since just before my birthday. I'm now a copy editor at a newspaper where I'd worked, in the same capacity, from 1998 to 2006. So I know the place inside and out, know almost everyone there. It's a mile from my house. This is the view from the break room.
I don't really want to talk about the new job. I'd rather talk about my brief stretch of unemployment. Even though I didn't earn any money and had to take a pittance from the state as support, and I spent most of my time filling out paperwork or scrounging up job listings or obsessively tweaking my resume, and spent even more time chasing down leads for jobs that ended up in dead ends, and I looked at every mortgage bill like it was a coiled snake, frankly I'm going to look back at this time from early February to late May very fondly. There are some ugly aspects of unemployment besides what I've already mentioned. Online job applications are for the fucking birds. I applied to about 15 different jobs online. I received 4 replies, with 3 of those being impersonal rejections. It's difficult hearing from loved ones and friends that I should have a job because I'm "great" and "special," and then face a wall of technology built into the application process that mainly serves to dehumanize me into a robot capable of performing certain tasks and thus prevents potential employers from discovering the alleged traits that would make me a good worker. I also discovered that some people are shockingly underpaid. One job listing I saw called for a news person at a radio station in Providence, a decent-sized city. The job as described involved reporting, writing, editing, photography, web updating, generating news, planning coverage, audio editing, some video, hiring and firing other employees, and running the live radio desk, all for about $32,000 a year. Which is nearly criminal for that amount of work.
But that's behind me, and the majority of my time spent being A Gentleman Of Leisure was very peaceful and happy. I got to eat breakfast in my kitchen with my wife every morning. I played with my dogs in the yard for the first time in several years. I wrote some stories, an aspect of my life that the stress and frustration of my previous job managed to throttle utterly. I came and went places as I pleased without having to be in bed or in front of the computer by a certain time. I watched the Red Sox at Fenway Park and visited the Museum of Fine Arts at least three times that I remember. I stopped reading news entirely and felt quite OK about this. I noticed things like the trees in my neighborhood growing leafy. I already can't wait for my vacation.