Unemployment is a lot like Being Single

Several years ago, I spent about six months unemployed. Collecting unemployment from the state of Illinois is something of a joke, in my opinion. I know a lot of people who collect and don’t do a damn thing to find a job. I even had a recruiter ask me if I was collecting, and if I would still be interested in part time or freelance work if it would mess up the unemployment check. Really? I thought that the point was to REEMPLOY yourself!

Of course, as someone who spent many hours a day, five days a week, for six months searching, I’m a little jaded. I had to go to a state mandated “re-employment” workshop, something that people who had been collecting UI for years had never been to…and still, no full-time employment for Chrissy.

I’ve also had my fair share of singleton experiences. I spent the better portion of my adult life single and made the rounds of dating–online and otherwise.

So having spent a lot of time job hunting, and a lot of time dating…I realized that job hunting is a lot like dating. More specifically, job hunting is a lot like online dating.

Online dating and job hunting

How to find a job…or how to find a date

Step one
Build your online profile. You need to make yourself marketable to your target audience. Whether it’s a future boss or a future boyfriend, you need to know what they want¬†and give yourself the appearance that you have it. The more you write, the more interesting (or boring) you become. You’ve got to have a perfectly written cover letter or dating profile that stands out in a crowd of other single or unemployed persons. Not only that, it has to stand out to the particular type of person or company that you’re trying to snag.

Step two
Search. Search for the forever employer. Search for the forever boyfriend or girlfriend. Search for a right-now date or the right-now job. You’ve got your information posted for them to find you; now, you have to try to find them. With a plethora of websites and apps available for you to find your perfect match, you can spend hours filling out forms with all of your information, writing about yourself, and so much more. This step is where desperation can often come into play. Whether you’re sending out 500 job applications on CareerBuilder, or sending messages to 500 different people on Match.com, you’ve got to make sure to limit the sound of despondency in your tone. Keep it confident. Simple.

Step three
Make contact. Once you’ve found a potential match, you’ve got to get in touch with them in the hopes that they will respond to your inquiry. If they’ve found you first, you need to take it from virtual communication to real communication. Email,¬†phone, and then in-person communication. It’s a process

Step four
The first date or the interview. From the pre-meeting anxiety to the sigh of relief upon its completion, these two are incredibly similar. You make yourself look your absolute best–a best that you almost never look in real life. A brand new outfit, coiffed tresses, flawless make-up, and whatever else you can think of. You’re showcasing a part of yourself that almost never makes it out into the real world. Because ain’t nobody got time for that every day.

Step five
Wait. Hope they call. Whether it’s the second interview or the second date, you can only wait for them to make the decision that they’ll call. Of course, you can be proactive and make the first move, but even then, it’s always a waiting game. Are they going to answer? Are they going to turn down your request for a second date or meeting?

Basically, you’re trying to fit personalities into a functional relationship that will become mutually beneficial. Dating or job-hunting–the questions are all the same. Are you personable? Are you a hard-worker? Are you intelligent? Can you keep up? Do you mesh well together?

Eventually, you’ll find the right one at the right time, and things, hopefully, work out well.

Have you ever been unemployed? What comparisons would you make about dating and job hunting?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Break the Hearts of Drug Addicts

Note: In this post, I am clearly showing off the stupidity of my younger days. The way I see it, these tales are over and done with…and they gave a story to tell. That is all. In no way do I ever condone the use of drugs.

When I was at the Bears game a few weeks ago, I was excited to see that I would get to watch my all-time favorite half time show. Kids vs. The Mascots. I couldn’t find a video of this year’s show, which included Staley the Bear and Benny the Bull dancing to Gangam Style, but I did find this gem:

There is nothing funnier than watching little kids get tackled by goofy team mascots.

Of course, watching the mascots got me thinking about one of my exes. Well, several of my exes, actually. (Pathetic right?) But I’m only going to talk about two, today.

Staley the Bear

This was the day that Staley the Bear gave me his phone number: 867-5309

The first, we shall call Staley. Everytime I see Staley the Bear dancing at Bear games, I think fondly of “Staley…” sort of. The way Staley moves completely and utterly reminds me of this guy, who I met on Halloween many years ago. I was dressed as Wonder Woman and he wasn’t dressed up at all. But he thought I was spectacular.

