Rivkah Writes…

June 14, 2009

You Know You’ve Reached an All-Time Low When…

Filed under: Humor,Unemployment — rivkahwrites @ 12:23 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

About 10 weeks ago, I wrote an article called Laid Off: Variations on a Theme, in which I concluded:                           

“…for me, getting laid off is more like lying in wait – I may not be actively employed, but I’m definitely in the game – tensed poised, and ready to spring into action.”

Inspiring, isn’t it? And on good days – or moments – I still feel that way. Nevertheless, I have to confront the fact that since April 5, despite having invested a ridiculous amount of effort, become a self-marketing pro, found fame on the unpaid bloggers circuit, and assumed poster-girl status for the overqualified unemployed, I still haven’t scored a single interview or registered even the faintest stirrings of interest on the job market scene. So please, allow me a moment to wallow.

Thank you. And now, in return for your indulgence, here’s a list to help you determine when you’ve truly hit bottom.

You Know You’ve Reached an All-Time Low When…

  1. Your kid makes more money babysitting than you make blogging
  2. You’re reduced to blogging for the Brooklyn Jewish Examiner at 1 cent a click
  3. You bookmark the “Certify Your Unemployment Benefits” page
  4. Your kid lends you money when you run out of cash
  5. You get an “A” in outplacement but you’re still out of a workplace
  6. You check your blog stats every half hour
  7. You ask your kid for babysitting referrals
  8. You find yourself humming “Suicide Is Painless”
  9. You dream of RSS feeds
  10. Your kid texts you from school to find out how you feel
  11. You find yourself singing “Suicide Is Painless”
  12. You have a meltdown every time the computer crashes
  13. Your non-paying gigs take up more time than your job ever did
  14. Your kid won’t let you watch the Lifetime channel because the movies make you cry
  15. You spend time on “Suicide Is Painless” Discussion Forums
  16. You begin to recognize the neighbors
  17. Your kid starts hiding sharp objects
  18. Your only exercise is walking the line between elation and desperation
  19. You miss the days when networking had something to do with telephones
  20. You stock up on tissues and Extra Strength Tylenol
  21. Your get carpel tunnel syndrome from keying in career info for your umpteenth search engine profile
  22. You give up setting your alarm
  23. You get bored by your own elevator pitch
  24. Your work friends stop calling
  25. You start doodling on your marketing plan
  26. You begin swearing at careerbuilder.com
  27. Your sleeping pills stop working
  28. You stop putting on make-up
  29. You get email alerts about security guard openings
  30. You begin to consider them


  1. Thats so true….


    Comment by fkdupdad — June 14, 2009 @ 2:10 pm | Reply

  2. Not a problem…about venting your frustration that is! You need a place to vent, I have an invisible blog that I’ve told no one about where I “say” I’m working on my articles at but where I’m actually doing exactly the very same thing.

    You need to vent, but don’t give up, you’re talented – and remember not setting your alarm is o-k-a-y! It’s a way of letting go for the moment. Just call this your “extended writing vacation!” Or better yet, think of it as an extended practice session, because your talent will bring forth job offers in the long run.

    No one is getting any fabulous jobs right now, so wait for that one that’s really calling your name…it WILL happen!

    Comment by clbro — June 14, 2009 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

  3. And, hey, it’s a good time to discover other good writers!

    Comment by clbro — June 14, 2009 @ 4:01 pm | Reply

  4. Right?!

    Comment by rivkahwrites — June 14, 2009 @ 4:01 pm | Reply

  5. That’s so sweet – thank you! I’m fine, I’ve wallowed, we’re all good 😉

    Comment by rivkahwrites — June 14, 2009 @ 4:16 pm | Reply



    Ha! This hilarious. Thanks for sharing.

    I especially like # 29: You get email alerts about security guard openings….and # 30 you begin to consider them.

    I’ve been a book reviewer for a long time, and when I was working for the newspapers and freelancing for 14 years, I also worked the graveyard shift as a security guard to help pay the bills. Check out my byline at the bottom of this 2004 book review. It’s pretty funny. http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20040321/news_lz1v21codex.html

    Some editors didn’t let me use it, but quite a few did. The best was when my review was picked up by other papers.

