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To My Homies Who Get Laid Off

By Cheddar Ted

I'm not trying turn this into a finance blog – this isn't FREAKONOMICS – but it seems like a lot of the investment banks are going to be laying off a few doggers here and there, and I wanted to offer a word of advice to these people…or at least a word of solace.

Almost a year ago to the day, I was collecting my bounty for winning the NCAA bracket in the athletic department of Dalton, my high school alma mater. Even though this year I will probably win a different $1000 purse and pull off the greatest feat any participant with two brackets can achieve (first and last), this isn't a post about how amazing I am at analyzing NCAA basketball. It's about getting LAID OFF.

The point of the previous paragraph is not self-promotion; that's the point of my blog in general. It's that my office pool was literally the Dalton Athletic Department. Not to knock that athletic department – in my opinion it's the best run department in New York City (at least it has the best A.D.) – but when I graduated from Harvard I wasn't expecting that eight months later, I'd be coaching a seventh grade baseball team. I was more expecting to be a published author.

But after I got laid off from Podge, Inc., an ill-fated startup my buddy and I worked for, I scrambled. I wanted to stay in New York for human reasons and because I had a four month lease in a very small apartment in the Amsterdam projects. I couldn't find any book agent to publish my blog (CheddarTed.com), so I took on a scrappy bunch of recently Bar Mitzvah'ed middle schoolers and we hit the field together. Even though we finished the season 2-11 and didn't score a run until our fifth game, it was a special Spring. These kids were so awesome that I ended up delaying my move to Los Angeles so I could finish out the season.

Now a year later, I am basically broke even though I've had the same employer for more than the time it takes to have a child – especially a premature one – and CheddarTed.com is still available for free. But the point is, it's always going to be for free.

In periods of uncertainty, it's especially difficult to keep your sense of perspective. The truth is, it's basically impossible. But if you happen to be laid off, maybe feel happy you're not married. If you're married, be happy you don't have a child and serious financial obligations. If you have a child and serious financial obligations, I'm sorry. You're fucked!

Seriously though, when you're out there, sans a job or viable prospects, things seem scary as hell. But the truth is, you can mope or use your time to your advantage. Learn Morse code. Learn a trade. Become a cobbler. Buy a Schwinn. Coach middle school baseball.

Sorry if I sound like Baz Luhrman, but there are just so many activities. Fucking do them. Once you're back in the nine-to-five, you'll be glad you did.

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