Frustration Friday: A Personal Message To Two Certain Kinds of People

Psst.  Hey.  Come here.  I need to talk to you two.

OK first, I need to talk to you, the person whose trying to encourage people to get a job.  Let's you and me talk.

OK.  Now that I got your attention, let's talk about your situation. You've got people in your life that have to get a job or a better job.  Maybe they're friends or family or roommates, but yeah, I get it – they have to get off their butts and find something.

Now I know what you're doing – you've got a strategy.  You ask them regularly how they're doing and let them know what they're doing wrong.  You remind them constantly that they need to have a job or get a better one.  You helpfully remind them that the economy stinks to high heaven.  Of course, your big strategy is to tell them how much they've failed so they get the idea.

I got a piece of advice for you.


Seriously, do you think you're helping people by hovering over them, berating them, reminding them of mistakes?  Do you think they actually think you're on their side?  Do you think that, maybe, just maybe you're distracting them and making them feel bad as opposed to being a source of aid and inspiration.

Honestly.  Get off their backs, you're not helping.

OK, now, you, the person looking for work.  Ignore that guy I was just talking to and come here.

Now, I know what your situation is like.  I've seen it before.  I've been there.  You need a job or need a new job or a new career.  You're pretty aware of it.

I also know what you're doing.  You're really not sure what to do, it's hard to figure it out, so maybe you'll deal with it eventually.  Maybe you figure you'll wait for things to get better.  You also don't want to overburden yourself with designing new resumes or taking classes – unemployment is stressful.  Finally, let's face it, you don't want to change – change is hard.

I also have a piece of advice for you.


Look, I'm sympathetic, but seriously, times are tough and every day wasted is a day lost.  You need a plan, you need a goal, and you need to get to work.  Fast.  A lot.  The world economy is re-aligning and you could end up crushed under it.

Don't go getting angsty or lazy either.  Emo whining and passively waiting aren't going to solve your problems.  You will get ground to dust by the wheel of change if you don't get moving, and frankly some of us are tired of trying to drag you out of the way.

Now.  That's done, let's talk to both of you.  Pushy Get-a-Job-Person?  Shiftless Looking-For-A-Job-Sort-Of-Person?

You two are both giant pains because sane people have to deal with fixing your idiocy.  We're the ones that comfort people that have been exhausted and frustrated by supposedly supportive people constantly harping on them because they haven't found work.  We're the ones that have to make up for those of you too lazy, confused, or aimless to go have a real job at real pay.  We're kind of sick of it.

Worse, know what?  You two cause each other.

The more you harass people over their job situation, the more likely they are to withdraw and give up.  The more you don't get off your backside and look for work, the more people feel they have to harass you into productivity.  The more you two do your thing, the more the rest of us have to suffer, and the more the rest of us might just fall into the traps of Get-A-Job-Annoyer and Not-Really-Trying-Job-Seeker.

So, do us all a favor and get your acts together.

We've got other things to worry about.

– Steven Savage