser from Bob's office can find a job, surely you can, too, so if you don't have a job by now it's because you're not trying or there's something very wrong with you. I know, I know, that sounds like paranoia talking. But. Believe it or not, there are people who remain unscathed by the economy, joblessness rate and housing market. Many of these people are (were) my friends. Yes. They live in isolated bubbles of unreality, but, they do exist and they do have skewed opinions and ideas. And I don't want to be the one to shatter the illusion that anyone can succeed if they just try hard enough and believe, truly believe in themselves and their dreams. (Not surprisingly, these are the same people who used to tell me that, in spite of statistical facts proving the opposite, there is someone for everyone and my fairy tale was just taking longer to unfold. Not surprisingly they've stopped telling me that, too. Yeah, I'm a fairy tale and platitude killer, the shatterer of illusions and dreams. Some of my friends don't want me to be around their young children, they want to shelter their children from my brand of harsh reality. I wish I was kidding about that, but I'm not. Two of my friends flat out told me they'd prefer it if I didn't visit them because my "situation" is too depressing for their children, they don't want to have to explain why I'm still single, childless, unemployed and homeless. In fact they don't want to have to explain to their children that there is such a thing as being unmarried, childless, unemployed and/or homeless. Personally I think I'd make a good cautionary example, but hey, I'm unmarried, childless, unemployed and homeless, what do I know about good examples?)

Right. So. Someone actually inquired as to my coping technique. Actually, they said, "If I were in your shoes I'd have killed myself by now. You've lost everything, you have no life. How the Hell do you cope? Are you on medication?"

So, in case anyone's wondering how I, and a lot of other jobless people cope, here are my vows/rules/promises that keep me from either killing myself or lapsing into an incomprehensible vegetative state.


1) Do not refer to being unemployed as a "situation." Or a *situation.* I'm not 16 and knocked up. (yes, I know knocked up is an unPC term and I don't care, knocked up is knocked up) I'm not an alcoholic who just wrapped a car around the statue of the founding father in the local town square. I didn't make an error balancing my checkbook and write a bunch of bad checks. I'm not fighting off Great White Sharks while drifting toward the Bermuda Triangle in a life boat with two strangers one of whom is wanted for violent murder. I didn't get left at the altar. Oh wait, yes I did. That happened. But not recently. These are all bona fide "situations." Or *situations.* I "just" got laid-off during a recession so bad that most people (except elected officials) call it a depression. What's going on in my life is no different from what's going on in millions of other peoples' lives. It sucks, it's difficult, it's sad, it's a lot of things, but it's not an embarrassment or shameful predicament that requires vague allusions wrapped in "- - - "s or whispered *- - - *s.

2) Do not allow yourself to feel victimized.
     2a) Do not allow yourself to play the victim.
     2b) You are allowed to acknowledge that it sucks.
     2c) You are allowed to acknowledge these facts:
            2c i) In the months leading up to your lay-off the at-work passive aggression and bullying aimed at you (and a few others who were also laid-off) increased.
            2c ii)  And while, yes, many people in your company were also laid-off, most were your age, race, salary and tenure and of the same marital parental status. These are quantifiable, indisputable facts. There was solid demographic data of the laid-off employee base. You fell into the lay-off demographic. And further, there is solid demographic data on the still-employed employee base. So much so that several laid-off employees filed a discrimination case based on these demographic stats. It's unfair, it's cruel, it's probably illegal, but you work in an at-will state, you're not in a union and there's no such thing as wrongful dismissal. You're not a victim, you're a statistic. There's a difference.

3) Do not allow yourself to be a/feel like a prisoner of poverty. There are plenty of projects you've been putting off because you didn't have the time because of your insane work schedule. There are plenty of free or very inexpensive things to do in this life, no matter where you live. At the very least go to the library and start rocking through that list of books you want to read. And while you're there, pick up some DVDs of documentaries, even on the subjects that don't interest you. Use this time to educate yourself and broaden your knowledge base. Admit it, while you have diverse interests, you haven't exactly been devouring interesting information about the tiny island nation of Nauru or 17th century commerce.

4) Do not give-in to self pity. It's understandable and reasonable to feel sorry for yourself, you are not a martyr, you're not campaigning for sainthood*, do not repress these feelings. But do not allow them to consume you and for swut's sake do not wallow in them. Contain them to private moments, cry if you must, then take a deep breath of rational thought and move on to a higher level of enlightenment. 

