TWITTER: @sirbacon123

29 May 2010

Star Search

I spent today with one of my closest friends and one of my oldest friends as my 13-year old daughter and I hung out with my old college roommate.
I have known him for, gasp, 26 years now, following our initial encounter at freshman orientation.
We have shared many of life's greatest moments together from sporting events to Bruce Springsteen concerts to just watching TV.
When it comes to the friends department, I have been truly blessed.
And in this time of unemployment, I have certainly found out who my true friends really are.
We both ended up going into the TV business -- I chose sports, he chose entertainment.
I worked as a staff employee for 25 years, while he has been a huge success in the freelance world.
In our business, staff usually means you come to work, do your job, come back tomorrow, rinse and repeat.
As a freelancer, it usually means treat every day like it is your last (because it might be), work your rear end off, project ends, time to find another job.
The good news for my friend is that he has made quite the name for himself in the biz.
Combine his reputation with a great work ethic and that means he doesn´t get a whole lot of free time.
I had a pretty good idea of how plugged in he is from just being around him, but I got a real reminder today when we found out that Gary Coleman had passed away.
Within seconds, my friend was exchanging text messages with Todd Bridges.
What are you talkin bout Willis? 
I realize that Todd isn't exactly an A-lister these days, but lets face it, we are all starstruck and that was pretty cool.
When I tell people I worked at ESPN -- 10 years ago -- I usually get the same question, "Do you know Chris Berman?"
When it comes to being a "star", it really doesn't take much to qualify.
I was recently in Los Angeles when I saw the "rock star" Pink at a restaurant.
I don't own any of her CD's, but so what, she's still a rock star.
A couple of days later, I saw the "movie star" Benjamin Bratt.
I have no idea what movies he has been in, but didn't he used to be married to what's her name?
Yes, I realize "they" put their pants on one leg at a time, like we do.
And yes, I realize that "they" go to the bathroom just like we do.
But for whatever reason, we are all addicted to celebrity.
Even a third-hand brush with Arnold Drummond's big brother.
RIP Gary Coleman.

