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Comment on “Unemployed Man Writes About His Love of Unemployment”

Here’s the comment I posted at AOL News on the story of a fellow who wrote a book on his experience of unemployment.

I don’t qualify for unemployment. I always seem to note some reason why I can’t be hired in the classified. In the Adult Bookstore and topless “restaurant” that advertises in my newspaper they want someone with cash register as well as hospitality experience. I worked at a college campus for 6 months as part of my student aid. I had to be courteous but I didn’t need to run a cash register. I have done that though but it was back in 1973 which usually discounts you from being experienced in something.
I find unemployment very painful. The social shame is one thing. My mother and father supported me throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. You go to a bar and they ask what do you do for a living and I had no answer. I had graduated community college but that meant nothing to the gritty working men who so eloquently complained about taxes while drinking a glass of beer.  It didn’t help my self-concept to admit I had no way to support myself. At one time I claimed I was the expected avatar of the New Age and that helped me “eventually” to get security supplemental income. It was a disability based on mental capacity and when I was up for renewal I decided there was nothing wrong with my mind and I let my SSI lapse. Looking back it seems like that was quite a mistake!!!  I got work at the school in ’98 when I went there to study computer programming. By then my father was dead and mom was 81 years old. I couldn’t get that job to stay as a complaint about my phone voice caused my supervisor to call me into her office a couple of times. I e-mailed a “quit” to her and that was that. I’ve never had a job again. It was a part time job, 15 hours a week. Didn’t seem like any big deal and the supervisor joyfully called it a dead end job. On work/study of course you can’t have raises or promotions so in that sense it was a dead end job. I had to agree with her. But it helped keep the load off of mom for the first time in a long time. I guess I wasn’t so money conscious then. I cared more about singing sanskrit mantras than and finding some transcendental experience than I did about money. You see where the government thought they should give me SSI now don’t you?
Mom died in 2007, in January. Still unable to get work despite having a certificate in business data processing now (I couldn’t deal with the programming thing) I had to sell the house mom left me in 2009, September. Now I am completely out of money and on Food Stamps. I do have a credit limit on a credit card that has “helped’ me out, if you will but I am six or seven thousand dollars from it MAXING OUT. I pay $500 a month for rent. 34 miles from the University City of Gainesville, Florida. I have 2 brothers, one a step-brother, who can’t help me. I also have many nephews and a couple of step-nieces in the same position. I have an elderly aunt and uncle, too, on a fixed income.
I like to write too but I think it’s gotten too late for me to write a joy of unemployment book at this point.

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