Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Clueless to Obvious Signs of Unemployment

Work is just so hellaciously overwhelming lately that I needed to take a mental health break. It probably wasn't the wisest thing for me to do, but I went to the local wine bar yesterday evening.

I met a handsome guy at the bar and we started up a conversation. The conversation flowed easily and we seemed to have a lot in common. We both love ethnic food, we graduated from the same college, we both think the ShamWow! guy's recent arrest was hilarious, etc. etc.

[UPDATE: I retract my comment that ShamWow! guy's arrest is hilarious. At the time, I only knew the partial details of his arrest and am now horrified after seeing photos of the aftermath of his altercation. I now realize that any kind of violence is not funny, even if it involves a snake-oil salesman.]

I noticed the guy was nursing the same beer (at a wine bar?) while I was onto my second wine. I knew that I would be slurring my words if I didn't get some food in me, so I ordered a fruit/cheese/charcuterie platter and offered some to the guy.

I asked him, "So, what do you do?" He responded, "I do consulting."

"About what?"

"Management."

"Like what? Six sigma?"

"No."

Suddenly the guy clammed up.

After the guy finished his beer, he asked for my phone number. It's my policy not to give out my phone number to random guys I meet at bars. I responded, "If you give me your business card, I'll give you mine." To which he responded, "Forget it," and walked out.

I thought to myself, "Wow, that was abrupt." I finished my wine and my cheese/meat platter. (It covered all 4 food groups, so it was a healthy dinner. Ha ha.)

Anyhow, I talked to my friend about this experience and she said, "Sounds like the guy's unemployed and you just rubbed it in."

Yikes! I rewound the entire evening in my mind and I knew my friend was right. I felt really bad about being so clueless.

But on the other hand, if he's unemployed, what the heck is he doing at a wine bar?? When I was unemployed, I avoided all activities that required me to spend discretionary money, especially alcohol. And secondly, what the heck is he doing asking for a chick's phone numbers if he's unemployed?

My friend asked, "Would it have been different had he 'fessed up that he's unemployed?"

And the answer, would be "yes" and "no". I wouldn't have given him my phone number, but I think I may have been able to help him network. I atleast could've commiserated with him, since I too could be unemployed in the near future.

My friend pushed, "But would you have dated him?"

I punted. I said, "I think his priorities should be to find a job first before trying to get laid. Secondly, he's demonstrated bad judgment by going out to a bar while unemployed. So, no."

But deep down, I knew I wonder whether the real reason why I wouldn't go out with him is because he's unemployed. A relationship is hard enough, I just can't imagine starting one with big obstacles already baked-in. It's one thing to emotionally and financially support someone (who happens to be unemployed or underemployed), with whom you already have an established relationship. But trying to develop an emotional relationship with someone who is already nursing a bruised ego and a potentially rocky financial road ahead just sounds purely masochistic.

Would you?

12 comments:

Little Miss Moneybags said...

I think I could date someone I met who was unemployed. It would depend a lot more on their means and attitude. If they were going out every night and putting drinks on a credit card, and sitting around all day whining about being unemployed...uh, no. But if they were volunteering, or really actively looking for work, networking, and otherwise using their time wisely, and living off the emergency fund they had saved for such an occasion...sure!

Miss M said...

Hmm, Mr M has been underemployed since the day I met him. It's always been this way, I don't know how I'd react if he suddenly started making more than me. I don't think i'd discriminate based on employment. But I think it was best you didn't get to know this guy. He obviously wasn't secure enough to handle that you were in better financial shape than him, he could have handled that differently. I would have said well I don't have any on me but how about email. Some of the "angry men" from my earlier post said only a weak man would get involved with a smart, professional woman. I think the opposite is true, only a strong, secure man would.

Bouncing Back said...

He's probably at the wine bar looking for a little "companionship" and social interaction. He may be unemployed, and most likely is based on your post. He probably has no one to talk to during the day. Most likely, his other friends are still working and it's hard to socialize with former still working co-workers once you've been laid off/let go. I have a former co-worker that lost her job when we consolidated our two offices and she will still complain about my current boss/her former boss. I like her as a person,but find it hard at times to socialize with her when she gets in that mood. She has not "moved on" so to speak.

I don't think he showed bad judgement by going out to a bar while unemployed, you can't sit at home all day and stare at the computer or surfing Monster.com. A person can go stir crazy. He showed bad judgement by not putting a postive spin on his "consultant" job. Heck, spend $20 and get some business cards made up with your name and contact information and give yourself the title of Consultant!

