Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Where the Unemployed Hang Out

Career experts estimate that the vast majority of job openings are never advertised or publicly announced, instead they are filled through word-of-mouth or networking. As such, my husband is on a mission to broaden his ever-growing list of business network contacts. 

The thought of networking can be overwhelming, scary and intimidating for a lot of people, but my husband has embraced this new mission of his and seems to enjoy every meeting and every single person he adds to his contact list. (Unlike me, he truly enjoys people. I don't get that.)

Several mornings a week he holds court at our neighborhood Starbucks. I call them his Starbucks Encounters and am quick to point out that he could save a little money by inviting his new friends to our house for coffee and a biscotti. I am more than happy to put on my barista apron and serve a cup of joe and a smile. He chuckles at this suggestion, probably because he knows that my coffee will not help him win new friends or influence people. On second thought, it is probably best that he sticks with the tall, skinny lattes at Starbucks. So Starbucks reaps the benefits of his many Starbucks Encounters. And he's not the only one hanging out at Starbucks these days; the place is crawling with the newly unemployed. 

When they are done with their coffee, many of these recently displaced workers head over to the YMCA for a workout and some more bonding and networking. Although membership is down at the Dowd YMCA in Dilworth, I am told that usage is up since November. Now if you told me that usage was up starting in January, I'd attribute that to the New Year's resolution crowd, "the tourists" as we like to call them. But apparently the trend started back in November, so one has to assume that its not the tourists, but the unemployed who are hogging the treadmills, elliptical trainers and invading my space during group exercise classes. 

They flock to the library, as well. It's standing room only in the computer section of my local branch. The computer sign up sheet is now stationed at the check-out desk and is heavily monitored by the librarian. And there is a 30 minute limit: no ifs, ands or buts. 

Could it be that the Johnny-come-latelies at the Y and at the library and even at Starbucks are stalking me? After all, these are my old hangouts, my stomping grounds...I was here first. Hmm. Seems the only way to avoid them is to get a job myself, and believe me, I'm on a mission. I'm taking a sick day today and staying home. Apparently I pushed myself a bit too hard over the past few days and am now feeling a bit crampy and...well...I'll spare you the other symptoms. Suffice it to say, yesterday was 5 weeks since my surgery and perhaps I should have heeded my doctor's warnings and stayed away from the YMCA until I hit the 6 week mark. But what with all the tourists and the New Year's resolution folks out in full force, I had to get back and reclaim my territory. 

But today I am staying put. I've declared it a bathrobe kind of day. I'm going to sit in front of my computer ALL DAY and do some serious writing. My goal is to submit two articles to local magazines today. And believe you me, I am steering clear of the likes of Starbucks, the Y and the library. 

Wish me luck...

PS: I'll try to blog again later about Idol as I think tonight they are in Hollywood!


Barb said...

I don't get it, I'm employed and I can't afford Starbucks or a gym membership! What am i doing wrong???

Anonymous said...

You need to get a new job.