Saturday, August 7, 2010

Unemployment Blues

In all honesty, it's not altogether horrible. My last job has been the only job where I have taken so much on my own shoulders, voluntarily taken on extra duties above and beyond what my job description (and pay grade) called for. I was writing procedures, doing some marketing work and training employees. I made myself and the knowledge I had accumulated from working for almost fifteen years in the medical laboratory field at almost every level and at almost every job from microbiology tech down to phlebotomist and specimen processor - from LIS analyst to client service representative. I was, I now realize, pretty stressed out on a day to day basis. I am not affluent by any stretch of the most vivid and fertile imagination and vacations consisted mainly of just being away from the desk. I haven't gone on any kind of trip any further than a two to three hour car ride in well over a decade. So that's akin to what this feels like - a staycation. Only this is a stretch of time off that also includes trips to the food bank, strict budgeting and cutting back on un-necessities (such as Gamefly,) and is completely not of my own choice.

For now, I do not mind it so much. It's a lot tougher than it normally has been to make ends meet and we have to be much more cautious in nearly every decision we make. It's going to start weighing on me very heavily soon though. Men need to be doing something; we define ourselves, in part, by what we do. One of the first things you want to know about a man after you know his name is, "what do you do?" Until I have a long-term answer for that question I feel unsettled and incomplete.

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