A Bit of Real Life, New York

Unemployment–Earning Every Day of It

Holy cow, it’s April. I have officially spent nine months without a solid paycheck. I’ve snagged a few days’ worth of editing here and there, but for 96% of the time, I’ve been giving that weekly check from the Fed a hearty pound and a hug. C’mere you, where’ve ya been? You were due on Thursday, I was getting worried.

I wasn’t sure how to adequately start this post. Dickens’s Tale of Two Cities,’ “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” seemed appropriately overdramatic, but I quickly noted that the greater part of the year has been neither extreme. At its best it’s been enlightening, humorous, and hopeful. And even at its most meh, it’s been belt-tightening, boring, and frustrating.


12 thoughts on “Unemployment–Earning Every Day of It”

  1. Great piece BSC!!! This was DEFINITELY work waiting for. I am now well-fed and before I head to my crazy job, just wanted you to know that you wrote about a difficult subject (the dreaded unemployment) with insight, humor and a balanced perspective. Thank you for sharing the lessons you have learned thus far along this journey. I know God has great plans for you, and when you get into your Promised Land, you will see this as one of the best seasons of your life.


  2. It was really an interesting one to write. I know I’d mentioned it here and there but I wanted to definitively address what this time has been like (which made it tough; I needed to use THE right words for everything). Ultimately it felt good to purge, and hopefully I put out into the universe that although I’m ready for change, this part of my life doesn’t have to be tragic. I remain grateful and excited for your support, Marcia. You rock!


  3. LOL “Around me, there was the absolute chaos of a small civil war, with four separate instances of clients cursing out the employees, supervisors and/or the security guard in the 15 minutes I waited on line.”

    LOVE the way you paint a picture with words!

    And thanks for the shout out/call out :-P I love the “find your passion” idea and agree 100%! My passion – first full time job is my family/husband and kids… Now to find out how to get paid (well) for that! My other passion second job is advertising and impacting how African Americans are viewed in media (SO far reaching). I have been trying to do my part there the past 10 years :-P


    1. I’ve always seen you running your own boutique agency, Simone! It all comes back to “how to get paid for it?” I’m glad you enjoyed it. That trip
      to 4th Avenue really could have been staged…When the woman started shaking her crutch my mouth dropped open and I covered it
      with the Kindle…I have never heard the F-bomb dropped so many times by people LOOKING FOR ASSISTANCE. Then I left and the world bumped
      back onto its axis. ;-)


  4. Hi Ms. BSC,
    Yay! I’m so glad you’ve written another delightful, thoughtful piece. It made my day. The RIGHT words and more were on target! Keep ’em coming (please). : )
    I love your work…descriptions, humor, lessons learned, etc.


  5. Great post. You really articulated the drama of unemployment well. Unemployment can suck (been there, done that), but glad to hear that you’re keeping motivated and not letting it keep you down.


  6. Today’s blog was great. I smiled the whole way through. I once met someone who self-published their poetry (pre-internet), and hustled them to anyone they met. There is no reason the same can’t be done today with a collection of short stories.

    I have a friend named Abdullah who taught himself calligraphy. Every holiday, he was on the sidewalks of NY and Newark hawking them on the sidewalk, with the giftee’s name added to personalize it.

    I used to make leather hippie-tasseled bags and peddled them in the Village on the weekends. My carrying case got too heavy, and since we were always harassed by the police, despite having licenses, I started to make jewelry. As you know, I eventually got my own store and designed and made jewelry for 23 years.

    My next-door neighbor is a teacher’s assistant who sells handbags that she buys wholesale from 34th St and sells to her co-workers (after hours, of course).

    I tried doing handwriting analysis at flea markets. Fail. I tried selling computer games at computer shows. Fail. I opened an ebay store, but never put it into production. They banned me for a debt of $47 I owed them. Now I can’t spend my money there (hehe).

    Keep trying. You’ll eventually find your “dream job/vocation.” Who knows, you might even end up self-publishing your humorous stories about the crazy people you’ve encountered in New York City!


  7. I’m pleased you enjoyed it. I remember a lot of those endeavors (I definitely thought the writing analysis was, ah, unique!). Working Saturdays at the shop as a teen was a great intro to the Village just before it was taken over by yogurt shops and make-your-own-salad joints. It also triggered a love for jewelry that I’ve never been able to properly rein in, so thanks! You didn’t mention your own writing; that sort of thing tends to be genetic, no?


  8. This was a great read and it provided some really great perspective that was relatable to so many other times in our lives when things don’t go according to the “master plan.” ;) Thank you for sharing!


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