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"Funemployment" Will Make You Want To Get A Fun Permit

Good news, everyone: Not working is fun now! (But only if you have savings and/or a benefactor.) In fact, it's so fun, there's a new word for it that will jump right off the page and stab you in the brain, like a large shard of glass right through the eyelid. It's not unemployment, it's funemployment! Are we having fun yet?

From The LA Times:

Michael Van Gorkom was laid off by Yahoo in late April. He didn't panic. He didn't rush off to a therapist. Instead, the 33-year-old Santa Monica resident discovered that being jobless "kind of settled nicely."

What most people would call unemployment, Van Gorkom embraced as "funemployment."

While millions of Americans struggle to find work as they face foreclosures and bankruptcy, others have found a silver lining in the economic meltdown. These happily jobless tend to be single and in their 20s and 30s. Some were laid off. Some quit voluntarily, lured by generous buyouts.

Buoyed by severance, savings, unemployment checks or their parents, the funemployed do not spend their days poring over job listings. They travel on the cheap for weeks. They head back to school or volunteer at the neighborhood soup kitchen. And at least till the bank account dries up, they're content living for today.

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Hmm. So what you're telling me is that being unencumbered, excuse me, funencumbered by things like financial need, dependants, worries about the future, and responsibility can be enjoyable? What a societal shift. Hopefully there are some studies that back this outrageous conclusion up. Oh, look:

These days, more people than in the 1970s are saying they want jobs with a lot of vacation time, according to preliminary data from Twenge's generational surveys…And, when asked if they would quit their jobs if they had money, more are answering "yes," though the majority still say they would continue working.

"It really suggests there has been that generational shift that work is not the be all and end all," said Twenge, an associate professor of psychology at San Diego State.

So, basically, people today like vacations, and they would like more money to be able to take vacations. If you were to sum up this article pictorially it would be this:

Fun:

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Not Fun:

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And, additionally, Fun:

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Not Fun:

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Thankfully, the article supplies some thoroughly unecessary anecdotal evidence to back this up:

Amanda Rounsaville, 34, of Los Angeles quit her job as a program officer at the California Endowment in late March. A self-described workaholic who rarely called in sick or used vacation days, Rounsaville found a certain peace last month during her three-week trek through northern Mongolia with two friends, sleeping in $3-a-night, tent-like gers.

"I literally found myself smiling uncontrollably at being that far away from everything," Rounsaville said. Enjoying the solitude, she found herself contemplating: "Do we work to live or do we live to work? Do I have life goals that are not work goals?"

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Hopefully, Rounsaville chose to preseve the solitude and keep her "thrisis" funemployed epiphanies to herself. Could you imagine saving up for months, or possibly years, to take a lengthy, well-deserved vacation to Asia , only to find yourself trapped in some hostel in the middle of a beautiful nowhere in Mongolia with some stranger and her two friends who won't shut up about how great it is to leave the "rat race" and how fulfilled they feel? In a word: Unfun.       

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