Terminated, Part 7: Laid-Off Gallows Humour

Welcome to the Club

“Hey, dude!” said my pal on the phone yesterday. “I’m one of you!”

That was his way of telling me that along with about 1,000 other full-time employees of the well-known auction website for which he worked, he’d been laid off. But rather than calling to have a shoulder to cry on, he’d called to tell me about a plan he’d been working on and to ask me for my opinion. That’s one thing I have to say about a lot of high-tech people: the moment they lose a job, they start hustling.

Enjoy the Gallows Humour

It’s ironic: I’ve actually been busier unemployed than during the last couple of weeks of my employment. As a project manager in charge of projects that were either cancelled, on hiatus or managed by other people, I had precious little to do. As an unemployed job-seeker with a blog of some repute and reach, I’ve been very lucky: potential employers have been calling me, rather than the other way around. My days are pretty full doing legwork, research or interviews.

That doesn’t mean I still don’t enjoy the “loafing” gallows humour about the unemployed, such as this to-do list I found the other day:

The Unemployed "Stuff to Do" List

One of the first things I did when I emerged from “the meeting” at b5 was to load up Odd Todd’s Laid Off: A Day in the Life, a classic from the last time I was last laid off by a dot-com. It’s still funny after all this time:

"Odd Todd" watching TV
Click the image to see Laid Off: A Day in the Life.

And finally, if you have a lot of time to kill, here’s another classic from the era of the dot-com bubble burst: Leisuretown’s Q.A. Confidential, a comic made of ninety pages like the one shown below:

Page 2 from "Q.A. Confidential"
Page 2 from Q.A. Confidential.
Click the image to read the whole comic.