After the Fall

The Email Curmudgeon has spoken recently with lots of people who, having lost their dot-com jobs, are in a state of shock and disbelief — yet also in a strange state of euphoria. Many are harnessing their time quite usefully by hanging out at Starbucks even more than they did before all heck broke loose. Lots of handwringing’s going on, but not enough thought is going into what’s really important. So here’s the Email Curmudgeon’s Top 10 Things to Do After You Lose Your Internet Job.

  1. There is life after work, you know. It was fun while it lasted, but spending 14 hours at work 6 days a week can only last so long before total burnout occurs. Now that you have tons of free time, you can learn how to build bird houses or mountain-climb. Mt. Everest beckons!

  2. See if your family and friends recognize you. It’s as if you were coming back from an overseas war. Remind them with pictures from the college years; I’m sure you haven’t changed too much. Or have you?
  3. In case you have changed almost beyond recognition, you’ll need to work on that flabby tire around your middle or those thunder thighs. Just as your company downsized overnight, think about doing the same by downsizing your Big Mac Extra Value Meal rather than super-sizing it.
  4. After all those dot-com years, without a doubt you have collected more electronic gadgets than you know what to do with. Go build something useful out of these toys or donate them to a nonprofit organization. Do you really need copies of Dreamweaver, GoLive, HomeSite, and HotDog; five networked PCs; and all those other gadgets sitting idly? Or how about all the knowledge that’s stored in your Net-savvy brain? Donate your time to nonprofit organizations around you. They need your skills now more than ever.
  5. You finally get to take advantage of that UI. No, “UI” does not stand for user interface. It means unemployment insurance. That’s something you can apply for once you lose your job. Go ahead — you deserve it after all that hard work. And you should catch up with all those recruiters you’ve been blowing off all these years. You did write down their names and phone numbers when they called you incessantly, right?
  6. Your “business-savvy” friends have been recommending all sorts of business books that claim instant fame and fortune and offer newfangled techniques to run a business. You can finally finish the 10 business books you’ve bought from Amazon.com on their recommendations. If you are so inclined, write some cynical reviews of the recommended books and publish these gems (including the names of those who recommended these books to you) on the Amazon.com review boards.
  7. Register your last name as a domain name and set up that vanity Web site you’ve always wanted. Now that you have all that free time on your hands, you can put together your ramblings online and claim your own little piece of the Internet. I’ll bet your name is already taken, but give it a try anyway. If you haven’t bought your own domain name, you owe it to the Net to participate and buy one. Unless, of course, you’re down to your last 20 bucks.
  8. Get your application in for “Survivor: The Arctic Tundra.” Well, I don’t know if the next “Survivor” will be in the tundra, but wouldn’t it be cool (no pun intended) to see people use harpoons to hunt large fish and wear really large parkas over their four layers of clothing? OK, it wouldn’t be so interesting after all…
  9. Finally take that three-day weekend that you have dreamed of for the past three years but haven’t taken because “there’s too much work do be done this weekend and we can’t do without you!”
  10. Golf. What more need I say?

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