Advice/inspiration: The "best part of getting laid off"

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I got laid off twice (not counting the times I was a contractor whose contract was up), and dammit, Burning Man never called me back.


I really like this person and am glad he is doing what he can to help.


I’m halfway through the video, and I like it so far.

That said, not everyone has the luxury of a severance package that they can rely on to help them get back on their feet. I would even speculate that most/all minimum wage workers don’t.

That’s why we have to have a UBI that covers life’s necessities, so that everyone has a chance to follow their dreams without having to worry when the rent, utilities, etc are due.

(edit) Filming Burning Man while on unemployment. Yeah, this.

He had a safety net between the severance package and unemployment that made it even possible to strive for his dream. (although from my own layoff in 2008, I know that severance package amount is deducted from your unemployment benefits)

He didn’t have to scramble to take whatever shit job he could find to make ends meet. Plus he had the drive to make it a reality; I’m not diminishing his effort to succeed at all. That’s absolutely necessary.

However if his success came slower than it did, the money ran out and the unemployment benefit ended, he may have had to take whatever job was available.

With a UBI he could keep working toward it.

Everyone in our “first world” country should have that opportunity, and it should be a guaranteed right.

Sorry, but at this moment this hits pretty close to home.

My youngest daughter lost her job in early May, after having been through a job attached layoff since April. She lost her job because she didn’t feel it was safe for her to return to work when they started reopening. Her job is detailing cars for a car dealership. She heard from other employees who returned that they were doing fuck-all as far as protection for the workers. She has type 1 diabetes, and had just gotten on the company’s insurance so that her insulin was costing her $12 a vial instead of $200 when the pandemic hit. Now she’s off the insurance and in free fall.

She applied for unemployment, but still hasn’t received a dime from the state and can’t get through to anyone, we are guessing due to the overloaded system.

In this time she has returned to working on her art, which she loves and would much rather do professionally and is trying to make some inroads into paid opportunities. But with so much uncertainty, people are less willing to spend on nonessentials, like art.

As soon as our Governor allowed landlords to begin evicting again, she got an eviction notice. They worked it out, although I don’t know the details. I just know that since she’s renting, they want the last three months rent in total.

Her girlfriend still has a job, but it doesn’t pay nearly enough to cover the essentials. I help as much as I can, but she’s fiercely independent. She let me make her June car payment, which is huge for her.

It all feels fucked.


I read this morning in the Washington Post about a women who was laid off from a menswear store and now makes and gives away lasagna. Maybe not a new career path, but inspiring in it’s usefulness, randomness, and specificity.

@Pensketch If your daughter has a site for her art, can’t hurt to post a link, right?


And no extra mouths to feed, etc.

This reminds me of the heartwarming Thomas Friedman article about how outsourcing was great because a guy who got laid off turned around and started selling t-shirts* saying, “My job moved to India and all I got was this lousy t-shirt”**.

* Some experts believe that you can’t have an economy where everyone sells funny t-shirts or runs a YouTube channel.
** Also, when someone else actually bothered to look the guy up he confirmed that he’d made less than $100 with them.


You need to put this on a t-shirt!


The “best part of getting laid off”

is Folgers in your … cough?


Once again on the survivorship bias. For every person able to live off (or even receives) severance/unemployment package, there’s probably 10 figuring out how long they can live in their car.


I’ve been laid off 4 times in my 20+ year career and forced-out/left-in-the-nick-of-time twice more. I’ve been fortunate that each time was relatively short (longest stretch of unemployment was 9 months) and I was able to continue my career progression and care for my family over the long haul. Honestly though I have to say that rather than being the catalyst for change, each event probably set my career back by a good 2-3 years (and not just financially).

This. 100% this. We should never have to be tied to a shitty job (and insurance) just to scrape by day to day.


She’s working on setting up a site, but doesn’t have a web presence at the moment. Her few commissions so far have been through contacts. I’ve given her some advice, but that’s where the “fiercely independent” comes into play. When she has something, I’ll look for a thread on the forums to post a link.


I feel you man. Not every opportunity works out, and I don’t always get the call back either. Last year that happened and I made videos on my own and they wound up being my most viewed to date. Good luck finding new opportunities that elevate you.


I feel this. Every success I’ve had has so many fails behind it. @MikeKStar I don’t buy lottery tickets, I consider them voluntary taxes. My point is, I hit walls thought my life was a nightmare and kept trying. Did I succeed to the levels I wanted to? Absolutely not, lots of things are still incredibly challenging in my life, but I show up to take on those challenges even when I think I won’t succeed… which is a lot. Believe me, I fail a lot.

Thanks for sharing this. Believe me, there are some less glamorous jobs and some super hard challenges that I left out to spare y’all the TMI. I feel very fortunate to get unemployment and a severance and know the pain first hand of not having that support there. Not my first lay-off. Sorry to hear things have been so challenging. Things have been really hard. Hope things turn a corner for your family. At the risk of sounding self promotional, there’s a resource link in my Covid-19 financial support video description that could be useful, it has all the financial resources I found to help when I lost 100% of my income during the pandemic. I made this to help people who were struggling like I have been. Like I said, Instagram was my last job before the pandemic. I feel for ya. I’m sharing the highlights of my story as an inspiration, for myself as much as others but believe me, it’s not all green lights in my world, I’m in it too.

This video covers the process for applying google doc has the resource list. Good luck.


Thank you for the reply. I’d previously passed the link to the video in your reply to my daughter, and have sent her the google doc link just now.

I find what you are doing very inspirational, and hope she does too.

My one lament – which you have no control over either – is that this country, which is supposed to be so great, has let down – and kept down – so many. I wish our politicians would change that, but I have no faith left in them. Too many are just self serving bastards.


Thomas Friedman treat a lightweight human interest story as actual economic data?

I can’t believe it!


Thanks for your reply. I hope the resources list is helpful, and if they need help navigating the process hopefully the video helps. I too wish our civil servants would be in better service to the people. Have been inspired by many people coming together to support eachother.


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