It’s a poorly kept secret that I’ve struggled with less-than-ideal employment efforts in the past few years, and all the lovely emotional whiplashes that entails. Not that I am alone in that, and I count myself lucky that I’ve had the wherewithal to withstand under-employment and keep working to some extent.
And many of the bloggerhood have also suffered. At one point, it seemed like everyone I knew had been tagged by the unemployment stick, and the end with the nails. You all know who you are/were, and my hats are off to all of you for persevering.
Y’see, the thing about having ‘career hiatus’ is that it is nearly impossible not to take it personally, as a judgement of your skills and talents and worth as a person. And everyone will tell you that it’s not your fault, but when the night gets REALLY quiet and you can hear all those voices in your head ever so clearly, they all are saying it IS your fault. And that you are useless and ugly and your mother dresses you funny. Here’s a quote I have found:
Here’s what I am: I am terrified, lonely, pissed, clueless, frustrated, confused, hurt, second-guessing myself and my skill set, mortified, embarrassed, bored, lost, totally faking it and depressed.
That is one excellent job of nailing the fuck out of the mindset.
But here’s the thing I have to say. There are many ways of coping, but for me during my darkest days, the blogging community (and there was a community, dammit. There WAS!) gave me an outlet and support that helped me in the roughest days and nights. Yes, that was YOU bunch of imaginary digital weirdos. I mean that in the nicest way.
Out here in the wild of Bloggerstan, I was rude, I howled and screamed; I said things I probably shouldn’t have, and didn’t say things I should have. I cursed and picked fights and posted Rush videos. I Zardozed other blogs, and then shut down my comments and closed blogs with no forwarding address. In short, I acted out (I know, I know, still do!) and the most remarkable thing is that so many people I had never met before reacted with patience and consideration and just the right amount of snark. Well, more or less, snark is hard to judge.
So I owe all of you a debt of thanks, but here’s the thing; I want to set up the Zom-signal to come to that aid of one of our lot who is facing the dark hellish torture of the Modern Employment Paradigm.
Longtime Bloggerhood denizen (and aficionado of proper Wisconsin beer) Von has been peremptorily dismissed by a corporate employer who is in an industry that, while it wasn’t as hard hit by the First Republican Recession of the 21st Century as the construction world was, it has been further battered by the changes wrought by the Internarfles. Yes, that quote up above is from a FaceHell post she did. It tore at me, resonating in recognition.
I dunno if she wants this kind of recognition, or even reads the Empire anymore, but this is what I can offer. I’d like to drive some New Glarus beer down, or go see a show in Chicago, but next week is the Wisconsin Regional for Robotics and I am like a slow zombie with missing limbs. So here’s what I am asking.
Those of you with a emailio for the lovely and talented Von, give her some of the same support and encouragement you gave me (light on the advice, at her request). Tell her how great she looks with her guitar. whatever. If you have job leads, that’s a goodie. And maybe keep the spider content to a minimum for a change, willya?
If nothing else, populate the comment threads herein with an effusive outpouring of positivity and love, like a Poi Dog Pondering show that was sprayed with Ecstasy. And just for Von, I feel this needs to be posted:
So to finish up, I would first like to post a song by the Mekons, since Von is a Friend of Langford:
and second: Von, if you ever read this, just accept the fact that you have friends all over the Internoodles and that we would like to let you know that all of those things you are feeling are terrible and no-good and that they are all lies.