27 May 2010

Honorable Mention

I am officially running for Father of the Week.
I realize it is a long shot, and I know the week is not over, but I feel like I’ve done my part to at least be under consideration for the award.
Of course, I have my good friend unemployment to thank for giving me this great opportunity and a boat load of free time.
The week began on Monday with Field Day.
Field Day is the official name for “kids get a day out of the classroom to play a bunch of games in a local park.”
It always comes at the end of the year and ours included a BBQ, jumpy castle, pickup soccer games, softball, lacrosse and a whole lot of quality gossip time.
My daughter and her friends seemed to enjoy the last part more than anything.
She took full advantage of the break to hang out with her buddies, but we did sneak in a four-on-four flag football game before lunch.
There were probably more than 200 students there, representing sixth, seventh and eighth grades.
The sixth graders occupied most of the field, playing every game possible.
The seventh graders huddled in groups, talking about... ...whatever seventh graders talk about.
And the eighth graders were counting the minutes to the end of their middle school career.
Even though I was not invited into the gossip groups, I think I earned major points for just being there.
Tuesday was a day for daughter #2, child #3.
And it was a big day too.   It was her Kindergarten graduation.
Tuesday is also the day that my 80-year old mother and I get together each week for a little nosh.
But instead of a meal, this time I picked her up at the assisted living facility and brought her to school for the ceremony.
I wouldn’t say I am Captain Sentimental, but I certainly enjoyed the concept of giving my mom the opportunity to be there.
If you’ve ever been to one of these events, it’s 90% who cares and 190% the greatest show on earth.
(The 190 part is anything involving your child.)
I don’t know how they did it, but this Kindergarten sendoff somehow turned into a one-hour production -- full of songs, stories and a nicely edited music video to pictures of the kids.
At the end, my daughter came over to give everyone a hug, including my mom, which forced me to use the final kleenex in the box.
My mom has been through hell and back in her life, so to see her enjoying herself, even for an hour, is a great occasion.
Article #3 in my bid for Father of the Week came on Wednesday with another field trip.
This time, my son’s fifth grade class took a trip to a Tattoo and Piercing Convention....
...better known as a local amusement park.
I’m not one to judge pure beauty, but I’m guessing a LARGE percentage of the people drawing on and cutting into their skin will regret it at some point in their life.
Heart tattoo on the arm with your kid’s name.  Cool.
Nose piercing.  Hip.
Gallons of permanent ink covering your face and/or neck.   Disgusting.
I realize I sound 196 years old, but I’m just sayin.
Nevertheless, we spent five hours going on rides that took us upside down and inside out.  There were more twists and turns than the Lost finale.
We got there early enough to avoid any lines and by the time it got busy we were back on the school bus headed home.
It was a great day.
I really thought I had clinched the award.
Or so I thought.
As hard as it was, I refused to give in to each of my son’s requests to spend money at the park.
And there were many of them.
Dippin Dots.  Cotton Candy.  Funnel Cake.  Stuffed Animal.
No, no, no and no.
The last thing he needed was ANY of that, especially at those prices, but I must say seeing your child with puppy dog eyes usually works -- even at age 11.
It definitely worked for the new favorite for Father of the Week.
One of the dads on the trip was determined to win his daughter a GIANT stuffed animal in one of the carnival games.
And the game looked pretty easy.
You have five metal disks -- each the size of a DVD.   All you have to do is drop the five disks, one by one, onto a wooden board and cover a red circle that is about six inches wide.   
Cover the circle, you win.
Leave any part of the red showing and you lose. 
Each game costs $3 or you can play twice for $5.
You only need to win once to take home a bear three times the size of your child.
That should’ve been his first clue.
Or his 17th clue.   Or 33rd.
When all was said and done, he had donated $110 to the arcade and had exactly zero wins.
I can only imagine what a trip to Las Vegas costs him.
The high schooler working at the park must’ve felt really bad for him, so he gave the determined dad a much smaller stuffed animal as a parting gift.
Mission accomplished.
I saw the little girl smiling from ear to ear as she boarded the bus with her new friend.
Playing countless carnival games to win your daughter a new stuffed animal.  $110.
Spending the week with your kids.  Priceless.
Maybe I am still in the running to win the award after all.

25 May 2010

Good Sports

When it comes to sports, I’ll put my knowledge and passion up against anyone.
Well, almost anyone.
I worked at ESPN for seven years and there are literally hundreds of people working there who have forgotten more about sports than I will ever know.
But I’ll still say I’m ahead of the curve.
Except when it comes to lacrosse.
That’s one game I know VERY little about.
A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from a fraternity brother who said he was coming to town for a national college lacrosse tournament.
And he was bringing his 19-year old son.
Who was playing in the event.
Wow do I feel old.
My fraternity brother has a son old enough to be in a fraternity.
What’s next, my daughter is going to high school.
Oh wait, that’s next year.  Ouch.
So I headed up to the event, where the top schools from all over the country were here to determine the national champs.
If you’ve never seen the game of lacrosse, it’s kind of like if soccer, hockey, rugby, football and basketball had a baby.
We watched the game from the sideline, where we were literally feet away from all of the speed, hard hits and amazing athletic ability that has helped this sport grow in popularity.
But I must’ve asked more questions than a game of trivial pursuit.
How many periods do they play?  How long are they?  Why are those guys not crossing that line?   Ouch, doesn’t that hurt?
I’m sure I asked at least 50 more questions just like those, but I guess that means I was enjoying myself.
Which I definitely was.
But the thing that blew me away was the tone of the game.
Physically, it looked like they were trying to kill each other.
But verbally, it was like supper at Buckingham Palace.
The players called the referee, “Sir”.
A missed shot was, “Unlucky”.
And when something went really right, you heard, “Well done.”
There were no temper tantrums.  Everybody gave 100%, 100% of the time and there was not a curse word to be found.
It was kind of disturbing, but very refreshing.
At one point things really got out of hand when a player called an official, “dude”.
The dude immediately responded with “that’s all I want to hear from you.”
Only two or three of the 32 schools there offered scholarships to their players.
Everyone else was on their own.
I heard one of the parents say that the trip cost their team more than $15,000.
Alex Rodriguez gets more than that EVERY inning, whether he plays or not.
Unfortunately my friend’s son’s team got blown out, but you wouldn’t know it by the reaction of their fans.
They scored a late goal to make the game a little less lopsided, at which point you heard a loud roar of "WELL DONE” from the bleachers.
It’s almost as if they were playing for the love of the game.
What a concept.

