It’s the slacking hour once again – that time of day when you should be doing something productive but you’re not, and you don’t care. Maybe you’ve been hard at work – head buried in memos and Excel spreadsheets – and need a break. Maybe the kids are down for the count and you’re aimlessly tooling around online. Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, don’t let the slacking last too long. Somebody might be watching. You could end up like me – unemployed (and possibly a little sick in the head).
Unemployment isn’t contagious… yet. But 2009 is looking like the year when all that changes…
Let’s sum this up, because depressing news goes down so much easier in scrumptious, bite-size morsels of goodness. “Forecasters” and “experts” expect the economy to shrink by 1.9% in 2009 and unemployment to hit 9% this year, 10% in 2010 and remain elevated through 2011. “Norm” – now a shell of his employed self – expects his bank account to empty out and his joblessness to last until the end of time, possibly longer. The reason for the dim outlook and downward-spiraling epidemic…
Vanishing jobs, shrinking nest eggs, rising foreclosures and tanking home values have forced American consumers to cut back, which in turn has caused businesses to lay off workers and slash costs in other ways, feeding a vicious downward cycle for the economy.
So it seems that even with time and government handouts, things will get uglier, and then remain that way. Great! Outstanding! F***ING AWESOME! It’s like I’m stricken with a disease that I did everything within my power to avoid. Unemployment is the new Dengue Fever. A side-by-side comparison reveals that it might even be worse…
- The WHO (World Health Organization) believes that 2.5 billion people are at risk of contracting the Dengue Fever. The WTF arm of Jobless and Less has consulted Wikipedia to determine that at least 2.5 billion people worldwide are of working age; all of them are either unemployed or run the risk of being unemployed in a tanking world economy.
- Dengue Fever is spread by mosquitos. Unemployment is spread by rats and other vermin.
- Both Dengue Fever and Unemployment are just as prevalent in urban districts as in rural areas.
- Symptoms of Dengue Fever include severe headache, muscle and joint pain, fever and rash. Sudden-onset Unemployment may lead to stress-related headache and fever, and muscle and joint pain from frantically clicking through online job listings.
- Dengue Fever is treated with timely supportive therapy that tackles shock due to haemoconcentration and bleeding. Unemployment is treated with government stimulus designed to shock the economy back to life before it hemorrhages its middle class into bankruptcy.
The only real difference seems to be the rash I’d get from Dengue Fever. At this point, I’d endure a rash for a paycheck. And the longer I’m unemployed and the more bad news I read, the better that rash seems. Bring it on.