Disclaimer: This is not meant as a plea for sympathy. Here’s hoping it doesn’t come across as such. Let’s call it an airing of grievances instead.

I think I found the problem–with unemployment, that is.

Granted, there are a number of problems with unemployment. It’s discouraging. It triggers boredom, lethargy, and an utter lack of productivity. And it induces guilt when you succumb to laziness. Maybe the last bit isn’t true for everyone, but I know I’m distracted by how much I’m not doing whenever I watch TV or surf the Internets. But the problem that’s strongest in my mind today is immediacy, and how often it isn’t there.

Recently, I took to applying for a handful of jobs each week. I’ve literally lost count of how many resume/cover letter/work sample .ZIP folders I’ve thrown out there to see what sticks. And herein lies the problem: when I don’t know how many there are, and when I put them out there, how soon will I find out about the prospect and its results, if ever?

What I want is impossible for all parties; what I want is to know whether or not I have a chance at a position within 48 hours of applying. Once in a great while, it happens, and I’m grateful. But when I see that a particular organization has the capacity to do that, then I become agitated that some other place–OK, every other place–couldn’t do the same. And I don’t mean these form e-mails telling me that they have my resume, that it’s in their possession and might actually see the light of day at some point. I mean a “Yes, we want to see you” or “No, you’re not what we’re looking for.”

As I said, it’s impossible. But right now, it’s my biggest problem with where I am. And sometimes, for me, the first step to fixing a problem is to write it out and see just how unreasonable you’re being. And I am being unreasonable. I know it. But you can’t honestly tell me it’s not at least a little bit justified.


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