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
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,
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.
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