Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another one bites the dust...

So last week I saw my friend Kirk at a party, and he didn't seem quite like his usual fun-loving self, so I asked if anything was wrong. "I got laid off today," he said. Ahhh! So I joked a while back about how awesome it would be if all my friends lost their jobs so we could hang out during the day together, but I wasn't serious. God, did you hear that? I was kidding. Kirk's got nothing to worry about though--as you can see, he's still totally fabulous, just like yours truly. ;)

It didn't take long though before we were laughing and acting silly—totally putting our worries on pause for just one night. I interviewed Kirk below on his thoughts about losing his job and how it all went down. (FYI, the party was noisy, so you might have to turn the volume up a little) .

video

Don't you just love how he started stripping when I asked him how we were going to make money? I'm not quite that desperate yet. But apparently I could have a promising future as a stripper if I ever decided to go down that "career" path. The other week without even realizing it, I was standing outside a strip club called Score's waiting for a friend to meet me at a party nearby. This totally cracked-out woman starts talking to me and telling me how cute I am and that I could do well in the biz. What, did she think she could recruit me? Umm, no thanks—I think I'll stick to babysitting!

Despite Kirk's joking, he took a more serious tone the other day when he told me he thought that everyone is being forced to be optimistic during these dire times, but not enough people are looking at things realistically. That people who say things like, "I lost my job, but it's OK because now I'm pursuing what I really want!" is 'formulaic optimism.' Honestly, that made me a little sad. Kirk, I totally see your point, but I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one.

If I wasn't really struggling financially, it would be annoying as hell to so many people to hear me talk about the sunny side of being laid off. But lord knows I am strugglin'. I just think things can only go up from here. Way up. And yes, I am finally pursuing and writing about things I am passionate about. (Not that I didn't love writing about Miley Cyrus's first bra-buying experience or Nick Jonas's firs kiss before). The freelance work I've gotten so far is just barely paying rent, but I've had more quality work come my way in the last six months than I have in probably the last three years. And no, this blog isn't paying the bills, but it makes me happy, damnit! Seriously, it's the main reason I jump, not drag myself, out of bed each morning.

Check out this article from MSNBC.com about how people who have been laid off are actually better off. Interesting. Hope is not lost, Kirk!

So what do you think: Should we be looking our current economic situation more realistically or optimistically? Am I annoying anyone with my optimism?

3 comments:

  1. I believe in cautious optimism: Hoping for the best, because you know it can happen, but preparing for the worst (or even the not so great) because you know that can happen, too. And you are not all "polyanna'ed" out with your optimism - you recognize that things are not "super fantastic", but you choose to see the positives. I think this is the attitude people (gainfully employed or otherwise) need to take. Those of us with jobs (Thank you, God, Yaweh, Jehovah, Zeus, etc) need to recognize that it could go at any minute, and those of us without jobs need to assess our attributes, consider our liabilities, and keep moving.
    I can think of several more cliches, but I need to be billing hours so I can stay gainfully employed.

    Stay Sunny!!!
    SCS

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  2. It cuts both ways. I think that the #1 thought on people's mind with being laid off is OH MY GOD IT'S THE WORST THING EVER. Until it happens to you, you have no idea how people make their lives work after a layoff (or at least I didn't). So then it's a surprise when you see that it's not the end of the world; that it can open up other opportunities. And I think for every dire story of people reaching levels of true desperation, there are wonderful stories of finding one's "true calling," and those are the stories we all focus on.

    But in reality: When you get laid off, it sucks. AND you discover some cool things. AND you get depressed and binge eat. AND you take cheap road trips because you can, and you freak out at your bank statement, and you get enough sleep for the first time in your life, and you have time to daydream, and you feel all alone, and you hang out with your similarly unemployed friends. It's all in there. I can't honestly say I'm better off since I got laid off, but neither can I say that I'm really *worse* off.

    I think Kirk has a point overall, though. People genuinely want to hear that those who lost their jobs are better off--it makes them feel less guilty about having a job; helps them fantasize or even plan for what would happen to them in the same circumstance. My friends were kind in immediately saying, "Oh, great, so now you can do all these other things!", but only recently have I been honest with them: The past year has sucked in a LOT of ways, but I was so busy playing the part of the happy layoff girl who loves freelancing and traveling that I wasn't being honest about the depression too, and so I missed out on some support I would have gotten had I simply been truthful about how hard it can be.

    I dunno. It's preferable to everybody assuming my life is awful simply because I was laid off. I just want an open dialogue--which is what you're offering here with your blog. Fired and fabulous indeed!

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  3. Oh my gosh, you said it perfectly. You are so right. I can relate to EVERYTHING you just said. I try so hard to be positve (and I really do think that ultimately this will be the best thing that happened to me), but yeah, it is really depressing at times. I just checked my bank account. Now THAT was depressing :/

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