Okay, they, and I mean they, have fired you because they had to do that in order for the company to weather these bad times and more bad times next year, perhaps. Did the boss even allow you to clean out your desk or locker of your personal items — a trust issue — or did he or she have the company security cops escort you right out the back door? Whatever; Never mind: You lost your job — pink slip, e-mail pink slip, or a verbal: “Get out here!”

Until you find another job or win the lottery –whichever comes first — there may be a personal need for you to appear as not out of work. You may want your spouse, kids, blood relatives, even grandchildren to assume that you still have your job or another, better job. There isn’t any need for my further detailing reasons for maintaining the I-Am-Working-Fantasy //pride, respect, peer pressure, neighbors, conning landlords and bill collectors// because the only good reason is that this is something you feel you must do.

One of the best working-job poses used to be in telling others including your nearby neighbors in earshot that you’re a writer and that you’re working on a novel. At that time in the era of the common typewriter, all one had to do is shut oneself in one’s bedroom and type gibberish while at the same time making a tape recording of the sound of constant typing. Then you were set; just play the sound of typing from the tape recorder night and day. Meanwhile read books, magazines. Listen to your Walkman (before the iPod) with earphones. Wank off. Exercise. Sleep.

That was then; this is now. Here’s what you can do to “keep” the job you were fired from. Oh, for this to work, make sure you keep any unemployment benefits on the sly

To keep “working” — Follow your old work-day routines only don’t enter your former place of employment. Continue to set the morning alarm, shower, shave, cereal-up, coffee, out the door, take the car or public transportation. Spend the 8-hour “work” day in the park, at the library, take long urban hikes. All this will be good for you. Most important, along with the others, you also will continue to believe that you are still working a job. Old habits prime you that way. Moreover, you will keep in step with the working person’s routine of getting to work and back home, which can be an asset for when you do get another job. It’s all a matter of keeping the right attitude alive.

To keep “working” — tell everyone you quit your job in order to go back to school which in itself is a full time job. Any colleges nearby? Great. Some professors will even allow an outsider with a strong interest in their subjects to audit their courses — sit at the back of the classroom; no charge. Tell everyone it’s never too late whatever your age to go back to school. Then go off to college as a “student” and find ways to fill your hours off campus.

To keep “working” — do the former workday routine and to fill up the stay-away-from-home hours, find a volunteer job //no pay// to speed away the time and gain benefits from human interaction. You might find someplace with the same ambient of your former work place. That would be an ideal setup.
Readers might think the above about how to “Keep Your Lost Job” is out-and-out silly. That it’s all a game. Well, I challenge you to play the game. Why? Because this game has as its byproduct the medicine that may offset your being down with the blues or in danger of clinical depression. Anything that will keep you busy helps, especially this fantasy of keeping your “job” even if you lost your real job.

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