Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Extra! Extra! Unemployment Strikes Yuppies!

Like King Kong, unemployment strikes again!  Unlike King Kong, unemployment is not a giant hairy ape, so it's a little more challenging to follow it around town, sedate it, and save the hot chick.  Being the nice, well behaved Upper West Side transplant that I am, what do we  do when unemployment strikes?  Do we get helicopters, fly over the city and try to sedate it via force?  Do we storm the pentagon, in an attempt to levitate it? **Of course not!  We're intellectuals!  We create task force.

My temple decided 2 months ago to start a task force of volunteers, therapists, etc. to aid the un- and under-employed in our congregation.  As a member of the perpetually unemployed, I figured at worst there would be free coffee and cookies*.  So I went.  

The first meeting was a "needs assessment" to figure out what members of the community actually wanted.  We were split into small groups, based on availability.  My group was run by a therapist, and was composed of 3 women, all over 50, all single... and me.  Now, I know they didn't do it on purpose, but I can only wonder.. is this my destiny?!  

Although this group wasn't depressed, there was a sense of desperation.  Desperation that I certainly don't feel.  I realized something.. everyone I know is unemployed.  It's no big deal for us, just the staus quo.  "You don't have a job? Great, neither do I, yup sitting here applying, hey look at this great youtube video of a 4 year old narrating a book about kittens!  Ain't it just darling?"  These women are really missing out if you ask me.  One is content to sit in her bathtub all day.  Another just did her taxes to pass the time.. but, and I quote***, she was "not ready to to send it in just yet... might have done them a little too fast".

I may have gotten more out of this session than the other ladies, as I was basically offered a couple job like things on the spot (the beauty of not having 70,000+ salary requirements). 

My Advice?
1. Concerned about credentials? I usually recommending informed lying. (know what dorm you     didn't live in during grad school, what professor you never had, what computer programs       
     you've never seen)
B. Looking to change direction?  Become a career counselor/placement officer.  The demand is 
     huge. 


Footnotes:
*There were no cookies.
**Both of these measure would serve to stimulate the economy, if only briefly. 
    1. Helicopters are not cheap, nor are missile sized sedatives, and hey.. pilots gotta eat too.  Plus think of all the merchandising, and the advertising you could sell during special 24 hour coverage tv news.  
    2. Tranportation to and from the pentagon, as well as food and campsite rentals (since we're law abiding citizens) would also generate spending, which creates income and stimulates the economy.  So ha!

***And I hope she never finds this piece... 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Found: Home

Apartment hunting in New York is an unseen terror.  Prices are high, spaces are dungeonesque,  and agents act as though by showing you these places,  they are doing you a favor (fee, anyone?).  They're like terrible boyfriends: they don't call, never write and most importantly, suck on the follow through.  

Most grating is the degree to which New York Spaces are misrepresented:

"Cozy 3 bedroom!" proclaims the ad. 

Upon closer examination this space proves to be a one bedroom with a windowless office and a walk in closet large enough for a twin sized bed.  Every listing is exclusive, every agent has another apartment, just outside your price range.. but also not fit for dogs (or college students, for that matter).

I consider it a blessing then, that I have finally-finally-finally! found an apartment.  The neighborhood is perfect (think funky but safe downtown) and it's a quiet street in a noisy area.  Meaning.. all the hot bars are clubs are a few blocks away, but not on my street.  It's a walk up, but that's okay because its sunny and not super tiny, and adorable and did I mention sunny?  It's a grown up apartment, but lets be honest... I am a grown up.  Yes, I am officially a grownup. 

We were approved yesterday, and ever since I have devoted all my designated procrastination time to the likes of  Ikea and Cb2, and dreaming of curtains and coat racks.
 
Props go out to Landmark Realty, on Sullivan St. and especially Zane Jacobs (no, not the gay porn star) for offering me deliverance from the world of Manhattan Apartment Hunting.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I just went to the laundromat

We usually drop our stuff off across the street, but they tend to beat the shit out of things.  Hot water, vicious dry cycle... and (to be a princess) I spend way too much on clothing to send most of my stuff there.  I'll typically wait until we go out to long island, to a cousin's or grandparent's place, and do the delicates there,  supplementing by washing in the bathroom sink, like any normal person.

The accumulation had become too much.  My sister and I decided (about a week ago) that it was time.  So... we pack about 100 lbs of very nice clothing into reinforced shopping bags, and lug them 5 blocks, in the snow, uphill both ways.

35 minutes later.. we have 100+ lbs of wet laundry...none of which can go in the dryer because it's too delicate.
                            ......and which is too heavy to carry home.

$4 and the world's shortest cab ride later, we're home.  I am now going to commence in playing loud music, and hanging laundry from every available space in my apartment, until is looks like a boutique that suffers from leaky pipes and full on dementia.