Middle-Aged ‘Unemployees’ Subject of Shocking New Study!
“It’s not denial, anger, and all that other stuff,” says Harvard expert.
A recently released report by the Center for the Study of Middle-Aged Unemployed Men, located at the Harvard University School of Medicine and headed by the eminent psycho-economist Dr. Harold Lederer, has the world of psycho-econometrics buzzing.
Previously, the model used for studying the psychological, social, and financial states of unemployed middle-aged men was based on the Five Stages of Grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
Dr. Lederer’s five-year longitudinal study of 1200 unemployed, middle-aged men, whom he refers to as “unemployees,” totally redefined the five stages.
Stage One: Elation and Giddiness
All of the men in the study greeted news of their dismissal with such statements as,
“Does this mean I get to leave now or do I have to finish my shift?”
“Mind if I tell you something now? You are the biggest asshole I’ve ever worked for and everyone in the company knows you’re screwing your secretary.”
“No, I won’t need a cardboard box. Why would I want to take that shit home?”
“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
“Yes, I do have a question. My question is why anyone wants to work for this fucked up company.”
Over 90% of the unemployees reported that during the week following their lay off, they were prone to uncontrollable episodes of skipping about and squealing like little girls.
2. Homicidal Rage
As the unemployee’s elevated state subsides, he realizes he has to deal with the Department of Workforce Development to receive his unemployment benefits. Prolonged periods on hold, misplaced records, and confusion over the amount of the benefit feed the fires of anger and disappointment. These precipitate elaborate revenge fantasies that are sometimes acted out.
“I thought about pouring a bottle of Liquid Ass all over my boss’s Escalade!”
“I bought subscriptions to gay porn magazines and had them delivered to my manager’s home and office.”
“I wrote a version of my boss’s resume and mailed copies to rival companies, promising them he would be happy to provide proprietary secrets in exchange for being hired.”
“I called my manager’s boss, saying I was from the Department of Social Services, investigating a complaint of child abuse.”
3. Shopping Sprees
With the initial elation gone and the revenge fantasies unfulfilled, the unemployee turns to shopping to provide a sense of self-worth. Tapping into savings or maxing out his credit cards, the unemployee pursues of long-delayed purchases and wish fulfillment, such as
A $55,000 Saleen S302 Mustang equipped with 425 naturally aspirated horsepower, 6-speed manual transmission, nitrogen-pressurized front strut and rear shocks, wide-range adjustable damping, and a 20 year old Ukrainian gymnast.
Selling the house, buying a 2012 Winnebago Tour for $353,000, driving to Palmetto, Florida, and enrolling in Barnum & Bailey’s Clown College.
A $45,000 model train set that fills the entire basement and first floor of a 5,000 square foot house.
Custom-made suits of Italian wool, handcrafted shoes from London, and matching leather briefcases.
All of the back issues of Playboy Magazine.
4. Blaxploitation Films
With fantasies exhausted and banks accounts depleted, with few exceptions, the middle-aged unemployee unleashes his lust and falls into the routine of non-stop viewing of blaxploitation films. Such films as Avenging Disco Godfather, Black Shampoo, Blacula, Cleopatra Jones, Coffy, Foxy Brown are the preferred choices. Over 95% of unemployees focused their attention on the complete oeuvre of Pamela Grier as the goddess of their most intense adolescent and forbidden desires. As one of the unemployees said, “She’s never been married. There’s hope.”
5. Acceptance and Ongoing Misery
The fantasies have fled, the train sets have taken over the house, the custom-made suits are getting tight, the Ukrainian gymnast ran off with a guy who drives a Lamborghini, Clown College is a failure, and Pam Grier refuses to reply to his emails. The unemployee realizes that he is, in fact, a middle-aged, dumpy, average-looking schlumpf who has for the last 9 to 14 months completely lost his mind.
“It is at this crucial stage,” says Dr. Lederer, “that the unemployee realizes that he must update his resume, reach out to formerly disdained colleagues on LinkedIn, start posting to Facebook, and join the masses of desperate, overworked, frightened middle-aged men who make up America’s workforce. He accepts that he will never climb Everest, let alone get a date with Pam Grier, and he starts to claw his way back to getting his tiny, tasteless slice of the American Dream.”
At this point, Dr. Lederer concluded the interview saying that he had check up on his posting to Cars.com to see if he had any buyers for his Mustang.
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