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5 Most Inappropriate Holiday Gifts

Coaching material for the unemployed
The unemployed may not have a job, but they have a good sense that they're unemployed and a good handle on what to do about it -- i.e., look for work or use the unemployment insurance they paid into.

Know what they don't need? A book about being unemployed. No offense to the authors of Not What You Expected -- A Tale of Survival From the Recently Unemployed, The Joy of Not Working: A Book For The Retired, Unemployed and Overworked or Unemployed: How Desperation Led Me To The Worst Job Ever, but if the unemployed person in question didn't put these on his or her wish list or buy them, they're not going to want them.

They are terrible, terrible unsolicited gifts for people dealing with one of the more stressful and depressing experiences in American life. They already have people on one side telling them not to "freeload" by taking unemployment or medical benefits and take a job washing floors instead and they have folks on the other side telling them they're overqualified for that floor-washing gig and that they should really consider seeing the world or "finding" themselves.

Admittedly, books such as the graphic novel The Adventure of Unemployed Man bring some mirth to the misery. The unemployed person on your shopping list probably spends more time reading than you realize, though: Going through job listings, poring over the free selections at the local library, pulling a Howard Zinn volume out of the Occupy Pennsauken book tent. It takes a lot of effort to fill those nonworking hours, and your patronizing addition to their reading list isn't helping a damned thing.

-- Written by Jason Notte in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

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Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.
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