I haven't written in a crap ton (metric weight) amount of time. Why?
Lots of work, lots of travel, lots of kids, lots of moving, lots of Doritos, lots of 2016 World Series celebrating, little of time.
We all know the age-old story: Boy meets company. Boy loves company. Boy brings niche food product to national prominence. Boy meets FDA. Boy gets hit on head with proverbial cartoon mallet. Boy loses company. Boy feels weight of unemployment crushing his lower pelvis region. Boy writes on long forgotten blog.
If you want to know the whole story, click here. (By the way, I wrote the Press Release.)
I've been unemployed before, but I can only describe this stint as soul-shattering. I lost a family business. Working with my father has transformed my life in a profound way. Our daily interactions and the bond we created over peanut-free peanut butter has made me a better son, father and husband. I resisted the business for so long, like working for Dad meant I couldn't hack it on my own. Now I only wish I started the day I left my college campus.
But as they say, when God closes a door, He just may piss on you from the upstairs window. This window just happens to be in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains, land of opportunity for a marketing specialist who specializes in niche companies. Not to mention that most of the places -- eight in total -- I have worked before no longer exist. I essentially have an out-of-place resume built on ghosts.
So, I look for my friends for support. Most do well and try to hook me up with job opportunities or empathy. I appreciate that from the bottom of my heart. This lost hit hard, as I feel that I let down my wife, my kids and myself. It wasn't my fault, and I couldn't do a damn thing to stop this predicament. I need proactive love from love ones, because I know I won't seek it out. I've got job hunting to do.
Some people, however, can stay silent. I know they mean well, but just like a funeral, some people just don't know what to say. There are certain phrases that should not be said, basically because they act as daggers made of ice piercing the heart and melting while I slowly bleed out. Or like watching a twelve hour marathon of Shaquille O'Neal movies. Whichever is worse. So don't say these -- unless you are an a-hole. Then go ahead.
Everything happens for a reason.
My life--and the lives of everyone who used to work at the company, the co-packer, and the people who got seriously ill--went totally sideways for some sort of cosmic plan? That's like ripping out my right eye so my daughter can meet the doctor's 7-year old son, who she will marry sixteen years later. I'm not sure God commands such a Rube Goldberg universe.
You'll have so much more time for your family.
a.) I have much more time to slowly sink my family into financial ruin. b.) I'm pretty sure my family would rather have me at work. I'm much better in small quantities.
You'll be fine.
This is what you tell a person who was bitten by a zombie and is just about to be shot in the head unless they turn. It's something you tell a small child who is scared to slide down the "tall slide." It's what you tell someone when they have to drink something that is hopefully an anecdote. Not what you tell someone who is struggling to pay their bills.
Have you tried...
Usually these suggestions are so benign or outlandish that the suggestion is worthless. There is no middle ground. It's either "Have you tried updating your resume?" or "Have you tried selling blood to a hungry vampire?" The only reason that this should be said is if it is solicited. If you don't hear, "What can I do?" don't give suggestions.
HERE IS WHAT YOU SHOULD SAY
That really sucks.
Are you OK?
Here is someone I can introduce you to who can help you get a job.
That's it. Nothing more.
This article has been a PSA sponsored by Cashwise Payday Loans.
Jack Grubb writes an incredible blog, Losing the Internets, which is read by at least 37 people and over 2,100 Russian SPAM bots. In his spare time he helps small companies find their marketing voice. Jack currently lives deliberately in Appalachia, Kentucky with his wife, two daughters, Jack Russell and a Lego collection beyond compare.