Up until reading the article in the Los Angeles Times, I had no knowledge of the term “funemployment.”
Never heard of it either? That’s probably because you’re too busy working or looking for a source of income that will keep your lights on.
Urban Dictionary broke down the term for those of us who have been living without a clue.
“Funemployment” is defined as “the condition of a person who takes advantage of being out of a job to have the time of their life. I spent all day Tuesday at the pool; funemployment rocks!”
I know it’s wrong, but when I read that, I immediately assumed most of the people who embrace this term have never had a perm or wore a wave cap.
Turns out, though, there are people of all races who think unemployment is the best thing to ever happen to them. I’ve seen it in people’s Tweets, heard it from recently laid-off friends going on European excursions with their newfound free time, and now I’m spotting it in national newspapers.
Some people are ecstatic to be unemployed. Last year, when opportunities to write were drying up, I was not sitting in the middle of my living room thinking, “Gee, I am so happy to have nothing to do.”
I have bills, and unlike some of the people in the LA Times article, I don’t have parents with homes in Beijing who will allow me to squat in China while I seek out the advice of mystics and shamans in Asia.
I’m too busy making sure I keep every bill paid, so I won’t have to ever greet the bill collector and repo man.
According to the LA Times, experts argue that this “funemployment” is both a backlash against corporate America and the working conditions that come up with it, along with a reflection of this country’s own cultural narcissism (i.e. our collective feelings of entitlement and self-centeredness).
If I didn’t have to worry about money, would I be more inclined to embrace a life of pure leisure?
Admittedly, there are times when I want to throw my newly purchased Blackberry Bold against the wall out of frustration, but I enjoy writing and couldn’t see myself doing it solely for sport.
Perhaps most of the people giddy about going without a regular check just needed a break from a line of work that was making them miserable.
Or maybe I’m just a workaholic who doesn’t know how to have fun?
E-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.