Winter Is Coming… It is too cold to be unemployed

I wrote this in 2013 but am happy.. wait, happy? I am beleaguered to find it still applies in 2015..

Seasons are forgetting to turn but joblessness continues. Spring is never coming and it seems like gainful employment isn’t either. In the summer you might run and jump and laze in the sunshine, but right now it is much too cold to be unemployed.

You can’t mission around town with a fistful of CVs because that would mean taking that fist out of the pocket it should be so deeply shoved in, and watching it freeze and drop off.

Dressing smartly for interviews is out of the question because smart is cold and any attempt to make smart warmer either makes you look scruffy or drenches whatever you’re wearing underneath that necessary parka in a sickly film of sweat.

Your limbs are so busy contracting to protect themselves from the cold that you develop a hunch that really doesn’t speak of employability or dynamism, and when everywhere but bed is frozen it’s more than a little hard to wake yourself up at regular hours each morning.

You even lose the advantage of all that free time, and can’t indulge any hobbies or find any new ones because everything that was ever outdoors is closed for business, and every indoor activity is on the other side of a void of cold that makes travel seem pointless or impossible and no leisure reward seem worthwhile.

You can’t stay up at home all night consuming shelves of books or catching up with every TV show that was ever recommended to you, since as soon as the sun goes down your bedroom and living floors turn to ice.

You can’t go out partying at the taxpayer’s expense because everyone with any sense is sitting in waiting for the weather to pass, saving up all the party money that their gainful employment is granting them.

Going for a walk is out of the question. Either your face blisters off in the wind, or everyone you pass stares at your full-face scarf like you’re some kind of hipster douche, and not just cold. You can’t stay in because the lack of sunshine makes you tear your face off in angst anyway. You can’t take a trip anywhere because public transport is inexplicably colder than the outdoors it travels through.

You can’t use this break in your career to watch your figure, because your body is still crying out for winter fuel and all the things that keep it warm, chubby and alive instead of dead and skinny.

It’s harder to getting back into shape and reaping the positive attitude that exercise brings, because you can’t feel your fucking extremities. It’s like running on dead glass or lifting weights with cold spaghetti.

You can’t cut down on coffee because of the precious warmth that it brings, and because any soda or energy drink you use to keep your caffeine up will be coming out of the highly inappropriate coldness of the fridge.

The food situation sucks too. You try to shop outdoors as little as possible, but you can’t convince yourself that you’re wealthy, successful or productive enough to pay the extra charge for home delivery.

You miss out on specific weather conditions like micro storms or snow flurries. Everyone else gets caught in them traveling to or from work, whereas you have to go out and find them for yourself. You can’t join in with the endless parade of generic snow photos flooding the social networks, and your window on the weather is.. well, your window.

Unemployment is certainly a time when you want to save money, but you can’t cut down on your bills.. because you’ll die. You’re busy lashing yourself to the radiator as the boiler groans and shudders while employers across the country wonder whether their thermostat is a bit too high as they take off another layer. You can’t save money because you need the heat, and you can’t sit in the bath with a fan heater on your face because you need the money.

Everyone is just trying to get by. They wake, they go to work, they come home, they horde and feed and sleep. You’re trying to get by too, but you’ve also got to get on. Just getting by isn’t enough for the unemployed, it’s like baking an empty oven and expecting the same bread as everyone else. While everyone else is focused on survival, you’ve got to focus on survival and living.

Any other time of year it would be a great and invigorating way to live. But right now it is too cold to be unemployed.

Nick
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