24 May 2010


I have always enjoyed a party.
Except for my first party of course, which came eight days into life.
(If you don’t know what I am referring to, check Seinfeld’s episode five, season five.  Ouch.)
Back to the party.
I like birthday parties, engagement parties, fraternity parties.
I even like the resolve of the Libertarian Party.
Today I was invited to a high school graduation party.
Well, actually I was not invited to the party, but our band was.
In case you are new to my world, as a 43-year old unemployed guy, I was asked to sing in a band with three 40+ year old employed guys.
After my very successful singing career in college, I had no choice but to accept.  
Two weeks ago, we launched this new career at a block party.
Fortunately at our golden age, we were able to remember most of the five songs we played two weeks ago, so today we played the same five songs.
When the 20+ minute show was over, it was time to mingle backstage with the groupies.
Well actually, there was no backstage.
And there were no groupies.
But we had plenty of time to talk to the people who I recognized the face, but didn’t know the person.
I didn’t notice a teleprompter behind me, but you would’ve thought that every person was reading off a script.
Line 1 -- you guys sounded great.
Line 2 -- I love that song by The Clash/Ramones/Weezer...
Line 3 -- so, what do you do for a living?
I guess my singing didn’t convince anyone that rock star is my full-time job, but even worse than that, Line #3 kept reopening that nasty wound.
I thought this was a party.
One thing I have never been good at is lying and at this point in my life, I’m not about to start now.
I think I can hold a poker face that Lady Gaga would be proud of, but even in a little chit-chat, if you ask me a question, you’re gonna get an answer.
Within seconds, maybe milli-seconds, I was telling a stranger about the last 18 months of my life.
I had a fantastic fake smile on my face saying that being a stay-at-home dad is the best job in the world.
Which it is, but...
And I would say that every, make that EVERY time I say that I am unemployed, I get a response that my _____ just lost their job too.
Honestly, I don’t really give a damn about your _____ and the last thing I want to do is to be talking about this.
Can’t we talk about how I sounded exactly like Brian Setzer on the Stray Cat Strut.
Do I really need to re-live my demise?
There was a time, fortunately a short time, when my father was unemployed.
The year was 1979 and through no fault of his own -- dejavu -- he lost his job.
At the time I was 12 and I barely knew how to spell unemployed, no less what it really meant.
All I could tell is that my dad was embarrassed.
He was embarrassed to file for unemployment.  He was embarrassed to talk about it.   He was embarrassed.
The funny thing is that is exactly how I don’t feel.
I am not embarrassed to be unemployed.  Not proud of it, by any stretch, but not embarrassed.
Maybe it’s the world we are living in these days.
While working out last week, I saw that the optimistic Fox News Channel is predicting that we will have 20 million unemployed soon in this country.
Why would I be embarrassed, I am part of the in-crowd.
But even with plenty of company in my new demographic, it still doesn’t feel very good.
Especially when you get that miserable question -- so what do you do? -- over and over and over and over again.
Um, grocery shopping.
Little projects here and there.
All true, by the way.
I was at my son’s baseball game two nights ago, when one of the grandparents, who usually makes a couple of games a year, stopped by to say hello.
He introduced me to his new girlfriend and then asked me, “what is your title over there again?”
I did my best to summarize my life in three seconds, probably closer to thirty, and then threw in the, “it’s nice to see you again.”
I’m not sure he was buying it.
In fact, I think he probably wished he never would have said hello.
It really wasn’t that big deal and fortunately I was able to deliver the eulogy of my career with a couple of one-liners.
But I think we both wish he would’ve asked about the distance from first base to second base instead of “my title over there again.”
Maybe my bris wasn't so bad after all.

