Do you remember the first time you saw the Blue Screen of Death? Do you remember the feeling of the blood running out of your head, the instant nausea and the sweaty hands? If you haven't gotten "it", the most accurate comparison I can conjure is a very near miss with a potentially very bad accident. I know both. There's also another feeling that is similar to this. Getting laid off. For me, that happened on Saturday, December 27th 2008. I was in the midst of my Christmas vacation with my family. I got a phone call from one of the partners at the architectural firm I worked with, yada, yada, yada, my wife was already applying for my unemployment compensation online after I got home from cleaning out my desk. By far and away my worst. Day. Ever.
I'd been building my Twitter network slowly and steadily for the previous month or so, building a group of people who had passions for the same things I do and generally trying to figure out what the heck it was. At that point, my bio read simply, "Lover of all things Real Estate". True. I have an unhealthy obsession with our ecology. Really. Ask my wife. Now it reads: "One of the unemployed masses, incurable optimist, lover of ALL things real estate, awesome husband and stressed out dad". Why not? It's true. People are losing their minds and massacring their families, coworkers and strangers alike! Jesus, what the hell is going on!? I can not imagine getting to a point where that sounds like a "good idea". I get frustrated, sure, but it passes..as it should. If I were the only person in this situation I think my mindset would be a much, much different. I would feel more responsible. Instead, I know that I am just 1 in over 5,000,000 people in this country that have been unemployed for MORE than six months. Which means that I have fallen off the unemployment rolls and am no longer included in the Official Unemployment Rate that is published by the Government. I'm pretty sure my knowledge and acceptance of the fact; that I am a tiny fraction of an enormous population segment has a huge bearing on my bearing. A wave has swept across this country, indeed the world, in which my family and countless others have become inexorably caught up. I hold no grudge, no venom, no hard feelings for my old bosses. It was a business decision to downsize their firm, and a very necessary one at that. Am I happy about my situation? Don't be ridiculous! I am not on meds (not that anything's wrong with that) Everything my wife and I have worked for the past sixteen years has simply imploded. What keeps me ticking (in a good way :-) is the ability to make up for the time I spent away from my wife and our two little girls when times were "good" and I was gainfully employed. The past eight months have given me time to hang with the girls, to be a dad and a husband instead of someone who left for work before 7am and usually got home after dark six days a week. When I really get down, because, you know having your income severely curtailed can be more than a just a little stressful, I remind myself of this scene in Slumdog Millionaire. Believe you me. If you've seen this movie, you know what I mean.
It is impossible to remain miserable for long. By the way, if you have not seen this movie yet, go see it.
Well, I started a website, please take a look if you haven't already. The idea behind it was to make myself easier to find by someone who'd received my resume. I know HR types and hiring managers usually Google someone's name before they bring them aboard. So, in the interest of not wasting someone's time, I helped them out a bit. Good idea? Sure. Did it work? Eeah....not so much..for that particular application..yet. Evidently resumes have taken the place of spam in recruiter's mailboxes.