Sunday, November 23, 2008

Getting through the first weekend

Weekends are either the best or worst stretch of the week for the newly unemployed. Sympathizers of the great Foghorn Leghorn view Saturdays and Sundays as a guiltless opportunity to kick back and relish the downtime for a change. After all, those are the only days you’re in sync with the rest of the world, and you can’t really job hunt even if you were so disposed. Why not take in the football games?

Those of us who take our inspiration from Leghorn’s chronic irritant, the ever-striving Chicken Hawk, have trouble suspending the quest. In case you’ve forgotten your Warner Bros. characters, he was the quixotic little bird who’d plot incessantly to bag Foghorn, a Shaquille O’Neal of the chicken world. His efforts were hopeless, yet he kept trying and trying, usually getting no farther than a secure grip on the rooster’s toe.

True to that example, many of us aren’t uncomfortable with idling on Saturday and Sunday when there’ll be no trudge back to work on Monday morning. Indeed, it’s a time of unbearable frustration. You can’t make calls, your e-mails will be put into a holding pattern until Monday, and the classified sections aren’t the game farms they were in the bygone days of job hunting. All you can do is while away the time, maybe by watching some football, or perhaps just checking to see if anyone has responded to those e-mails…

Then again, maybe the situation is changing. I was surprised to field two queries on Saturday from contacts made via Twitter. And some of the folks I’d approached during the week seemed to be just getting to the messages that had piled up for them. Actual interaction will have to wait until Monday, but at least the initial contact’s been made.

Besides, the first five days of unemployment haven’t been fruitless. I had one job interview, made appointments for two others, lined up a project, put in one proposal and started work on another, and fielded a few overtures about other short-term gigs. And I got to watch the Jets trounce the Titans.

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