21 May 2010

This Direction Home

In the Ballad of a Thin Man, the great poet from Minnesota, Robert Zimmerman said that “something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is.”
I know he wasn’t talking about me, but those words describe how I’m feeling at the moment.
Not in a bad way either.
Since joining the unemployed fraternity more than 18 months ago, I’ve experienced more ups and downs than the New York Stock Exchange.
I can't really pinpoint why I’m feeling bullish at the moment other than to say, I'm feeling some kind of buzz and thankfully it’s not my vibrating cell phone.
It could be because in the last few days, I have spoken with a couple of former colleagues about working on some new projects with them.
But that’s really nothing new.
Talk is something we have done a lot of in the last year.
Maybe what makes this different is that these new talks seem to have had a lot more to them than just, “wouldn’t it be cool if _____.”
This time, we’ve put our thoughts on paper.
This time, we’ve developed a game plan for our success.
And perhaps most important -- this time, I’ve started to believe.
It’s pretty amazing how your inner emotions can drive you – either down an open road or over a cliff.
That part is up to you.
Maybe Mr. Zimmerman is referring to that emotional force when he said, “It takes a lot to laugh, It takes a train to cry.”
Or maybe I have no idea what he meant by that.
But the bottom line is right now I’m feeling good.
And that feels great.
Even if it’s only for a day.
Maybe this new burst of optimism is a giant mirage in the middle of the desert or maybe, just maybe, there is actual water this time.
Last night I spoke with an old boss who said that he may have a project for me to work on with him in the next couple of months.
He said that he “may”.
According to, the word “may” is “used to express possibility.”
So, he could “possibly” have a project for me, in a couple of months.
Possibly is defined as “perhaps.”
So, perhaps he may possibly have a job for me in a couple of months.
In a couple of months.
Have you ever heard of anything more definite than that?
Have you ever heard of anything more beautiful than that?
Mr. Zimmerman also informed us that “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
Very true.
If you want to believe something bad is about to happen, that’s easy to do.
If you want to believe something good is about to happen, you can do that too.
Of course it’s not as easy, but it’s true.
But why is it that we all lock in on the negative?
If your child comes home with a report card with five A’s and a B+, take a guess which grade will get the most attention.
If you answered A, you are wrong.
Do I have any more of a reason now to believe that there is a light at the end of this miserable tunnel than there was two days ago?
No, not really.
But I do.
I guess when you ain’t got nothin, you got nothin to lose.

