Tuesday, May 3, 2011

250 Good Things about Unemployment

250. Now that they have found Osama bin Laden, can they find me a job?  I've enlisted some help, but my friends may be digging in the wrong spot.

249. You are the unemployed representative at Career Day at your kid’s school. You get a free lunch.
248.  You miss the next downsizing, headcount reduction, lay-off, streamlining, furloughing or anti-redundancy maneuver.  
247. You sit in the swamp and act like you are a National Geographic videographer. You zoom in on the vocal sac of a Northern Spring Peeper, a tiny frog with a shrill voice and a built in amplifier. You wait for your academy award nomination.
246. You don’t have to say, “Have a nice day!”

245. You don’t have to buy anything from your co-workers like Girl Scout cookies, candy bars, magazines, Avon products, cookie dough, gift wrap or the boss's body parts after dismemberment.

244. You don't worry about getting promoted.

243. Technical support means finding a recipe on-line.
242. You manage unemployment by wandering around (MBWA) with your dogs. Here are some tips: 
  • Appear relaxed as you wander. 
  • Try to spend an equal amount of time with each dog.
  • Talk with them about their passions--perhaps, squirrels, chipmunks and biscuits. 
  • Ask for suggestions for improvement and then ignore them.
  • Catch a dog doing something right, like not pooping on the path, and praise him. 
  • Remain open and responsive to their concerns.
  • Convey an image of a coach, not a dog catcher.
  • Give them water when you stop wandering on a hot day. On cool days, there is no need for refreshment.  
241. You make your first video: A wood frog croaking in search of love, or at least fertilization.

240. You spend your day watching mating wood frogs in a swamp. You discover the joy of frog fornication.

239. No bursts of toxic fragrance in the privy. Some employers think chemical deodorizers are non-monetary incentives in the workplace restroom. Instead, they promote headaches and tinkling in your office trashcan.

 238. You form a strategic partnership. You apply for the jobs and your partner gets you the interviews.  Make sure he shows his teeth, however, and will get mean with mammals other than squirrels.

237. You get to use all those soaps, shampoos and shower caps you collected on your business trips. 

236. You have a parking place.

235. You are home to enjoy the lovely spring weather of snow squalls.  No wonder I’m under the weather.

234. You are President of your Human Resources.

233. You get up so late, your first meal is lunch, thereby practicing a new weight-loss method. I feel slimmer already.

232. You have access to porn websites and can't get caught like your Congressman. 

231. The corporate lobotomy wears off.

230. You are no longer inspired by your company’s mission and vision. You are on a mission from god. It's dark and you are wearing sunglasses, you've got a full tank of gas (metaphorically) and somebody's gotta hire you.

229. You miss your sick co-workers who come in coughing with dripping noses, in order to save sick days to use when they are well.  NOT.

228. You don’t smell what your cubicle-mate is eating for lunch, or any discharge during digestion either. 

227. You are usually not, hardly ever, sleep-deprived.  I would say never, but there are some of us ups (unemployed persons) who cannot sleep due to high anxiety.  I am not one of those.  In fact, this gray and snowy winter has enabled me to sleep 12 hours a night. With fewer hours than that, a nap has been required.

226. Reorganization means moving the couch.

225. You don’t have to watch Curtis Kiss-Ass win the perfect attendance award again this year.

224. You have windows that open. And if you jump, it is just a few feet.

223. You don’t have to keep Stan awake during staff meetings.  
At one of my former workplaces, a rather round co-worker fell asleep several times a day and always at staff meetings. He was the IT guy. We had an unspoken deal. I'd sit next to him and jab him when he started snoring. And I got quick service when my computer was down. 

222. You don’t have to return after the fire drill. 
I worked at a public law firm with a legend of an attorney who never returned to work after the building caught fire. Folks saw him leave the building, but he just kept walking. And he had nothing to do with the fire. The boss told me that story when I was interviewing for a job there. I  took the job.  

221. You train the intern to wash your laundry and update your resume, and reward him with salutatory praise, such as, "What are you making us for lunch?"

