Doing More With Less In defense of creative loafing

Illustrations by Aaron McKinney

When the federal economic stimulus package hit the news in January, my latest run on unemployment was just going dry, and the mere prospect of getting another job was enough to make my testicles retract into my body. When reports surfaced that a three- or six-month (!!) unemployment extension was going to be part of the package, it seemed like government was finally doing something for the little guy, instead of just the fat cats and whiny Christians. I spent the next two weeks Google News-ing “unemployment extension economic stimulus” every 10 minutes.

When the package including the extension failed by one vote, I was so fucking pissed at the United States government that if an al-Qaeda recruiter had pitched me at that moment, I’d be in the Afghanistan desert as we speak, screaming Arabic at the top of my lungs while bayoneting an Uncle Sam mannequin.

I’ve been on unemployment three times in the past six years. Each time was better than the last, and each time I stayed on until the last cent was exhausted. I didn’t even try to get a job; it was a paid vacation. This is somewhat unusual from what I can tell. There’s a deep vein of antipathy in this country toward collecting checks from the government, especially in precincts that tend to skew rightward. Politicians imply that it’s un-American for an individual to milk the government, all while jacking up corporate welfare for their campaign contributors. And your uncle who cheered at the end of Easy Rider? He insists that if he had to obliterate 40 years of his life punching a clock, why should you goddamn hippies have it any better?

This brand of puritanism has gained traction among the gullible masses, including those I count as friends. Around the same time I got fired from a start-up in Herndon—the second of my three stints—a wave of layoffs claimed several in my circle. Most of them stayed on unemployment for only a few scant weeks before getting another shit job they immediately began bitching about. When I asked why, they muttered various reasons like “not wanting to be on welfare” or “wanting to work for a living.” One even fretted about “what her parents would think.”

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Given a choice between getting a check every week for doing nothing and getting a check every week for flushing 40 hours of the prime of their lives down the toilet, they chose the latter. I mean, what kind of self-hating, masochistic Protestant bullshit is that?

Not only do I feel no guilt whatsoever about sucking from the state’s teat, I feel that I’m absolutely entitled to it. First of all, the employer that fired me pays for half of my unemployment, and fuck them.

Second of all, it’s really my money in the first place. See, your employer never pays you what you’re worth—there’s a surplus, some of which goes toward overhead and various other business costs, and the rest of which is kept as profit. (This is what Marx was referring to when he talked about “exploitation of the workers.”) A tiny fraction of this surplus—which, again, has been skimmed off of my labor—is put into a government-mandated account to go toward unemployment checks for fired workers. So yeah, it’s my money. Give it back. And since most people’s lives are so devoid of meaning that they’d rather go directly into another shitty job than be forced to confront the sheer emptiness of their existence, most of that money never even gets distributed.

The other half of my unemployment is paid for by taxes. I pay taxes, but I don’t have kids who go to public school, I don’t have a car that depreciates the roads, Social Security (which I’m paying into) is going to be belly up long before I retire, so my taxes are basically being taken from me and given to other people anyway. And I hate to be “that guy,” but we’re flushing half a billion dollars a day in Iraq, and you’re begrudging me a few hundred a week?

The most oft-heard complaint about unemployment is that it’s not enough to live on. Generally it’s about half of what you made on the job, capped at around $400 a week. (Before my payments ran out in January, I was getting $270 a week.) I guess if you have kids to support or a lot of debt to pay down, $400 a week is probably not a livable income. So I hope buying shoes on credit and not pulling out was worth being chained to a desk for the rest of your life.

For those of us who haven’t irreversibly fucked up our lives, $400 a week is doable. While you’ll have to cut back, you’ll find out that pretty much all the shit you spent your disposable income on—eating out, drinks, purchases from the “As Seen on TV!” product line—is no longer so important once you escape the 9-to-5 gulag.

At most full-time jobs I’ve had, my first thought upon the close of the workday was to get to the nearest bar and drink until the previous eight hours had been permanently obliterated from my memory. Hence, happy hour. This can run up quite a bar tab, especially after several months of building up a tolerance (not to mention the hard miles on your liver). I also ate out every single day, often two or three times, both because I had no time to cook and also because after sitting in a windowless room for eight hours and then in traffic for two more, I was so understimulated that I needed sensation, any sensation. Heroin would have been ideal, but most of the time I settled for Taco Bell. Same with intermittent shopping sprees. When you’re miserable, you buy things. It’s the American Way; whatever your problem, there’s a product that can solve it. Have a bad day? Buy some jeans! Just realize that your best years are a distant memory? Buy a big car! This is why a lot of people who make six figures still live check to check—perhaps this 50-inch plasma screen/Louis Vuitton bag/waterfront condo will make my soul hurt less?

But once you’re off the hamster wheel, you find you no longer need to overcompensate. You don’t need consumable solutions because your essential problem—your life sucked—is solved.

Getting on unemployment isn’t always easy, though. There are earnings requirements, and you need to have lost your job “through no fault of your own,” which means getting laid off or getting fired for something that could plausibly have been an honest mistake.

This last requirement is highly subjective and can lead to some entertaining court hearings if your ex-employer challenges your eligibility. I’ve heard about a delivery driver who was caught drinking on the job but won an eligibility hearing by claiming she was never explicitly told she couldn’t drink at work.

I lost the job in Herndon for drawing a semi-lewd cartoon on my boss’ dry-erase board. When an elderly Pope-worshipping VP saw it, she nearly had an aneurysm and fired me on the spot. I filed for unemployment, but my former employer protested and a hearing was scheduled. Now, this would seem to be an open-and-shut case. I had drawn a woman with her legs spread (albeit with an artfully placed question mark covering up the Promised Land) in my boss’ office (it may be relevant to add that I was sleeping with her at the time). However, I was able to get statements from other ex-employees describing an anarchic office environment that contextualized my drawing as not only par for the course but somewhat low-key compared to a lot of the antics.

Still, my former employer had one last advantage: a statement from the office lackey, who claimed to have seen, and been traumatized by, the drawing. His statement went into such impossible detail that it was obviously fabricated (“I saw the labia…the anus…the clitoris…the vagina…the urethra …the rectum!”).

The stage was set for an unemployment courtroom exchange, possibly unprecedented in the history of litigation, that went something along the following lines:

I pointed out that he specified he’d seen a urethra in the drawing.

He responded that he had.

I then wondered aloud whether anyone in the court knew what a urethra looked like and then asked him to describe it. Can you describe to the court what a woman’s urethra looks like?

After a long pause, he said he couldn’t.

My opponent’s case discredited by all this Johnnie Cochran-like legal maneuvering, I received a letter a few days later notifying me that I was eligible for unemployment. I was going to use the first check to send an expensive flower arrangement to the VP who’d fired me, with a card bearing nothing but a tiny reproduction of the lewd drawing, but by that time, she herself had been fired (ha!), and the few people who knew where she’d found a new job refused to give me the address.

Though I’ve never experienced this particular horror, there are times when, try as you might, you just can’t get fired. My sister, already a veteran of one maxed-out unemployment tour, decided a few months ago that she wanted to get back on the gravy train. She had a miserable job at a nonprofit, surrounded by smiley people with mean people suck bumper stickers, and she had had enough. She started coming in at noon, rolling her eyes during meetings, skipping required company functions, and did zero work. All her boss did was call her in for occasional gentle talks about her “attitude” that ended with entreaties for her to be a better “team member.” My sister claims that if you’re a minority female—our mom is Korean—it’s absolutely impossible to get fired, for reasons of political correctness and fear of litigation. (Her previous stint on unemployment was because the company went bankrupt.) She ended up resigning and getting a similar job at an office across town that has a reputation for sudden and inexplicable layoffs. Her fingers are crossed.

Another friend of mine—also an old hand at unemployment milking—tried for months to get fired from a local movie theater. After witnessing shenanigans that at most work places would not only get you fired, but would also get you arrested, he realized they had him in check. After much hand-wringing, he walked out mid-shift.

We saw each other in the grocery store a few weeks back, during the economic stimulus debate. He’d read about the wrangling over the unemployment extension and said he’d thought of me.

“The best part,” he said, chuckling, “was when one of the senators supporting the extension was like, ‘These people want to work, they want nothing more than to work but through no fault of their own, they just can’t find jobs!’”

“Yes, I want nothing more than to go into an office for eight hours a day and get ordered around by inferior people. It’s not about the money! I’ll do it for free!”

“My life is empty if I can’t man a cash register. Please, I want to contribute!”

“Goddamnit, why can’t I find a job? It’s almost as if I’m not trying at all!”

We amused ourselves in this manner for several minutes.

One of the most insidious things about working is “office ass”—that lateral expansion of your lower regions brought on by too many heavily-sugared coffees, lunch buffets, and Doritos snack packs. If you take the holistic view, this is the physical analogue to your spiritual destruction. In other words, your body is going down the shitter just like your soul.

The dole reverses these afflictions. You actually eat much better on no money than when you’re pulling down big checks. Not only can you not afford to eat out, you can’t afford any kind of prepackaged or processed food. All you can afford is brown rice, vegetables, a little meat, and the occasional bag of farmer’s market fruit: i.e., the ideal diet. I’ve been eating this for a year, and it’s turned me into a goddamn Superman. And if you do get sick of healthy food, or if you go flat broke, there’s another option; shoplifting food is much easier than you think. Flat foods like steaks and family packs of Reese’s peanut butter cups are easiest to conceal under a coat. (I lived on London broils and Reese’s for a month when out of money in New York.) A friend of mine, an underemployed painter, goes to Whole Foods, gets a huge bag of something expensive like almonds, tags it with the code of something dirt cheap, and then goes through the line of the youngest, most distracted cashier. It hasn’t failed yet.

Local rent being as ludicrous as it is, you’ll probably have to make a few concessions on the housing front. Two artists I know packed four people into a two-bedroom apartment for years, variously working part-time or milking unemployment. One slept in the laundry room—he claimed the rhythmic vibrations of the washer/dryer were like a mother’s heartbeat in the womb—and the other crashed permanently on the sofa. This would occasionally result in friction; the living-room-dweller would sometimes have to ask his three roommates to stay out of his end of the house while he took care of “personal business.” The three roommates would sit in the kitchen trying to act casual while the squeak of living-room-guy’s computer chair would get faster and faster and faster and then finally stop. Then he’d go to the bathroom, wash his hands, and yell, “All clear!”

Still, it beats working.

My situation is somewhat better, though only through blind luck. I’ve lived in the same Shaw row house for several years. In that time, the rent has barely gone up at all, so I’m paying way below market. This is partly because the owner lives overseas and doesn’t really keep up with D.C. neighborhood developments, but also: My place is a dump. The roof leaks, there are cracks in the walls through which you can feel blasts of cold air, the wheezing refrigerator is 30 years old, everywhere you look there’s (probably lead) paint flaking off or ’70s-style wood paneling, half the radiators don’t work, and the water heater was broken for all of November and December. After you’ve taken cold showers in December, you’ll fear no man or beast for the rest of your life. Once, after stripping off snow pants, jeans, and long underwear and jumping into an ice-cold jet of water, I learned there’s a fine line separating extreme shivering and convulsions.

I honestly don’t mind the squalor, though. All it takes is seeing your friend throw a hissy fit because the TiVo is full or because you didn’t use a coaster on her Danish coffee table to realize that the gilded cage is real and that once you’re in it, you’re ruined for life. And besides, living in this place means that I can not work for months at a time and I’ll be fine. I can’t overstate the calming and liberating effect this fact has upon my day-to-day work life. It means that when most people are all but fellating their supervisor in hopes of that 2 percent annual raise, I can say and do whatever I want without having to self-censureor compromise.

At my last job, as a writer/editor at a U Street nonprofit, my boss “asked” me to work more hours, it being clear that it wasn’t a request. I shrugged and said no. (I’ve found that a casual refusal will often confuse a supervisor to the point of paralysis.) She brought it up again a few days later, and I did the same: pretended to think it over, shrugged, and said, “Sorry, can’t do it.”

On the eve of my weeklong vacation, she asked if I could spend one of my vacation days compiling a mass e-mail newsletter. I consulted my schedule.

“Sorry,” I told her, “I’m going to be at the beach that day.”

She insisted that I “find a way.” I explained to her that I didn’t have a laptop and that even if I could find a Kinko’s in the outback, spending six or seven hours on a pay-by-the-minute computer was complete fucking insanity. I suggested that I send out the e-mail newsletter the day afterward, when I’d be closer to civilization, but she found this unacceptable. God forbid we send out the spam one day late! I felt like dropping a dictionary on her desk and telling her to look up “vacation.”

I ended up agreeing to “try to get it done,” which of course meant that I did not try even a little bit to get it done. In truth, I totally forgot about the stupid e-mail newsletter until I got back and was fired. It was ostensibly for something else, because of course you can’t fire someone for not working on their vacation.

That was in June. I haven’t worked a day since. But I have applied.

Another stipulation of unemployment is that you’re required to apply to two jobs a week. If you’re randomly picked for a checkup and the unemployment people find that you haven’t been applying to two jobs a week or that you’ve turned down “suitable employment,” they’ll stop the checks and slap you with a bill for all the money you’ve received up to that point.

With a little ingenuity, though, it’s quite easy to meet the letter of the law while defying its spirit. I remembered a job as an editor where I was tasked with hiring a staff writer. Among the deluge of responses from a Craigslist posting were a significant percentage—a quarter to a third—that consisted of an e-mail with no text in the body and nothing in the subject line. Just a résumé, attached as a Microsoft Word document. My general response to these was an incredulous “are you fucking kidding me?” followed by immediate deletion.

Later, after getting fired from that job, I submitted all my résumés in just the same manner for my two job applications a week. I never received a single response and milked unemployment to the very last cent.

A writer I know took it one step further and crafted a special “unemployment” résumé, complete with typos, misspellings, non sequiturs, colored wacky fonts, and liberal use of emoticons. Some excerpts:

• Objectives: “To have a job at YOUR place of employment! ;)”

• Education: “Went to the University of Life for almost 27 years old.”