5) Some clichés and platitudes are true and most are relayed with good intentions, take them in the spirit in which they are intended and try to eek out something positive from the comment. There are silver linings and there are some positive things about being laid-off. Losing a job has striking (and weird) similarities to losing a loved one. People say some weird and stupid things at funerals because they don't know what to say so they say something stupid like a cliché or platitude. You know this. The same is true with unemployment. So cut well-intentioned people some slack when they say something really stupid to you. 


6) You will cry. Probably a lot. And that's okay. This is a scary and depressing turn of events. And you are dealing with it as a single person. Which has some benefits. For instance, no one will ever know about your sleepless nights and crying jags.

7) There will be physical, mental, emotional and spiritual ramifications to joblessness. Do not beat yourself up when they manifest themselves. Brace for them, make plans for how to deal with them, even if the plan for dealing with them is "just roll with it, this, too, shall pass" because having presence of mind to realize it's a reactionary phase means that you are not so mired in the murk that you have lost touch with reality and common sense. 

8) If someone offers help, of any kind, accept it. Graciously. Pride schmide. Dignity schmignity. You're jobless, you need help. Deal with it. If someone is kind enough to offer help, you should be kind enough to accept it, graciously. You know what I mean, none of your usual "Oh! Thank you, that's so kind of you, but really, I'm fine, I'm okay, really, thank you, but no, I couldn't possibly accept...I'm fine. Really. But thank you." You are not fine. You are not okay. And you can accept. Really. You can. 

9) You didn't do anything to deserve this, and...you don't deserve this. Neither did/do the millions of other people who are jobless. This isn't your fault, and even if it were, you don't have a Way Back Machine nor can you reverse the spin of the Earth and turn back time. And even if you could, it doesn't matter because this isn't your fault. Tell yourself that over and over and over again, force yourself to believe it.

10) There will be rejection. Accept it maturely. Being laid-off is in itself a rejection. Luckily for you, you have a lot of experience in dealing with rejection. You could write a several volume encyclopedia on rejection. Of course it's personal, you weren't hired. But remember that a lot of other people weren't hired, either. Only one person gets to be accepted for a job, everyone else who applies is rejected. So while, yes, it's personal, it's personal to everyone who applied but wasn't hired, so, the rejection is spread across a lot of people. 
       10 a) It is an honor just to be nominated. If you get any response from a potential employer you have already succeeded far beyond a lot of other people. Give yourself well-deserved credit for making it past the trash can or delete button. Even if it doesn't end in a job offer, you were still a viable contender for a job and that's a huge stinking deal, especially "in this job market." Loads of jobless people tell scary tales of applying to hundreds of jobs and not even getting one interview.


11) Remember you're still you. Do not forget who you are. "Unemployed" defines your employment status, not you. You are still a daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and friend, all of which define you more than any job, and all of which matter far more than any job. You are still a sincere, kind, creative, compassionate, reliable, humorous, clever, friendly, talented, savvy, passionate, curious, warm, positive, supportive, respectful, honorable human being. And you are educated, professional and cram-packed with lots of impressive work experience and skills, and bursting with unique and creative ideas. And you have an impressive cadre of past professional projects to prove it. (And you have the word cadre in your vocabulary, that's gotta be worth something.) And you have dozens of colleagues and associates who volunteered, unsolicited, to serve as professional references for you. "Unemployed" ≠ unemployable any more than unloved = unlovable. 
So, yeah. That's how I've coped with 24 months of joblessness. I follow my rules. Some days are worse than others, but some are better than others. For me, the worst aspect of unemployment is not being able to make plans. Not just because there is no money, but also because I am forced to live day-to-day. I'm existing, not living, and that's a status I don't like. Even after 24 months I still have not been able to accept this, it's what causes most of the crying jags and sleepless nights. For me, life has never been about merely existing. But now I struggle to do something intrinsically meaningful each day. I try, but without money it's difficult. I volunteer, I read, I write, I walk, I listen to music, I talk to family and friends, when I can scrape together a little extra money I go to a movie. Mostly, though, I turn every stone I can find in my job hunt. I scour, sift, research, network and rack my brain for new ideas for finding and landing a job offer. There hasn't been one day in the past 24 months that I haven't done something, usually a lot of somethings, to find a job.



*Campaigning for Sainthood = awesome band name. Seriously awesome band name.

Labels:


12:24 AM

 
This page is powered by Blogger.