Post By Mad Dad: The Year of Suck

It’s been a long-as**ed time since my arch-nemesis and best frienemy, MAD DAD has graced us with his golden fingertips of hilarity. After a long and strange sabbatical, Mad Dad, has returned to tell us a tale that Christmas miracle of miracles, made me ACTUALLY ROOT FOR HIM for the first time in our storied hate/hate relationship.

An honest and uplifting (at the end) tale.

2015: The Year of Suck

This has been the worst year of my life..

No hyperbole there. The disappointment, stress, anguish and uncertainty fits the bill. Think about your life. You’ve had a bad year along the way. Which one could you have really done without?

To be fair, I’ve somehow avoided cataclysmic loss. No tragedies. No sickness or broken bones.

But on April 9, 2015, I was laid off by a leading transportation company in the world.

This is my story.

How To Botch A Corporate Lay Off

It was near the end of our fiscal year. A typical dumb Thursday full of meetings and “things to do.” When I was called into my supervisor’s office, however, an immediate dread came over me. I don’t know why. Isn’t weird how we can just KNOW things with no context or clues? We are creepy creatures, we humans.

The hammer fell and 1,001 thoughts rush into your mind. They ought to just pull the cord, strap you to a gurney, store you in a closet for two hours and then come in to discuss unemployment, benefits, severance and all that jazz. You’re not listening as your bowels loosen and you wish you were just drunk.

Leaving was a bear. Mostly because I had a bunch of junk in my work area and you’re escorted over to pack up. I was able to signal to a friend as to what happened, but others kept working until they realized what was going down. It was like an army of Dementors had descended on the floor and no one really wanted to live, even if you hated me.

I wasn’t allowed to touch anything owned by the company. I almost cried, I won’t lie. It was overwhelming and humiliating.  I would’ve been OK with a flamethrower option. Just incinerate it all, and I’ll be out of your hair. It makes you hate STUFF. Things that might hold some value but all it does is exist. Just sits on shelves or inside drawers or cabinets JUST IN CASE you need it.

I did keep the red Slingline stapler.

Updating My Resume

By the way, you should do this often. Saves a lot of time later.

I updated mine stinking drunk. And when a friend stopped by later with a bottle of Scotch, I was still drunk and got even drunker.

Thanks A Lot, Obama

I love my family (in-laws, outlaws and those in between), but they can be so entrenched into this “Conservative” mantra that people that receive something for nothing are jerks.

During my sabbatical, I referenced my bird feeders to some family and immediately there were comments about the birds being deadbeat free loaders much like the poor and tired under the reign of King Obama I. I then noted that I was one of them: A typical lazy, drug-riddled n’er-do-well just milking YOUR TAXES so I can score another baggie of the Mary Jane while I get a bunch of women pregnant.

Whilst you slave away at your jobs and pay taxes, I sleep in, good off and take my federally-subsidized health insurance and tax-payer funded unemployment to the bank.

Suckers.

Social programs are pretty rad. It’s not freeloading because I was laid off. A bunch of fat cat execs needed to prop up their bottomline pushed me out. So I should just be without? That’s bull crud.

Yes, there are some that take advantage, but a vast majority of programs help the people that need it. If that’s something you can’t support, then get laid off some time.

A House Divided

A few months before I was jettisoned from my position, The Wife began working from home (a shame since she actually likes people). Once I was let go, I was not at home by myself. Suddenly we were around each other for 10 hours a day. To her credit, she never outwardly judged me or made feel like a chump. I still felt like garbage if I picked up a book or watched Gotham on Hulu (it’s a good show).

You should feel like crap for being jobless, but you shouldn’t feel guilty. There are 24 hours in a day and you can probably apply for all the positions that meet your criteria in an hour.

I’d wake up early to help get the kid to school and hit Indeed.com or LinkedIn and apply for as many jobs as I could find. Then … get the car washed, the hair cut, the stomach fed, the shows watched and the books read. Joblessness sucks. But it’s no reason to shut down.

There’s An App For That

Watch an old episode of Seinfeld (I guess they are all old now) and there’s many scenes where a jobless George is reading Jerry’s want ads from the Daily News or New York Post.   Thankfully we’ve evolved from that. Everything is digital.

Some of it is extremely easy. Get a profile on Indeed.com or LinkedIn and some employers make it to where applying takes about 10 seconds.

Others, not so much. What bugged me the most is when the form asked me to paste or attach my resume. Then, instead of parsing information from my resume to the appropriate form, they make you re-fill information on you resume into the form. There are at least three positions that I did not finish applying for because the process was so tedious.

Then most modern companies use programs that attempt to match keywords in your resume with those set up by the company. It’s not so much how talented or skilled you are, but how good you are at writing for search-engine optimization.  

Overall, I applied for more than 250 positions. I had about 30 phone interviews (a big player in today’s job scene) and 15 in-person interviews.

Chipotle was different. They would schedule for you to interview you by asking questions on the computer screen and you answer via the camera on your desktop. Nothing will remind you how inadequate you are until you see yourself answering a question to a camera.

Darryl, Your Working Boy

Exactly six months after being laid off, I was offered a position. It was optimal timing. My initial round of unemployment had run out and the holidays were on the way. Although – by some stroke of luck – our family was appropriately set up to endure my unemployment. But after six months, you start to really feel the heat.

After all that time of interviews and applying for positions, I had started to look at seasonal work. Although I would’ve preferred a mall Santa position, considering my height and grumpy nature I probably would’ve been cast as an elf (“Listen little boy, we have A LOT of people waiting here, so GET GOING!”)

Then within a week (a phone interview and two in-persons) I was offered a job (with a little pay bump) and everything was perfect. The weight of the entire world was off my shoulders. As low as I got in unemployment, I was equally as high.

Although I’m out of the mire, I will never forget this comparatively brief time in my life. I certainly view social programs different. And I will never look at others who are unemployed the same. It’s a desperate black hole of suck, and getting out of it is as easy as a snap of the fingers.

-Mad Dad

 


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