19 May 2010

Batter Up

It’s amazing what you can learn at the batting cage.
You can learn how to keep your hands back.
You can learn how to keep your head in.
You can also learn all about psychology.
More on that in a moment.
A few days ago, my eleven year old son and I went to the batting cage to work on his swing.
It took him about one pitch to get frustrated.
Ok, maybe three.
That’s how I knew he was my son.
When I was his age, I had the maturity of... an eleven-year old.   
So watching his temper kick in feels like I’m watching an old black and white movie get re-made into color.
But this time I’m a supporting actor instead of the star.
God rest the souls of the wooden tennis rackets that lost their innocent lives about 32 years ago by being slammed into the concrete by an immature child.
Come to think of it, I was A LOT worse than he is.
After ten rounds in the cage -- which included me walking away, him yelling at me, me trying hard (and somehow succeeding) to not yell at him, me walking back, me yelling at him and him yelling back -- we calmly sat down in the car to talk about how it went.
At first, it sounded like Happy Hour at the Excuse Bar & Grill:
  • I couldn’t see the ball
  • The machine threw bad pitches
  • It was going too fast
  • It was going too slow
  • You don’t help me enough
And that was just the first round.
Now before I continue, let me say loud and clear, my son is a GREAT kid and is quickly developing into an even better baseball player.
He loves the game, respects the game and most of all believes that he is going to be a major leaguer someday.
Just like we all did.
I’m not sure he understands yet the work that it’s going to take to play even high school ball, but I hope that I don’t get in the way of his dreams.
The good news is even after all of our battles, I still believe in him as a player and he still believes in me as a dad.
While we were sitting in my car, I had a flashback to one of my recent therapy sessions, where we discussed controlling what you can control and not wasting your time on the things you can’t.
What a simple concept.
What a difficult execution.
So I asked my son, "when you are in the batter’s box, what can you control?"
“Your swing,” he said.
Good start.
I asked if he could control where the pitch is going.
My mom once told me, never ask a question you don’t know the answer to.
“No,” he said.
So, then why are you so concerned about the machine throwing bad pitches?
If it’s a bad pitch, don’t swing at it.
Wow, if life was only that easy.
I learned when I was managing people, if you can set up bad news with a nugget of good news, it has a lot better chance of being accepted.
Managing kids is no different.
I told my son that when he kept his hands back and his head in, he really crushed the ball.
Which he did.
I then reminded him that we all have only a certain amount of energy and if we waste that energy on negative things or things we can’t control -- like making the machine throw better pitches -- we won’t have any energy left to do positive things, like crush the ball.
My therapist must be so proud.
I guess all that time I was staring at the wall, I actually was paying attention.
By the time my son and I were done with our conversation, there was so much bonding going on, you would’ve thought Sean Connery and Roger Moore were in the car.
I asked my son if he wanted to go take five more rounds.
Once again, never ask a question you don’t know the answer to.
Ten minutes later, we headed home, as a better hitter and better friends.
I’d call that a home run.

17 May 2010

Clear, Present Danger

This year my wife decided that she wanted a Weedwacker from Costco as her Mother’s Day present.
And who am I to argue.
Any dummy can get that done and I definitely qualify.
So I made the trip over to the grown up version of Disneyland.
I immediately put something in my shopping cart, as I always do, and headed back to the free samples.
Note to you Costco rookies:  As long as you have something in your cart, it doesn’t look like you are just there for the free food.
Of course, the eleven empty wrappers inside my cart, next to the package of 72 rolls of toilet paper may have told a different story.
Hey, can you blame me?
Within minutes, I hit all of the food groups -- taquitos, egg rolls, chicken cutlets, cheese and crackers, sourdough bread and coconut pie.
It’s the best meal plan since college.  Buy an annual $100 membership and eat a free meal everyday.
Just make sure you wear a different mask every time so the vendors don’t recognize you.
Once the snackin was done, it was time to buy the Weedwacker.
They had two, so I asked the guy, who I think worked there, for his opinion and he said definitely buy the cheaper one.
So I passed on the $329 Weedwacker and I bought the $279 one.
Now it’s been a while since I wacked any weeds, so that seemed a little high to me, but when the wife says, “I want a Weedwacker from Costco for Mother’s Day”, there’s no need to ask questions.
That’s the easiest present shopping I’ve ever done.
But something didn’t smell right and it wasn’t the coconut pie.
On the way home, I stopped at the bank (to make sure we could cover a $279 + tax Weedwacker) and I asked my friend who works there if that price sounded right to him.
He took a look at my purchase and said that my wife probably wouldn’t be able to lift the instrument, no less use it.
“Return it and go buy a $100 one at Home Depot.”
I guess that’s why he works at a bank.
And that’s exactly what I did.
I went back to Costco, returned the present, grabbed a few more samples, and then headed across the street to buy the cheaper one.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that the new one needed some “easy assembly.”
Did I mention that I am Jewish?
Let’s just say there was plenty of assembly and none of it was easy.
Why is it that the directions always come in five or six languages and none of them say, “hey stupid, just do this.”
Within a few minutes there were more pieces on the ground than an M&M factory after an earthquake.
It might’ve been all the spare parts or it could’ve been all the screaming, but my wife quickly realized that it wasn’t a Weedwacker she wanted after all.
She put all the pieces back in the box, returned to Home Depot and traded it in for a $33 Cordless Grass Shrubber.
She got exactly what she wanted.
How easy was that?

