March 11, 2009

I can't stand it!

A friend of mine lost her job and finding it difficult to get another job. On top of that, she's worried that other people think she's been lazy and sitting on the couch with chips on hand all this time.

Goodness, I can't stand it. I can't stand how and why what people think should even come into the picture. Isn't it bad enough that she got fired? It gets doubly hard when she has to think of what other people are saying.

Look at what Thesaurus.com came up with when I typed "unemployed":
"Main Entry: unemployed
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: without a job
Synonyms: at liberty, between jobs, closed down, disengaged, down, fired, free, idle, inactive, jobless, laid off, leisured, loafing, on layoff, on the bench, on the dole, on the shelf, out of a job, out of action, out of work, resting, unapplied, underemployed, unengaged, unexercised, unoccupied, unused, without gainful employment, workless
Antonyms: employed, occupied"

The thing is, when you stay at home, people think you're having a blast. When you're working and you stay at home for the day, sure it is. But when you're unemployed, staying at home loses its charm somehow, no matter how much you love your home. Sure, there might be people out there sitting on couches, being lazy and watching tv the whole day after being laid off. But there's a certain percentage of folks out there who find things to occupy their time. Even if they stay at home, there are those who are actually productive. They get things done...probably more so than people who are actually working. In fact, it sucks more because their productivity doesn't really yield income.

I reckon it's all about projection. When you assume that all people who aren't working are simply being lazy bums, just sitting on their asses the whole day, twiddling their thumbs and whistling a tune, you're showing what you imagine you'd do if you were in those people's shoes. But that doesn't mean that's the reality, nor does it mean that's what everyone else is really doing. It just doesn't follow. Nor does it make sense.

I feel sorry for my friend. She's being a productive citizen, but since she's not earning income, it doesn't seem so. The job market is awful right now. What makes it more awful is when you worry about what other people are saying.

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