Tips For Enjoying 2009 Without A Job

When you're out of work, you have more time. And that can be a good thing says our resident humorist. So consider taking all your activities in the New Year slowly ... very slowly.

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ALEX COHEN, host:

Back now with Day to Day and back as well, humorist Brian Unger here with a few words about getting back into the swing of things - or not. Here is today's Unger Report.

BRIAN UNGER: Today on this, the fifth day of the New Year, it's the first day back to work for that part of America that still has a place to call work - in a workplace at which a job still exists or hasn't yet been eliminated. If you're one of those people, welcome back.

If you're beginning the New Year without a job, the first thing you should do is to put some pants on. Then draw back the curtains and bravely face the day and confront the new reality of unemployment. It's not going to be easy. There will be challenges, like staving off hunger or stopping that guy with tattoos from taking your car in the middle of the night.

But there is one challenge bigger than all the requisite phone calls, e-mails, resumes, and job interviews, and that is what to do with all your spare time. You could sit at home and wait to feel the curative effects of TARP, the Troubled Assets Relief Program. But you'll be dead by then. Instead, here's the most important piece of advice on how to spend all your free time from someone who is accustomed to being unemployed or fired a few times, who has a job as of right now but won't soon on a program that's still on the air but won't be in 11 weeks because of an NPR budget shortfall.

My advice, don't be efficient at doing anything. For example, don't combine trips like going to the gym, stopping at the store, swinging by the post office, then picking up dry cleaning when you could turn each of those activities into four separate day-long adventures. Go to the post office but in a neighboring county. For fresh produce, drive to Pennsylvania and visit an Amish vegetable stand. Buy your own petrochemicals to make dry-cleaning solution from scratch.

You have no job and 12 hours to fill each day, so make every hour count by wasting as much time as you can by never performing more than one function or running more than one errand at a time. Efficiency is for losers with jobs. You're a winner without a paycheck and pesty time constraints. Consider yourself promoted to vice president of time killers. Call a friend. Write a poem. Climb a mountain. You've got absolutely no work to do and a lot of time to not do it. So don't go hurrying up and getting busy. And that is today's Unger Report. I'm Brian Unger.

COHEN: Humorist Brian Unger working, for the moment anyway, every Monday here on Day to Day.

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