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Thread: Funemployment

  1. #1
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Default Funemployment

    LA Times story....

    For the 'funemployed,' unemployment is welcome

    These jobless folks, usually singles in their 20s and 30s, find that life without work agrees with them. They're not sending out resumes, but instead lazing at the beach and taking trips abroad.


    By Kimi Yoshino
    7:35 PM PDT, June 3, 2009

    Michael Van Gorkom was laid off by Yahoo in late April. He didn't panic. He didn't rush off to a therapist. Instead, the 33-year-old Santa Monica resident discovered that being jobless "kind of settled nicely."

    Week one: "I thought, 'OK . . . I need to send out resumes, send some e-mails, need to do networking."

    Week two: "A little less."

    Every week since: "I'm going to go to the beach and enjoy some margaritas."

    What most people would call unemployment, Van Gorkom embraced as "funemployment."

    While millions of Americans struggle to find work as they face foreclosures and bankruptcy, others have found a silver lining in the economic meltdown. These happily jobless tend to be single and in their 20s and 30s. Some were laid off. Some quit voluntarily, lured by generous buyouts.

    Buoyed by severance, savings, unemployment checks or their parents, the funemployed do not spend their days poring over job listings. They travel on the cheap for weeks. They head back to school or volunteer at the neighborhood soup kitchen. And at least till the bank account dries up, they're content living for today.

    "I feel like I've been given a gift of time and clarity," said Aubrey Howell, 29, of Franklin, Tenn., who was laid off from her job as a tea shop manager in April. After sleeping in late and visiting family in Florida, she recently mused on Twitter: "Unemployment or funemployment?"

    Never heard of funemployment? Here's Urban Dictionary's definition: "The condition of a person who takes advantage of being out of a job to have the time of their life. I spent all day Tuesday at the pool; funemployment rocks!"

    It may not have entered our daily lexicon yet, but a small army of social media junkies with a sudden overabundance of time is busy Tweeting: "Funemployment road trip to Portland." "Funemployment is great for catching up on reading!" "Averaging 3 rounds of golf a week plus hockey and bball. who needs work?"

    As frivolous as it sounds, funemployment is a statement about American society. Experts say it's both a reflection of the country's cultural narcissism -- and attitudes of entitlement and self-centeredness -- and a backlash against corporate America and its "Dilbert"-like work environment.

    "Recession gives people permission to be unemployed," said David Logan, a professor at USC's Marshall School of Business. "Why not make use of the time and go do something fun?"
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    Super MURCer cjolley's Avatar
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    As frivolous as it sounds, funemployment is a statement about American society. Experts say it's both a reflection of the country's cultural narcissism -- and attitudes of entitlement and self-centeredness -- and a backlash against corporate America and its "Dilbert"-like work environment.
    Why the hand wringing I wonder? If they have the money, then more power to them.
    On the other hand, if it's on their parents or credit cards then that could be a problem.

    If it's unemployment insurance payments, then I wonder what the plan is when it runs out.


    You know, there might be a societal benefit to some people doing retirement when they are young and going back to work, possibly of necessity, when they are older. It might help fill in the employee shortage that will come when the baby boomers are gone.
    Chuck
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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    For the record: standard unemplyment benefits were recently extended to a full 2 years, and if the recession deepens (as I expect it too when Obama-flation hits) I'd bet on them being extended further.
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    Super MURCer Claymonkey's Avatar
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    I feel two ways about this. First.. if you're on the unemployment dole and doing this... I'm not ok with it. Either stop taking the checks or get a job.

    However, if you can afford to not work, and you can relax, write that book, take a cheap trip.. why not? Why wait until your 70 to enjoy life when you've worked non-stop for 40-50 years and don't know how to relax and enjoy.. and have a hard time getting around.

    There is the concept of the mini-retirement where instead of saving it all till the end you might never see break it up throughout life. In Europe a month long vacation every year is normal and expected. Here we just don't do it and burn out at 30. It shouldn't be about the money but doing something constructive with your life AND enjoying it.

    I say this as I spend 40-60 hours a week working for a giant company and am often woken at 1am by a server issue. My art often is ignored. Also, if I'm unemployed and worrying about money.. I can't focus enough to make art either. Now if I could find a way to make just enough to get by and then focus only on my art most of the time? Score.

    In the end, nothing wrong with this IF you aren't milking the system.
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    Super MURCer cjolley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Mordrid View Post
    For the record: standard unemplyment benefits were recently extended to a full 2 years...
    I don't think unemployment benefits would make a good base for Funemployment in Oklahoma.

    http://www.oesc.state.ok.us/ui/UI-claimant-FAQs.shtm
    Chuck
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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Michigan unemployment benefits average between $81 and $362/week.
    Dr. Mordrid
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  7. #7
    Super MURCer cjolley's Avatar
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    Oklahoma's can go up to $409.
    But there are a lot of strings attached.
    Chuck
    秋音的爸爸

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    funemployment was the reason i just spent a month and a half in Florida on vacation crashing at a friends houses.

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    No private company here will let you take more than three weeks, even getting three weeks is hard. I have 20 days leave a year in my contract, since last August I've taken 3 days off.

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    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    Here benefits depend on your wage. If no previous employment you can apply for welfare which is 220€ a month. What I like is that the previous right-wing government introduced measures where if one was not actively seeking employment (going weekly to unemployment office, taking free application writing courses, writing job applications and keeping with the program his adviser there set up) or refused job two levels below his education, one ended up without benefits.

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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    On the subject of social programs - California is in such a muck up from its welfare state excesses The Governator is now actually talking about eliminating welfare and other such programs (link....)

    Thing is that with the size of their deficit and the hell that would rain down on the Dems if Obama 'bailed out' a commonly perceived as fiscally irresponsible (and factually correct) California with other states tax moniest. His and support in middle America would evaporate even faster than it already is (see the Rasmussen post).
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 8th June 2009 at 19:39.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    I've been funemployed for over 10 years now and counting! As usual, I'm a trend setter.

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    You Sir, are my Idol.
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    Super MURCer cjolley's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure my 11 years as an undergraduate would qualify
    Chuck
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    Well Chuck, you apparently did still feel the need to accomplish enough to graduate so it wasn't all fun and games. I don't have any lofty goals right now so I can just do whatever I want at the moment. Love the freedom. Of course, I've got the wife to contend with so I need to pitch in around here to not upset her too much but that doesn't take much of my time. I may seek employment again some day when I get bored but it hasn't happened yet. I do love engineering and wouldn't mind working with some good folks again or just launch something on my own but I just keep too busy having fun.

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