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Posts Tagged ‘Unemployment Coffee Shop Stories’

  1. Unemployed – The Thing Which Must Not Be Named

    June 7, 2012 by Lady Unemployed

    Voldemort should see a dentist

    If there was a physical embodiment of unemployment, it would look like this.

    Last week, a couple of interesting things happened.  First, I was at the cash register for my unemployment coffee shop and I placed my order.  The barista asked me, “How is your day?”

    Quick side note: I’m a talker in coffee shops. The coffee shops I’m a regular at probably know more about me than a person should in that type of setting. 

    I reply, “Good. I’m still unemployed.”

    Another quick side note: They already know that I don’t have a job. This is not new to them.

    Instead of getting a look of sympathy and a remark of encouragement, the guy looks at me like I just told him that I’m in love with him and want to have his baby. He scoffs at my insanity and gives me the total for my drink.

    I pay and let the awkwardness pass and continue on about my day. No big deal right?

     And then my mom and I go get our hair done during that same week. It’s a beautiful Friday afternoon and I’m feeling pretty good for the most part. We go into the salon and are seen promptly, even though we don’t have appointments. I go to my beautician while my mom goes to hers. These beauticians happen to be on two sides of the salon.

    So, unlike my attitude at coffee shops, I’m not usually a talker at a salon. This time though I decided to do something different and chat up the lady cutting my hair.  We talk about lots of things. I mention I’m looking for a job (no look of insanity there) and got laid of in February. She mentions she is in school to get her degree. I talk about my dream of being a writer. She talks about hers (what are the odds of meeting a fellow writer?).

    We near the end of my haircut and my hair is still wet. She pauses and asks me, “Do you want your hair blow dried? It’s about 25 extra bucks. I figured I’d ask since…” She drops her voice. “…you’re unemployed.”

    I act as if she didn’t talk about my joblessness like it’s a politically incorrect statement. “That’s fne. My mom is treating me.” (Thanks mom, by the way.)

    She laughs it off and we continue talking.  The haircut is complete and I join back together with my mom and we finish the day off by purchasing some very cute, and very inexpensive, flip-flops.

    With these two stories described in completion, did you recognize their commonality?

    I’m beginning to realize that unemployment is beginning to be seen as a politically incorrect statement. Being out of a job is now “the-thing-which-must-not-be-named.” It’s even in the news too. It’s better to have a job and be looking for one, than not have a job and be looking for one.  Employers are more likely to hire you if you do have a job. Meanwhile, our unemployment rate continues to skyrocket.

    I am not unemployed because I want to be. Trust me. This isn’t fun. I want a job. But if we continue acting like that it’s somehow the unemployed person’s fault or that they should be embarrassed by it like a wart on the nose, than the problem will never be fixed.

    Meanwhile, maybe my current job title shouldn’t be blank. Maybe I’ll just describe myself as being an underpaid blogger with a growing chip on her shoulder. 

  2. The Creep from My Unemployment Coffee Shop

    June 5, 2012 by Lady Unemployed

    Portrait Of A Vampire

    The coffee shop creeper looked something like this.

    I think that every unemployed person has a coffee shop they go to regularly. My unemployment coffee shop is near the local mall and near a highly trafficked office building. This means that I have to get there pretty early, otherwise I am left with the straggler seats that have no nearby outlets and have to seek out jobs on my cell phone while stalking the good seats that are taken within seconds. The nice thing is that for the most part, I run into very few freaks.

    Until recently, of course.

    To set the stage, if I have the “good seats” in the coffee shop, I am usually lost in thought and whatever activity I am doing at the moment. Plus, I balance my time between my ever-crashing laptop and my cell phone. As a result, I have the tendency to not focus on the people around me and who is sitting near me.

    So one day, last Tuesday to be exact, there I was, surfing the internet for jobs and looking on my cell phone. Probably Twitter or something like that. This went on for about an hour or so. Out of the corner of my eye, I think I see a flash of a blue sweatshirt. I look up and I see someone walking away from the area I’m sitting in. I assume it’s a fellow coffee shopper and I ignore their presence.

    You know what I learned? You can tell when someone is staring at you.

    Because about a half hour later, I look up from my Twitter fog and I see the blue sweatshirt guy sitting across from me. Usually not a big deal, but the guy is looking right at me. I get this rush of…fear, I guess. Or maybe not fear, that sounds a little exagerrated. But whatever I’m feeling, I know it’s time to move. Especially becaues the guy is alternating between stroking his nasty goatee and picking his nose. Stroking. Picking. And staring. At me. I decided not to stick around to watch hand to move south.

    I pack up my stuff and I decide to take root in the bookstore next door. Not one of my favorite places to lurk, because I get this impression the workers don’t like me coming in there all that often. I think it has something to do with the fact that I don’t buy anything. Too bad, I say. They have free wi-fi for a reason, I figure.

    And I especially don’t care at this particular moment because I just want away from the coffee shop weirdo.

    Inside the bookstore, I take my seat at one of the tables and continue my job search. I’m still feeling a little freaked out about the coffee shop weirdo. Then, twenty minutes after I sit down, I get a text from my mom to meet her for lunch (she works nearby). Relieved for the distraction, I pack up my stuff and exit the bookstore. I take a right and go past the coffee shop and look in.

    The weirdo is gone.

    People, he only sat down at that spot because of me! And those were the “good seats,” by the way. You don’t leave those unless you have to. Or had no purpose sitting there in the first place. Or just sat down at those seats to stare at someone so long they get freaked out and leave.

    So, that’s it. I am not sure I can go back to that coffee shop again. I refuse to run into this guy. Or I will have to arm myself better. I must keep my wits about me.

    Or maybe I just need to get a job.