16 May 2010

Taking The Stage

Ladies and Gentlemen, THE CLEARANCE RACK.
To paraphrase the great Dennis DeYoung, tonight’s the night we made history.
Tonight was the debut of our new band, The Clearance Rack.
Considering where I bought our matching button-down polka-dotted cowboy shirts, all a size too small by the way, it felt like the perfect name for our group.
If you don’t count the choir at my synagogue growing up, this is only the second band I’ve ever been part of and the first since my Junior year of college.
23 years ago!!!
In case you missed the article in Rolling Stone magazine (or my recent blog), we’ve been a band for all of two weeks.
Short story shorter -- the father of one of my daughter’s friends and his two neighbors loved the video game Rock Band so much, they decided to start their own real band.
Minus a singer.
Yada yada yada.
I guess you know the rest.
Our first gig was tonight at their annual block party -- their 10th annual block party.
Little did I know when I signed up, but this shindig is a pretty big deal around them parts.
I know it may sound like, “the fish was THIIIIIIIIS big,” but there had to be at least 250 people in the crowd.
There was a professional band that went on right before us, which is not the kind of lead-in a bunch of rookies were looking for.
And with no weddings or bar mitzvahs scheduled for today, the pros were able to play an extra long set, really raising that bar.
Even though this is supposed to be fun and not get in the way of the day job, for the 75% of the band with a day job, we’ve been taking this band thing very seriously.
We’ve been practicing for two hours a night, late at night, almost every night, since we met.
Two weeks ago.
We practice at the drummer’s brother’s storage garage.
I guess that qualifies us as a garage band, right?
Well, I’m proud to announce that we didn’t play like trash tonight.
Sure, there were moments that would make Adam Lambert blush.
Try again.
Sure, there were moments that would make Susan Boyle grimace.
Take three.
Sure, there were moments that we’d like to have back, but for a quartet of 40-somethings clearly going through a mid-life crisis, we did not embarrass the family name.
I gotta be honest, this band thing has been a fantastic distraction from the real world.
Now I’m certainly not the first unemployed person to be in a band and I definitely won’t be the last, but for the last two weeks, I have had a job.
And a damn important one!
Did I mention this was the 10th annual block party?
With 25,000 people there.
Sure it would be great if this singing thing was a full-time gig.
And it would be great if we could open for Justin Bieber.
But I’m kinda thinking neither one of those is going to happen.
However, what could happen is another gig to keep us going.
A high school girl at tonight’s show wants us to play at her graduation party.
My sister-in-law wants us to perform at her son’s school.
And there’s always the street corner.
Wow, who knows where this will lead us?
Yes, it’s only been two weeks and yes, you are only as good as your last song -- for us, a bluesy version of the Stray Cat Strut -- but the liquored up audience really thought we were great.
At least that’s what they said.

P.S.  If you are looking for video proof of tonight's masterpiece, it definitely exists.   The version from my video camera looks like it was shot from a cruise ship during the taping of The Perfect Storm, so hopefully I will be able to track down a version that won't give you vertigo.
Should I Stay or Should I Go, The Clash
Blitzkrieg Bop, The Ramones
Island in the Sun, Weezer
Pork & Beans, Weezer
Stray Cat Strut, Stray Cats

