Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Unemployment Is Fun…

Fear. That is really the best part of being unemployed, while uncertainty and self-doubt are close seconds…

There are some positive aspects; I have time to work on a monster blog. Or two. There is motivation for self-improvement… Specifically losing weight through poverty dieting (rationing the fridge and pantry contents, a complete ban on fast food) and smoking less (or quitting) since buying both cancer and gas at current prices is out of my budget and my son needs to be driven to school every day.

Nationally, in November the rate was 5.4%. In my state, Oregon, it was 6.4% in October (not seasonally adjusted). These rates are down from their recent high points of 6.3% nationally in June 2003 and, in Oregon, 8.9% in January 2004 (or 9.0% back in January 2003)…

Ouch, maybe January is not a good time to be job-hunting here.

Some friends and I have been wondering if the reason these rates are dropping is that people are being dropped from the rolls, even though they have not found jobs before their benefits ran out. I suppose I can look at the jobs numbers and figure this out. I have the time now. I am sure this is not the case because I am sure the media would be all over this story if this were true… Oh, wait. Scott Peterson verdict.

Now I did start these blogs before my current round of unemployment began, but I have found that they are a good way to stay focused and productive during this period of transition in my life. I am not the only one who has found this to be true, it appears…

I found this blog, Unemployed Kerry Staffer, a few days ago and book marked it as a potential subject for a Democracy in Distress post. I am not sure why. Probably because it combined three of my current interests: politics, blogging and unemployment…

Her site on this subject has received decent media attention. Mine has been read by myself and maybe one or two friends. I write about issues, she writes about “Switch[ing] to a bi-weekly shower schedule.” That is not entirely fair, she has started noodling around on the DNC Chair issue. She has 13 posts, I have more… Both of us suffer from typos and "inferior" web skills.

I suppose a part of my curiosity about this blog is that line in there about expecting to work in the West Wing and ending up working on just getting off of the couch. She is an early 20-something looking for a career in Public Relations, I am an early 30-something looking for a career… I don’t know. Sometimes during these life transition periods one finds one self getting a bit mopy about certain things.

UKS talks about seeing an “infamous, former Kerry coworker who - rumor has it - will soon have a job.” She adds, “I found myself wishing I could push her down and kick her. But there were people around, and I didn't have the energy.”

In another post she writes, “I've started reading the news again. Scanning the news really. And by news, I basically mean I'm looking for any mention that someone I know has gotten a job - so I can remind that employed person that I know them.”

I have a feeling that with her connections and with the media coverage of her site (15 seconds as opposed to minutes, I am sure, but anything helps) that things will probably work out all right for Clare Gannon.

This is probably why I am drawn to the UKS blog. It’s like picking at a scab. In my nervous, maudlin condition right now, I am pretty sure that my blogging efforts will do nothing for my career and I will end up back in some glorified copy clerk job; underemployed but relieved that I am able to cover my kids’ expenses. And I will probably have to give up on finishing my degree and I will probably have to abandon these blogs in order to accomplish this modest goal.

Forgive me, but I do have a bit of the unemployment bitter grumpies this morning.

Unemployed Kerry Staffer

Unemployed Kerry Staffer: Might Not Want to Put Web Skills on Resume

Paying dues in Iowa: Young campaign staffers get grass-roots experience

UPDATE: December 15, 2004 - 7:55 PM

Okay, I put up a post about UKS and she, or he, pops back up above the radar. There on my Wonkette feed on My Yahoo is an update about the identity of the Unemployed Kerry Staffer...

The American Prospect is hot on the trail of the Unemployed Kerry Staffer, even after former KE '04 online organizing boss Tom Matzzie figured out who was behind it.

Over on The American Prospect:

Turns out that you can't believe everything you read in source code. (Fancy that!) I have it on extremely good authority that the Unemployed Kerry Staffer blog, which has been amusing Washingtonians from Wonkette.com to The Hotline since launching in late November, is not a solo project by former Howard Dean and DNC communications pro Clare Gannon -- despite what internet whiz and former Kerry director of online organizing Tom Matzzie may have unearthed in the site's tech trail. Alas, though, I have been sworn to secrecy about what else I know, so that's all I can say.

Nearing the literal end of my day, all I can say is that from moment one, I believe that people were hoping that this was going to be a site put up by one of the bigger names in the Kerry/Edwards staff. Unfortunately for those fishing for some snarky dirt, I don't think it is going to work out for them like that.

And The Wonkette's fill-in this week thinks that the UKS is still not funny. I am here to say, unemployment is always funny... 'Cause if you ain't laughin' ya' must be cryin'.

Sob.
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