Saturday, January 24, 2009

Anderson Told Me...

I've been out of town since Thursday and will be gone until later next week without much internet access, so I won't be posting until I'm back in town.
To tide you over...

Some statistics shared on last night's AC360:
Job losses this week- 36,224
Job losses last month- 632,000
Job losses last year- 2.7 million

Had these numbers been reported by someone less hunky, I may have been severely depressed, however, the Silver Fox (a Jeopardy champ, who knew?!) delivered the news with such grace and hottness, it somehow gave me a sense of pride for us hoards of funemployed folk.
Thanks, Anderson!

Newly Funemployed!

My dear friend Iris joined the ranks of the funemployed on Friday.
Working on week 2 of her funemployment, Jerusha!
Welcome to Funemployment, gals!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, America

Monday, January 19, 2009

Holy Funemployed Bat Girl, Batman!

From time to time, a funemployed person will be extended the opportunity to take on an odd job for some under-the-table cash.

I came across just such an opportunity last week.
I have a friend who works for a company that organizes scavenger hunts in major cities. Mostly, their clients are companies that use them for offsite team building. They also do games for private birthday parties, etc.

They’re an awesome company; they employ really fun people and manage to pull off really well organized, elaborate games for the players. I know because I’ve played the game before and had a fantastic time.

The friend forwarded me the following info on Sunday:
Subject: Funemployment opportunity
I wanted to let you know you could apply to be an Actor (aka a Plant) for [the company]. Plants are the people we hire to play different characters who are planted throughout the Game Zone. I figure it would be a fun way to make a few extra bucks while you look for a 'real' job. It's also the perfect Funemployment opportunity - to be able to accept a two-hour actor job on a Wednesday afternoon. :)

First off- “Funemployment”. Used twice. Awesome.

Sounded like an easy, fun way to make some cash, so I took her up on the offer.

The following day, Monday, I was placed in two games- one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday. My role on Tuesday was to be a plain-clothed person in a Starbucks in the Union Square area and give out a password to teams that found me. Wednesday was to dress “sporty” and run an RC car race somewhere in the same neighborhood.

Tuesday was uneventful. Seriously uneventful. There were some technical problems with the game (a rare occurrence, as I understand) and no teams ever even made it to me. So I went from sitting at a coffee shop in my neighborhood, sipping coffee and laptopping, to sitting at a coffee shop downtown, sipping coffee, reading and getting paid for it. Good day.

Wednesday was… different. I got a call a few hours before the game (an offsite activity for an international biotech company) letting me know that my role had changed. Instead of RC cars, I was now about to become Bat Girl.

One would think that I would be deterred by the instruction “You might want to bring some leggings to wear because the costume is slightly short, and comfy shoes ‘cause you’ll be running around.” But no. I followed these revised instructions and arrived at Union Square with my leggings and tennis shoes ready to go.

I was told to wear leggings, so I should not have been surprised to be handed this to wear:

I was told to wear tennis shoes, so I should not have been surprised that I was told to run from the teams when they spotted me on the streets of San Francisco.

I was participating in a game of public human hunting, I should not have been surprised that I would be posing for photographs of me, Bat Girl, in “embarrassing or compromising situations”.

I should not have been surprised that by the end of the night, I would have kissed two women I did not know on the mouth, simulated peeing in public, twice, and fake dry humped a pirate (a fellow “plant”), in plain view of many many passers-by here:

But I was.

It also should not have taken me until the game started to have the following thought; “I am totally going to run in to an ex coworker. Dressed as Bat Girl.”

To be entirely honest, it was pretty fun. The teams were having a great time and their enthusiasm was contagious. Many of them were really into the game and came up with very creative tableaus for Bat Girl. With the exception of a couple of teams who took the “capture Bat Girl” instruction a wee bit aggressively, they were quite fun to interact with.

And so, after the game, descending the stairs at Powell Station to catch the train home, I reflected on the experience and decided that despite the $60 check in my pocket, Bat Girl had made her first and last appearance in my funemployed, or employed life.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jon Makes a Point, Makes Me Happy

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Thu, Jan 15, 2009

Fast forward to 17:20.
Jon makes an excellent point about the status of the financial services industry.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Guide to Your First 24 Hours As a Funemployed Person
Part 1

I’ll be posting this Guide in several parts over the next couple of weeks.
Although this blog is intended for people who are funemployed for any reason, this guide is intended for those who get laid off.

Please to enjoy…

00:00 Moment of Impact
Deep breaths. It’s shocking, but believe me, it hasn’t hit you yet. You’re a little numb. There will be a lot of words that will come your way like “restructuring”, “severance” “COBRA” (which stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act… huh?). Harness the numbness, turn it into fake listening.

If you’re anything like me, Hallmark commercials make you cry (like the one with the ice skating daughter and the mom gives her the card that says “Do you know how special you are?” That one KILLS me!) and this will make you cry. At work.
G’head, I’ll wait while you swallow that pill- it's a big one.
It’s okay.
As long as you can keep it under control and not do the gasping for air, snot-nosed, 4-year-old cry that we’ve all performed in moments of severe upset, you’ll be fine.

Also, remember that the person sitting across the table from you will likely be one of the best references you will ever have. No matter how awful a boss you think they’ve been, or despite your genuine respect and fondness for this person, he/she did just open his/her mouth and exploded your life. However, take a moment to remember; no one LIKES to lay anyone off and you will more than likely need to call on him/her some day to vouch for your abilities as a competent employee. In other words, their guilt will eventually be your “one of the best colleagues I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with”. So be respectful.

Lastly, get ready- it’s going to be a very long day.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Free/Cheap Stuff Rocks

One of the most excellent advantages* of funemployment is the mid- day weekday activities. Taking advantage of anything during this time can feel so leisurely. I find that the same activities, when enjoyed on the weekend, can sometimes feel rushed. Like you're participating in some Relaxation Race.

Break out the Red Bull Vodkas and start appreciating your time off, DAMN IT!

I've compiled here a (half assed) list of activities that can be especially enjoyed during sunlight hours, usually reserved for the gainfully employed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Grocery Shopping
There is practically NO ONE at the Trader Joe's on Masonic in San Francisco at 11am on Tuesdays! Total score!

Visiting Any Retail Location
According to a study I just made up in my head, retail employees are approximately 38 times more pleasant and willing to help you mid-day on a weekday than any other time of the week.

Coffee Shop Sitting
Join the ranks of the funemployed, the unemployed, the late night service industry and the "Mental Health Day" folks where a cup of coffee will cost you $1.25 (or $10.19 depending on the shop and the drink), WiFi is (often) free and the music is what you'd be listening to at home anyway. Make that cup last as long as you can, plug in, and waste a little time here.

Free Museum Days
Because as many times as you tell yourself that after work on a Tuesday is the perfect time to pop over to the MOMA to see what's new, especially 'cause it's free, let's be honest. You'll really end up working until 7:15pm, then deliriously dragging your sorry ass to the burrito shop two blocks from your apartment and plopping yourself in front of the television where you'll stop channel surfing for 5 minutes on the 20/20 story about Orgasmic Births and convince yourself that that's enough culture until the next Free Tuesday.

Now, go forth and free or cheap your way through the week!
  • My favorite site for SF-specific activities is the aptly named funcheapSF.
  • is great for event calendars in San Francisco, New York, LA and London. They have an easy filter for "All Free Events".
(And now for a bunch of sites I just browsed for a couple of minutes for cities I've never lived in...)

*Vague Bill & Ted reference.
20 points if you got the reference before reading this.

Funemployment Tip of the Day:
This one time, in college, I gave away free hugs as a project for my Peace Communication class. Much like this guy, and this guy (yes, it's the guy from 30 Rock). I highly recommend it, unless you live somewhere that people might try to pick pocket you when you hug them- that would end up costing you money. It would kind of suck, actually.
You know what, never mind, just hug someone you trust. Really sink into it... hugs are GREAT!

Friday, January 9, 2009

What I Want to be When I Grow Up

I’ve begun to experience this strange phenomenon wherein I decide that my new profession will be the profession of whoever I’m in the presence of.

I’m at a museum, I’ll be an art curator!
I’m on a plane, I’ll be a flight attendant!
I’m at a concert, I’ll be a singer/songwriter!
I’m bar, I’ll be a bouncer!

Why is this happening?
It might me that at this point I’m far enough outside the Ninetofive that I’m pretty idealistic about my options and I don’t have anything to loose in the dream.
It could also be that I am actually capable of anything. Just like Mrs. Adams always told us in 1st grade.

I don’t remember ever feeling this way when I was employed. I guess with enough time away from the stifling grind of a real job, the door on my reasonable professional limitations has been blown off. For better or for worse, I now have urges to become a MUNI driver and a defense attorney all in the same day.

I was going to watch an episode of Weeds, but now I'm afraid I'll be tempted to start dealing pot.

Funemployment Tip of the Day:
Tonight, for dinner, play “What does (your name) have in the fridge that will constitute a meal?” A guaranteed good time!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sign found outside SF MOMA

My shitty cell service also thanks to AT&T.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Years Resolutions of the Funemployed

  • Find a job.

  • Avoid being laid off from said job.

  • Loose 15 lbs.

  • Do not shave head and sell own hair for rent money.

  • Spend less money to avoid urge to sell own hair.

  • Remember to stop using “I need to get some work done” to dodge unattractive social invitations until aforementioned job is obtained.

  • Do not start smoking.

  • Write in depth blog post about why Bad Girls Club Season 2 is the best season.

  • Watch less television.

  • Find a job.

Funemployment Tip of the Day:
Never pass up free food. Uncooked bacon, leftover pasta salad, if it's free it's like gold. No shame, no hunger!