14 May 2010

Say Anything

Dear Mr. So and So,
Thanks you for expressing an interest in the (fill-in-the-blank) position.  While it is never an easy decision, we have decided to consider other candidates whose qualifications more closely matched the needs of this position.
Again, thank you for taking the time to pursue this opportunity.  We encourage you to visit our website to explore additional opportunities with our company.
Best wishes in your career.
Sincerely, Company X

That was the exact letter that I received two days ago, on my daughter’s birthday, no less.
Talk about blowing out the candles.
Unfortunately that is not the first time I have received that exact letter.
This was the fifth or sixth time I have applied for a job with that massive company and the response is always the same.
A form letter paraphrasing the immortal words of the great 20th century poet Vince Neil -- “don’t go away mad, just go away.”
For whatever reason, I really thought this time was going to be different.
Not only was I over qualified for this job, but I had a professional relationship with the person doing the hiring and the person that I would be reporting to.
Relationship, schmalationship.
They told me to apply online...
... as in don’t call me, I’ll call you.
They never called.
The sad thing is that I should be celebrating the fact that I got any sort of correspondence at all.
I have applied for many-a-job since losing mine and unfortunately I have gotten used to The Sound of Silence, No Reply at All -- pick a song, any song. 
Granted the letter shown above came 78 days after I applied for the job, so I had a pretty good idea what the end result was going to be.
But the fact that I got anything at all was the shocking part.
And that’s sad.
When I did my 30-Second Pitch on CNN a few weeks ago, the host said on the air that I was qualified to work there and “they have lots of opportunities.  I should apply.”
In my quick whit, I told her, “I am very available.”
In hindsight, what I should’ve or at least could’ve said was, “I have applied for several jobs with CNN, but I never heard back.  Not one word.”
Now the point here is not to be critical of CNN.
They are very busy filling all of those monitors behind Wolf Blitzer.
The point is that unemployed people have feelings too and we just want to feel loved.
A couple of months ago, I got an email from my state’s job hotline.
On there was the perfect job for me -- it spoke directly to my experience AND it was local.
I immediately applied online and called the contact person who was doing the hiring.
Yada yada yada.  111 days later, nothing.  Not a word.
I have probably applied for at least 75 jobs in the last year, from Chicago to China, London to Los Angeles and everywhere in between.
And honestly, I would guess that I have heard back on just a handful of them.
That would be a percentage of.... crappy.
Like the way I feel about all of this.
Yes, I know there are 15 million unemployed people in this country.
And yes, I know there are about 15 available jobs in this country.
And yes, I definitely understand that its a lot more cost effective for an understaffed company to have a computer send out form letters than actually hiring a human to do it.
The computer is not my problem.  It’s the humans.
In this very here blog, I documented my exciting trip to New York City where a company flew me back and I interviewed with five people in six hours, including the President of a major company and their VP of Human Resources.
And to this day -- I have not heard one word back from them.
That was 74 days ago.
That doesn’t sound very Human or Resourceful to me.
About a month ago I got a lead on a great job with another great company.
At least the display window of the company looks pretty.
I immediately put the full press on.
I applied online and contacted a friend in the company.  
He gave me the email address of the person the job would report to and the name of the HR director.
He said to make sure to mention his name.
Consider it mentioned.
Within minutes, each of them had a copy of my formerly impressive resume in their inbox.
Three weeks later, nothin.
A former boss of mine contacted me about a job that was available in his company.  He gave me the name and phone number of the person doing the hiring.
I’m not sure I was the right fit for this job or the job was the right fit for me, but I wouldn’t say being picky is an option at this point.
So, I called his direct number.
The voice mail came on and it was him.  No room for confusion here.  I left a message.  Dropped a name.  I’m in the door, right?
Two weeks later, nothing.
Do I need to keep going?
That's what I thought.
I hate to think that I'm an expert on unemployment now, but I can say this, there's a whole lot of optimism inside every unemployed person.  

The problem is that optimism is getting covered up by a thick black cloud of broken hope.
It is VERY easy to lose your faith -- thankfully, I'm not quite there yet -- but it's getting closer every day.