She ran up to tell me about my ex-employer’s new doohickey! Isn’t it awesome?! Not to mention my ex-employer actually hired some other ex-employee (NOT me) to work on it.
This encounter made me angry. Seething. All right, okay, I was a little peeved, that’s all.
The thing is, most of us understand there are things we don’t say to someone who just broke up, got a divorce, etc. And we KNOW that. We don’t tell the sad brooding guy we just saw his ex whooping it up in a massive lip-lock marathon at JB’s last night.
We also know what not to say to someone who just lost a loved one. We may sometimes feel unsure of what we SHOULD say, but we pretty much know what not to say and I am just not going to go there, you’ll have to fill in your own blanks on that one.
But people just seem to get diarrhea of the mouth when it comes to saying what they shouldn’t say to folks without a job. Maybe it’s a thing that actually comes from thought. Maybe they really think that people who can’t find a job aren’t really trying hard. That’s what they say, even my own family has accused me, albeit jokingly, “well, it’s not like you’re really looking HARD.”
So that’s the first wrong assumption. Most people looking for a job, like myself, spend their whole day, day in and day out, trolling for work. Sending out resumes. Beefing up their resumes. Filling out applications. Some applications you fill out, they’re like writing an essay for a final exam. Only this grade, you probably will never hear what you got.
Then, there’s this: Please, please, please, don’t talk to an ex-colleague about the ole’ workplace. Try to understand there’s a justified bit of animosity about the place. AND the people. They aren’t your ex-colleague’s peeps any more! Your ex-colleague doesn’t really care if so-and-so is going to Hawaii instead of Greece or that gosh, you have to take MORE vacation days than you thought or God forbid: you had to attend another Benefits meeting the other day — BORING!
Salt in the wound.
And just remember, the next time you call your ex-colleague for lunch — ’cause he/she has lots of time on his/her hands, right? — PICK UP THE DING-DONG TAB! He/she is living on a FRACTION of what you are, doesn’t have any stinking benefits and the last vacation he/she took?
Calgon, take me away!