220. You practice Total Quality Management (TQM) with your dogs. You are Executive Management. They are the Quality Control Circle (QCC) unable to make decisions affecting Executive Management, but assisted with these Quality Control (QC) tools:
  • the cause and effect diagram revealing key relationships with respect to products like poop,
  • check sheets available for collecting real-time data on tasks such as chasing the annoying guy who zooms down our dirt road in the golf cart and swings the stick (even though there is no golf course remotely close and there is several feet of snow on the ground),  
  • the scatter diagram to determine the relationship between water intake and lifting one’s leg,
  • control charts used when trapped inside overnight,
  • Pareto diagrams for charting the relative frequency of reasons why we can’t catch every chipmunk,   
  • histograms useful when measuring a particularly perfect distribution of dog doo, and, of course,
  • graphs to help identify the annoying characteristics of Executive Management.
There is the appropriate amount of lag time between when the QCC's recommendations have been submitted and when nothing is done. But, the dogs continue to Circle and occasionally sleep on the job. You offer biscuits to them at regular intervals.
219. You inventory your stuff to sell on eBay: five boxes of file folders, two boxes of white board markers and 10 boxes of unsharpened pencils you stole from your employer the day you got the axe; the staplers, tape dispensers, sticky notes and mouse pads you received as going away gifts from your co-workers, and the slightly damaged microwave you threw out the fire exit triggering the building alarm and the security guard chase.  

218. There is no IT administrator who requires you to change passwords every month, forcing you to tape your password to your computer screen to remember it.

217. You don’t have to pretend you are enjoying the staff retreat where they are serving hot dogs but you are a vegetarian, and the boss drops you during the trust exercise.

216. You could care less who moved the cheese.

215. You are safe at home when the paradigm shifts.

214. You don’t have to worry about the Inspector General finding your illegal toaster in your cubicle.

213. You celebrate your birthday by not working. And sleeping in, moving from the bed to the couch in front of a burning fireplace, then to a hot bath...Oh, the stress of it all. Almost time for lunch.

212. No more business clich├ęs. It’s a win-win.

211. You don’t trigger the fire alarm thereby evacuating your building while burning microwave popcorn, and then the whole floor hates your guts when they return because they have to breathe that putrid smell, so you go out and purchase cookies for everyone including the greedy boss, but you still feel like a dumb-shit.  

210. The refrigerator bandit doesn’t steal your sack lunch.  

A few years ago, I worked at a health clinic where we only had a half-hour for lunch, so we didn’t have enough time to go to a restaurant and there was no fast food nearby. We all stored our lunches in an old refrigerator in an unoccupied room.

This practice was successful until someone began taking one of our lunches each day. The thief seemed to be indiscriminate for a while and many of us, including myself, were victims. We grumbled and tried to share when someone came up short. Then, one day, our greedy boss was hit, and we all privately cheered the bandit.  The boss went from office to office, exclaiming her astonishment that her lunch was not in the refrigerator. I don't believe she was even offered a replacement mint.

(This boss, by the way, would often eat her lunch during 1:00 p.m. staff meetings in front of our Muslim medical director during Ramadan.) 

Somehow, that week, the odds were against the boss and she was hit several times until she began to store her lunch in her office. The bandit moved on—our turnover rate was over 50%—and those of us who remained mourned his evident departure.
209. You can tinkle outside the cup.

208. You are not climbing the corporate ladder. You are not descending the corporate ladder. You are not on the corporate ladder. You are just monkeying around, job application after job application.

207. You don’t have to overhear your boss’s conversations to get information about your job.

206. You are no longer a team member. This is particularly good when someone on the team lies, cheats and yells.

205. No high-dollar business consultant will tell you how to work smarter, not harder, and then take the boss to a bar across the street.

204. You don’t care who got the free parking place for February. 

203. You don't get cut on the glass ceiling. 

202. The CEO does not make 202 times your salary. 

201. It is not your day to bring the doughnuts.