Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tales from The Unemployment Virgin: Stuart Smalley's Survival Guide to Unemployment

After my four hours in the unemployment office yesterday, it became apparent that the 94 people statistics hanging out with me fell in two camps: those of us who have been around the block a few times in regards to reopening claims, appeals, etc. and those of us who (like yours truly) are experiencing the joys of the unemployment office for the first time.  

Hence, the birth of a new feature on the blog: Tales from The Unemployment Virgin, where yours truly (i.e., The Unemployment Virgin) gives you ... well, the in's and out's as I see them. 

I swear to you, my state's unemployment office has Stuart Smalley on the payroll. 

Remember Stuart Smalley?  The Saturday Night Live "daily affirmations" self-help guru played by now Senator Al Franken, back when SNL was really funny in the mid-80s? 

Yes, him.  Well, I'm pretty sure Smalley has a new gig writing copy for the Survival Guide I was given yesterday at my state's unemployment office.

I'm so not freakin' kidding.  The booklet given out by my state's Department of Labor really IS called the "Survival Guide."  No boring Your Guide to Unemployment or even Unemployment for Dummies for my state.  Nope. We tell it is like it really is out there, folks. 

(Damn, I just realized my tax dollars were spent on COLOR INK for this publication.  What the ...?) 

Anyway, contained within are sections like "Surviving The World Of Work" with such Smalleyisms like "Surviving means getting a job.  And that's always a proud achievement." 

The unemployment "Survival Guide" also gives one a true/false quiz for one to determine "What Do I Know About The World Of Work?" Among the questions:

"Almost two-thirds of the projected job openings over the 1998-2008 period will be in occupations that require on-the-job training."

Um ... we're talking about 1998-2008 as if it is sometime in the future? 

We're still doing the "Survival Guide" time warp several questions later.  "Services will be the largest and fastest growing INDUSTRY group between 1998 and 2008," and "Employment in service OCCUPATIONS will have the most rapid job growth from 1998-2008," and "In the year 2008, over 40% of the work force in America will be over 45 years of age." 

That's all fine and well and good, but the answer to "What Do I Know About the World of Work" has charged just a tad since 1998-2008.  (Who can define "subprime mortgage crisis," boys and girls?)

But, put that all aside. That's just stinkin' thinkin'! (And, yes, I am fully aware that my state has more significant issues to contend with than replacing/updating its Survival Guides to unemployment. What can I say ...this shit amuses me. I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine.)

Never fear. The "Survival Guide" to one's unemployment ends on an uplifting note, straight out of Smalley's television show, Daily Affirmations.

"You can't go wrong if you think about life as an adventure filled with exciting unknowns."

Absolutely. Couldn't have said it better myself, Stuart.

copyright 2011, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


K A B L O O E Y said...

I'd have been reading it and looking around for someone, anyone, who found it funny too. That's one good thing about having a blog, I suppose -- having a group of people who you know will get it. But if you get down, just remember: "You're good enough; you're smart enough, and doggone it, people like you!"

Belle Wong said...

Tales from The Unemployment Virgin would be a great title for a book, Melissa! Hopefully you won't have to deal with this stuff for long, but in the meantime, what a great idea for a feature.

Meg said...

Oh my -- just the dates being so off is reason for alarm! I'm very sorry to hear you're in this boat, but you're able to find the humor in this situation (or, at least, the materials they pass out) -- and that's a good thing. Sending good vibes to you.