• Skills: “Wants to be the managre. Quick—type 33 WPN and learn new soft ware ;)”

• From the descriptions of various jobs: “Never contributed to the fenomomenon of the ‘bathroom rush’ at start of work day” and “Did the office thing—you know! ;O”

• The résumé concludes with: “So when do I start????”

• Best of all, the document is named, “REAL resume, not a joke!”

It was such a masterpiece, it was almost a shame he sent it out only twice a week. If I’d written something this brilliant, I would’ve sent it out 50 times a day until Hollywood came calling with a sitcom deal.

I was sure he was going to get some responses from people who just wanted to see the author of such a craptacular document, but he never did. Then it dawned on me that a lot of real résumés are just as bad or worse. My friend was able to finish an entire novel before his unemployment allotment ran out. He is now shopping the book around.

We may debate the purpose of life, or whether it even has a purpose, but one thing we can all agree on is that we were not put on this Earth to work, work, work. To be the master of one’s time and oneself is the obvious ideal. Most people don’t experience this until retirement, when they’re old and broken down, when they have to go to the bathroom every five minutes, and no one will have sex with them without advance cash payment. I say fuck that, I’m having my golden years now. And they are golden! Youth is not being wasted on this youth.

Every once in a while I’ll find myself downtown in the middle of the day and I’ll see all the drones hustling this way and that with their pinched little waddles, looking at their watches and pouring Starbucks into their faces, and I’ll think, my God, I’m the luckiest bastard alive. Maybe I’ll have to pay for it on the back end and work as a Wal-Mart greeter when I’m 85, but then again, I’ll have a lot of company.

At some point recently, probably while you were listening to a Dan Brown audiobook on your commute, those decadent pinko, Socialist, pacifist, cheese-eating, nap-taking, 25-hour-workweek Europeans became the dominant economic power in the world. The EU is the new United States, and the United States is the new…Mexico?

And it’s not my fault, it’s because of people like you! High-earning workaholic assholes like you who feel entitled to buy big houses with gimmick mortgages and drive huge cars that force our government to subsidize gas prices, who run up credit card debt buying products you saw on your Chinese-made big-screen television and then vote Republican so you can pay less than your fair share of taxes! It’s your fault our country is now a second-rate power! Now who’s un-American?! You are! And I’m the real patriot! Ironic, isn’t it? I’m basically a bald eagle flying over Mount Rushmore while Hank Williams Jr. sings the Monday Night Football theme song in the background, and you’re basically John Walker Lindh, American Taliban!

So who wants to drink to the red, white, and blue?

You’re buying.

Our Readers Say

......wow.
this is the biggest crock of this i've ever heard.
this is the biggest crock of shit i've ever heard.
seriously?
i'm not mad at homeboy, but he could be doing something a bit more constructive with all his free time. tutoring kids or picking up trash, for example, would be a great way for dude to do something uplifting for the community....and still have time to shoot the shit and live life to the fullest.
I love it. Not everybody on unemployment milks it like this - but, currently being on unemployment after being laid off from a $96k/yr job - I agree with the essential sentiment: working (mostly) sucks and the people who embrace the 9-5, commuter, consumer lifestyle are suckers.

There's nothing wrong with taking some time to smell the roses & regroup when you're on unemployment. You've paid for it. It's your cash. Enjoy.

For those of you who scoff...ever think that your head is so far up your ass in your consumerist lifestyle that you can't see the forest for the trees? I'd rather have the simplicity of a good book, a cup of coffee and four hours to dedicate to it than a $400k condo and a two hour commute any day.
Wow, great article. While you've overlooked obvious consequences of unemployment (health insurance?), I believe you're right on. At the ripe old age of 23, I figured it all out after having an amazing job making a lot of money and just feeling like shit everyday. I realized that it just didn't work for me. It wasn't that I was lazy or even hard to please, it's just that I knew my life's purpose wasn't to waste away behind a computer for eight hours a day in a depressing beige office doing bullshit work that didn't matter while the head of the company went golfing in the sun every fucking afternoon.

Furthermore, I'd like to say that you obviously aren't completely wasting away with your unemployment. You wrote an awesome Op Ed piece for the Washington City Paper. Not bad for a self-professed loaf. Congrats.
C.G.
If you really prefer the simple life to the rat race, get yourself a shopping cart, a library card, and a cardboard box to live in when your benefits run out. I'll toss you a dime, if I can pull my head out of ass long enough to see you on my way to work.
I love this article! As an unemployed, recent graduate of law school, I've been forced into enjoying the simple life. It's a hard adjustment, but a perspective everyone should experience. I realize I've been in the educational rat race my whole life and am not ready to jump into the professional one quite yet.
What the hell is a consumerist, after all? Does anyone honestly believe that, because they sling Starbucks and sleep in their office, they live to shop? That's like saying this author lives to take cold showers in December. It's what you do to get by - and clearly what you think you deserve at the end of the day - but it's not a means to an end. Really, the author's self-righteous banter was entertaining enough when it was held to the confines of his own day to day - but that's a pretty ridiculous leap to argue that America's economic downturn is a result of the fact that we work too much and like Chinese big-screens. Those who benefited the most from the tax cuts were the wealthiest few - not those who run the wheel 80 hours a week or those who eat Taco Bell for dinner
You're ripping off the taxpayer dude. What would W think?
X posted: "I love this article! As an unemployed, recent graduate of law school, I've been forced into enjoying the simple life. It's a hard adjustment, but a perspective everyone should experience. I realize I've been in the educational rat race my whole life and am not ready to jump into the professional one quite yet."

You will be singing a different tune when your first law school loan payment is due. Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho...off to pay our debts we go!

The capitalist system has got us by the balls. It is market capitalism that instills fear in people. Fear of losing shelter. Fear of going hungry. Fear of not being cool enough in front of your friends with all of your latest gadgets and clothes. Fear of not getting laid with a beautiful woman because you don't have enough money. Trust me...women in DC will look at your resume and your bank account before anything serious happens.

In the end, there is not much difference between totalitarian communism and market capitalism. The people are slaves to the system.
I remember those days, for years I worked 6 months then either went to college or took a 6 month vacation. Loved it until I was 34 and have been working ever since hoping they will lay me off but still hasn't happened.
What a cliche - if you're going to fight convention, at least be original. This schtick was trite when I first heard it in "Reality Bites."

You pose as if you're rejecting "consumerism," as if this is some principled stand that justifies the fact that you use other people. You trot out cute little "firing" stories as if this builds your cred, to show that you really really mean it! What a poseur. You are just as hooked on consumerism as anyone else - you live in one of the world's most modern cities, you drink clean water and apparently eat decent food, you have credit cards -- yeah you're a true rebel, aren't you. Why don't you back up your state-of-nature bullshit and move to a second or third world country without a functioning government. And then, if you wrote something that didn't crib from Chomsky's high school term papers, you might have something original to say.

There are a number of people who work "9 to 5" but do so in a manner that helps other people or improves our society. And given that there are people with real problems, who struggle against real injustice (rather than a self-imposed ennui), it is virtually imposslbe for me not to hope that 50 years from now you are enjoying the fruit of your labor.
Inflation is rising, housing costs are falling. What needs to be done to give people more time? Higher wages? Big salute to the writer! Is he harming anyone? Then he's doing no wrong! There's a big difference between a job and work. Jobs often don't include much work, but an idle person with some time and nothing in their way finds a lot of work to do. Let's make the time and space to do what we want.
i'm glad dude is not black b/c this article could be used, by ignorant people, to validate that ugly stereotype. while the author makes some interesting and entertaining points, he fails to recognize that if sanitation workers, teachers, agricultural workers, folks in the medical field, etc., shared the same attitude, the world would come to an end. too bad lawyers, politicians, and cops don't feel the same way as dude--what a perfect world that would be!
great article. I was laid off from an $85k job in November at no fault of my own and have loved being off. I was a frugal bastard and didnt get caught into this housing bubble and have no credit card debt so I havent had to change a damn thing since I have been off.

I have lost 20lbs from my "chair ass" and have realized that there are a lot of people roaming around not doing shit all day. As this country enters a recession that will very likely turn into a full scale depression I say a lot of folks will be off here sooner than later. I hope they take a moment for the themselves and enjoy the 6 months off. As the saying goes....on your deathbed you will never wish that you worked more.
What a selfish, entitled b*stard you are ! Go, be a bum if you want to, nobody cares ! But, do it on your own dime, not someone else's. Otherwise you're just a non-principled parasite on the labor of others, just like the capaitalists you all hate.
This article is as empty and irrelevant as its author. That anyone beyond the age of 13 could write or publish such an article is a mystery to me. What a uniquely confused idiot. Franklin...you are nothing more, but certainly perhaps less...than a loser.
Why so crass and vulgar? It only reflects on a limited use of vocabulary and intelligence and a lack of courtesy toward others. I do not hold in high regard any person who has to swear a lot to express themselves. I hope your parents are proud.
I certainly don't disagree with every single one of your actions, but your attitude towards it strikes me as selfish and self-serving. Thus not any better than the attitude of the corporate slave who will do anything for their six figure salary. I'm a big fan of being unemployed (my last stint lasted a year and a half), if I ever had the opportunity to collect an unemployment check I would (never have though), but if a job came along that was well-suited to me I would certainly take it and I would even look for such a job if I had an idea of where I might find it.

The problem is not with work, but with work that only satisfies your need for money. If you're spending 40 hours a week just to get a check and you have other options then you are a sucker. Find something you love to do that benefits society in some way and figure out how to support yourself doing it. Unemployment is a perfect opportunity for such things (especially if you're getting paid for it). As you point out unemployment also helps you reduce your consumerist tendencies. That means you can accept that perfect job even if it pays less than you were making before. By your criteria you can live on half what you were making so why take a miserable job just to make more? BTW, drinking beer for a living isn't a job no matter how much our behavior might lead someone to believe it is. =)

Working to be unemployed just strikes me as a hollow and meaningless way to live.
I can't believe my eyes! There are dumbshits around here seriously discussing this article as if it were a PhD thesis. WTF do you care if he never works a day in his life again? Less competition for you to get that great job in marketing and advertising and make the world a better place.
PudKaplan, why else would they call this a "comments" section? So only enlightened geniuses such as yourself can defend this prick? I don't think people care whether he works again or whether he offs himself on I-95. What I do care about is wasting space in the City Paper on this poser's masturbatory teenage manifesto when there are serious issues in the city that need to be addressed.

And for assuming that the people posting are in "advertising and marketing" you are truly a dumbass. But I suppose that won't stop you from posting again.
Interesting perspective. Seems to be the same feeling of entitlement shared by most people your age. One question: what happens when someone forwards your article to the Unemployment Office?

Hehhehheh.
What a guy. He lives like a parasite off the work of others, proudly steals from stores (like his "artist" friend), is woefully ignorant of other countries (sorry, but there is no 25-hour workweek in Europe), and has contempt for the people who work and pay taxes so that guys like him can collect unemployment.

But then, the author is only 12, right?
This guy's a worthless, sardonic piece of shit. Why did CityPaper publish this? It's not edgy, intellectual, or insightful. It's a rationalization of being a nobody. Sure, work sucks, but are you gonna be a whiny, bitch of kid about it, or are you going to earn your money? Fortunately, most adult Americans choose the latter. Franklin Schneider needs to grow up.
I think most of the people who responded negatively to this article either 1. are in denial about their lives or 2. are in SERIOUS denial about their lives.

As an unhappily employed individual, I found this article very refreshing and spot on! I have only once had to use unemployment benefits and felt guilty doing so, until I realized that it was MY MONEY. And each day I feel less and less guilty about "ripping off" the govt as I find out ways they rip us off. ...but now I'm in the position where I owe a lot of money. And its awful because most people are in this grueling cycle of making money and having it taken away, leaving nothing for you to enjoy....leaving you empty.

We are all empty inside, thats why we are in a recession. Some of us put ourselves there, some have no choice (school) so what say you about that, author?? I'm not a rich upper middle class brat, and the federal govt is my pimp daddy who wants his money now. And he always be chargin me in-te-restttt.
I hail you brother. YOU nailed it in the last three paragraphs..
Remember what Hunter S Thompson said when he learned George W Bush was president? "My god, it can't be..the man destroys everything he puts his hands on"
No truer words have been spoken...until now
and yeah I'm learning Farci, and heading to the afghanistan as soon as the checks stop coming.
"Green acres is the place to be
opium farming is the life for me
Hindu kush spreading out so far and wide
keep manhattan just give me that mountain side!!!
I can see why you were fired.

You have no honor.
There is a third way.


Thus far, only two options have been presented: working a soul-draining office job or being unemployed, living off the government to make ends meet.


It is not easy to find work that you love, but that doesn't mean you should just give up.


I have had multiple times when I have been in between jobs and travelled. It's great, but it gets boring after awhile. Your mind starts to rot, and in most cases you are not doing anything to make the world a better place.


Perhaps the author should find a job where they only work part time or can take multiple months off at a time. Or volunteer at something you love, and perhaps it will become a job of some sort.


Talk to midwives, occupational therapists, pediatric nurses and doctors; they do good deeds and make a lot of money. I personally find a disproportionately high number of people who work jobs where they help others are relatively happy.


I do agree with the author in terms of scaling down our material wants. This is essential to decrease the mental illness in our society. I also agree that we must - at all costs - make time for proper nutrition, exercise, and free time to simply decompress. Eating cheap fast food at a drive through window while talking on a cell phone and rushing to one's next appointment is simply no way to live.


A life lived trying to work at unfulfilling office jobs is sould-draining. A life lived only for oneself is boring.


There is a third way, and our task is to find it.
I've been working since I was 16 and recently was fired for a situation out of my control after a year and a half of loyal employment (I'm 28). I've been on unemployment since Nov. Unemployment benefits are indeed mostly paid by the employer who fired you, so the accusations of him living off of the government are fairly inaccurately.

I've been going on 3 interviews a week for jobs I'm overqualified for at a pay cut from my last job. In the meantime I'm taking grad school classes and fostering a dog.

You can either let being fired, laid off, and not finding a rewarding career depress the f&ck out of you, or you can look at the bright side of it and make from it what you can. I stay upbeat about my situation with my friends but the truth is I'm depressed as all hell.
The same people who rationalize this cheat's behavior probably bitch about welfare fraud. This IS welfare fraud. Can someone please find out this guy's real name and turn him over to the authorities?
I have had great fun reading everyones self absorbed comments. Most of them, except the writer of the article completely ignore the issue. Its not that the writer is gaming the system, its that the government and industry is gaming the population. Our tax money is spent on a congress that is complicit in the destruction of our constitutional freedoms, the creation of laws that protect industry at the endangerment of the people and a war that is not worthy of a great nation chasing a foe that was invented by the rand corporation and the CIA when the last "ism" was purportedly defeated - communism.

There is no honor in the branches of government any more. wake up. the three bundled candidates are all in bed with the israeli subversion of our national elections and many of our top officials are dual citizens of Israel and America like Michael Chertoff, dual Israeli/US citizen, head of the department of homeland security and a former MOSSAD intelligence agent. Pay attention america some of us have....All three candidates, regardless of who "wins" in electronic voting fraud with diebold machine hacking will vote into law a carbon tax for something the Sun is causing - a long term increase in solar irradiance that started back in the Mulder Minimuim nearly 300 years ago, they all offer no choice at all, and the ones that do are kept out of the media, also controlled by the zionists and international bankers. this is not conspiracy theory, this is complex crime employing massive psychological warfare tactics via the media on a dumbed down population that is fast asleep. Question: do you even know what solar irradiance is or why it occurs periodically over geologic time? I thought not.

The writer correctly put it when he said our objective in this life is not work, work, work. Our spendthrift government, on the other hand, lives the life of the elite at our expense, but do not do what we want them to do.

Why should we do what they want us to do?

For all you drones and worker bees I can offer this advice. Tune in, turn on, Drop out...and...Opt out.

Become sovereign entities and take yourself out of this slavery. You are a corporate entity. Look at your drivers license. If your name is all in caps, you have been categorized as a corporate entity and under the laws and enforcement of the colorable courts. Our courts are admiralty courts since the national bankruptcy in 1933 and have gold fringed American flags. this is a military flag, and an admiralty court can only adjudicate international and maritime contracts. Were you ever advised that you had signed one of these when brought into one of our courts for prosecution? Of course not, you are not supposed to know about it. Our money is colorable, false, no value no longer based on the gold standard and is issued by the federal reserve bank that is the receiver of our bankruptcy from 1933 to this day. And now perhaps the lights are coming on in your sorry little brains...you are all dupes, especially the brainwashed idiots that would like to turn the writer in to the "authorities" there are no persons of "authority", just more corporate, fictional entities with no right to charge any one with any crime. as a sovereign entity you will be under the common law and there are no longer common law courts in any state in this country, only admiralty courts.

Get LB Borks book "the red amendment" and find out how to no longer be liable for this countries mistakes or the actions of its knowingly or unknowingly corrupted leaders. And take a good look at the treaty of 1783, loosers

or get your ass to work to keep it all going - your President needs some money to have a nice trip to Africa to dance with natives while the empire is burning. and have a nice day - In the land of the greed and the Home of the grave..
It's rare that a writer is so willing to explain in detail exactly how and why he is such a selfish asshole. Well done, Franklin Schneider!
this loser has been writing about his complete social ineptitude for over 3 years now... here's another gem from 05 documenting his complete lack of ability to either a)survive socially in the corporate world or b)find a job that doesn't require that...
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/cover/2005/cover0826.html
Disregard the negative commentary, Franklin. You have great insight. Do continue.

Interesting article.
this article was hysterical.

the people commenting who are upset about it need to go on vacation.

tune in, turn on, drop out.
This is really sad for two reasons. First, I think there is a good point hiding in here somewhere, about attitudes toward work in the United States and why many people would rather take an uninspiring job instead of using time on unemployment to doing something more fulfilling. Unfortunately, the author's over-the-top assumptions about why people would choose a job over living off unemployment, his admissions about his actions, and his factual errors completely undermine any point he is trying to make.

Second, the style of this "article" clearly smacks of a blog entry... or perhaps, more appropriately given the subject matter, a manifesto. Which would be fine, in an actual blog. This was really a COVER story in the Citypaper? The editorial content of the CP has always been inaccurate and immature to a degree, but at least it used to be more broadly community oriented, like an article on problems with the DMV.

So sad, CP, so sad. Please leave blog entries where they belong, and not as your cover story, if you want to retain even a small amount of respectability.
I cannot believe that people are writing in to defend this crock - and doing so by broadly casting others as "corporate drones" who don't get it. Your arguments, laden with tired Ralph Nader catchphrases ("corporate-_____") are so childish and circular that you lose all credibility. More than the City Paper, who has increasingly become irrelevant by publishing this teenage crap.

I work in public service, and love it, usually. So do many of my colleagues. You people who think that anyone who works is doing so for money need to get out more. You may be miserable with the way things have worked out, but many of us work because we enjoy the challenge, we enjoy the results. Not that we are blind to the fact that the "system" has serious problems, but we're not sitting in our basements whining about it, we're trying to change that. Just because you've raised the white flag, don't bring the rest of us down with you.
This is the biggest scum bag low life I have ever heard of. Anyone who thinks this guy is on point, is a low life too. Take some that unemployment money, buy a gun stick it in your mouth and pull the trigger
This article is well written, funny, and damn inspiring. I am all for not "working" in the traditional sense of the word. Plus, he obviously was doing something right, he got published in the City Paper!
If you own entry is any indication, 'Former Resident' , you wouldn’t recognize the style if bit you in the ass.

Secondly, give the kid a break. For he speaks the words that inspire us all - something increasingly unheard of in this increasingly semi-fascist media of this ever more semi-fascist union of states.


“Public Service”?...... Don’t make me laugh, ‘Steven E’. Just take my f-ing tax money and shut your whatever orifice you are speaking from. JUST F-OFF! “Public service” indeed.

gd, does it stand for the ‘great degenerate‘? Don’t try to convince me otherwise - you won’t be able to. Just go back to your trailer park and shut the f-up.


Am I right, Peggy?
Perfectly, perfectly right, my Ernest.

Franklin babes, don't you listen to those bad people.

Excellent piece of writing I must say.
Hey ernest gd stands for " good dick" just ask your mom, sister, and girlfriend
GD, face it : you couldn't get it up with a winch and horse doses of viagra, you human ape.
Did I say "human"? Ooops.
Awesome. He's Right. I've been in the same position exactly and felt like it wasn't a big deal. If the US can blow BILLIONS of dollars on an invasion of a country that had NOTHING to do with 9/11 (9 of the terrorists were Saudi) then screw the goverment - they can give me a few hundred a week.
Peggy
you got me. Prehaps when your out turning tricks to support your dead beat old man I can come by and you could help me out
Franklin Schneider is a model Republican: he despises the working class, yet is all to happy to feed off of them.

The only problem for Schneider is that unlike the typical elitist Republican, he's going to die in poverty. Enjoy your slumming now, Schneider, because life is long, and being poor when you're 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 or 70 or 80 is nothing to look forward to. In fact, it's going to get worse every year, and you may end up having to take a minimum wage scuz job as an old and tired (and bitter) man.
i used the unemployment system back in 2001, admittedly longer than i should have. i am working at the one of the big intl institutions here in dC and feel i am in that beige walled in rat race. but it's all about getting to where you want to be to be a productive member of society. i will admit i haven't figured it out - to help people, to help the poor, to give kids the opportunities i've had (i've had more than my share and am grateful). me and many in the generations that have followed me must get off our asses - not to be part of the consumerist society, but to start to dream again about what we can contribute to our time on this earth.

the article was amusing i will say though i hope those reading should not take it as an example. we can't give up on the system, but try to make it better.
A twisted 21st century rendition of Thoreau's "On Walden Pond." Certainly the bohemians poking fun at the borgeoise is hardly an orginal theme, but Mr. Schneider certainly delivers it well :)
I'm completely your target audience - the type who would really be empathetic to this - but really all you did was provide more evidence that the programs you base your lifestyle off of should be reduced. And what point were you trying to make at the end? That was just pathetic, haha.
I just wanted to re-iterate how incoherent this article was. If you just wanted to make a not-really-funny article about how you are a loser, and then get the city paper to publish it as part of their decline in relevance and quality, that's fine. But then you tried to make some half-assed thesis / social commentary? Did you seriously try to argue at the end that we are a declining economic power because of the people who earn incomes and contribute to this country's output? Maybe our solution is for everyone to quit their jobs and live off of government checks? Are you really that much of a dumbass?

Yes, people should consume less, but please, Franklin, don't ever talk about it. You are the last person we need as an ambassador for this relevant message of social change.

You should be glad you wrote this article though. When you are 85 and working in wal-mart, every day on your way to work you'll think about how you wasted your life, and will have no choice but to wonder .. "What the f--- was I thinking?" Well, just save this article and you'll have your answer.

Similarly, a few weeks from now, when your checks quit coming and a bill comes due from the government, you'll realize someone sent this article to the same people that finance your teat-sucking life. You'll realize that by writing it you screwed yourself over, and will have no choice but to wonder .. "What the f--- was I thinking?"

Well... :)
If this man is ever in a lifeboat situation, he will be the first pitched over the rail to feed the flounders - if they will have him, that is. Come to think of it, his last few employers obviously thought the same way.

His mother must be so very proud...
This guy is going to be in legal trouble. He certified every 2 weeks he was looking for work and admitted he wasn't. I work for the state unemployment office. This is going to be investigated. Jail time!
You DO realize that you are a total loser, right? Your folks must be proud of you, Junior.
How can you be so proud of being a total peice of shit? Selfish scum like you need to be processed into fetilizer.
I used to read the City Paper primarily for the movie reviews, until they hired critics who hated movies (e.g., Jenkins), and I've learned not to care; I haven't touched that section in over two years.

So then the only reason was to read the (usually) astute commentary on issues in DC that I wouldn't get by reading the Post. And then the City Paper publishes this faux-manifesto from the 1990s.

What does the City Paper have to offer? Nothing for me anymore. Adios!
Based on the comments, “spoiled, self-centered, and whiny” seems an apt description of America’s youth. But the fact of the matter is corporate welfare (or more accurately, reducing corporate tax rates) leads to jobs; welfare payments to individuals generally leads to empty beer cans. If you don’t want to play the game, that’s fine…grab a backpack and a tent and head for the wilderness. Perhaps they’ll make you the subject of a TV movie! But if nothing else, wolves and bears need to eat, too. But please, don’t expect hardworking Americans to subsidize your sloth, and certainly don’t expect us miss your simplistic views of society, and/or your lack of ambition. A note of caution though in your new life as a “free thinking spiritualist”…avoid certain groups of indigenous tribal societies, as slackers (those who don’t contribute to society) are typically put forth on a moving ice-flow, or in extreme cases, eaten.
Ever hear the Bible story about the talents? Probably not since your wasting your life and whatever gifts God gave you. You are missing out on the happiness that comes from truly becoming the best you can be and using those abilities to help others. I'm glad my children aren't as self-centered as you.
Since when did the government 'subsidize' gas prices? Quite the reverse. . .they tax the heck out of gas.

But, in the end, it made as much sense as anything else in this over-long rationalization of extreme laziness.

May this op-ed piece of yours mysteriously surface on the desk of every employer you interview with. It might save them from hiring an obviously worthless individual.
what a mother fucking piece of shit you are. die and be damned you parasite!
What a sniveling, sanctimonious, arrogant little asswipe you are Schneider. Seriously, you are a major league narcissistic prick.
Classic.

It's always those who are riding on the wagon who curse at those pulling that the ride is too bumpy.

Hope the beret and the Che shirt help you land the hot chicks living under the bridge.
This excuse for a man will indeed get everything that's coming to him sooner or later. Probably a lot more than he's expecting.
This total waste of space talks like "the government" and "the state" are some animate, independent entity. Obviously, this makes it easier for him to continue to not face the fact that he is living off of his neighbors. You know, those morons that actually feel those archaic senses of purpose, duty, responsibility. The government makes no money of its own. It takes money from producers and gives it to losers like him. Maybe he should use his free-time to go back to school and take up a more rigorous course of study, because his intellect is as lazy as the rest of his flabby ass.
Hehe :-)

Well, I am from Europe - Germany, actually - and I can assure you that not only is the EU definitely not the dominant economic power in the world, but it lags behind the US more and more every single day.

Germany actually right now has the same per capita GDP as Arkansas - yes, Arkansas, such as in rural-backwater-knuckle-dragging-gun-toting-redneck Arkansas. Read about the EU's failed Lisboa project, where they wanted to make the EU the world's most dynamic knowledge-based economic region by 2010... Sounds nice? Yeah, only that they skipped that idea by 2006, cause we not only can't catch up with the US, but fall behind more and more...

What I take from your article, though, is
1. You have a funny sense of humour (even ha-ha-funny!)
2. You read your Dilbert daily.
3. You enjoyed "Fight Club"

Same goes for me, but I still prefer a tub with hot water, affording extensive vacations in exotic countries abroad and not being dependent on other people's goodwill but only on my own abilities.

It's not slave vs. slacker, dude, it's dependance vs. self-reliance. And I know which I choose.
You are what is wrong with this country, sit on your ass all day sucking off of MY tax dollars. Get a life douche....better yet get a JOB! Lazy scum like yourself makes me sick, why DON`T you go over to Afghanistan? See how much $$$ the Afghanni unemployment benefits are you f-in loser.
Yashmak,

You are a schmuck. Fancy yourself an asset to the employer, don’t you?

Somehow I suspect that your entire worth to your employee is based entirely on your inherent ever-eagerness to relieve your superiors from the need for toilet paper.

Klompus,

Hahahahaha... Klompus.. Dufus more like it. Hahahaha. Just f-off.

harkin,

You and countless others don’t seem to realize there’s a very slight correlation between being on a payroll and actually “pulling the wagon”. There’s quite an abundance of organizations (in this area in particular) that are unproductive to say the least, not to mention plenty of those the humanity in general and this country in particular would definitely be better off without.

Finally, every single dollar the government compensates an unemployed individual is the same dollar the government deducts from that individual’s paycheck while he or she is employed.

Why don’t you all take a walk around the block and try to explain it to yourselves, you rat race morons.

What an astute comment, DHH.
Ernest:
You prove that you're a more worthless douche than the writer, you pathetic little tool.
"quite an abundance of organizations (in this area in particular) that are unproductive to say the least, not to mention plenty of those the humanity in general and this country in particular would definitely be better off without."

My sentiments exactly, Ernest. I say we get rid of all the government entitlement and social programs (comprising roughly 60% of the federal budget)...as we've wasted $30 trillion over the years fighting poverty, but to no avail. Let Darwinism take over for awhile.
I like to talk about stool.
Mr. McStool,

You like to talk about Stool? I think you are ripe for a City Paper feature article!!

Please drop by our offices and we will be pleased to feature your cutting-edge commentary on our next cover. Nothing says "relevancy" better than publishing pieces like yours and Mr. Schneider's.
Klompus are you short a full deck or somin'?

McStool is cool.

Geebus,
you deserve a day off, why not take the week.

DHH,

As you can see, it's like your country in the 30s minus socialism.
Wow, you liberals really are a classy bunch!
I think it's actually Klompus posing as a "US Worker" now, horse's arse.
Nice helmet, pal. Those steel tow boots are quite becoming too.
Make-up? You do not need any.
Nice try, Klompy!
Yes, we are classy, “US worker”,
Whereas your “work” in some government office,
Most likely to consist of watching some disgusting porn all day,
At the expense of the US taxpayer, I should add,
Call it conservative?
Let me guess... You're looking forward to an Obama and/or Klinton ticket?

LOSER.

I could probably quote your personnel files from your former employers verbatim. Your "Layoffs" were most certainly self-inflicted since anyone who would rejoice at screwing the American Taxpayer will usually celebrate screwing their employers out of an honest day's work with equal or greater fervor.

IDIOT.
dude wtf.. u sir, are seriously a POS. honestly, u dont deserve anyhting. its your own damn fault you are on unemployment. im 18 and have 2 jobs, bringing about 200 a week, and your telling me u cant even get a single job?? all your doing is wasting my damn tax money on yourself, just like this idiot kid i no who put his hand in a dryer to stop it, (breaking his arm and wrist) and now he's getting $125 a week for 5 weeks b/c of his own dumbass. u sir are no better than him. i hope u or anyone else email telling me im wrong....
Keep up good work, US worker.


K.D., how can a human being - if that's what you are - be so thick? I could use a few more choice epithets to describe you more accurately but I see you already have. With great fervor.
Hey Peggy... In case your 4th grade teacher failed to get through to you... Che is dead! He was killed by the CIA. So take off that STUPID tee shirt that mommy and daddy bought you. Get a JOB and contribute...

...Or MOVE THE FUCK OUT... and PLEASE... take the non-English speakers with you. I hear there's opportunities for your kind in Iran.
the comments are the best. everyone is vulgar; workers, drones, employed, unemployed, and of course somehow 'stools' come into this discussion of his hilarious op ed piece.

do any of you actually read your comments before you submit them? or frequent a mirror at any time of the day?

so quick to judge with the tazer of righteousness.
And thats STOOLS, and it rhymes with FOOLS and that stands for YOU!

please, get your nose back to the grindstone. its the only sharp feature on any of you.

to the writer field commander schneider...

more! I want more, more more
and write a screenplay for a sitcom. I bet you can get it on the national television propaganda feed.

dang, I'd even bUy a new digital broadcast television to see it! Of course you worker bees are good with the idea that everone has to re fit themselves with televisions that can process the new signal enriching both the manufacturers and the FCC with new band width to delegate for more viewing of garbage that is not worth viewing, but clear as a window into your souls. ha.....

Not this little black duck
WOW. Yet another intellectual who can't form complete sentences and use proper grammar. Congratulations august… you’re yet another Pinko who illustrates my points more eloquently than I could possibly do myself (Capitalist PIG that I am).
Ernest,

I don't quite see the comparison; Germany in the 30s (we're talking about pre 33, I guess) was economically almost bankrupt, everybody loathed the Versailles Treaty and its provisions, and we had a dysfunctional constitutional system; all these factors helped the political extremists, especially the Nazis. I don't see any of these things in nowadays US; some grammar-challenged people shouting at each other in some obscure corner of the internet hardly qualify for paramilitary pre-coup clashes...
KDel, of all people, you should be the last to cast stones against the absence of "intellectual" conversation. I laughed out loud at your comments, until I realized that you weren't intending them to be funny -- Pinko?? ALL CAPS? And then you cap it off with a tourettes-spawned screed against non-English speakers? You are a classic! Lemme guess - you're fat as a pimple and drive an SUV, and spend your nights muttering about "equal rights" for women and "the blacks." That would hit the trifecta.

But wait, you're not done: Iran? Huh? Have you ever been to Iran? Why do I even ask - leaving your cul de sac probably qualifies as roughing it for an august capitalist such as yourself. Why are you and the right wing so afraid of the rest of the world, KD el.? Do you feel as though it's leaving you at the margins?

Your cartoonish worldview puts you in the same boat as the author of this "article" and August10000. You sad, pathetic, open-mouthed breathing putz: Thank you for adding laughter to my day.
They say that man evolved from ape.
KD, you obviously haven't.
KD,
Get lost, you filthy piece of work.
I recommend you check into the National Zoo
Mas pronto posible. And stay there, jerk.

DHH,

OKay, I did exaggerate it quite a bit, you understand...


Stevo,
Well said. KD is utter crap indeed. Now it's been proved to every reader.
Oh god I lol'd. Truer words were never spoken. I wish I was half the slacker you are.
I would love to subscribe to your newsletter.
What a cunt. Get a job, you lazy sack of shit. Must be a liberal demoncrap.
cockblower
LOL, this is an AWESOME piece. It's funny to read the comments here, too. A lot of them reinforce the author's point that American's have "drunk the koolaid".

Best advice I ever got when I was fired from a job: Enjoy the unemployment and take your time looking for a new job. How often do you get a sabbatical?

So I got my unemployment check, took naps, ate well, exercised, and enjoyed the time off. Some days I never even applied for a job -- and what a relief it was!!

I am employed and have been for a while now. But I have to admit that I miss the 6 months or so that I took off and got paid for!

The truth is that the job that fired me was fucked. And it really sucks to go to a job 8 hours a day when it's fucked.

And I took the time to find a totally different job that is not fucked.

I have friends and know people who would have been too ashamed to WAIT (and get paid) until the right thing came along. They would have jumped into the next job just to say they were NOT unemployed.

Anyway .... AWESOME article!!!
yeah, i think people are being a bit too dramatic in their responses. he's unemployed, not a child molester for pete's sake. i think the article was suppose to be more entertaining than informative. i don't agree with a lot of the shit he had to say but i enjoyed the article nonetheless.
Bertrand Russel said it way better in "In Praise of Idleness" (Google it) and he did it without all of the self-indignant snark.

My debt comes not from buying shoes on credit, but rather pulling a loan for my college education, as it was my only recourse at the time.

Dick.
dang, I was just bitching about how I don't get shit for all the taxes I pay, maybe I need to get fired...
Very nice. Essentially egocentric and fairly shortsighted (at least, from the info in the article).
A nice, subtle condemnation of modern America. Me likey a lot!
Your article is hilarious and you're quite resourceful if you're actually doing this. I would definately question if you ever get laid... despite your anti-establishment meanderings I have to assume that is still something you'd like.
I do not get the commenters who like to work. I have been unemployed for a year now, am NOT getting unemployment, but living off about 800 a month from my meager savings, and it has been the best year of my life. I wake up when I want, I read or watch tv or whatever all day and evening, and I go to bed when I want. I'm never bored. I could live my whole life without working one day, and be happy.
The happiest times of my life were when I was not working, and not looking for work. Living a stress-free existence changes your entire psyche. I am a very organized person, and a month into my latest period of non employment, I crossed the last item off on my to do list. I felt free. I felt wonderful. This article was an inspirational reminder of those times, and summer is right around the corner. . .
Ahhhhhhhhh. All this waxing nostalgic about the joys of unemployment have converted me.

I'm now on board with you slackers. I've been enlightened.

Your posts have me remembering with fondness my years as a non-productive, unemployed, citizen of the USA. I'm remembering with tears in my eyes the days when Mommy and Daddy used to tuck me in at night and whisper inspirational thoughts in my ears:

"Study hard in school son so you can get a good job and make your own way in life"

"Work hard son so you can prove yourself and make a good living for your family"

"Don't vote for Democrats son because they'll take your money in order to feed the idle hands that vote for them"

You know, silly shit like that.

Shame on me for taking them serious until I discovered this site and all the wonderful people who post here.

Thank you ALL! I quit my job today and informed my kids that I would no longer be paying their college tuition. I also revised my W4 to claim "everything" since I will be paying no taxes from now on.

My visit to this site has been truly liberating for me. I gave my boss the finger and farted on him as I walked out the door of my "shit" job. Oh the humanity.

I'm looking sooooooooo forward to voting for Billary or Osama and I truly need some help with filling out the food stamp paper work.

Can you help me?

Thanks guys. I love you all. Thanks for freeing me from the bonds of George Bush Hell. You guys are so great! I just pissed myself due to my uncontrollable joy.
Short term, we'd all better get used to this kind of lifestyle, as unemployment will be harder and harder to avoid. Long term, we're all screwed, as there will be no jobs (other than lobbyist or hedge fund manager) *and*, thanks to compassionate conservatism 2.0, no welfare, either.
Too late, K.D.,
Now, march to work and minimize your supervisors’ need for toilet paper
You might as well eliminate it altogether ,
You sound like the kind who would perform the task with utmost fervor.


Shrewd comment, Rich.
Wow, that's the best satire I have read in years.
OMG You worked for me!

Oh wait, your name isn't Brenda.

Yes, boys and girls, people like this do exist. I was pretty stupid. It took me two years to catch on because I just couldn't believe this game existed.
Yes, they almost always win the first round for unemployement.

I dropped everything else and dedicated myself full-time to not paying her umemployment. After six months and all the appeals, she has to pay back the money. If you are the employer, here are the clues to watch for.

It slowly dawns on you that all her best friends are people she met at the community kitchen over free meals.

She talks a lot about how it isn't fair that she should have to be working in the first place.

All other employees radiated hate in her direction.

She spends most of her time at work discussing how much she could probably get on workman's comp, and what would be the best injury to get and how to arrange it as well as which injuries would be best if her long term goal was to move to permanent disability.

I an also vouch for that fact that most people applying for jobs, don't seem to want the job, especially those dozens who send in resume's from whatever factory just closed.
Outstanding article! Keep the faith.
My new manifesto. My favorite thing is watching a jacked up traffic report from my bed on a cold rainy/snowy day while laughing diaboloically. Luckilyy (and unluckily) for me, due to some savings, a subsequent "career" in real estate (woo hoo) a supportive spouse-who-makes-enough, and the fact that I QUIT- I havent even had to deal with unemployment.
The day that you realize that you don't actually HAVE to work is the best day of your life. Trust me. It allowed me to roll out in an American Beauty kind of way, complete with a go fuck yourself you fat greasy bastard-right when he thought he had me for life. I believe his exact words were "she's not going anywhere" right before I announced that not only was I going, but I was taking at least one of his balls with me. I did it for my ancestors, who were indeed slaves and couldn't leave, much less ball-in-hand. I swear I heard them cheering as I walked out that last day. And if I ever have to (or choose to) work again, my standards are higher. Its gonna have to be a pretty good gig (read:dream job) for me to fall for the okey doke again. I also now know that a job is just that: a damn job. It doesn't define or make me. Where that one goes comes another opportunity to ponder the many other ways to spend my time, to reevaluate the direction of my life: another luxury the average wonk will never know. So now when people ask me what I do, I love the look on their faces when I reply, " I do ME."
This article just possibly may have saved my life! To Sir Franklin Schneider, write a HOW TO BOOK. Please.
GeekMom! Convert thyself! Don't you understand that it is NOW the accepted American work ethic to expect everything for nothing? Since my visit here, I've been taught to realize that the government is responsible for our well-being.

What don't you get about that? Surely your thin wallet (pocketbook) is a clue that taxation is our salvation. It ensures that all of us who are smart enough to stop working will still get fed and have a place to live.

Are you an idiot or what?

STOP working and sign up NOW!
Bravo Franklin! Really enjoyed yourarticle. You're a very talneted writer and should pursue expanding this article into a book deal.

I can totally relate as a while back when I had my second kid, I decided to take advantage of the Family Leave Act and took about six weeks off and it was heaven! For the first time since i got out of college, I was able to set my own schedule every day and do the things I wanted to do - well almost , since the baby took first priority. I took my older daughter to the circus, read a whole bunch of books I had bought but never had time to read, pursued some hobbies, visited some distant relatives and generally had a great time. The feeling of having the freedom to set your own agenda each day after having it set for me for so many years was just exhilarating. It was a real letdown to have to return to the hamster wheel.

And for the self-righteos out there, remember the upper crust doesn't get their income from working - they live on dividends, capital gains from stocks and bionds and rent checks - and a lot of them have inherited their fortune.
This is the best online essay I have ever read . . .
IN DEFENSE OF A TRUE AMERICAN HERO: FRANKLIN SCHNEIDER

(By the guy who wrote the amazing work-evasive resume featured in Frank’s article.)

Wow, it seems like the dullards are really up in arms over this article! I can hear the bars of the cages rattling as the slaves rise up to defend their own serfdom. Everyone who knows me knows that every year at DC’s Dullard Con, I hand out an award to the most servile, apelike, short-sighted, clean-suited, SUV-driving, freedom-hating, overweight American that I can find. I suggest you all attend because there is little to disqualify any of you from winning a blue ribbon to show your corporate taskmasters.

Now, I want to address some of the thoughtless comments that you guys left. Don’t worry; I’ll be doing the thinking on this one, and I’ll explain things point-by-point, so this’ll be no different from watching TV. On to the first comment:

“i'm not mad at homeboy, but he could be doing something a bit more constructive with all his free time. tutoring kids or picking up trash, for example, would be a great way for dude to do something uplifting for the community....and still have time to shoot the shit and live life to the fullest.”

Hm. Interesting. How is picking up trash constructive to any community? What lesson does it teach the community besides, “Go ahead and make your neighborhood a dump because some other sucker will clean it up.” Also, it’s a pretty big (and very Christian) assumption that living in servitude is somehow better than doing what you want - and also completely ignores the fact that you’re giving carte blanche moral validation to those who originally dumped garbage in their own hood. Who are those people? Why do they need such cleaning services? And as for tutoring kids - why? Don’t your precious tax dollars already go to state-funded educators? What’s their deal? Isn’t 8 hours a day enough to teach some kid the fundamentals to become a good servant himself? I just don’t understand this love affair with complete, abject servitude. Wouldn’t it make much more sense to say, “I’m not mad at homeboy, but he could be doing something more constructive with his free time, like enjoying a video game, drinking and having sex with his friends, and going to see the new Rambo movie.” Then again, I guess that only makes sense if you came into this world to enjoy your short time here!

Now, this next comment is so sad that I have to break it up into parts. It’s just so heart-breakingly stupid, reading it is like watching a retarded kid eat a jelly sandwhich; you want to help him, but he’s just smeared so much jelly on himself that you know it’s more trouble than it’s worth, plus the parents are standing beside you talking all this noise about how they “love” him because he’s “human”, and then you have this terrible buzzing in your head and you just want to go home and lie down because you’re not sure which of them is retarded and which one is just getting “retarded on” but you sense that, somehow, you’re going to have to lead them all by the hand, kicking and screaming all the way. Well, let’s begin!

“What a cliche - if you're going to fight convention, at least be original. This schtick was trite when I first heard it in "Reality Bites." ”

Alright, just look at the tone in which this guy is writing. He’s obviously enraged, but being unable or too embarrassed to articulate the emotion, he plays up the “worthlessness” of the article - which is a psychological scam on his part, readers. If something is worthless, then we don’t talk about it and it fades from discussion. But if something has valid points, if something makes us uncomfortable to the point that the only way we can deal with it is to talk about it - then yes, it does have worth. Great worth. Throwing around words like “cliche” and “original” when putting something down is always, ALWAYS, a red flag. Buddy, what the fuck was Frank supposed to do in terms of “fighting convention through originality”? Write the article backwards so that the reader would have to hold it up to a mirror to read it? Write it in Klingon, maybe? Maybe a have a pop-up section in the article? Op Ed is what it is; if these concepts were old, then we wouldn’t be dwelling on them. They wouldn’t be making us as uncomfortable. It’s okay for slaves to discuss their station; it’s okay; release your anger. Here’s another part:

“There are a number of people who work "9 to 5" but do so in a manner that helps other people or improves our society.”

Just because there are a “number of people” who work a 9 to 5 in a way that helps DOES NOT validate the blueprint of enslavement. Let’s get this straight: When you file papers away in a folder, and then put that folder in its proper place, you have, in fact, wasted your time. You didn’t do anything. You got used. Your company’s stock went up by 0.00005 dollars, you felt like shit, and when that goes on all day long then the result is that one of your company’s stockholders made enough to get some bomb-ass head from a prostitute on a yacht. The prostitute’s firm young breasts were brushing up against the shareholder’s inner thigh and, somehow, your ass ended up sore. That’s what happened; it didn’t happen any other way.

Also, this part is especially funny: “And given that there are people with real problems, who struggle against real injustice (rather than a self-imposed ennui), it is virtually imposslbe for me not to hope that 50 years from now you are enjoying the fruit of your labor.” Alright, I know it’s fun to throw around words like ennui (watch your friends scurry for a dictionary!), but this isn’t really the case. Kids who grow up rich and are not expected to get a job and have the time to buy fashionable clothes and fashionable music and are still somehow depressed - sure, they suffer from ennui. That wasn’t what the article was about. Read it again; try not to shake your head the whole time because that tends to blur the words, making it difficult to string together those sentences into abstract concepts. Franklin’s article was about a working-class stiff who’s tired of getting shit on by people who, ironically enough, don’t actually do a lot of work. And so he rebels. Also, Frank even admitted that 50 years from now he would be screwed. Which article were you reading, man?

Here are some other ludicrous statements made by the same person. Note the misuse of terms, all of which work in defense of a status quo that few people actually enjoy, and all of which only work if the reader has a monosyllabic vocabulary.

“You pose as if you're rejecting "consumerism," ... You are just as hooked on consumerism as anyone else - you live in one of the world's most modern cities, you drink clean water and apparently eat decent food, you have credit cards -- yeah you're a true rebel, aren't you.”

Note the confusion between consumerism and capitalism. A lot of people do this; I want you all to keep your eyes open for it. Capitalism is trade: Goods for goods, services for goods, the generation of capital that can be pumped into projects, all enforced by contracts protected by law, and that law is enforced by the power of the gun. It has the dual aspects of 1) being so close to the law of the jungle that you don’t have to spend a lot of time enforcing it (it “just happens”) and 2) a lot of “enlightened activities” can go on in a free-market system (things like art and education) to the point where capitalism doesn’t have to be protected from its opponents. Consumerism, which is a natural extension of capitalism but with a clear distinction to be pointed out, can only work if it’s upheld by a lot of dullards who are as easily led as they are easily pampered. It requires fat slaves, hungry slaves, slaves who don’t mind selling their time and energy as long as they get a clean cage in the exchange, slaves too short-sighted not to make babies in a world that’s already full of slaves (because expansion is all-important to the survival of a consumer culture).

Also, in that same comment, after the guy confuses consumerism with capitalism (maybe I should say confuses consumerism with civilization, as I don’t want to turn off any of my socialist readers), he then goes on to call Frank a hypocrite because he “lives in one of the world's most modern cities, you drink clean water and apparently eat decent food, you have credit cards” - as if none of those things could exist outside of a mindless consumer culture!

Do you people actually agree with this?! What has happened in my fucking America?! Are you my kinsmen? Are you my countrymen?! When they switched out my flag and put a Wal-Mart commercial up to replace it, did you motherfuckers actually just go along with it? I can understand you guys not arming yourselves and fighting a revolution - I’m a coward too, I don’t want to get shot - but all the same, don’t you rebel in your hearts, at least?! What the fuck happened to you people that made you think it was your duty to actually DEFEND YOUR OWN CAGE?! Those politicians getting blown by incredibly sexy prostitutes, those CEOs who think of you people as toilet paper and are literally laughing all the way to the bank - do you guys really think THOSE motherfuckers are somehow “American heroes”? You’ve got to be kidding me.

The REAL American hero here is Frank Fucking Schneider. He made you dullards uncomfortable. He said things that you people don’t like to think about. And instead of thinking about what he said and debating with him, you called him... what was it? Unoriginal? Childish? As if you people weren’t all carbon-copy zombies, each alike in his own sad, pathetic way. And as for you right wing fucknuts who somehow think that freedom is something that can actually be defended by armed goons in riot gear, I’ve got something to say to you. You know how you read all those stories about Jesus Christ and then, when the story gets to the part where everyone tears him down and crucifies him, you get all warm and self-righteousy and fantasize about how you would have stood by his side and defended him against oppression and the tyranny of the majority? You remember that? You hypocrites! Don’t you realize that Frank Fucking Schneider IS the next Jesus Christ?! And just like him, you people are going to deride him, you’re going to twist what he said, and you’re going to crucify him! And then you sorry, pathetic slaves are going to feel guilty and, one hundred years from now, you’re going to make up a lot of nonsense that Frank never said, a lot of anti-life guilt-tripping rules-obeying hogwash, and you’re going to put it in Frank’s mouth, and then you’re going to worship his corpse. In order to explain-away Frank’s charisma and insight, you’re going to say that he fed a thousand people when all he really did was shoplift some condoms. You’re going to say that he raised the dead to life when all he really did was try to make you think and feel alive. You people are sorry, to your very core you’re hopelessly lost and small and mean-spirited, and as the sworn Champion of Frank I’m not going to let you get away with it.

And all you people who think that the world will, somehow, fall apart if people don’t work 40 hours a week? You’ve got to be kidding me. What was the point of evolving to our current state if it only made our lives WORSE than they were before we could speak and use tools? What was the point?! Was it really for our corporate sponsors that we first strained to pick up tools? And you self-righteous dullards who think that your “work” (which usually consists of moving boxes from point A to point B or moving files from point A back to point A) actually means that you’re “contributing” - that’s the ultimate joke of them all. You contribute nothing. Shakespeare, Schopenhauer, Einstein, Socrates - guys like them, they did a lot of sitting around, a lot of thinking. Technically, they hardly did any work at all. Even Frank - worthless, lazy Frank - has published several articles and even made some short films. And yet now those people, and even Frank, are immortal! And you people? You hard workers, you good slaves?

Once the day of your death has come and gone, it will be as if you never existed at all.
IN DEFENSE OF A TRUE AMERICAN HERO: FRANKLIN SCHNEIDER

(By the guy who wrote the amazing work-evasive resume featured in Frank's article.)

Wow, it seems like the dullards are really up in arms over this article! I can hear the bars of the cages rattling as the slaves rise up to defend their own serfdom. Everyone who knows me knows that every year at DC's Dullard Con, I hand out an award to the most servile, apelike, short-sighted, clean-suited, SUV-driving, freedom-hating, overweight American that I can find. I suggest you all attend because there is little to disqualify any of you from winning a blue ribbon to show your corporate taskmasters.

Now, I want to address some of the thoughtless comments that you guys left. Don't worry; I'll be doing the thinking on this one, and I'll explain things point-by-point, so this'll be no different from watching TV. On to the first comment:

"i'm not mad at homeboy, but he could be doing something a bit more constructive with all his free time. tutoring kids or picking up trash, for example, would be a great way for dude to do something uplifting for the community....and still have time to shoot the shit and live life to the fullest."

Hm. Interesting. How is picking up trash constructive to any community? What lesson does it teach the community besides, "Go ahead and make your neighborhood a dump because some other sucker will clean it up." Also, it's a pretty big (and very Christian) assumption that living in servitude is somehow better than doing what you want - and also completely ignores the fact that you're giving carte blanche moral validation to those who originally dumped garbage in their own hood. Who are those people? Why do they need such cleaning services? And as for tutoring kids - why? Don't your precious tax dollars already go to state-funded educators? What's their deal? Isn't 8 hours a day enough to teach some kid the fundamentals to become a good servant himself? I just don't understand this love affair with complete, abject servitude. Wouldn't it make much more sense to say, "I'm not mad at homeboy, but he could be doing something more constructive with his free time, like enjoying a video game, drinking and having sex with his friends, and going to see the new Rambo movie." Then again, I guess that only makes sense if you came into this world to enjoy your short time here!

Now, this next comment is so sad that I have to break it up into parts. It's just so heart-breakingly stupid, reading it is like watching a retarded kid eat a jelly sandwhich; you want to help him, but he's just smeared so much jelly on himself that you know it's more trouble than it's worth, plus the parents are standing beside you talking all this noise about how they "love" him because he's "human", and then you have this terrible buzzing in your head and you just want to go home and lie down because you're not sure which of them is retarded and which one is just getting "retarded on" but you sense that, somehow, you're going to have to lead them all by the hand, kicking and screaming all the way. Well, let's begin!

"What a cliche - if you're going to fight convention, at least be original. This schtick was trite when I first heard it in "Reality Bites." "

Alright, just look at the tone in which this guy is writing. He's obviously enraged, but being unable or too embarrassed to articulate the emotion, he plays up the "worthlessness" of the article - which is a psychological scam on his part, readers. If something is worthless, then we don't talk about it and it fades from discussion. But if something has valid points, if something makes us uncomfortable to the point that the only way we can deal with it is to talk about it - then yes, it does have worth. Great worth. Throwing around words like "cliche" and "original" when putting something down is always, ALWAYS, a red flag. Buddy, what the fuck was Frank supposed to do in terms of "fighting convention through originality" ? Write the article backwards so that the reader would have to hold it up to a mirror to read it? Write it in Klingon, maybe? Maybe a have a pop-up section in the article? Op Ed is what it is; if these concepts were old, then we wouldn't be dwelling on them. They wouldn't be making us uncomfortable. It's okay for slaves to discuss their station; it's okay; release your anger. Here's another part:

"There are a number of people who work "9 to 5" but do so in a manner that helps other people or improves our society."

Just because there are a "number of people" who work a 9 to 5 in a way that helps DOES NOT validate the blueprint of enslavement. Let's get this straight: When you file papers away in a folder, and then put that folder in its proper place, you have, in fact, wasted your time. You didn't do anything. You got used. Your company's stock went up by 0.00005 dollars, you felt like shit, and when that goes on all day long then the result is that one of your company's stockholders made enough to get some bomb-ass head from a prostitute on a yacht. The prostitute's firm young breasts were brushing up against the shareholder's inner thigh and, somehow, your ass ended up sore. That's what happened; it didn't happen any other way.

Also, this part is especially funny: "And given that there are people with real problems, who struggle against real injustice (rather than a self-imposed ennui), it is virtually imposslbe for me not to hope that 50 years from now you are enjoying the fruit of your labor." Alright, I know it's fun to throw around words like ennui (watch your friends scurry for a dictionary!), but this isn't really the case. Kids who grow up rich and are not expected to get a job and have the time to buy fashionable clothes and fashionable music and are still somehow depressed - sure, they suffer from ennui. That wasn't what the article was about. Read it again; try not to shake your head the whole time because that tends to blur the words, making it difficult to string together those sentences into abstract concepts. Franklin's article was about a working-class stiff who's tired of getting shit on by people who, ironically enough, don't actually do a lot of work. And so he rebels. Also, Frank even admitted that 50 years from now he would be screwed. Which article were you reading, man?

