Being unemployed, like I am at the moment, it’s not actually funny at all. But to save myself from crying hysterically, here is my guide to being unemployed.
So, you did it didn’t you! You got out of the rat race. Well done! Are you poor yet? Probably. Can’t pay the mortgage next month? Yes! Living on baked beans and value brand bread? You bet! Here is a guide to stave off the boredom.
1. Eat Things
The possibilities are literally endless. I am starting the day with a bowl of Lucky Charms (£8.00 from American Candy. Back when I had a job, such frivolities seemed sensible) but I am only eating the marshmallows. Clever. Later on, there will be an experiment involving a can of tomatoes, a jar of allspice and some wheat pasta several years past its expiry date. I’m going to call it “Bad Idea.” I have also discovered the joy of dipping Hula Hoops into Dairylea. You’re welcome.
2. Put on your make up
It’s a hysterical displacement activity. I know you’ve wondered “What would I look like with violently pink eyebrows?” Now is the time to find out. Ever decided to copy Robert Smith’s make up? Now you can. Go to Tesco’s for a pint of milk just to see people’s reactions. It’s fun. I didn’t mind being arrested, it was fine. I didn’t know children could scream that loud. Apparently responding “Hey! It’s okay, I’m Robert Smith” doesn’t win you many friends.
3. Stare out of the window
There is a little old lady who waits outside the closed-down doctor’s surgery opposite my flat every day. She gets into a silver Jaguar at precisely12.15pm. Same male driver. I invent back stories for her. Spy? High class call girl? Witch Doctor? Rent-A-Granny? I’ll be waiting for her later with a sandwich and my binoculars. I’ll figure you out, you shifty Grandma. I’m on to you.
4. Always answer the telephone
I’ve scared off quite a few cold callers in the past few days. “Could we come round on Wednesday night and quote you for new windows?” “No, I’m sorry, that’s the night my devil worshipping group come over for tea, scones and goat sacrifice. Are you free Thursday? Hello?”
5. Read every bit of junk mail that comes through the door
I didn’t know I needed a meerkat statue for my front garden that lights up and making a chirping noise when someone walks up to my door. But if “Your Home” catalogue is to be trusted, and I’m sure it is, I need one. Where’s my credit card? By which I mean, my boyfriends credit card?
You can get in a good 18 hours or so a day now you’re not working. I say do it. It’s fine. There is nothing like shuffling past your living room window in your dressing gown clutching a mug of tea at4.26pm. I’ve been really enjoying the looks of disdain passers by have given me.
7. Go for a walk around your neighbourhood
It’s actually a lot of fun to see the things you miss when you’re out at work. The man a few doors down who stumbled out of his house, vomited about a gallon of cider onto the floor, wiped his mouth and hopped into his car was a nice touch. As well as the lady who pins her washing out in a slip and curlers, tutting away at the traffic. She seems nice. I might pop round with a pack of Mr Kipling’s and see if she wants to be friends. Anyone whose sleep wear involves polyester, leopardskin and hot pink lace is all right in my books.
8. Go to the library
I seemed to be the only person there who was neither drunk nor homeless. The owly-eyed librarian looked surprised to see me. I found a note wedged in between two books that said “Louise. My flat, 7.20 tonight. The wife’s away. I can’t wait to have you.” Exciting stuff. I nearly wrote a response back “This is your wife. You are in a lot of trouble.” Decided against, and then checked out a book I unfortunately already own.
9. Obsessively tidy and clean
Well, you may as well. Everything in here is so organised it’s like living in an army barrack. I don’t really like it but I have little else to do. Probably wasn’t necessary to pour vast quantities of sauce down the sink so all the condiment bottles are level.
10. Annoy your pets
Poor Bob, my pet rat. Rats are nocturnal. He’s now so used to me bowling into his room at various points throughout the day and saying “Hey! What you doing?” that he doesn’t even wake up. Even he pities me. How low I have sunk.
11. Ring your partner while they’re at work
“I can’t talk, I’m at work.”
“But I’m bored!”
12. Pester your friends who are also unemployed
If you are fortunate enough to have any. Go round to their house and eat fish and chips on the floor and talk about how rubbish it is not having a job. Refuse to do anything about said non-job status.
13. Go shopping
By which I mean window shopping. That lady on the free Pimms stalls outside Debenhams was very mean refusing to let me have another one. So what if I was singing “I Will Survive” very loudly? A party can start anywhere.
14. Watch fangirl Youtube videos of really hot actors
The sheet. Don’t hold the sheet up. Let it fall. Please.
I’ve watched this 17 times over? Are you sure?
15. Lie on your bed and cry
The hours will literally fly by.
16. Go out for dinner with your friends who are employed
It probably is not advisable to get very shirty when they want to call it a night at 11pm. You might not need to get up the next morning but they do.
17. Stare at the walls
It’s fun. Kind of.
18. Paint each toenail a different colour
Then skip around your home singing “Magic feet! Magic feet! I have magic feet!”
19. Make friends with your TV
Bargain Hunt is quality programming and I really mean that. Judge Judy is a genius. Jeremy Kyle is an unsung hero of modern life.
20. Apply for jobs
You should definitely do this one.