    I used to get a kick out of wondering what the authors would think when they read this info about their book’s reviewer (and how aspiring book reviewers would feel about me having a job they wanted). No one ever complained though. In fact, blurbs from my reviews have been used by many writers in their books’ dust jackets and opening pages.

    Anyway, thanks for that. I got a kick out of remembering all of this.


    Comment by rivkahwrites — June 15, 2009 @ 9:46 am | Reply


    Hi Frank, thanks for your comment. I’m glad you got a kick out of #s 29 and 30 – and if you saw all 5’7 120Ib of me you’d get an even bigger out of it. You gotta love the brainless irony of spam mail 🙂

    I took a look at your byline – the juxtaposition IS pleasingly odd!

    You might also like to take a look at my own Examiner page at http://www.examiner.com/x-12088-Brooklyn-Jewish-Examiner .

    Comment by rivkahwrites — June 15, 2009 @ 9:46 am | Reply


    I subscribed to your examiner emails on your page.


    Comment by rivkahwrites — June 15, 2009 @ 9:47 am | Reply

  9. lows: when you raise more money for your favorite charity than you make in a month. or maybe that’s a high?

    lows: when your kid collects more from unemployment than you make.

    lows: you avoid taking the turnpike/tunnels/bridges that have tolls. well that keeps you out of staten island so maybe it’s not a bad thing…

    Comment by robyn — June 16, 2009 @ 2:55 am | Reply

    • Thanks for your comments, Robyn – hopefully my list didn’t depress you too much! It was meant to be a sort of tongue-in-cheek look at the unemployment scene today.

      Comment by rivkahwrites — June 16, 2009 @ 11:20 pm | Reply

  10. Hi Rivkah!
    These are tough times and I hope having this outlet helps you get through those “down” days. I think the real rockbottom is when you have no hope left. As long as you have hope and continue to believe in yourself, there’s always a brighter future on the horizon. I think #10, #14, and #17 are all indications that no matter what happens, your family will always be there for you. And that in and of itself should be enough for you to “set that alarm”. Maybe you might want to start writing a script…for a movie! Okay, let’s start small. How about a short story? Which could be adapted into a play? I can see you in a one-woman show! Off off off off off off off Broadway today, Broadway next year! You certainly have a great sense of humor, the kind I’d definitely pay to see 🙂 Keep plugging away! And remember, just because a few clouds get in the way doesn’t mean the sun isn’t shining brightly. The light of hope is there, you just need to wait for the cloud to pass 😉

    Comment by RT — June 16, 2009 @ 10:06 pm | Reply

  11. Hey Roland! Thanks for your response – I know, I’m fine, really, I just wanted to take a more light-hearted look at a not-so-pleasant situation, but you heard the pain underlying the laughter. The truth is, I have so very much to be grateful for – my supportive family, my health, my determination, my writing, which I wouldn’t have turned to again had I still been working, and my amazing readers who like my work and give me the determination to keep writing. As you say, I really should buckle down and write that short story! Thanks again for caring enough to remind me of my priorities.

    Comment by rivkahwrites — June 16, 2009 @ 11:33 pm | Reply

  12. Riv-Riv,

    You seem to be forgetting one thing, you still have something to market. That would be yourself! You’re good at thinking of things to write about, so I figure you’re good at marketing.

    Try to figure out what people will need in a depression, we are headd there. My wife’s grandfather made money during the “GreatDepression.” He figured auto sales would go down, so he started an auto parts distributorship. He hired family and friend’s to cover the country. Everyone did great and he became a Philanthropist.

    A close friend in Texas is going to run for the Senate (as a Republican) in 2010. He did research and found that people bought upscale candies in the Depression. He started a business two months ago and he can’t keep up wit orders.

    What will Rivkah decide to do?

    Comment by Harvey Stelman — June 17, 2009 @ 10:18 am | Reply

  13. Who knows – but I’ll definitely keep all your good advice in mind Harv!

    Comment by rivkahwrites — June 17, 2009 @ 4:01 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: