Sunday, April 12, 2009

AUS - What is it? Do I have it? Is it transmitted by holding hands?


Acute Unemployment Syndrome, or AUS, is a disease which currently affects 13.2 million Americans.  Some experts even predict as many as 1 in 10 Americans could be afflicted with AUS in the coming months.  While this disease affects Americans of all creeds, it is felt most acutely by MBAs, as MBA graduates often feel the most entitled to jobs, and yet simultaneously often lack skills necessary to be a productive member of society.     

What is this disease?  It is the state of not only being jobless, but also bored, desperate, despondent, doubtful, and pissed off, with these emotions often being directed both internally (Why the hell did I get a history degree??) and externally (How in hell is Jimmy Fallon employed and I can't get a job??).  

What are the warning signs?  AUS happens in stages.  Stage 1 is marked by a period of optimism, naivete, and a general joie de vivre brought about by an ignorance of what is to come.  During Stage 1, AUS victims often look forward to a vacation between school and work during which they can spend hours doing nothing before having to settle into a job.  Stage 1 AUS patients also suffer delusions of grandeur, fantasizing about hiring bonuses, free Blackberrys, and health insurance -- none of these things will happen for the AUS victim, of course, but the patient still believes that happiness is attainable.  

Stage 2 begins about two months into the job search process, and is marked by a vexing feeling that somewhere in the AUS patent's life, wrong choices were made.  Maybe the AUS patient believes they should have studied mechanical engineering instead of getting that worthless tuba performance degree.  "Why didn't I join the Peace Corps?" asks the AUS patient.  "I wonder if it's too late to become a professional golfer?"  These questions are usually coupled with feelings of jealousy, particularly towards gainfully-employed younger siblings.

Stage 3 is the final stage of AUS and typically sets in around the 14-week mark.  After 14 weeks of job searching, including e-mailing, interviewing, bullshitting, phone calling, kowtowing, and watching way too many reruns of "Monk", the AUS patient has progressed into late-stage, incurable, full-blown joblessness.  Stage 3 patients are variously despondent and angry, frequently sarcastic, and are prone to blogging as a way to kill the time that stretches into infinity like the bleached sands of the Sahara.  

AUS is a serious problem that everyday affects more and more people around the world.  MBAs across America are on the brink of taking jobs as bank tellers, bar tenders, and, shudder, pro bono consultants.  By reading this blog, however, you are a part of the cure.  Together we can fight AUS.  With commiseration, sarcasm, and laughter, we can stop this epidemic.           

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