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Five Lies I’ve Told While Being Unemployed

Look at you, walking around all jobless and what not. It’s pathetic! You’re probably feeling like garbage, if you’re being honest with yourself. Well, there’s a simple solution to that problem: Stop being so honest with yourself. You should also stop being honest with others. Particularly about your job situation

When you find yourself jobless and the world seems indifferent to your existence, you’ve got to pull yourself up by the boot straps. You need to hold your head high and be jobless with pride! It’s not a really easy thing to do, unless you have some good lies at your ready. You’ve got make sure nobody around you takes pity on you, but rather assumes your some sort of successful entrepreneur, or one of those guys who runs a remote call center in India. Being jobless gives you the perfect opportunity to appear mysterious to people, and create a buzz of curiosity about you. All while living off of your dwindling savings.

“What do you do for a living?” is a harmless, common question. Unless of course you’re unemployed. Then it’s a question that feels like a kick in the nuts every time it’s asked. This is why you must have a few select bullshit answers at your ready. Feel free to use these ones that I used during an eight month unemployment streak in 2011:


“I’m an IT consultant.”

It’s one of those all encompassing job titles. I’ve met so many consultants in my life. I can’t tell you what their day to day was like, or even what they were consulting on. I think most of them were IT consultants. Still don’t know exactly what that means, but really, I feel like even the most minimal computer-related thing could validate that title. For example, one time, my sister’s internet wasn’t working. She called me for counsel. I said “try rebooting your modem,” and it worked. She paid for my services by buying me lunch that afternoon. From that point forward, I was a professional IT consultant.

“I’m a cartographer.”

That’s right, I draw maps. Follow up question would most likely be “Oh, what’s that like?” To which you could simply reply “Oh, it’s pretty boring. Just lots of attention to detail, and lots of traveling.” The attention to detail thing will be ignored, but the aforementioned travel will probably spark a more lengthy conversation. That’ll give you time to steer away from job talk.

“I’m a social media expert.”

Easy one to qualify, since, if you’re unemployed you’re spending your entire day on facebook and twitter. Hours on end of doing anything will make you an expert. Just be careful, because if you use this lie long enough, you will eventually end up running into an actual, employed social media expert whose bullshit skills will be stronger than yours. Just lock eyes and don’t back down. Talk about web traffic, social engagement, and make fun of myspace. You’ll be fine.

“I freelance.”

Freelance what? Doesn’t matter. Just say you’re a freelance designer, writer, copy editor, anything. Then make up names of a few small ad agencies and lesser known web publications. When the conversation dries up, which it will almost immediately, lean into the person’s ear and whisper “actually, I’m an assassin.”

“I’m an assassin.”

This one’s risky, obviously, because nobody will believe, or they will believe you and you’ll get arrested. This is the most risky lie, but the one that pays off the greatest. Just stick to it, and give out as little details as possible. Also, shave your head and wear a bluetooth.

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