Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A horror movie, a mass lay-off, or a much needed vacation?

Currently, my life is this – waking up early in the morning at 8, taking the dogs out to the bathroom, going back to sleep and then waking back up at noon to either go to the gym or continue organizing my clothes closet, my collection of books, and even my files for all paperwork and bills this year. Not to mention, I’m still searching for a job.

I’ve been laid off.

But it’s not just me. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the current overall unemployment rate is 7.2% - a 15 year high for job loss. And I heard on Good Morning America (because I have time to watch that now) that if the unemployment rate keeps going as it is, we’ll be out of unemployment money by October! And the unemployment rate isn’t getting smaller. In fact, in the Great Depression, the unemployment rate didn’t reach low lows (think a 25% unemployment rate) until four years after the market crashed. Four! We could be on this roller coaster for a while. Er, or maybe, this downward spiral, is a better way to put it

But, I can say that I’m a little glad that I was laid off with the first group. If you think about it, being laid off is kind of like a horror movie. Imagine a beautiful house with no parents (I have no idea where they are) and five (at least) high school seniors throwing a party. The party is going well until that first friend suddenly disappears. The remaining four teenagers begin looking for their friend and find him dead. They, of course, go into a frenzy, realizing some demented axe killer is after them all and they must figure out how to stay alive! Talk about stress. One person dies and the rest know they could be next.

During these horror movies, I’ve always wanted to be that first person to die; I think I’d be so stressed if I was aware there was a killer murdering my friends that I’d have a heart attack. Well, I got my wish; I was the friend who died first, making everyone scared they could be next.

I hear now that everyone is walking on egg shells and just waiting to be axed themselves (pun intended). I’m glad I don’t have to worry or stress about who is next. It’s an upside to being gone before you know there’s a huge problem.

Another upside to being unemployed? Enjoy seeing the sun during the day is one of my personal favorites (my last office was in a basement). I’m also able to use this time to figure out what I really want to do for a career, whether I should go back to school, or even to just enjoy some needed time off. I’m also able to use the motto: “I’ve got time now.” I can go see that movie or catch up with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. I’m not working 12 hour days anymore. I’ve got time!

And the best thing about all the layoffs? Everyone is getting laid off so it won’t reflect poorly on your resume.

So what can we do in the meantime? Take that vacation you wanted or start that work out plan you haven’t had time to start. Hopefully Obama can get us out of this mess before it goes too far. I guess we’ll just have to cross our fingers and hope we’re on our way back up.