Friday, June 26, 2009

Today's Advantage #6

I went closet diving earlier this week and unearthed a dress I'd long since forgotten about. It's grey, it has buttons, it has pockets. It's freaking adorable.

All it needed was a little iron and lint roller love, and it was back in adorable action.

I then did something with this dress that I would not have ever done as a ninetofiver- I wore it two days in a row. (Audible gasp from the direction of my Mom.)

If I had coworkers to face on a daily basis, this move would be out of the question. There would be the inevitable assumptions about my general hygiene (which is impeccable, I assure you), and comments what I'd been doing between quittin' time and punching in.

Instead, I ventured out into the world wearing the same adorable frock two days in a row and all I got were compliments.

Today's Adorable Advantage: Funemployed

image: Getty Images

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

More Flare!

Ever a friend of the Funemployed, Peter Jamison over at SF Weekly sent me the link to his recent blog post about a graphic designer using her professionally-acquired skills for more recreationally-themed activities.

Check out the rest of The Great Ms. Blok at her website here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Funemployed Flare!

Great idea for a fun accessory from Ze!

Affordable Button

Monday, June 22, 2009

From the Desk of: Funemployed

I was recently contacted by a German journalist living in Chicago who is working on an article for a German newspaper about funemployment. She sent me a series of questions that made me put into words many of the things I've wanted to say and clarify in terms of what "funemployment" is to me.

I've used versions of some of my answers here and I hope this can shed some light on what I'm doing and the things that I am hoping to achieve here.

Warning: This is a long one :)

On the term "funemployment
I greatly believe in language having a strong effect on your mood and perception of the world. By calling what I am doing now "funemployment" it really takes the fear and negativity out of something that I've decided is going to be a period of change and discovery for me, not the most depressing moment in my life.

On the definition of "funemployment"
To me, funemployment is about taking the reigns. It's about me focusing on the fact that what I was doing before is not what I want to do forever and making the conscious decision to make a change.
The fact that now is the worst time in my lifetime to be looking for a job makes that change very VERY difficult. In the meantime, I've decided to be funemployed. I'm taking temporary jobs that make me happy and help me to piece together an income. I'm not making nearly as much as I was before, but I am doing things that, at the end of the day, I'd do for far less compensation. I'm paying more attention to where I want to lead my life instead of simply allowing my life to lead me.

I'm very lucky that I don't have a husband, or kids, or even pets. I'm only responsible to myself, which makes it easier for me to be funemployed than someone with those things.

On the importance of finding a job

I send out an average of 20 resumes a week for jobs that are in the field I want to go into, a field I have not worked in for over 3 years. The problem with that is that employers have their "pick of the litter" right now. They can afford to hold out for someone who is way over qualified for the jobs that I, in the past, would have been perfectly suited for.

On the creation of Funemployment Blog

I was looking for something to do with my time that would allow me to be creative. I've always enjoyed writing and enjoyed the creative writing I had done at my previous job. After a few weeks of writing nothing but cover letters I started to feel the creative part of my brain turn to mush, so I jokingly said to some high school friends that I was going to "start a self indulgent, time wasting blog called Funemployment" and they actually thought it was a really good idea. (Thanks again, Mik, Calen and Lonnie!)

On my "readers"

I get a lot of really positive feedback. A lot of people are in a similar position to me, and my favorite readers are the ones who say things like "I was laid of a month ago and I've done nothing but apply for jobs since then. I found your blog and at least now I have something relatable and fun to read when I'm taking breaks between job sites." I also have an amazing family who are my biggest cheerleaders. They post comments "annonymously" from time to time- they're wonderful.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Making Lemonade... Literally - UPDATE

Last weekend, sunbathers, birthday revelers and hula hoopers alike were introduced to a special funemployment treat in Dolores Park.

Refreshin' Recession Lemonade and it's counterpart Funemployment Fund Drug-Free "Fortune" Cookies made their debut this past sunny weekend.

Although my first attempt at a Funemployement interview was almost totally botched due to my lack of ability to save audio onto my iphone, I did (I swear) speak to the founders about their funemployment experiences.

Their stories are much like many others- laid off from a software job and a job in education. (Mari? who works in education, was offered a job, then had the offer retracted within 2 hours, hence the text on the sign in the leader photo.)

But, instead of spending their sunny weekend indoors, faces attached to laptop monitors, fingers frantically banging away at cover letters and holding back the tears of silent rejection (or is that just me?) these resourceful chicas borrowed from friends, borrowed a friend, Braiden, scraped together what they had, and threw together a lemonade stand, cardboard signage and all.

By their estimation, the whole thing took about $30 to throw together (cookies included) and their take at the end of the day was $90!

If we're lucky, and if Mr. Golden Sun shines down on Dolores Park again this weekend, these entrepreneurs may be back out and back at it again, slinging chocolate chip cookies and hawking their delicious, sweet lemonade made from the bitter lemons of layoff.

Braiden, Mari(?) & Adorable Girl with Dog

UPDATE: Thanks to moneybees for letting us know that cookies and lemonade will be served again in Dolores Park next saturday, 6/27! Get out there and support the fun in funemployment!
Also, the picture caption should read: Braden, Marri & Missy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Today's Advantage #5

There's nothing more delicate than a gal that shows up to work sporting a bruise, cut, or, godforbid, love bite!

As a ninetofiver the blemish will no doubt result in a flury of questions from coworkers who are eager to hear about one's life outside the cubicle.

For those of us who are terrible fibbers, it's often difficult to explain how such a mark has been procured ("well, I was kinda drunk and sort of stumbled up my front steps"; "well there was this guy at this party I was at, and he kinda reminded me of this one celebrity... yada yada yada" or the painfully truthful "I don't know") all while conducting oneself in a businesslike manner wearing a pinstripe pencil skirt and kitten heels.

However, with no office to report to, no prying coworkers to discuss the weekend's less-than-dignified events with, the wounds can simply heal in the comfort of one's own home, or at the Starbucks down the street, neatly hidden under a playful scarf.

Advantage: Funemployed

Hang in there, Z ;)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Not Wasting Your Time

We all get them.

Emails and phone calls from Senators, Congress people and sorted other elected government officials.
They always come with an encouragement to reach out to them when we have opinions about legislative issues. (That is what we pay them for, after all.)

Calling all Funemployed Friends!

You spend all day on your laptop anyway- you have the time- make a difference!
Use your voice to get a point across!

Whether your issue is same-sex marriage, internet security, or Hot Air Baloon Accidents, use your voice and use your time to effect your world. Sending out 340 resumes a day, although great for your keyboarding skills, can feel pointless after a while. So do something about it!

And although this blog is by no means a political blog, nor have I ever used it to push any political agenda, this is a cause that is dear to my heart and I encourage all my readers to take stand in support of same-sex marriage.

Since the majority of my readers are in California and New York, both states that still ban same-sex marriage I am providing some websites here for those regions:
Equality California
Courage Campaign
New York:
Empire State Pride Agenda

Note that I will delete any comments of a derogatory or hateful nature posted on Funemployment. I greatly encourage discussion, but will not endorse harmful comments on either side of the argument.

Thanks for using your discretion and get writing!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My Will Moment

There's this great scene in the film About a Boy when Will, played by Hugh Grant is walking against the flow of human traffic during rush hour on the busy streets of London's financial district.

Will is walking just as purposefully and is just as focused as the people he is passing, but his dress is much sharper and there's a slight grin on his face.

Will is wealthy beyond belief due to the large royalties he is collecting off his late songwriter father's success with a popular Christmas song.

Although I by no means benefit from such a financial situation, I did experience my own Will Moment today while running errands downtown.

I was coming straight from a semi-regular babysitting job, which I find gives me a joy in my step that only time with kids can induce. I, like the people avoiding eye contact, eager to get home, had spent my day working. But their desk had been my stroller. Their conference call had been my story time.

I don't know if I'll ever again be a downstream swimmer. I am certainly applying for enough jobs that would put me right back on that walk at rush hour 5 days a week. But for now, I'm enjoying swimming upstream, and finding my way through the crowd.

I Didn't Lie

In a bizarre twist of fate, I was bumped from The Early Show this morning for someone who recently lost their job- the former Miss California, Carrie Prejean.

My opinions on her aside...

I promise you there was a camera crew at my house.
I promise they followed me around all day.
I promise they told me the segment would air today... but it did not.

I just heard from the producer and it may air on Friday, but it is "more likely" to air on Monday.

Good news is, I had nothing else to do from 7am-9am today.

Sorry, Mom :(

Funemployment Goes National

I highly recommend tuning in to CBS News The Early Show this morning from 7am-9am.

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Irony Strikes Again

As many of you know, beginning in the Fall, I will be going back to school with the ultimate goal of becoming a high school guidance counselor.

Today, I called my friendly local community college asking to meet with an academic advisor about taking some brush-up undergrad courses in the Fall.

I was informed that all of the academic advisors have been let go for the summer due to state budget cuts and was instructed to call back in late July when they may have a better idea of when they might be back in the office.

Thank you, sir. May I have another?

Picking Up Steam

All across the web, Funemployment!

SF Weekly
LA Times
The Week

Interesting opinions, especially in the comments sections.
Hope you're finding as much entertainment in all this as I am.

Monday, June 8, 2009

My Bright and Early Sunday

Funemployment is...
Donating time to something because you have the time and energy to do it.

I spent most of yesterday at the Yerba Buena Gardens in downtown San Francisco at the Israel in the Gardens Festival.

I was there volunteering with Birthright Israel NEXT, the alumni organization for the Birthright Israel organization.

I can say with a degree of certainty that if I were still a ninetofive-er, I would not likely have had the energy to show up downtown at 9am, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and hob-nobbed with the Jews all the live long day.

But, as luck would have it, I'm not. And I did :)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Today's Advantage #4

I had the opportunity today to do something that I consider a top advantage of funemployment.

I got to spend some time with my family.

Two of my cousins graduated this weekend, one from 8th grade, the other from High School.

In the past, Spring and Summer were filled with conferences, events, and generally business and busy-ness.

But today, instead of airport food, cardboard comfy hotel beds and climate controlled exhibition halls, I watched this...

Today's Advantage: Funemployed

Mazel tov to the Short Kid and the Red Head!

Friday, June 5, 2009


I've essentially stopped buying myself anything that isn't a necessity.
So, what's a funemployed gal to do when it's her bff's birthday and she wants to give said bff something special from the Not-a-Necessity Department?

Get crafty!

I got this idea from the fun folk over at Apartment Therapy.

Using junk mail, a sharpie, an old repainted black frame and about 2 hours, I made some original, fun, free art!

Plus, handmade gifts always tend to score high in the appreciation department.

Here is the original post with great instructions.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's Official

As I headed down to Starbucks this morning, reusable "commuter mug" (note irony) in hand, I had started to talk myself up for another post.

"Okay, it's been a while, I need to get my blogging going again, especially with the SF Weekly article coming out some time soon."

I walk in, motivated and ready to pontificate on my recent budget trip to Vegas or perhaps an update on my search for the new me. I ask adorable blond guy behind the counter (one of my favorite partners at this location) for a coffee with room. He gives me a sideways look and says, "I liked the article"
I look blankly back.
"It was you, right?"
My face gets hot.
"Oh my god, in SF Weekly?"
"Yeah, it's a GREAT article! I knew it was you!"

So, here it is. I think Peter hits the nail on the head in so many ways and really gets the tone of this moment in my life.
If you get the opportunity, I highly recommend picking up a hard copy... it's frikkin' front page news :)

Many thanks to Peter and Josh!