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Funemployment: Out of Work and Happy About It

Being out of a job usually ranks in the top 3 nightmares of life for most adults, but not for some young folks. Instead of looking for work, these people, usually singles in their 20s and 30s, prefer to stay with "funemployment" and enjoy life a bit.

Kimi Yoshino of the Los Angeles Times has more on the story:

What most people would call unemployment, Van Gorkom embraced as "funemployment."

While millions of Americans struggle to find work as they face foreclosures and bankruptcy, others have found a silver lining in the economic meltdown. These happily jobless tend to be single and in their 20s and 30s. Some were laid off. Some quit voluntarily, lured by generous buyouts.

Buoyed by severance, savings, unemployment checks or their parents, the funemployed do not spend their days poring over job listings. They travel on the cheap for weeks. They head back to school or volunteer at the neighborhood soup kitchen. And at least till the bank account dries up, they're content living for today.

"I feel like I've been given a gift of time and clarity," said Aubrey Howell, 29, of Franklin, Tenn., who was laid off from her job as a tea shop manager in April. After sleeping in late and visiting family in Florida, she recently mused on Twitter: "Unemployment or funemployment?"

Link (Photo: Genaro Molina / LA Times)

It's not just the young people doing this.
I'm 51 and last year I just walked away from
what I've been doing for 30 years.
My cost of living is very low.I get by doing odd jobs,
mostly computer repair.Never been happier.
Minimize!Learn the difference between wants and needs.
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"Funemployment" may seem a cute neologism to the parasitic offspring of the upper classes and the morons who write about them, but for the vast majority of Americans it's a terrifying period of insecurity.

Maybe the author should have talked to a few of the millions of unemployed single mothers without college educations, or one of the millions of assembly line workers who've lost their jobs and all other employment opportunities over the past 20 years of America's industrial decline. I'm sure they'd love to talk about how fucking fun it is to be unemployed in a country without affordable health care, or the joy that comes from having to figure whether to pay the electricity or mortgage this month.

Better yet, here's a tip to for the wealthy and their media friends: keep your glib, asinine observations about unemployment to yourself. Nobody in the real world wants to hear about how you and your prodigal children choose to waste money.
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Wow aesquire, tell us how you really feel lol. Just joking, I do see your point. There are a lot of people out there suffering now especially those with families that lost their jobs. They have no time to be having fun when they are trying to put food on the table.

I'm sure there are those who can take advantage of a bad situation, but plenty more that cannot.
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Aesquire's right. It's only fun to be unemployed if you're wealthy enough not to need a job in the first place. And if someone is that well off then it's good that they're not taking away jobs from those who need them. How can these people afford to travel and have fun without income?! Savings can dwindle to nothing a lot faster than they realize - either that or they have unlimited means.
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This may be more widespread now, but its not exactly new. My ex-husband and I were laid off in the early 90s. I got another job in about two weeks. He was determined to use up all his unemployment benefits before working again. Sure, that was fun for him, but a few years later when he got a new wife with children, that safety net was no longer available to him. Hope he never got laid off again.
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I work on political campaigns, which has led to 4 bouts of (thankfully short) unemployment in the last 3 years. I call funemployment being 'Job Free.'
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After sleeping in late and visiting family in Florida, she recently mused on Twitter: "Unemployment or funemployment?"

Oh, if only we could have more "musings" by this sage.
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I've learned that the only thing that is possibly worse than having a job you hate is having no job at all.

I don't think a dimwit who uses the term "funemployment" understands this.

I am both deeply envious and cotemptuous of this blissful ignorance.
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That was coined by an idiot wrapped in a moron.

I have been doing I.T. work in the wonderfully broke state of Michigan for over ten years. I've been laid-off, down-sized, minimized, outsourced and just plain fired.

It's not fun. Unless you call a financial kick in the balls every single day while figuring out where to sell an internal organ you don't need just to pay bills and a mortgage "fun".


Maybe when I win the lotto, I'll be on "funemployment"
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I'm one of those people that will just always have something to fall back on. I can always succeed at something, have things going, and at the ripe age of 30 I was able to retire (opted not to.)
Having said that, it irks me when people sit there like bit fat bloated ticks sucking up unemployment and welfare checks while barely lifting a finger to get themselves a damn job. I feel like I've earned my long relaxing vacations Because I HAVE my own money. I have more than enough to always sustain myself. I always will and I've earned my place in life. Who the hell do these people think they are? What have they "earned", and why do they feel they deserve anything at all? Get to effing work!
Now these parasites are calling their "jobless time" FUN-employment? Figures. Pathetic. I'll bet that while they're goofing off, they'll be whining about jobs being taken overseas, and how life is just sooo hard for them. What the hell happened to the "developed" world? When did people become so complacent about being a worthless NOTHING their whole lives while feeling entitled to everything successful people have?
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While it may seem like a kick in the teeth for the people who live paycheck to paycheck, many americans are able to save a good portion of their income for unforseen circumstances like a layoff. The fact that they are able to enjoy their free time doesn't make them rich or mean they don't need a job in the first place, they are just better able to plan their lives and likely have family/friends that can help them out should they be unemployed long term. They likely had a job where they never had 3+ consecutive weeks off in many years and they've just been freed from that. Sounds like a reason to celebrate to me. If the gov't is going to make contributions to unemployment mandatory, you may as well enjoy their benefits when you have the chance. It's not welfare, you ALREADY PAYED FOR IT.
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bringbackthecrust you state that you feel that you earned your relaxation time because you worked for it? this whole notion that we have to work in order to relax seems a bit preposterous to me. The only thing we as humans possess is time, and if we're not using it doing the things that we want to do then didn't we wasted our time here? Think about how much time you spend doing the things you don't want to do versus things that you do want to do. I believe that most people are in the negative. The average job allows for 2 weeks of vacation a year, that's 2 weeks out of the entire year dedicated to yourself! It's no wonder why we think our lives our so short; we're only truly living 2 weeks out of the year. Perhaps this may not apply to you, perhaps your work is something that you truly enjoy, but calling others parasites for maximizing their time is an outrageous statement.
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Well, I may be an 'exception' to the rule, but I'm kind of in this situation. Except, I DONT come from wealthy parents, and I AM looking for a job. I was laid off (from a job I loved), and lucky enough to get some severance package stuff.

That being said, I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the extra free time. However, I am quite worried about getting another job, so perhaps this doesn't really apply? I certainly wouldn't call it "fun" to be constantly worried about my career's future. But sometimes you have to enjoy yourself a little bit to keep from being depressed when you get turned down or (more often) ignored when job applying.
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The reason the 29 year old tea shop manager liked being unemployed is that she had a job. Most people by that age have a career, and a sense of responsibility.
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I'm unemployed and have been enjoying it, but time is short. The boredom of the office is creeping ever nearer and sooner or later the unemployment benefits will run out, the parents will have had enough of helping, and my fat ass will once again be forced to waste eight hours of my day under flourescent lights to pay the bills. I got laid off at sixth months pregnant and have been just happy I haven't had to put my baby in daycare. But like I said, the times creeping up on me.
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I really don't believe most 29 year olds have a career, as most people don't have careers imo. But you have a point. I'm 32 and I don't miss a damn thing about having a job (besides the paycheck).
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