Getting Laid Off (or Mom never told me there'd be days like this)
Joel Weeks
United States
Roswell
Georgia
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The 21st century for me has been a story of lay offs, freelance work, basically doing whatever I can to cobble together a living and pay those lovely insurance bills every month. I have it much better than a lot of folks so this geek list isn't just for me, its for all the people who just didn't expect to have to live this way (remember rolling your eyes when your parents told you how hard life for them had been when they were your age).

Good luck to all those everywhere who are struggling, giving up things they love to make ends meet.
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1. Board Game: Shell Shock! [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:7317]
Joel Weeks
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Roswell
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I think this is true for everyone, but when I'm called in to be laid off (you never get used to it), my whole body goes numb and I say to myself, no way, not again, my performance scores are high. I was just told 2 weeks ago by the president of the company how great my work was.
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2. Board Game: Shear Panic [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:1784]
Joel Weeks
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Roswell
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Then on your drive home you start to panic. You think of all the things (games) you have bought over the last couple of months that you wouldn't have bought if you had any clue this was coming. You start thinking, ok, I've got to get health insurance. I've got to rearrange my financial plan. Am I going to get through this? Oh my god, back to the job hunt in this horrible environment. Will I finally have to take that job at the grocery store or Starbucks (completely honorable jobs, just not what you expected to be doing at this point in your life).

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3. Board Game: Government-Funded Robot Assassins from Hell! [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
Joel Weeks
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Roswell
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Ah, the joy of going and signing up for unemployment. The actual people I deal with are quite nice (they recognize my face now). But the system, the complicated pray that it works and sends you money system that you have to struggle through and wondering if there is some reason that this time they are going to find a reason why you don't qualify and you have little money in your checking account and your start figuring how much credit you have and what your drop dead date is for having another job.
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4. Board Game: Get that job [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Joel Weeks
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Roswell
Georgia
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I'm 53, so I still remember mailing applications (something until the year 2000 I had only done 3 times). In most ways this is an easier process than it used to be, but some companies, in addition to your resume want you to list everybody you've ever worked for, like I remember the phone number of the person I worked for 7 years ago and most likely they aren't even there any more.
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5. Board Game: Interview Challenge [Average Rating:5.10 Unranked]
Joel Weeks
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Roswell
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Ah, and then those wonderful interviews. Picking out that tie and suit. Driving to that new location, wondering if they will validate your parking. Waiting in the reception area (interviews never start on time, and of course you get there 30 minutes early to make sure you are on time). And the worst is when the person walks out and you go, oh my god, I could never work for this person. Or those fun new things, being interviewed by the whole team.
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6. Board Game: Zathura: Adventure is Waiting [Average Rating:4.56 Overall Rank:17233]
Joel Weeks
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Roswell
Georgia
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Then the waiting for the phone to ring. Will someone call you back for a 2nd interview. Will you get the job. Will they come close to offering you a living wage, not even fantasizing that you will make what you did back in the good old days.
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7. Board Game: Networking [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
Joel Weeks
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Roswell
Georgia
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If you ain't doing it, you ain't getting a job. There are so many people unemployed or underemployed that everyone has a friend they can recommend for the job. So I hope you are in good with your friends right now and that they work in growing industries.
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8. Board Game: Fast Food Franchise [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:4563]
Joel Weeks
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Roswell
Georgia
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Good bye nice dinners out, hello McDonald's, or in my case Marie Callendar Healthy Steamed Meals. $3 a piece and actually quite good and hey I've lost 15 pounds, so unemployment has its benefits.
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9. Board Game: Spare Time Bowling [Average Rating:3.91 Overall Rank:17385]
Joel Weeks
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Roswell
Georgia
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Well I don't use my spare time bowling, but after 2 or 3 hours of sending out aps, you still have plenty of spare time. So, there's the little projects around the house. Hey, the raking is gonna get done a lot earlier this year. And thankfully for me, I have my pottery. That keeps some of my time occupied. This time, I binged on ST:TNG for 3 weeks to keep my mind occupied. There are just so many movies you can download from Netflix.
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10. Board Game: The Self-Esteem Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Joel Weeks
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Roswell
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Yeah, getting laid off is always a kick in the self esteem. The haunting questions (for me they come especially as I am trying to go to sleep): what could I have done differently. Its really weird, especially when you know you were doing a good job. Was it something innately about you that the company didn't like. You think, millions of people are in the same boat, but that doesn't help much.
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11. Board Game: Forlorn: Hope [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:5867]
Joel Weeks
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Roswell
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Hope. You can't live without it. You must dig deep inside and find it or you'll go nuts. Thankfully, the gaming community is incredibly tight knit, and I get encouraging words from all over the world. That is truly a blessing. Not sure what makes our community so caring and kind, but I'm glad that it is.
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12. Board Game: Second Chance [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Joel Weeks
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And in the end, you realize that if you put your back and mind into it, there is another chance around the bend. It may be something completely unexpected. Your life may go in a direction you don't expect. Surround yourself with those who love and support you. DO NOT isolate yourself. We are gonna get through this, changed, but surviving.

So, to all my brothers and sisters out there, my thoughts are with you and may we all find something to get us through and in the meantime, keep on gaming, it keeps your mind sharp, it keeps you around friends, it gets your creative juices flowing and its very therapeutic.

Take care all.

Joel
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