In most relationships, the woman remembers everything- the first date, the first kiss and most importantly- the anniversary. Not only does the man not remember the specifics, he also doesn’t see the need to be reminded of them. In this instance, I am the man. And The New York State Department of Labor is the woman.
I received a card in the mail this week reminding me of our three-month anniversary. “What have you been up to?” the enclosed questionnaire read in bold letters. “Well, waking up at noon, watching Unsolved Mysteries re-runs and baking copious amounts of cupcakes,” I said aloud while scanning the letter and hoping that it didn’t involve yet another trip to the unemployment office.
I had been summoned to the Downtown labor offices at 5:30 PM on New Years Eve. Sitting in a small, dimly lit room full of recently unemployed people wasn’t exactly how I had imagined ringing in the New Year. But, in fear of losing my benefits, I attended the “required course.”
A woman in her mid 70s stood at the front of the room. Roughly 100 pounds and dressed in a wool suit and large-brimmed hat, she appeared to be a little girl playing dress up. The feather in her hat swayed each time she peered over her thick, brown glasses. “Can anyone tell me what Craigslist is?” she asked slowly, not to confuse anyone. Everyone began to mumble his or her answer. “Raise your hand if you would like to respond,” she quickly scolded. This went on for 45 minutes as she went through crazy new websites such as Linkedin, Monster, CareerBuilder and (perhaps you have heard of it)- Google.
Desperate to not return to the labor offices, I promptly began to fill out the questionnaire. Listing a number of possible productive things that I could be doing with my time, it asked that I check off all that apply.
Sending out resumes- check!
Making business contacts- check!
Not losing focus and staying positive- eh, check!
I placed the completed anniversary letter in the mail today. As I walked home, I wanted nothing more than to break up.