Here are some other ludicrous statements made by the same person. Note the misuse of terms, all of which work in defense of a status quo that few people actually enjoy, and all of which only work if the reader has a monosyllabic vocabulary.

"You pose as if you're rejecting "consumerism," ... You are just as hooked on consumerism as anyone else - you live in one of the world's most modern cities, you drink clean water and apparently eat decent food, you have credit cards -- yeah you're a true rebel, aren't you."

Note the confusion between consumerism and capitalism. A lot of people do this; I want you all to keep your eyes open for it. Capitalism is trade: Goods for goods, services for goods, the generation of capital that can be pumped into projects, all enforced by contracts protected by law, and that law is enforced by the power of the gun. It has the dual aspects of 1) being so close to the law of the jungle that you don't have to spend a lot of time enforcing it (it "just happens") and 2) a lot of "enlightened activities" can go on in a free-market system (things like art and education) to the point where capitalism doesn't have to be protected from its opponents. Consumerism, which is a natural extension of capitalism but with a clear distinction to be pointed out, can only work if it's upheld by a lot of dullards who are as easily led as they are easily pampered. It requires fat slaves, hungry slaves, slaves who don't mind selling their time and energy as long as they get a clean cage in the exchange, slaves too short-sighted not to make babies in a world that's already full of slaves (because expansion is all-important to the survival of a consumer culture).

Also, in that same comment, after the guy confuses consumerism with capitalism (maybe I should say confuses consumerism with civilization, as I don't want to turn off any of my socialist readers), he then goes on to call Frank a hypocrite because he "lives in one of the world's most modern cities, you drink clean water and apparently eat decent food, you have credit cards" - as if none of those things could exist outside of a mindless consumer culture!

Do you people actually agree with this?! What has happened in my fucking America?! Are you my kinsmen? Are you my countrymen?! When they switched out my flag and put a Wal-Mart commercial up to replace it, did you motherfuckers actually just go along with it? I can understand you guys not arming yourselves and fighting a revolution - I'm a coward too, I don’t want to get shot - but all the same, don't you rebel in your hearts, at least?! What the fuck happened to you people that made you think it was your duty to actually DEFEND YOUR OWN CAGE?! Those politicians getting blown by incredibly sexy prostitutes, those CEOs who think of you people as toilet paper and are literally laughing all the way to the bank - do you guys really think THOSE motherfuckers are somehow "American heroes"? You've got to be kidding me.

The REAL American hero here is Frank Fucking Schneider. He made you dullards uncomfortable. He said things that you people don't like to think about. And instead of thinking about what he said and debating with him, you called him... what was it? Unoriginal? Childish? As if you people weren't all carbon-copy zombies, each alike in his own sad, pathetic way. And as for you right wing fucknuts who somehow think that freedom is something that can actually be defended by armed goons in riot gear, I've got something to say to you. You know how you read all those stories about Jesus Christ and then, when the story gets to the part where everyone tears him down and crucifies him, you get all warm and self-righteousy and fantasize about how you would have stood by his side and defended him against oppression and the tyranny of the majority? You remember that? You hypocrites! Don't you realize that Frank Fucking Schneider IS the next Jesus Christ?! And just like him, you people are going to deride him, you're going to twist what he said, and you're going to crucify him! And then you sorry, pathetic slaves are going to feel guilty and, one hundred years from now, you're going to make up a lot of nonsense that Frank never said, a lot of anti-life guilt-tripping rules-obeying hogwash, and you're going to put it in Frank's mouth, and then you're going to worship his corpse. In order to explain-away Frank's charisma and insight, you're going to say that he fed a thousand people when all he really did was shoplift some condoms. You're going to say that he raised the dead to life when all he really did was try to make you think and feel alive. You people are sorry, to your very core you're hopelessly lost and small and mean-spirited, and as the sworn Champion of Frank I'm not going to let you get away with it.

And all you people who think that the world will, somehow, fall apart if people don't work 40 hours a week? You've got to be kidding me. What was the point of evolving to our current state if it only made our lives WORSE than they were before we could speak and use tools? What was the point?! Was it really for our corporate sponsors that we first strained to pick up tools? And you self-righteous dullards who think that your "work" (which usually consists of moving boxes from point A to point B or moving files from point A back to point A) actually means that you're "contributing" - that's the ultimate joke of them all. You contribute nothing. Shakespeare, Schopenhauer, Einstein, Socrates - guys like them, they did a lot of sitting around, a lot of thinking. Technically, they hardly did any work at all. Even Frank - worthless, lazy Frank - has published several articles and even made some short films. And yet now those people, and even Frank, are immortal! And you people? You hard workers, you good slaves?

Once the day of your death has come and gone, it will be as if you never existed at all.
Great article and outlook. More people need to read this. I remember seeing somewhere that cube land is not meant for humans.
You tell 'em, Frank! (And Defender of Frank, too!)

Here's a great old pamphlet on the same topic: Working Sucks, by Tim Righteous

http://www.zenzibar.com/Articles/worksucks.asp

Or as e.e. cummings once wrote, "pity this busy monster, manunkind." Think of that phrase, "busy monster." So busy are we, cutting down the Amazon for wood and leveling the hills of Kentucky for coal, bombing Iraq for oil and paving, paving, paving. Did you know that of the United States, an area about the size of South Carolina is paved?

Or maybe you think you need to work harder to pay for society. I think the Iraq War tab comes out to about $8000 a person now. And there are prisons to build, and a fence on the border!

Far better that we all slowed down and spent more time on the porch with a guitar.
Personally, I thought the article was hilarious! And before any of the conservative knuckle draggers get their panties in a bunch, I do work full time. Not that I like it. I just like having things like medical insurance, cable, and partying money (not to mention hot water).

If I could get away with not working, would I? Uh, duh, yes. Like the author, I haven't been dumb enough to knock anyone up, and therefore have only myself to look after. I mean, how many people actually want to be tied down to a regular, boring work schedule every day?

One thing this article certainly did accomplish: lots of hits for the City Paper. You self righteous dipshits out there writing in, you do realize that your responses equal revenue for the CP every time you chime in, right? Hopefully Mr. Schneider gets a cut of that. That would be priceless!
You’re wise beyond belief, dopthong. Compared to your father, at least.

Now, on one hand, that slacker thing was out of fashion circa 1993, on the other hand, the relevance if the issues raised in the article has increased dramatically and shows no signs of subsiding - a trend we all had better get accustomed to for this country is on the road we know not where. Franklin for Congress, anyone??...
there are some really up tight assholes who read city paper. this article was brilliant! rich as shit.
Dude, I love the article. Fuck those assholes saying otherwise. The capitalist system is the biggest fuckjob ever done on the "common folk" since the introduction of "unbacked" paper money. The truth is, we do all the work, and the government fucks get a cut of everything everybody makes and everything everybody buys. It's a perfect system, for them of course. It's a modern legal mafia system that benefits the very few who hold real (if only perceived) power. You work, you pay taxes, you buy(consume) you pay taxes, you live you pay taxes(property), you drive you pay taxes, and get fucked over pretty much everywhere you go. We work and earn at wholesale, get fucked with taxes and then end up spending at retail markups(plus taxes), and we wonder why we need to repeat the process every month. An employer only pays you enough to survive another day, to make it to work and to continue making him rich the following day. If they pay you enough to save and invest then you would not work there for too long obviously. Government takes their cut of the proceeds from everyone involved, and truly does jack shit for any of us. They spend our money on foreign aid, military expenditures, and their own asses, and figuring out how to get even more, while we try to figure out how to survive another day. It's a fucked up system and not sustainable in the long run. Why do you think there are shootings at malls, schools? Folks are pissed off at the system, and they truly beat the system. Now the government assholes are going to try to take away the right to bear arms and have total and complete control over the population. The Alex Jones series may seem to be very pessimistic to some, but there is a lot of truth in it when you think about it. Google for his fims and watch them, because it will at least get you to think what the fuck is being done to you as a person and collectively to the general population. The modern economic system is a wage slave system. Yes, now you get paid, but slave wages, and there is no way to get out of the system. Sure, other countries have a lot more shitty living standards, such as in Africa or South America(try Brasil), but overall it's the same everywhere. The top folks hold the power to get things done, and their slave military do exactly as they are told like braindead fried chickens. The military and police is brainwashed completely, and they don't realize that their own existance is also in peril. But, most people are selfish and so do not care about anything unless it affects them directly. They will not do anything unless they are part of it. Sad, but true. I applaud you for being able to game the system and at the same time rejecting the bullshit that we call the system. More power to you, keep up the good work.
7/8 of the populace are simply sunk hopelessly in the mire of vulgar, servile, petty bourgeois, philistine existence. They have no notion how f-up there are. But even if they did, they wouldn’t mind. They like to follow orders. To a significant degree, slavery has always been what this country has been all about.
wHAT A BUNCH OF CUNTS YOU ALL ARE. GO RAPE YOURSELVES ASSHOLES,
YOU SHIT EATING QUEERS
Frank is a complete loser. A lazy moron who will find himself living in squalor in his old age. No doubt he will be found dead in front of his TV with a bag of chips rotting in his hands. Yet the idiot really believes he is doing something heroic with his life. The human capacity for self-indulgence and self-deception can be amazing. If he wants to be a hero he can enlist in the military or join the Peace Corps. Then maybe he can find a job that actually helps other people and supports himself, but that might require WORK.
I liked the article. Usually, the features of C.P. come across to me as whiny but this one didn't. I hope C.P. publishes more of his writings.
I don't know about Frank but 'fuckface' is sure to meet his destiny with a dick in his ass. And another in his mouth. In jail, probably.

Face it, fuckface.
Alright, so the guy cherishes his unemployment. What does that mean to anyone but him? If he ever requires a life that needs more cash, I'm sure he is smart enough to figure out a new hustle. To Champion of Frank, the excerpts from your unemployment resume still has me laughing. Genius. Good luck with your book.
Dude... Wow.

You hit the nail on the head! Protestant puritan b.s. is what you've seen. hehe. I love it!
Magnificent!
The welfare system here in Australia seems to be a more relaxed (No time limit for example), but is viewed with less guilt when you use it. More of a "I contribute when I work, so I am a paid up member of society when I am not working".
Still open to abuse, though, like any institution.
I can also draw some parallels between the retirement pension, I do believe that when I hit retirement age, there will be nothing but a big IOU from the govt instead. The buggers always find new ways of taxation.

Good for you, articles like this must strike absolute fear into the hearts of the captains of industry, with the minimalist consumption that this lifestyle entails, and they pray to their vicious God that it will never catch on.

(I myself am near 40 yo, and have reduced work hours to 20 per week and fully retired by 40 years )
This is the greatest article I have ever read. I was laughing my ass off. And the comments! It makes me realize how controlled so much of the population is.

Everyone in Europe, the biggest economic powerhouse in the world, gets paid vacation every year. Americans think the worker bee mentality is the only way. From a distance it looks like a brave new world.

Hey, just take a look at Congress' yearly work schedule and pay and then come back here and say something nasty about this article.

"Bah bah bah," said the sheep.
The only fatcats you're "milking," buddy boy, is the unemployment insurance funds which are generally administered by non-profit agencies. Abusing unemployment insurance is a good way to make sure employment is more expensive for everyone and makes jobs harder to get.

You're definitely sticking someone, though. The man has managed and put to bed the risk your benefits cost a long, long time ago.

Anyway, what you really want is an anti-intellectual society that never improves so no one ever has to work too hard at anything, no one has to learn anything, no one has much of anything, and the government takes care of everyone. Europe's just the place for you! Au revoir!
You're a monster.
People who have the opportunity to sit on a beach all day long and sip fruity drinks for the rest of their lives usually don't. Most people would get bored of the permanent vacation. As thinking animals we want interesting work, at least sometimes.

Find a job you enjoy. It's not hard if you have any brain at all.
hilarious. i would wager that the negative comments are coming from bitter people who are too wound up by their crappy jobs and want to rip on you for having a sense of humor. bravo!
Good to know I'm not the lone ranger here.

Keep up the good unwork!
Wait until everyone in America thinks it's alright to claim benefits, even just say a Jobseekers allowance. Some families in the UK now live entirely off state benefits (wrongly named as it's actually a nice lump of our taxes, the state has nothing to do with it) and willing admit to the newspapers they'll never get jobs. Some even believe it to be a breach of their human rights that they don't have a bigger house as they've had too many kids (the local councils always give in to the that one).

Human rights and the welfare state is going to crush the whole western world before Extremists get a chance to, thanks for letting me know America is on the same track as us in the UK!
simply awesome........


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This article made me realize how lucky I am that 1)I have a well paying job that I absolutely love(I can't think of a better way to spend 8 hours a day) 2)I hate shopping except for stuff that helps me at my hobbies- film and photography, both of which also happen to be a large part of my job and 3)I can take care of myself without having to rely on hand outs. It's a very empowering feeling knowing that you are obligated to no one.

It sounds like Franklin is in an awful lot of denial, although I'm sure the blast of freezing cold shower water in December washed away the denial, if only for a moment.
What a sorry bunch of train wrecks some of you are.

You do not have to be a 9 to 5 slave. You can make enough to satisfy, if your'e first satisfied (enough) with yourself. You -can- make it happen while doing something that doesn't kill your (or somebody else's) soul.

This guy reminds me of girls I used to know in college who dated one abusive guy after another. He and his buddies -need- the dysfunctional relationships with employers.

Have fun in your squalor, pal- You deserve it very much.
A lot of people here are getting way too worked up about this. If the guy wants to live this way, then so be it. I know that I could never live like this: I want to buy some decent land, build a house, farm and have a family. Real simple. I have to work to build up money to do this, however. Barely scraping by on unemployment would not help me to accomplish my goals, and I sure as hell am not going to take out a loan to buy the land. When I have it, it will be my own. Until then I'll rent an apartment and save. Am I a slave to consumerism for this? I wouldn't like to think so: I'm not just working towards something that is "there to sate the hunger in my soul for a meaningful existence" (or however else you want to put it), but because this is what I want. I love growing things, cooking my own food, working with my hands and a slow and quiet life in general.

