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Prompt: Three years is a long time to be out of work


It’s getting harder to make the minimum payment on the credit cards every month. I eat a lot of pasta now, and I haven’t had a pedicure since I don’t know when. Janice called me to go to lunch and a movie last week, but I told her I had the flu, and watched TV instead. Three years is a long time to be out of work.

When I left my job I was sure it was the right thing to do. After all, they offered what I thought was a reasonable severance package and even a couple of months of free medical. I figured a week of rest, a week of play, then a couple of calls to some people I knew and I’d be happily employed again. If nothing else, I’d never again have to see Harold Baines holding up the water cooler from Monday morning to Friday afternoon and getting well paid to do it.

Somewhere along the way, though, my network failed me. Oh, the week of rest helped heal the stress and a quick trip to Vegas for some much-anticipated play time went just as well as  expected. Not as well as I’d hoped, but as well as I’d expected.

When I started looking for a job, though, everything fell apart.

“Oh, man,” Ken Tolliver told me. “If you’d only called last month we’d have had just the perfect thing for you, but…uh…they’ve already hired someone else. Good luck, though, and keep in touch.”

Jason King over at MCM told me the same thing, almost in the same words, and I began to get a little bit concerned.

When I called my brother-in-law—which was the last thing I wanted to do—he was more to the point.

“What did you expect? The word is out all over town. Everyone knows what you