Halloween Wonder Woman Costume

With some of my pals–no, “Staley” is not in this picture.

I was going through a phase at this time in my life… I had finally and officially finished with The Ethiopian/Johnny Cash and I was out having lots and lots of fun. I had recently been left in the dust by this really beautiful and charming guy, who we called 6’6″ because of his height. One day he just stopped calling, and I found myself drawn to this guy who kept calling me Pretty Lady and Wonder Woman.

Little did I know that Staley had recently been dumped pretty hardcore, and was also a recovering heroin addict, who smoked a whole lot of not-cigarettes. So he had his fair share of baggage.

We had a relatively long “relationship” that consisted of me heading over to his house after the bars closed to watch movies and hang out. This was a time that I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep. I would leave there at like 5 AM and go home, shower, and go straight to work. I’m not proud of the drinking I did back in those days, but I’ve very much outgrown that stage in my life. In addition to his drinking and smoking, he would occasionally feel the need to find some additional extra-curriculars. I remember going with him to Galway’s (The late night bar for a big portion of DuPage county barhoppers) while he was in search of…stuff. I wasn’t a fan.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t Staley’s biggest fan, but we had a fun thing going for a while there. Until he started to fall in love with me. I remember him whispering in my ear when he thought that I was asleep about how he wanted to be That man, the one deserving of me… I remember he repeated himself over and over, saying that he just wasn’t there yet, but he would work really hard to be that man for me. The next day, I decided that was the end of that. But he still called. And pushed. And tried really hard to see me. And I was busy. I had shit going on. And I was over it.

Several years later, right after The Bartender broke up with me, I was feeling a little down. And I started doing the internet dating thing again. Katie and I called this: Experimental Year. I’m not proud to admit that I found this guy on Craigslist, but so be it. I did. He seemed awesome. He was smart. Funny. His picture was attractive. We talked on instant messenger for far too long though. I liked him before I even met him.

And then I met him. And his teeth were all messed up (likely from the drugs). He smoked a lot. Of everything. He put whatever he could find up his nose. But I didn’t know all of that yet. He reminded me of Staley, but he seemed smarter. Funnier. And like, you can get teeth fixed. The Drug Addict was a special breed. He lived with his grandma. He owned his own business doing computer-y things. He seemed like a responsible human being. Until one night I went on an adventure with him.

He was supposed to take me out on a proper date. Instead, he took me to a bar about 45 minutes away where he was to be meeting a “friend.” I told him that I had to work really early the next day (I was serving at a breakfast restaurant, so 5:30 start time), and I wanted to be home by 10. “Oh sure! No problem!” I think he may have even called me Pretty Lady. Seriously.

So it got to be 7:30/8 and I still haven’t been taken to dinner. I get crabby when I’m hungry and I started getting angry. So The Drug Addict bought me bar dinner. And we continued to wait. Finally, he got what he needs or whatever. But then wanted to go to someone’s house. I told him that I want to go home, but somehow I got talked into hanging out. I started texting my brother to see if he would come pick me up. No one was available to rescue me. I tried everything I could think of, but somehow still couldn’t manage to get The Drug Addict to leave.

Finally it was about midnight, and I finally got the dude to go. After I threatened to take his car without him in it. That apparently worked. I will never forget the ride home, though. I obviously had to drive…and the idiot was doing lines in the passenger seat. I was so over that dumbass.

So the next morning, when he sobered up, I told him that was the end of whatever that was. And he cried. A lot. And I had never broken up with someone. And I felt really bad. And he promised to quit doing the really bad stuff. And I was a fucking moron.

So I dated him for a little while. I never let him call me his girlfriend. I never let him get too close. He replaced his original unhealthy addiction with a different unhealthy addiction: me. I got bored. And annoyed. And officially ended it with him. And then he cried more. And was mean. And I was actually a little worried for a while there that he might do something crazy. But I never heard from him again after that. And I was thankful.

Those are the only two hearts that I’ve ever broken. Crazy, right?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!