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Notes from a Crusty Seeker

The Unemployment Diet: How to Lose 51 Pounds in 30 Days

1. Ignore the experts and for one week only wallow in the seven stages of grief about losing your job: paralysis and denial, pain, guilt and anger, loneliness, etc., etc. (If you don’t know what they are, don’t worry about it; you’ll still go through them). Then get over it. (10 pounds)

2. Register for and start collecting Unemployment Insurance. Realize that you can no longer afford most of the food you were eating, let alone sitting in a restaurant. (5 pounds)

3. Drop all resentment toward your so-called colleague who you covered for and laughed with for so many years, who — when your whole department was laid off — negotiated behind your back, getting his full job with benefits … which entailed throwing you to the wolves. (10 pounds)

4. Join groups of other unemployed people, talk about how rough it is out there, realize you are not alone, and not only that, you must be pretty swell to be a member of such a fun group of smart people. (4 pounds)

5. Try everything you can think of to get new work. At first, take seriously the instructions (aka “threat”) on your Department of Labor “Work Search Record” to “contact several different employers each week in person” and then drop the worry as you realize that this stuff was written in the time of Olivettis and whoever reads your Record will probably be worrying too much about losing his own job to give you grief about Internet job searches. (2 pounds)

6. Drop all the little bits of hidden resentment about your coworker when you realize your part in the "Big Drama." (Yes, it's hard, but believe me, you participated.) (5 pounds)

7. Try everything to get new work. Then realize you’re doing the best you can, that’s got to be good enough, and decide to have a ball with your free time and say thank you for everything you have. (15 pounds)

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