Editor’s note: David Newman of Nyack is one of six bloggers working with The Journal News and LoHud.com as part of our Jobless Recovery series. The 12-part series examines the job market and the impact unemployment has had on the Lower Hudson Valley. As the region climbs out of the recession, some sectors and businesses are expected to grow. Read more at LoHud.com/joblessrecovery.
My wife’s home, watching some Lifetime-ish-network-for-women movie about a teenager who seems to be hot for his stepmother. Well, that’s what I gathered while passing by during my work break to get something to drink.
“What are you watching now?”
“Tadpole,” she says, as if that answered everything.
It seems as if my wife has been snowbound a lot this winter. I don’t think that she’s worked a full week since the year began. That, we have in common.
If I wasn’t force feeding myself on work search diligence maybe I’d sit down with her and see whether the tadpole turns to toad from toady. On the other hand, I WILL NOT EVEN CONSIDER joining her for “The Young and the Restless.” I have my standards, you know.
But, maybe I should be more open to thinking like a woman. Just yesterday, a member of my job search work team mentioned that a well known packaged foods company was looking to hire women. Even in my field I’ve seen evidence of this trend. Get this ad posted on Craig’s List:
“I am looking for a lawyer girlfriend [to] work together if your age between 30-40, immigration lawyer, I hope you give me a reply. I own a immigration law firm in Manhattan. Serious reply please. Thanks.”
I kid you not. Here’s another:
“Female Attorneys Wanted $$$ (Midtown)”
But this isn’t only about lonely or lecherous birddog lawyers hunting for female mates. In its July/August issue last year, The Atlantic ran an article that described how women have become the majority of the U.S. workforce for the first time in history. “The postindustrial economy is indifferent to men’s size and strength” and now, in fact, even most managers are women,” reported Hanna Rosin. The ascendency of women in the new economy is also reflected in this jobless recovery. Says Rosin:
“It can be found, most immediately, in the wreckage of the Great Recession, in which three-quarters of the 8 million jobs lost were lost by men. . . Some of these jobs will come back, but the overall pattern of dislocation is neither temporary nor random. The recession merely revealed—and accelerated—a profound economic shift that has been going on for at least 30 years, and in some respects even longer. ”
Oh boy. As if it wasn’t hard enough being a middle-aged job seeker, now I’ve got to cope with this. You know what, perhaps I should have adopted the strategy that I employed theatrically over 20 years ago when I was in school. In an original musical comedy, I played a character modeled after the Dustin Hoffman “Tootsie” role. Remember? Speaking of soap operas, Dustin Hoffman got a coveted daytime TV role by pretending to be a woman. My character, on the other hand, was a law student who did the same. I still remember the lyrics I sang while changing into my female interview clothes. It was sung to the music of Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire,” a song popularized by The Pointer Sisters.
“I’m sitting in your chair
We begin the interview
You ask me some questions
I answer a few
You say you don’t want me
But a know you’re a liar
‘cause when we talk, ooh
So, my character got the job — working for a zany and manic Borscht Belt entertainment lawyer with a water spurting lapel carnation. I should have known it back then. We were onto something.
But, I’ll tell you this, I’m not giving up yet and you will definitely not see a bearded, hairy legged and deep voiced cross-dressing lawyer waiting to interview at the local Dewey Cheatem & How, LLP. But, I’m sure beginning to wonder.
About the writer
David Newman was former in-house counsel at an international technology company. He specialized in regulatory compliance and public policy, with an emphasis on the international supply chain to the United States. In fact, David was highly involved in the discussions surrounding the development of regulatory rules designed to prevent terrorists from using instruments of the international supply chain to smuggle weapons of mass destruction into the country.
After sixteen years with the company, including efforts that saved tens of millions of dollars, David’s business group was eliminated as part of a much larger, recession induced series of cost saving measures.
In this jobless recovery, David’s blog posts are designed to help him and his “in-transition” counterparts recover a spirit of belonging, perspective and sometimes humor.