I got a letter in the mail from the NYC department of labor recently, telling me that I was to have a mandatory meeting yesterday to discuss my resume. I was a little thrilled by this, because as you know, I’m attempting a transition to copywriting/social media/general web-content-spewer, and I’ve been laboring for the past month about how to best talk about 13 years of being self-appointed Queen o’ the Internet™ on my resume when no one’s technically been paying me for my leadership and benevolent rule.
Figuring that everyone else there would be bums, I put on an adorable summer dress to show that I’m both presentable and spunky, and I didn’t even pair it with flip-flops. I had to spend the workshop’s entire hour and a half reminding myself not to flirt with the young Indian guy who said his most prevalent emotion these days is embarrassment over not being as far along in his career as his friends are, because two unemployed people with the opportunity to eat at Indian lunch buffets every day is bad news.
Overall, the meeting was a huge disappointment, because it was mostly a guy reading a worksheet to the group and telling us that we can’t use the photocopier in the “resource room” to copy entire cookbooks. Even when one of the instructors got to me and asked if I had any questions, her best advice about putting my blogging and social media skillz on my resume was, “Yeah, you could do that.”
But the worst part was knowing that none of my other recently-unemployed friends have been called in for this meeting, which means the City of New York is concerned that I might be at risk for suckling at the sweet, sweet teat of unemployment for the entire 26 weeks I’m allotted if they don’t watch me carefully. And oh, boy, are they right. I’ve been unemployed for just a little over a month, and already it feels so normal to me that it’s not even exciting anymore. The idea that I used to go to bed at midnight to wake up at 7 a.m. instead of watching The Great Gatsby at midnight and then listening to an hour of Kings of Leon while I lazily perform my bedtime routine and then playing Candy Crush for another hour until I pass out and wake up again at 11? THIS IS LIFE. It was always meant to be this way.
Sometimes I find myself in a quiet moment thinking about how I should be really, really scared right now. I don’t have a job, and unemployment here is enough for rent and groceries and absolutely nothing else. I don’t have a boyfriend, and all of my backups are now either married or mad at me for six years of ignoring them. But most of the time, to be honest, I find myself feeling really happy. As I left the meeting today and ducked into a grocery store to grab some guacamole for a party this weekend, I thought about how lucky I am to be out in the city during the day and to have friends who are looking out for me and to ultimately know that things are going to work out for me, because they always do. I know I’m gross.