Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Welfare Queen!

I’ve been in advertising since … well never you mind the fact that I started in advertising the year Head of the Class went off the air.

In that time, I’ve survived more than 15 rounds of layoffs—both big and small—at two different companies.

And on Monday it was my turn.

And you know what? Being unemployed is not all naps and marshmallows. It’s exhausting. At least on the first day. My damn phone—actually, my damn phones—have been ringing off the hook since I crawled home drunk and smelling mysteriously of jasmine and motor oil late last night. And it hasn’t been just friends and family members desperate for a vicarious glimpse of the abject horrors of living on the public dole (and what color shoes are you supposed to wear with torn sackcloth?)—it’s actually been recruiters and HR people and creative directors asking for my résumé. Because the moment I got laid off, my friends and colleagues apparently all started networking for me. Which is so George Bailey I can hardly stand it.

But I’m not leaving my professional future solely in the hands of the people I know and love and trust. No! That would be silly! I’m also going to whore myself out to the strangers who read my blog! So dear blog-reading strangers: If you know of a fabulous Chicago job in the fields of advertising or the show-tune sciences—particularly one in an ultra-plush, space-needle-like office with a view of Nick Lachey’s tanning chaise—please let me know! Here are my skills:
• Marketing, branding, advertising, complaining how Madonna always sings flat
• Direct mail, Web, print, POP, DRTV, radio, rhythmic clapping
• Blogging, checking my hotmail, stealing company pens
• Writing! I almost forgot! I can also do lots of writing!

Email your leads, job offers, bequests and pictures of your neighbors naked—soon!—to dax18@hotmail.com. Because we all know: The sooner Jake gets a job, the sooner we can all get back to poop jokes and Ann Coulter/Mel Gibson eviscerations and shirtless pictures of me posted under the pretense that I’m not, in fact, fishing for compliments.

But before we go, I want to share a few things about the process of being laid off:

What are the first two things that go through your mind when you realize your job is about to crash and burn?
1) Maybe this isn’t a layoff. Maybe all the HR people called me into a remote conference room to promote me! (They didn’t.)
2) But my friend and coworker Jennifer and I are going to have dinner tonight! Do you think they’ll let me … you know … hang out in my old office all afternoon so she and I can still go out? (Turns out it took me all afternoon to pack, so Jennifer and I did indeed get to have dinner—and we saw Little Miss Sunshine, which is AWESOME.)

The worst part about getting laid off: Realizing you don’t know how to assemble the boxes they give you to pack up your stuff. Seriously. It took me 20 minutes to figure out how to assemble a box. I’m too stupid to be unemployed. We need to get me a job!

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