Saturday, May 18, 2013

It's too bad I'm allergic to Nickel. A rant.

While perusing blogs as I am apt to do, I came across this post by my very pregnant (and beautiful! and talented! and lovely!) blog friend Alyx. She writes about the five questions that pregnant women do not want to be asked and yet, we always ask them.

And man, did it hit home for me. Not because I'm pregnant (I'm not pregnant!), but because I feel the same way about unemployment. If I had a nickel for the number of times I have ranted at Inspector Climate because I'm so angry that someone has asked me some numbskull question and made me feel bad about myself...well, I'd have a lot of nickels.

Anyway, here is my little rant about things people say to me as an unemployed person

1. "So, have you found a job yet?"
Yeah, I did and I just didn't tell anyone because you know, why would I share that VITAL piece of news with people who care about me?

2. "Oh you were able to [cook a big dinner] [go to yoga 5 times a week] [research for a weekend away] [whatever the thing may be] because you have so much time on your hands because you're unemployed"
First of all, I went to yoga five times a week when I worked full time, thank you. Secondly, yes, I do have a lot of time on my hands and I spend it mostly sitting in front of my computer scrolling job sites, thinking up new ways to get employed, and analysing what skills I actually have. It is a gruelling lesson in self-doubt, but I appreciate you making me feel guilty for filling my time.

3. "How's the job hunt?"
Terrible. Awful. Painful.

Wow. So, it looks like I've got some anger. The truth is I hate it when people ask me any of these things, they just make me feel like I'm failure for not having landed that elusive job. I was also talking to one of my friends who is also unemployed in Australia and we decided that finding a job is a lot like dating. There are long conversations that I have with friends that are essentially "What does this communication mean with this job person" Is it a good sign? Will they call me again? What do you think they meant by that?

There are the rejection calls "You're great! Really, it's just you know we want some one who has more experience than you" (this is actually very reflective of my dating life where I was often discarded for being a prude).

When I first was told that my contract wasn't being renewed it was very much a "Look, it's not you...it's us" situation

You constantly have to make yourself look appealing. How can I stuff my bra resume to make me look more impressive?

Anyway, the point is this. Be nice to your unemployed friends and don't ask them about the job search.

23 comments:

  1. I totally agree with everything you've just said. I resigned from my first job where I worked for six years to pursue a career in sales. That didnt work out so I had to go look for a permanent job again. And it took me a long time since I was already 28 at the time. Females here are highly employable until the age of 26. Anyway, I know how you feel. Totally sucks to lose a little of your self-esteem every time you get rejected.

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  2. OMG THIS. I totally get it.

    As soon as I update my blog (suffering a bit of jet lag today...), I'm linking back to this post. I got all these questions and more from family & friends back in Canada (and as well-meaning as they were trying to be...omgstopthemadness!)

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  3. I can imagine how horrible it is being asked those questions over and over.
    When I was pregnant and passed my due date with 15 days, people kept calling asking if I had giving birth yet, sometime I felt like answering "yeah I did that last week, didn't you hear?" I now have a friend who was due last Tuesday, I really want to call her, but I don't want to be the annoying friend!

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  4. 1. You are too kind!!!

    2. I think it should be legal to punch people in the face when they ask such dumb questions.

    3. Maybe I take back #2 because I know that I've been guilty of asking at least one of these questions.

    4. Your #2 would make me so mad. I obviously have a lot more time on my hands when I'm not working, but when something is important to me, I will make time for it whether I'm working or not. When I was not pregnant and COULD still work out, I would still work out 5 days a week because it's IMPORTANT to me. Why don't people get that? You make time for your priorities, whether you're employed or not.

    5. I just needed a number five so... you're awesome, keep your chin up!!

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  5. Thanks for enlightening me. I never thought about how the unemployed would feel when I asked these questions. I promise never to do it again. Thanks for stopping my my blog today!

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  6. SOOOO get it!!! When I was pregnant with my daughter a man actually asked me how the "watermelon" was today?!! And then he had the nerve to laugh and crack another joke...People just don't get it!! I get it...I would never ask those questions to my pals! Keep up the hard work!

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  7. I totally and completely understand - I know it's because people really care and it's just their way of showing it.

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  8. I'm glad you brought in the dating comparison. I would love to make of the stupid questions people ask you as to why you're single/unmarried. It's unreal how many socially inept people there are in this world. While there intentions might be good, a lesson or two in communication skills would not be unwarranted! And as a side note...I totally need to get back on the bandwagon. Your 5 days a week are my new inspiration.

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  9. I completely get what you mean :) I have a friend who asked me every time she called me, "What are you doing with your life? Do you still have a plan to work?" That sent me to the roof each time she raised the question. The "we'll give you a call" statement after an interview is a downer but the first question is much much worse. This made me realize, there are just some off limits areas (topics) that we better not cross and ask until an unemployed person like me volunteers information. :)

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  10. Honestly, people need to learn the art of keeping certain questions to themselves, and {in appropriate situations} rephrasing questions so that they don't look like personal attacks. :/

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  11. Ha! Yes, I've heard those a time or two . . . seeing them now makes me laugh. Nervous laughter, mind you. But laughter all the same . . .

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  12. One of these is shared in common with those of us who work from home. "Oh, you can do laundry anytime you want, and take the cat to the vet, and work on your quilting because you have unlimited free time!" Work from home does not equal unlimited free time. It drives me nuts.

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  13. I know exactly what you mean I had the same feelings when I was unemployed. In fact I'm thinking of starting a support group at church that is two fold, giving ppl practical knowledge and advice on job searching and also community support praying for each other, it's a stressful struggle that no one really understands unless you have been or are going through it.

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  14. Ugh, I feel the same way about finding a "real" job. I love how my very expensive degree is getting me NOWHERE. Sucks.

    Bleh.

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  15. ugh...went through this very same thing last year so I know what you mean. It sucked, but I finally found something. I know you'll find a perfect job match, so hang in there.

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  16. Well said hun, I am also not fond of these types of awkward questions, especially from people who don't know you very well. All the best with the job search, I know how that goes, wishing you find something that makes you happy as well.

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  17. You are so much more than your job!

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  18. People actually say these thing? (I responded the same way to Alyx's post). Sometimes people can be so insensitive!

    Actually, I had the first question alot when we first moved to AZ.

    XO Lourdes

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  19. I've noticed that people tend to ask the EXACT same questions over and over again at certain stages of your life. When graduating high school it's "what college are you going to? what's your major?" then in college it's "do you have a job lined up?" then when you get married you get the stereotypical wedding questions, and immediately following, you get the stereotypical baby questions. It never ends. I think it stems from people thinking there is only ONE way to do life at certain stages, if that makes any sense :-/

    - Val @ KnotTiedDown.com

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  20. Oh man, I can't even imagine how annoying that would be! People are just idiots sometimes.

    Sarah @ Life As Always

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  21. This is fantastic. I will definitely keep this in mind ;-)

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  22. It always amazes me that the questions we may think are harmless can be so painful. I can see how all of these would bug you!

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  23. Ugh, I still get questions like that since people know I don't particularly like my job. I agree, I'm allergic to nickle and it's too bad or i'd be rich!

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