Recession Etiquette: What Colorado's Unhappily Employed Can Learn From Sarah Palin

July 14 2009, 9:41 AM
A friend just posted on Facebook that he quit his job in the worst economic recession ever but that he was thrilled. He had been slinging boxes in a warehouse when he wanted to be playing classical music. Friends' comments stretched long underneath his post, encouraging him and saying that he made the right decision. The Denver Post informed us, just before we broke out the lawn chairs for the weekend, that Colorado was going to lose 65,000 jobs in 2009. Let's make that 64,999, thanks to my friend. Actually, since I quit my job earlier in the spring, let's go ahead and take it to 64,998. I started wondering: If we could convince 64,998 people to quit their jobs, would we would be in the clear? The state's economic analysts would shrug, color in the top of the giant unemployment thermometers,* and declare, "Start hiring!" After all, quitting is the new black. Governors are even onboard with the trend. And now business writers are actually making examples out of  quitters. Entrepreneur Penelope Trunk wrote about how inspired she was by Sarah Palin's resignation, writing revelations like, "Ideas matter, not your resume." With all this quitting going around, maybe you are taking a long look in the mirror and ready to chisel away at Colorado's jobless number. You could bring us to 64,997! Here are three easy tips, inspired by Palin herself, for leaving your job: 1. The best answers are given in waders. Soon after Palin's speech, NBC shipped its best reporters to Alaska. They must have been slightly surprised to see their newly resigned interview subject had already slipped into a big pair of waders for an annual fishing trip. What she was saying with those waders is the key to the quitters' mantra: We just don't care anymore. Don't worry about those flat-front pants or the dry-clean-only starched shirts. The world is on your terms now, and you get to show, via those awesome sweat pants, how far you're going to stay out of the rat race. 2. When asked to explain yourself, string together small, unrelated phrases until the person who asked the question offers to buy you a drink. Those who have stayed in their jobs might have a lot of questions for you. They might bring up mundane points like, "So, how are you doing to pay your rent?" They will want answers. Your job is to stop any sentence out of your mouth before it reaches its conclusion, and dovetail it into a new thought. "Oh, I'm ready for a change, and, you know, it was like that time when we were in my backyard as kids…." Within minutes this person will buy you a pity-beer. 3. Similes, Similes, Similes In the end, we all know quitting your job is a pretty terrifying thing right now, and, in all seriousness, I'm proud of the folks who take the plunge. It is a scary time to do it, and we can use a simple Palin tactic to reassure ourselves that we are people of unquestionable character. The trick? Similes. Palin compared herself to a refrigerator-magnet quote and a basketball play deftly. What are you? Write a little madlib for yourself to get things going: "I'm as courageous as a ____." "I'm as maverick as a ____." *The writer of this column is not in any way, shape, or form an economic analyst, and has a minimal understanding of the state's fragile budget. Were this trick of everyone quitting not to work, she does not claim responsibility for your mortgage payment, but she will get the next round at the bar.