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“Laid off and loving it”

Posted by Richard on February 27, 2009

Try to imagine a mainstream media outlet publishing a story about the upside of unemployment and the joys of joblessness while a Republican sits in the White House. Can't do it, can you?

Six months ago, I bet the Boston Globe had its reporters out documenting the growing number of homeless families, the long lines at soup kitchens, and the bare shelves at food charities.

But in this brave new world of hopenchange, they're explaining how getting canned can give people a wonderful respite from the "success spiral" in which they were previously trapped: 

As the ranks of the nation's unemployed grows [sic], more Americans are facing the reality of life without work. Despite the grim task of making ends meet (firing the nanny, bailing on Whole Foods, applying for unemployment), there is a newly forming society of people who are making the best of being laid off. They are rediscovering hobbies. They are greeting kids at the school bus. They are remembering what daylight actually looks like. 

Ah, yes, the grim parts: making do without a nanny; foregoing the fair trade coffee; giving up the arugula salad with walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, and maytag bleu dressing; cutting back on the organic bison filets. Despite the advantages, unemployment isn't a bed of roses after all.

As bad as it feels to lose a job, temporary unemployment can provide a much-needed intervention to workaholics who can benefit from such a break, said Douglas T. Hall, a professor at the Boston University School of Management.

"It's the success syndrome. You work hard, you do well. It's very satisfying and that gets you more involved to start working even harder," Hall said. "It's a success spiral that people get into. And sometimes it takes some extreme experience to get out of that spiral."

Kendra Winner, who in September lost her $95,000-a-year job designing teacher professional development training, described her escape from the spiral: "I'm loving being home because I no longer feel like the Eiffel Tower is crushing my skull. I was squeezing so much into limited bandwidth as a working mom. Now, I don't feel like I'm chronically overcapacitated."

Ah, the relief that comes from escaping the success spiral and no longer being overcapacitated. Maybe we need more joblessness. And extended unemployment benefits. And refundable nanny credits.

Give me a break!

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One Response to ““Laid off and loving it””

  1. Unemployment Website said

    I think unemployed people need caring of the society.

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