You’re waiting for a call, a call that would give you your biggest cheer in months. A call that would once again be delayed or would never come just like the rest you’ve waited for to arrive.
Your fingers both in your hands and feet are no longer enough to count the resumes and cover letters you’ve sent, or the walk-in applications you made which cost you time, effort and resources you’ve been trying to conserve. In no time, you’ll be begging from your parents once more, an ordeal that eats away the manliness in you. You have a degree and have done well in your craft, and yet here you are, been stuck at home for the last six months. The only consolation you at least have is that just like you there are around 2 million people in the same situation you are right now.
You retrace your steps, hoping to find out what mistake you made that got you here. But unlike you, others just like got in this hole without a choice. There are a variety of traps the led them here: retrenchment, company collapse, job mismatch. But most of them are already in this hole by the time they finish college. Some have managed to escape, a few weren’t so lucky. You begin to wonder if you’ll suffer the same fate as theirs. You begin to pray, a thing you haven’t done for quite some time. At one point, it might be God’s punishment for you too, for not praying for such a long time. But you shrug off such idea anyway.
You want to curse the fates or anyone who might have been contributory for putting you in this situation: God, the government, your old company. You start feeling that all this is a conspiracy to ruin your way of life. Others like you have even gone to greater lengths by joining Leftist rallies condemning government inaction to their problems. Your parents have always said that such acts won’t land you a job, that there’s no alternative to the same old “sipag at tiyaga” formula. Therefore, you vow not to join such actions. But also recognize that these people have a point to. After all, you haven’t seen or felt anything from the government throughout your months in this kind of captivity.
You gather what remains of your dignity. While still waiting for that call, you humbly help with chores around the house, or volunteer as hand help in some relative’s business. You’d collect all the recyclable trash around the house and sell it at the junk shop. You’d sell all sorts of stuff ranging from clothes, pandesal, ice candy, even your old books, all for the name of small income. It’s the least you can do to maintain your slowly depleting resources. Never mind if it makes a couple or so neighbours, as long as you survive until the call comes. They are entitled to their judgments, not that such judgments would hurt you or anything. But it’s a different story altogether if former co-workers and friends see you in such ordeal. You vow not get caught doing so.
In your spare time, you’d scour for jobs on the Internet, or attend all sorts of job fairs you’d hear of. Job fairs always have this air of sentimentality to you: it’s where you and others like you converge for a day, going through the same ordeals in the hunt for a job. You swear you won’t cry at the sight of some rejected applications, but you do. It’s like speaking, communicating with them, without actually talking. Just being one with them despite the hustle and bustle inside the crowded exhibition hall.
After like an eternity, the call finally arrives. No vessel would suffice to contain the joy and excitement you feel after getting the much coveted prize. Somehow, there is a sense of selfishness at the same time. You feel glad you are picked and not someone else. But this is your moment after all. You’re gonna bask in it with a sense of pride and achievement, but at the same time, with hope and anticipation that the many others you’ve left behind well all get to escape their captivity too. A silent anticipation that in some unforeseen future, never will a time come that anyone will have suffer this vicious trap called unemployment.
author; the Social Scientist
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