… and other things for which I have no knack, apparently.

Some people seem to enjoy their time of unemployment. They can kick back and relax, have a few beers, tackle household projects they’ve been putting off. Me? I came home that day, and after a consolation lunch with Cabana Boy, set about applying for unemployment, updating my resume, searching monster and dice and careerbuilder for jobs, emailing or calling every professional contact I have in the software industry, and lining up networking outings (all right, meeting to pound beers, but still). Within two and a half weeks, I had lined up a contract with my old company, and we took our kids on a last-minute whirlwind trip to Washington, DC, so they wouldn’t have to tell the other kids at school that their terrible parents didn’t take them anywhere all summer. Yeah, it was a vacation, but we drove down on a Wednesday evening, spent two days there, and then drove all night home. So it wasn’t like what I see other people doing.

Have I relaxed at all? Kicked back? Cleaned my house? Nope. Here I sit, looking at dust bunnies, a dead fly on the windowsill (ewww! why did it have to come here to die?) and a flurry of business cards and faxed agreements and unemployment paperwork, which I won’t be collecting after all. I don’t think I’ve even been in our pool in the month since I got laid off. Well, but I do read. A lot. And there’s no way I can argue that any of it’s even remotely for anything but entertainment. But I do that even when I’m not unemployed. To me, that’s like breathing.

So what should I be doing? I mean, now I’m working again, so I don’t have time to relax. If it were a permanent job, I could get back to being normal me. But since it’s got a defined end-date, the end of the year, I have to be this weird uber-me, at all times ready to leap tall, er, ready to take phone calls from recruiters and interviewers and, and, ready to talk about what a wonderful tech writer I am, and ready to sound all confident and capable and repeat endlessly the tale of my future, where I see myself in five years, what are the three most important things to me when it comes to a job. For the first couple of weeks, and the first half dozen or so interviews, I was very earnest and sincere about it all. I felt very creative and confident when I painted these images of that future me, in that ideal business analyst position. Now, well, not so much. I’m getting a little jaded around the edges. I got that lovely ideal job in my head, and now all the real jobs just kind of pale in comparison. I’m starting to just kind of go through the motions in the interviews now, and I’m afraid the lack of enthusiasm is going to show, and maybe dry up my chances.

I turned down one job, because they weren’t willing to write the same offer on paper that they were willing to offer verbally. Plus they were going to withhold $742 per month for family medical insurance. Yeah, that’s $32 per month more than I’d have to pay for COBRA. Currently, unless we decide to pay that ungodly amount for COBRA that we really can’t afford (who’s the fucktard who came up with the idea that someone who’s unemployed can afford to pay nearly twice what was previously withheld from their paychecks?) we are among the masses of uninsured Americans. Please kids, stay healthy!

Okay, so I’m being all negative here, and just in time, Cabana Boy walks through and asks what I’m doing.

“Blogging.”

“Bloggah please!”

Hee hee. I think I’ll go follow Cabana Boy around and try to relax. Or maybe clean something.

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