If I weren't working towards this goal, however, would I go on unemployment? No. It's just a matter of honor. Even if it is money that has been taken from me as claimed in the article, I can find a way to get by on my own and if I give something, willingly or not, I do not need to take it back. You roll with the punches and get by how you can. Is that so difficult?
Great article!

All the people who have a problem with it are obviously insanely jealous of your carefree lifestyle...I certainly am.

Get a grip people, lighten up already!
I couldn't agree with your stance more. To all the assholes dissing the article, he's totally right, you owe the country nothing. Do something worthwhile with your time .
fantastic essay. with the amount of other subjects that require people's energy and attention, there is no need to get aggressive here. he is providing a legitimate perspective on our society, on our system. he is not invading anyone's private property and not breaking any laws. whether he submits terrible resumes or pokes fun at worker bees, it is his freedom being exerted...beautiful. our system is faulty and he brilliantly points out various break points within it, no harm in that. he might wake up one day at age 50 with arthritis and where the cold shower will burn through his knees and wish he spent his "golden" years actively pursuing better oversight into government spending but that is his prerogative. he also brings up many good points and being a satisfied employee, i have to agree on many of them. i do believe there is a middle way of joy and work and pursuing a higher meaning but that is up to each one of us. there is no need to push my beliefs on good ol' franklin. cheers mate and i will buy you a beer if you're ever in the neighborhood!
You, sir, are a hero and a scholar.
I wish more people did this. We need to fucking break this system.
Frank, congratulations on doing such an amazing job at rationalizing laziness.

It's your type of progressive thinking that will make the USA the dominant economic power once again!
wow... This is an amazing article/essay. My first impulse is to hate the person who wrote this and blame him for making America what it is today. But if you think about it, he has a point. While I still don't agree with the "do nothing" attitude, I believe that this article points out that those people in this country who live their stupid lives communiting to the office every day while pouring starbucks down their cock-sucking throats hoping that someday life will shower them with meaning and happiness ($ and sex) are essentially doing nothing with their lives and are in no way making this world a better place. I believe that change will not necessarily be made through money or hard work, but rather through strength of character governed by a strong understanding of the laws of human nature and society.
Living on perpetual claims of unemployment is the gateway drug to Player Piano scenarios of the future! I'm mainlining complacency right now!
As a 25 year old writer, I do see exactly what you are saying. However, I could never hate working so much that I would be motivated to take freezing cold showers in D.C. in December. If anything, that would motivate me to actually get a job. Granted, we don't need to work as much as we do, I fully agree with that, and we don't need to spend as much as we do, but the little things in life like warm showers and a nice bed to sleep in, really do make making money worth it, don't they?? Or maybe that's just me...
Amen, preach on, brother. Keep your overheads low, and you don't have to sacrifice your soul.
That was FUCKING HILLARIOUS! That wasn't like haha stupid interweb funny, that was Bill Hicks/George Carlin/Dennis Leary quality shit.

You are a great writer.
hahah, go go Europeans! We win! :D
I like the angry comments. Don't all these people with awesome jobs have something better to do than comment on an obviously over-the-top ode to sloth?

I bet they're even posting their comments from WORK! Stealing time from their employer/lord! Tsk tsk.

Anyway, great job describing the gilded cage. Here's to living the good life!

BTW, the fake resume is perfect. Here's some more terrible resume fodder from a friend who picked up this gem at a career fair.

From the dude's work experience:

3-2007 - 10-2007 Walmart, Muncie, IN
stalker
stalked shelves


And his skills (this list apparently went on for 2 pages):

Apply Interviewing Skills
Apply Microwave Principles
Apply Soldering Techniques To Electronics
Assemble Small Objects
Convey Emotion Through Dramatic Performance or Artistic Work
Create Art from ideas
Distinguish Beauty and Talent
Performing Electrical and Electronic
Performing Sensors
Tell Stories through Musical, Visual, or Dramatic Arts
Use Telephone Interviewing Techniques
bravo!
and by the way, all you haters should read Bertrand Russell's "In Praise of Idleness". He was probably one of the greatest minds of the 20th century and I'll bet he'd get a real hearty laugh out of this article.
Way to go! Its funny and admirable how honest people are when they don't give a fuck. If only more of the workforce, and its leader were more honest and transparent about their reasons for doing what they do, how much more American we'd all be.
This country was founded on the three inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This dumba$$ thinks its owed to him. Phuk him and everybody who thinks like him.
A friend of mine directed me to this article. I admit, I was a little disgusted at first. I read a few paragraphs and almost closed the window, but decided to keep reading.
The authors comments on the 9 to 5 are a bit routine, but largely accurate. Especially his rant on consumerism.
I even took a moment to calculate the income difference between being unemployed and employed. I discovered that, on unemployment, I would not be contributing to my health coverage, FSA, HSA, or 401k. That adds up, making an unemployment check that much closer to my employed take home pay.
Back to the 9 to 5. The sad fact is that working for somebody else will almost always suck. My advise, work for yourself. Start a business, buy into an MLM, produce art that sells as well as art that expresses how you feel. Or maybe, while acting the part of a societal leech, find a cause that you believe in and volunteer your time. There is so much good that you can do with all that time on your hands.
I think it's safe to say that most haters are bitter wage-slaves themselves. Trapped in jobs they hate for the sake of money, social status, materialism, keeping up with the Joneses bullshit et al. So whenever someone manages to circumvent the job servitude, they get pissed off. Pure and simple envy really.
I've worked most of my working life, apart from a couple of stints on the dole, which were the best times of my life - I had freedom.

I'm with this guy all the way! He's a free thinker and a survivour.

Good luck to him.
It's refreshing to know there're still some free spirits left in this world.

Carry on doing what you do well, boy!
A fantastic and amusing article from someone who is not afraid to think for himself and have fun whilst doing so. He should sign up at www.idlefoundation.net to share tips!
wow
That was some wonderful writing Frank. It was very refreshing to find that sort of attitude coming from an American. Most of them (including my family back there) have the feeling that you owe 'your country' something not even understanding what they mean by 'your country'. For many, it is something akin to their sports team that they root for to kick ass on the rest of the world, never realizing that they are really getting it up the ass.

Best of luck staying on the dole

James
Wow, I must say.

Quite a few extraordinary reactions. Many it seems didn't really read the article. Specifically the parts about paying taxes and the money the company had to pay to the benefit.

Gotta love your blatant hatred at something that challenges your thoughts in a meaningful way.
Well said. I don't feel so bad about paying taxes when I know some of it is helping people like you. You're a great American.
Wow. I thought this was a very humorous and accurate article about a lot of things.

Reading the comments: holy hell, you people in DC are wound so tight you couldn't shit a pencil after drinking a gallon of ExLax.
I'm impressed and in total agreement with the author. I work occasionally when I'm particularly short of cash, and encounter all kinds of small-minded, marshmallow-brained thinking, from management assholes trying to play the loyalty card on me. Or variations on the guilt trip "Your stupid sucker of a colleague is working unpaid overtime, I'm expecting to see you doing the same". Hahaha, this one always makes me laugh.

And all these postings about the author being a parasite are obviously from the same kind of brainless automatons I'm referring to here. Job monkeys, morons, yes-men, bottom-lickers, and cowards all. Your manager is a parasite on you, a henchman of the corporate bully stamping down on your freedom, individuality, stealing from your life all those precious moments you could be spending with your family and loved ones. Or even doing nothing at all!

Yay I say to all those who choose another path. Keep the dream alive!
My boss made it pretty clear to me today that I would not have a job in a year. I did some deep googling to go back and find this article (I had read it a few weeks back.) It did a good job of cheering me up today. Thanks.
How pathetic the poor worker bees are who read the article and object to its content. The chains they wear are not only attached to their bodies, but also their minds. Back in the day, we used to call those slaves who defended the lot they were handed by their owners Uncle Toms.

Prisoners held by the Nazi's in Concentration camps such as Auschwitz were used as forced labor. Those who did jobs given to them in the camps with the same zeal they did for work when they were free believed that they would gain rewards such as not being fried. The slackers, on the other hand, quickly learned that there was no such reward to be had, that the hard-worker would meet an end by execution, same fate as the slacker. So why work at all?

And surprisingly, it was the wily slackers who survived in the camps until the end of the war. The hard-workers, exhausted by their labors and impossible demands of the masters died sooner. The slacker devoted his energies where they were of most import, towards surviving and to be a free soul again.

Too bad most Americans can't see they are just as much slaves as Uncle Tom was or those who languished in the concentration camps of the Third Reich.

The only true difference between the wage slave and a slave for another person or corporation is that the wage slave has a fancy adjective attached to the name on the desk they are chained to.

God Bless America, Land of the Slave!
Well. I agree with most of what you wrote. Except for one thing: when you pay taxes, you are not paying for the public schools for others who have kids - you simply pay back your "credit" that was invested in YOU by the state when you was a kid. That's it. These were not your parents who paid for it, because they were paying back their credit. And the kids that are not in school will pay back in taxes all that is now being invested in them. Plus... they will pay for your retirement, since you have no kids who would pay for you. So, better have more respect for those kids who are now sucking "your" taxes.
Some of the most refreshing writing I've read in a long time.
This man is my idol! I couldn't agree more. Slavery isn't dead. It's just been re-branded as "corporate America". Go watch Office Space sometime.
I love it. I want more useless rejects working like that because I'm going to steal every job you have and leave you wishing you'd done more to keep them. But it's pretty chilled now so it still feels like you have it together.

The Chinese are working 15 hour days, and you have this guy? :)

I'm pretty sure it's tongue-in-cheek, but I hope it's not.
Entertaining article. I thought it was going to be about someone who went on unemployment to begin a startup company but... he guy just wanted to go on unemployment and start livin' the dream.
You dont do anyting for a living, but your writing, sure is entertaining.
actually, he seems to be living free and pursuing happiness very effectively
Absolutely brilliant! I was on unemployment for a few months last year after being seasonally laid off from my landscaping job. I got so sick of some of my republican friends who were giving me shit for "taking the government's money". I completely agree with Franklin in that it is MY money that I'M paying into, just like everyone else. It's true, social security will be dried up in or around 2020, according to experts in the field. I wanted to get my money then, before it all dried up. I love how he points to the rich people as being the problem with this country too, bc he has several valid points there. Rich people are the ones buying homes that are entirely too big for their needs, taking up massive amounts of energy to heat, cool down, and light up. Rich people are the ones buying huge SUV's that get 12 MPG, then they complain about paying too much for gas...dumbasses!

Keep up the good work, excellent post!
this is brilliant- I really enjoyed reading this.
Hey sport,

Hope you're enjoying my tax dollars funding your life of sloth and narcissism. You do realize, of course, that every dollar you get "from the government" is actually coming out of the pockets of those very people you condescendingly laugh at, right?

I'm not going to talk about Kantian categorical imperatives, but suffice to say, you're not making a rational choice--you're just choosing to anally rape your neighbor (who also hates his job but, thankfully for you, isn't a self-absorbed asshole).
You could, like, try to find a job that's actually rewarding, you know.
I work 60 hours a week and am more of a superman than you. Yes, much stronger indeed. Chair ass is a choice, not an inevitability.

I design the networks that allow you to submit your freelance stories electronically, while you greet me at Wal-Mart. Congratulations, it sounds as though you have it all figured out.

Although, I suppose that intelligence might have something to do with it. I'm really fucking smart. In fact, I'm something of a genius. You don't seem to be all that bright. So maybe it's the best you can do.

I'm going to go take a hot shower and then watch my flat screen television. You can keep complaining. All will be right with the world.
You know what,

I can't get mad at your article at all. I mean it was very entertaining, and I could agree with some of what you said. It's funny because working a lot of previous jobs I've had, I you could smell how sinister supervisors and those in charge were, and how they would put up with everything that can just so that you wont get unemployment. I've never received unemployment just because I'm not interested, but I honestly haven't worked in close to 4 months now. How I have been surviving I have no idea but I get by. I don't have any real savings and I spend all my time out the house. I mean, America isn't the place to be now a days to be honest. It's a society of the rat races. Work until Death, Worth with no rest. Thats how it is. While overseas life is so much different and things are so much calmer and people think so much smarter. All I can say is, even though I wouldn't agree with your living situation, continue enjoying life and find out what makes you happy and just get paid doing it. That honestly must be whats been paying my bills. I just get paid to live my life.

Much power to you and I wish you luck in the future.

Peace
whoever is ripping on this guys article in here you really need to think about it. That guy who said that it is a crock of shit has blinders on. look at the condition our country is in now. it is in shambles. and while they are still saying we are not in a recession it is not hard to figure out with the staggering unemployment numbers the price of gas and milk. This country got this way by everyone putting up with any bullshit coorporate throws at them and doing whatever the government tells you. Look at all these new laws that come out that nobody protests. Anything they can do to get your money is the plan. It is not about order or right or wrong. You all know that is very clear because oj is a prime example of a bullshit corrupt justice system. This is a new type of country now where everyone is a sellout and has no backbone. Pretty soon you wont even be called by your name at your job. You will have a number on your forehead they will call you by. This article was excellent and was very clear and relevant to me. To close on this comment, Not extending these unemployment benefits to many people in desperate need of money for bills like food and electricity and gas and rent or mortgage is downright relentless. Only to protect a fund for a senseless war thats killing americans and innocent iraqis mostly. By threatening to veto unemployment extensions, veterans benefits, or anything that might affect funding for this war, Bush is telling America and boldly that we can all go fuck ourselves. Shame on you Bush and I thank God i never voted for you!
As a 62 year old on unemployment for the first time in my life, having worked for 40 years, I find this article hilarious.
I assume you are reporting your income from these articles to your reporting office!!!!!
This writer is the scum of the earth. I just wasted 5 minutes of my life. You're entitled to nothing you, low life piece of dog shit.
Pure gold. I'd much rather be self employed than to have a "real" job.
great article! I wonder if people realize that there are people paid to dream up ways to pollute and kill people, and there is an entire industry that is useless and dangerous--the advertising industry. Being unemployed and on the dole is more honorable than being a polluter, a killer, or a worker in the ad industry.
This is brilliant.
Shawn wrote: "Maybe our solution is for everyone to quit their jobs and live off of government checks? Are you really that much of a dumbass?"