But to answer your question, yes I would date someone who was unemployed. How they handle the unemployment could also be a factor. If someone is doing all the right things to look for a job, more power to them. If they are sitting at home bitter that I'm working, they are not, and doing nothing to remedy the situation-a different story. A person is so much than the job they have or the title they have. has had an active social life.

Christine W said...

Wow. You just really came across as a total snob, and to be honest, I find it hard to still read your blog and look at you in the same light.

Maybe the guy was job hunting all day and just wanted to go to the wine bar because he used to go there with co-workers. Maybe he just wanted a beer. Maybe he just (GASP) wanted to take you out on a date, and didn't think you would treat him like he has 3 heads because he is between jobs.

Or maybe he will have a job next week and your better-than-thou attitude just cost you a nice, handsome guy.

Oh well.....

Ssmith28 said...

I think the guy could have fessed up he was in between jobs without saying "unemployed." Sure maybe he needed some social interaction, he might be Mr. Wonderful...yada yada. Uh-he also could have changed the subject-I am sure you would've gotten the hint.

I don't think you're a snob for saying you don't think you can date someone unemployed. I wouldn't date someone with kids. Am I a b**** because I don't want to deal with someone else's baggage? Nope, I just know that is how I feel. Maybe you could change your mind someday, but don't feel guilty.

paranoidasteroid said...

I don't think the problem was that this guy was unemployed, it was that he had such a bad attitude. You weren't rubbing anything in, and it's not a crime to still have a job. (It's not a crime to not have a job either, since it's happening to a lot of people these days.)

It was irresponsible but forgivable that he went to a bar. Perhaps, as other people said, he just wanted some social interaction. Although if he's going to freak out on every employed person he meets maybe he should just stay home.

I don't think you're a snob, WTF Christine??

DogAteMyFinances said...

Oh god. Well, now that I'm unemployed I guess I'll just hole up in my condo 24/7.

Bonnie said...

I don't think you're a snob. That said, when I was unemployed I had to get out every so often and meet a friend for a drink just to maintain my sanity. I mean, you can't serach for a job 24/7. I wouldn't turn down a guy because he was unemployed, but I would have turned this guy down because of his attitude--which he didn't bother to explain to you. On the other hand, a friend of mine dated a guy who had been unemployed for over a year and wasn't even looking--he was just living off his severance and milking it. Now, forget that--I was like, what are you doing with this loser? This was LONG before the economy tanked, BTW.

Christine W said...

WTF Parnoid Asteroid??

What if Shtinkykat met a nice guy at a wine bar that she wanted to date.... and he went home to his friends and said:

"Wow. I met this woman who has alot of debt, can you believe she was at a wine bar of all places?! What the heck is she doing there?And she had not one, but two, glasses of wine... and then she ordered a cheese platter!! I couldnt date someone so financially irresponsible. She should stay home until her debt is paid off before she goes looking to get laid at a wine bar..."

This would really come across as shallow, and judgemental, yet this is pretty much the same thing she to him.

I didnt think shtinkykat was snobbish because she didnt want to date someone with no job. What I found snobbish was her attitude of
' I can't believe someone with no job is at a wine bar and asking me for my phone number....like how dare he?'

Whatever, I enjoy reading this blog just the same. I just think a man with no job has a right to have a beer at a nice place and still ask a woman out.

MoneyMateKate said...

I try to consider lack of a job a yellow light rather than a red light. In reality, very few men are in a position to start a healthy dating relationship because they're sooo defined by their careers. It's a shame, because in an economy like this, where 1 in 12 is out of a job, it's just not the stigma they perceive it to be. Heck, it's a pretty big club with plenty of undeserving members!

BW said...

My boyfriend of 1.5 years has been unemployed for about a year. The only thing that bothers me about it is that he doesn't get out of bed and walk to the train with me since he doesn't have to go to work. Before he lost his job he was making 6 times as much as me, and he had more than twice my annual salary in savings. He would obviously prefer to be working, but we still go out to dinner every so often and out to bars.

I am telling you my story to illustrate that you might not know enough about this guy to judge whether he should be at a wine bar.

when my boyfriend is asked what he does he still says lawyer, he does not want to advertise that he is out of work to people he barely knows and why should he??

Plus this guy was not ordering $1000 bottle of champagne, he was drinking a beer!!!

Shtinkykat said...

Thanks for your comments folk. Please check out my follow up post to explain myself a bit more.