Sunday, January 9, 2011

Wrapping Up Double-barrel Unemployment. In 1 Hour. Because I'm Missing My Cartoons.

Hi! Tonight, we're going from Day 432 to Day 700 in the next hour of distracted, half-TV-watching 38 words-per-minute typing. Unless I'm not done after an hour. If I'm not done at the end of an hour, I'll just stop wherever I am and wrap up the rest of the story in one succinct and awe-inspiring sentence. K?

Here we go...

Day 432 - [Maris]'s first full day home from her adventure in Intensive Care, tubes, wires and machines that beep all the time and keep the sick people from sleeping. Also, it snowed approximately seven hundred thousand inches. Ha ha ha! No it didn't, but 2 1/2 FEET of that crap did fall on us that day. More than another foot fell some four days later. We had 54 inches of it within 12 days. In suburban Maryland. Not funny. Moving on...

Day 445 - Headcount reduction. I'm unemployed AGAIN after only 3 months on the promising contract job that was supposed to last at least a year. I wouldn't shed any tears over the loss of the hellish commute, but SWEET ZOMBIE JESUS! [Maris] and I were not going to last long with neither of us earning more than unemployment insurance. And needing to drink more than ever at a time when you can't really afford to? That's just cruel.

Day 470 - [Maris] has a new hobby! It's a big Excel spreadsheet, on which she dissects deliberately and unnecessarily complex, misleading and often duplicate medical bills and attempts to reconcile them with deliberately and unnecessarily complex, misleading and often duplicate explanation-of-benefits forms. It's like a shell game, but with math. The numbers are staggering. Our health insurance provider had covered like, not very much. Managing, minimizing and stretching out this new pile of debt during our time as a couple with dual lacks of income became a major project, and a priority equal to that of finding new jobs. Awesome.

Day 480 - I had an interview! I tried really hard, too. I learned all about the company, I prepared questions, I wore a suit! I didn't say anything Tourettesy or insult anyone or fall down or tell them about my loathing of hard work, of what they do, of the name of their HR guy. I kept my clothes on and didn't even ask if I was getting paid for today. I still didn't get the job. Weird.

Day 500 - I cut the grass!

Day 521 - After two visits to a really cool nearby employer, interviewing (very well, I might add) with five different people, I get the "it came down to you and another candidate and it was really hard, blah blah blah, but we're not hiring you" call.

Day 522 - For the first time in this whole ridiculous story, I moped. Ha ha ha! It looks like I just typed moped, as in the little scooter/motorbike thingies that were all the rage in the late 70s and early 80s. Remember those things? Ha ha ha! They were tiny and weak. If you hit a squirrel with a moped, the squirrel would totally win.

Day 547 - [Maris] is working again! It's terrible and clearly not a long-term solution, but it's a good-paying job in a putrid employment market, so she gladly takes it and quietly keeps searching for a better gig. The stories she brings home are awesome, but sharing them is out of the question. Sorry kids - I ain't gettin' sued. Let's just say she boarded a sinking ship of bigger fools than either of our previous Vortexes (Vortices?) of Doom. Yes, I realize that the only truly "double-barrel" unemployment we experienced was from Day 445 to day 547. So what. Shut up. It's my story and I can call it "monkey calculus and zen garden hoe design sparkle pancake bunnies" if I want to.

Day 588 - [Maris] is working again! At a job/company so good, she took a pay cut to go there from the ship of fools. I knew she could do it. Strangely, as much pressure as her re-employment took off my search, in some ways, I felt even more pressed to find something. From May until October, I could hardly get so much as a phone interview. Some funny stuff probably happened, too, but I only have seven minutes left, so I'll save any of that for later posts.

Day 680 - I had interviews at TWO DIFFERENT companies. I know! It was like an episode of "Three's Company" when Jack has two dates on the same night, like at the same restaurant and everything! I scampered back and forth between the two buildings, making up excuses about emergency phone calls and car alarms and things that they'd have to believe, like loose stools. Ha ha ha! It was fun! I kept talking about the wrong company and calling the interviewers the wrong names and stuff. I was pretty sure they knew what was up, but they played along.


Day 697 - One of them got wise and broke it off, and the other one HIRED ME!

I'm out of time, but we're pretty much done, aren't we? WOOHOO!! After 700 days, Double-barrel unemployment is over. It didn't kill us! It tried, but it failed. Epic failed. We live to work and earn another day. And another and another and another and another and untold thousands of additional others forever, just as it should be.

We know how lucky we are.

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