R. Buckminster Fuller, an American it may be difficult to call a “dumbass” since over 40 universities granted him honorary doctorates, said a few years ago that 70% of jobs in the USA are not producing any life-support, and many are indeed destructive. He said “pay them handsomely to stay at home.”

Friedrich Nietzsche used the term “ressentiment” which he used to describe “slave mentality.”

Edgar Z. Friedenberg defined “ressentiment”:

“Ressentiment is the free-floating disposition to visit upon others the bitterness that accumulates from one's own subordination and existential guilt at allowing oneself to be used by other people for their own purposes while one's own life rusts away unnoticed.”

Where you see “whining” in Franklin’s piece, I see celebration. I do, however, see a lot of whining by the happy workers.

If, as the world-famous economist Robert Heilbroner said, the market represents “naked self interest,” it puzzles me why good American capitalists and their happy servants don't celebrate a guy practicing self-interest in his own way (sic), especially since his play isn’t quite “naked,”—he’s not taking a gun and robbing your grandmother, which your “Darwinism” should fully support.

If the haters managed to shut down the social safety net, in the ensuing anarchy Frank would be well-equipped to survive.

People who vote Republican and believe in “independence” and “self-interest” go suddenly all socialist when a guy rides the dragon instead of letting it ride him, and sings a happy song about it! All of a sudden they are worried about all his neighbours who are “supporting him.” Where is your good American naked self-interest?

Frank should wear an American flag: he pursues his “inalienable rights”, (which have been officially alienated from him), maximizes his vitality, clears a little space of liberty around him, and discovers happiness in (blasphemy) less, not more.

What if everyone did as he did? George Bernard Shaw recommended four-fifths of the population go on relief, and “and knock the whole social system to pieces with most beneficial reconstructive results.”

Well, it’s coming down from the top, apparently, but I’m sure you dutiful “workers” will gladly shoulder the expense for your masters, as long as they incarcerate, torture, or kill the disobedient-- which, incidentally was recommended by John Calvin, the “father of the work ethic”—capital punishment for disobedient children. His sexual predation and slaughter of women showed who was boss. Oh, and he also wrote that “the damned must police each other.”

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.
Henry David Thoreau

The breeding ground of disobedience does not lie exclusively in the social conflicts which express protest, but, and above all, in those which express defection.
Paulo Virno
A Grammar of the Multitude
This is really disturbing. Not only does this guy take pride in not looking for a job, but he is a thief, and thieves cannot be trusted. Whether you're the CEO ripping off 401k's, or a petty shoplifter stealing to eat (Most likely because you use your unemployment for drugs and/or alcohol), wrong is wrong. You are not fighting the system, you are not a revolutionary, you are scum. I respect the street-corner drug dealer more than you b/c he is actually earning his money. I am currently unemployed (and BTW, that term only applies to people who are actively looking for work) and I send out AT LEAST 4 applications all with my resume every weekday. I work at a local LABORREADY once a week at the ADESA car auction to pay for bus fare to look for work.
Very entertaining article but you'll be sorry when you're
older and eating Alpo. I hear the chicken one tastes not
so bad.
I don't work. I get 500 a week from the government. I don't give a FU#K what any of you slaves think. I drive a new car, rent a large house.... and I hate you all. I do what I want, when I want, and you don't. I hated you way before you hated me, I hated your spineless lack of anything.
You are my hero.
What the fuck do you do when your unemployment is running out in the next 5 weeks and all you want to do is become part of the cattle crawl again just to get rid of the feeling of loosing it all? Our system is a fucking joke. I recall last summer having a conversation with the unemployment office about how working 3 days a week of my current Time Square retail job was not worth the heartache because sitting at home doing nothing was creating the same cost without lifting a finger. How the fuck is anyone supposed to get ahead and stay afloat when it is constructed in this way? I am a Marketing Art Director with a bachelors in graphic design once working for some of the biggest corporations in NYC making up to 400.00 USD a day. Now I have nothing. Now I have a daily voice that wakes up with me freaking the fuck out at the concept of my home and sanity disappearing away from me all because some white asshole wanted some fucking oil. You know what, I am a white and female and tired of this bullshit we call a system. Our government failed us period. I have no problem working 50-60 hours a week because I have a passion for my work. I have credentials, I have a client list, I have a degree we call paid education, and I have not had stable work in over a year in a half. I am tired of this shit and I am tired of feeling like shit because some greedy corporate fucks decided their personal issues where more important than the people they were representing. America, you failed your people and Im tired of it. I tired of seeing good people fall apart, and Im tired of seeing douche bag individuals work 40 hours a week. My feelings are on the inside out and I have no issues expressing them. The brilliant are dying, the dreamers are loosing hope, and the soft at heart are harding up. End the bullshit and bells and whistles now.
Let's see...this guy commits all sorts of nasty shenanigans at work with the *intention* of getting fired so he can get on unemployment, evades the spirit of the unemployment regulations for material gain, shows so much contempt for the taxpayers who make it all possible...and of course he's up front and square with us, his readers, riiiiight?

This looks like a satirical attack on unemployment slackers, including portraying them as shoplifters, sexual harassers and even traitors. We also get a delightful look at the squalor unemployed people suffer, a reminder that it's not compatible with any kind of family and a heads-up that if you slack off in your productive years you'll pay for it by working when you're old.

Not bad, Mr. Schneider.
My husband has been off of work since February. Yes he is collecting unemployment. However, he has a new job, fulltime caretaker of our 4 year old son. Being on unemployment has cut his income down by almost half, but we are no longer paying 700-800 dollars a month in child care. The best part is they have weekly field trips, the circus, baseball games, the zoo and lots of free activities in our community. My husband has worked fulltime for 20+ years. He paid taxes......I want him to enjoy his time off with his youngest son. He will never have this opportunity again.

Plus what does he have to look forward to......the jobs in his field pay half of what he was previously making. I say enjoy for as long as you can.........You have the rest of your life to go back to work!!!!
This was laugh-out-loud funny. I enjoyed it a lot, especially in view of my soul-sucking job that I can't manage to get laid off from.
Brilliant, thats all i can say :)
I just ended reading Schneider's book, all I have to say is: brilliant, a factual bible of truth, in my country by the other side the American lifestyle is not something that oneself can see on the TV, oh no!! now American lifestyle is way far than that, in a country where you can get your back dumped to jail faster for avoiding taxes and not reporting your total sum of your books of incomes towards government than for being charged with rape and armed robbery, now materialism is everything and the only thing, merging in the edges from $500 000 mortgage condos there are these zinc and loose blocks houses with families earning 4 dollars a day, a mile ahead the Gucci, McDonald's, BK, T.G. Fridays and Apple bees; boiling of wannabes, what else if not? In this section of the world being a wannabe is a life style with all of its variances; a douchebag, a cool college teacher, a writer wannabe? What else if not, after all of this urban ravage is tough, many of many of middle 20s and middle 30s that need to stand conspicuous, attention whores in stripped shirts and blazers, bitches of greedy corporations, CEO's worshipers, cubes cattle.
How did I let myself to be enticed into this anomie, this soul grinder machinery? programming? compiling strings of characters? speaking about how great and rich is the CEO of the database supplied we used to do business with, the next silicon valley? GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK. I can blame them, they are not guilty at all, here in this region of the world we are harvested-taught endorsed from womb to college to get rich or die trying, what a fifty cents worth ideal! (No pun intended), but for real, remember; "Go to college" be wealthy, easy pulling money what a lie! but not a minor lie that my favorites two lies; "Do not take nobody's crap" and "Be your own boss"...no kidding, money money, money since the day that we were born, and now I renounce of that, ain't living forever, is a bigger car going to make me smarter and hunkier? are some vacations days in a fancy 5 stars beach hotel going to make me rested and happier? Oh no!!!
Oh no, Frank Schneider hit the bull eye, nested his idea in a well circled wide and prone target, us, yes, you eye folded drones, and you rich wannabe asses, why the heck in this world for an earthly reason you brought a Lexus from US? Streets and general transit spaces in here are shit, utterly crashed and unkept as Iraq ways, you might well let the forward bumper in a puddle, any other ride can take you to the brothel, that there is where guys like you plunge at the end to douse yourself with former-expensive and now cheap champagne. To me there is nothing like driving a beat up french car, meandering the city while sipping Jaggermeifter deluded in Soda, and plunge to friend's places with beer and a bag of laughs, do we need anything else? perhaps a trip to the beach once in a while, well some jeans, nice v-neck t-shirts, and snickers or/and sport shoes, But it is tough and sad for some of you country fellows to stand on your own wits. You fell jealous of the guy who runs the corner bakery, he does some good bread, drives a pick-up, get some hot girls once a while eh? Franklin Schneider is giving you the gift of sight and you people should take it pleasurably, there is not benefits in unemployment in here for milking the government, well, the government milks you, you must work forever and ever for your living, unfortunately, we carbon copied the Californian and Floridan consumerism, but not the benefits of unemployment, we don't have a well defined culture to compete head to head against other countries as Europe do, Swedish social democracy, Norwegian check for losing your marvelous job, UK small cars that don't spend a lot of fuel, fish and chips in London downtown, juicy savings for facing the "crisis" and end college without selling your liver in the "free...I mean black market" for affording the payments of the past due for your college tuition, but no, we copied the online-buying of DVD players in Japanese imported cars, expensive car rings, horse parades!!! seemingly for high-class people, yelling in their insides; -look..behold here my horses....I have some money, more than you!!!! and we again...follow that game...makes me sick!!!!and also the blackberries where to schedule your boss's meetings for they to tell you how many millions your company did last quarter, don't you feel proud and swaggered-induced for belonging (literally) to this company? you should...or better be, he'd bellow serious and confident voice, why don't you young third-world-suburban fellow give up of this and give yourself a chance? all we ought. Get out of that closet, like when you regret of hitting a buxom girl, what would your friends will say?, when ghetto booties and plumped girls are what really turn you on but you refuse to accept it, at least not in from of them. We are skewing wrong in here people, how to save the world? the whales, the forest? feed starving kids in Africa and Asia if we allow a few motherfuckers to let ourselves in starvation? in moral damage and in a continuous state of beggary and trading our dignity and mental health for an Ipod or a Subaru? for real? The biggest lie ever is that crisis smacked up all equally...you gotta be fucking kidding me, I doubt of corporate fucking rich asses, depraving themselves out of college books, or rice, or a breakfast, losing their toy-women, and we played that game? as stupid brainless lambs? There was a real revelation, a core-soaked true, Franklin Schneider is a revolutionary, dump that Castro shit, this is for real, the revolution just started, no enemies are going to be taken, you wanted to play that game and that game is out life, no more courts, justice in coming from every corner, you Wall Street motherfuckers wanted it, you are going to be under your knees begging to us for working for you, we can still hold it off and let you save yourselves..cash the world out fairly and fuck the industrial revolution exploitation cause is this the real revolution. Now, who is with me? an step ahead and grip a stick...
I have a sneaking suspicion that if you were actually as satisfied with your circumstances as you boast you are than you wouldn't feel the need to write a blog about how great you are and how everyone else has got it wrong. People tend towards misery, and that comes in all sorts of packages. It has a lot less to do with whether you decide to work and have a family, than it does with what you generally need from and willing are to seek out from life in order to be at peace. I feel sorry for you. I imagine you feel very small inside.
I feel sorry for you. I imagine you feel very small inside...resorting to this is so classic as saying that pottery is a good therapy... Ain´t going to do this longer than the necessary, close your eyes during any day of middle summer, remember of you being the master of your time. Think of you reading a book under a tree in the gentle shades, waking up at 8:30 AM because you wanted...yes just like you were when you were 15, you were a kid...with concience, now picture yourself harvesting your own veggies, sawing your own clothing, working in your favorites old trousers and t-shirt no later that 11:00 AM, and leaving the field before lunch......or perhaps you can remember yourself and your significant other holding hands in the mall at 2:30 PM , ¨skipping¨ school, in a swimming pool at noon..once again...master of your own time...NO mischievous or obnoxius bosses, no phones ringing, no hasty customer, no meetings after lunch...just peace...owner of your own time...and when rain comes you know you deserve to stay at home drinking coffe reading Midnight Express or in the mud waiting for your time to kick and win the kick ball game of the week...let the greedy asses run bank accounts and play with somebody else´s money in exchange of promises, now imagine that you are not in an office, and that tomorrow nothing is for sure more that sun is going to raise and shine while you still sleeping, and that coffee is going to be enjoyed in each sip, and that punching a clock is just a nightmare and working with computers in a cubicle is the creation of a sick freaking mind, if you aren´t able to figure all that, and avoid to imagine that just for once...then you don´t understand these words and you´ll never do...
You are a horrible person.
Franklin

I am well old enough to be your mother, but I think I love youLOL LOL LOL.

My situation is different because I live in France (low-wage economy) and used to work in Luxembourg (high-wage economy) and so my benefits are actually higher than the French median wage (about 1600 euros a month gross). This means that I can sleep until 10 or later, thumb my nose at the wage-slaves and still eat out, go the cinema (cheap rates for the unemployed) etc. It's not so much the work as the amount of **** you have to eat day in day out. For me one of the all time great films has to be "Office Space". In fact, I used to envy the winos I saw breakfasting on rough red plonk while I was on my way to the office ...

Loved your lewd drawing story!

Work sucks big time!
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Absolutely disgusting individual, I threw up a little while reading this post. It's not the fat cat bankers who are ruining the US, it's people like YOU you fucking wretched excuse for human life.
If anyone who reads this thinks that article holds ANY water, check out the guy who wrote it: https://www.facebook.com/franklin.schneider.3?ref=ts&fref=ts

Seems like a very productive member of society (NOT!)

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