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It was bound to happen. In this tough economy, where businesses are cutting costs everywhere, there was no reason to think your company would be immune. You'd done your best to make yourself invaluable to the corporation, but now that there've been layoffs (or singular "layoff" really, as it's apparently only you for now) you and your coworkers (again, just you mainly) will have to find some way to get by.

But even now, in your darkest, dampest hour, there is a lighter side to all of this. What could be a soul-crushing experience that leaves you a bitter, stinky shell of a person may actually have some high points. Below, we've listed some of these high spots that illustrate the lighter side of being forcibly unemployed. We hope these will help you get on with your life, or at least stop crying in your car.

7No More Commuting

Whether in a car, a bus or clinging to the side of a train, commuting to and from work every day is just awful. It might seem like a small thing, but not having to deal with stalled cars, or that wet homeless person smell that permeates every corner of public transit, will make every day that much better.


What You Can Do Now:

Pretend your bed is a car, then drive it straight to Naptime Junction, a four hour round-trip, every day.


Go ahead and use the neighbor's hammock. They're at work.

6De-stress

As everyone who's ever taken a vacation will know, it takes a certain amount of time away from the desk to really start to relax -- weekends usually aren't enough. So this short-term career re-scoping process (call it that from now on) will give you the perfect opportunity to finally get your blood pressure down. While your former coworkers are screaming with stress and their hearts are exploding in a mist of blood, you'll be kicking back with the complete DVD box set of some stupid TV show from your childhood ... finally at peace.


Fraggle Rock soothes the demons.

Or maybe take a trip. Traveling is one of the most effective ways to cram new, original experiences down your sensory gullet. Multiple studies have shown that new experiences make humans happy and more satisfied with life, and now you've got the time for it. Even if it's just to find out how the television channels are a bit different in neighboring states.

What You Can Do Now:

Pick a place you've never been before, and go there. If you don't have the money to go there (you don't) go to Omaha instead. Omaha is incredibly cheap, and has an Orange Julius.

Or, just take this time to read a good book, read a bad book or thumb through a book before setting it aside and building a cushion fort. With the power of your imagination, the whole world is a book!


If pillows excite you this much, it may be time to re-evaluate your life choices.

5Hobbies

No one grows up wanting to be a data entry clerk -- indeed it would take a really unfortunate upbringing for a child to even comprehend what that was. And yet, that's what you were doing for 40 hours a week. (Or about 10 hours a week, if we're being honest about all that time spent "checking your emails.") So now that you have all this time to spend not entering data, you should use it to pursue one of your other interests.


Make sure it's not something you'd abandoned at age 14.

What You Can Do Now:

With the lack of income, it's advisable to pursue one of your cheaper interests, like meditation, long walks or collecting interesting sticks. If you don't have any of those interests, maybe consider being more realistic.


Chicks dig butterfly catchers.

4Pants Abandonment

Wearing pants is an important part of the social contract -- covering up the worst parts of men, and some of the better parts of ladies -- allowing society to focus on getting important work done. But as you're no longer a part of society, you can now safely get by without the hassle. What is the hassle you might rhetorically ask?


Getting out of bed in the first damn place?

  • Cleaning them.

  • Putting them on.

  • Taking them off.

  • Binding of fabric.

  • Realizing your fly's still down after you left the restroom.

  • Realizing your fly's still up after you've started urinating.

What You Can Do Now:

Consider some of the following pants substitutes for your day-to-day, society-of-one garb:

  • Shorts

  • A Towel

  • Underpants

  • Kilts

  • Most of a newspaper

  • Barrel with straps

  • The Un-judgmental Wind

3Catch Up On Your Video Games

You know who will care that you beat all five Halo games on Legendary? No one. But you'll know. During every job interview, first date and pope-interview you go on for the rest of your life, you'll know how good you are at Halo, and that confidence will ... come to nothing, in all honesty. But still. It'd look good on your Xbox Live profile. That must surely count for ... hmmm. Yeah, maybe steer clear from video games.


It will also decrease the chances of saying "for the win" in face-to-face conversations.

What You Can Do Now:

Do not play video games. You will wake up eight months later with no job, a thousand new insults for people who suck at video games and profound sadness.

2Self Improvement

This sounds like pretty trite advice, but hear us out for a second. Imagine you dedicate the time you were working -- 40 hours a week or so -- to making yourself a better person. By following a regime like this, after a few months of unemployment, you'll transform from your previously grim, sticky body into a glowing ball of pure energy, and become a beacon that guides the rest of humanity to a better future.


Hopefully a future that wipes off its sweaty workbench after a session.

What You Can Do Now:

You're the best judge of your strengths (occupying space, blinking) and weaknesses (adequate performance of job-related duties), so you'll be in the best position to decide which areas of yourself deserve potential improvement. But you may also be an unimaginative simpleton. If that's so, here are some ideas for you to get started:

  • Go to the gym.

  • Teach yourself a new skill, like magic or fortune telling.

  • Get your simpleton friends to pay you $50 to tell their fortune.

  • One wise guy will probably say, "If you're psychic, how come you're unemployed?" At this point, you should wave that $50 in his face. Who's unemployed now?


    Not Madame LaGrange.


  • They'll probably want their money back, but it's a good story to tell at the gym anyways.

1Change Careers

A period of unemployment is a good time to reevaluate what you've been doing and what you'd like to do. Having a career which lines up with your interests is an excellent way to feel more satisfied with life. Not that you weren't feeling satisfied with life before -- after all, having enough money to eat was certainly satisfying, at least on a strictly biological level. But with the right career you can have psychic satisfaction, which has got to be worth ... something? Those hippies never seem to starve to death, so they can't be too far off track.


Maybe they sell their dreadlocks to wigmakers.

What You Can Do Now:

For example, let's say you always wanted to work with animals. You might naively assume that you should then look for a career with animals, when in reality, you should just give it up. Come on man. There's just no money there.


You think that fox will contribute to your 401k? Well he will, but not reliably or generously.

Instead, trick yourself into thinking you always wanted to work with tax forms. Find a mirror, stand in front of it and tell yourself that you want to process tax forms. Do this 800 times an hour, three times a day. That might sound insane, but when you do the math, it turns out to only be about 14 times a minute, which is easily doable.

Once that's done, it's a simple matter of finding out where all your pants went (check in the cushion fort), hitting some job interviews and hey presto* you're back in society!


Welcome to the long, painful rest of your life.

*presto may take four to 18 months, depending on quality and completeness of pants.

Be sure to check out the lighter side of other depressing scenarios, and keep yourself from being a bumbling wreck in public.

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