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Her Storyline

In Empathy, Popular Music, Television, Thats' Life, The Sunday Bully Pulpit, Unemployed on May 15, 2011 at 8:00 AM

#bullDogNATION’s Sunday BULLY Pulpit

Susan Lucci. Unemployed.
Help! I need somebody,
Help! Not just anybody,
Help! You know, I need Someone…
Help!

Susan Lucci has lost her job. Aw. After 41 years playing the oft married Erica Kane on ABC’s All My Children, Susan Lucci is Unemployed.

Hello, Susan. Welcome– to the continuing, real life drama starring 9 million American People and their children, All The Unemployed.

Of course, it’s not going to be fur you as it is fur all the People in the cast of All The Unemployed who are not you. All the Not multi-millionares, not self employed owners of their own companies. All The Unemployed not with beauty products and jewelry lines being sold on QVC. All The Unemployed not pulling down writer’s royalties.

So sop up those tears, Susan! Your income producing capacity is still solidly intact. And don’t forget you have the added good fortune and (not to mention) security of being in a healthy, happy marriage with the husband of your youth, the man of your dreams and in a house and home (perhaps several of them even) filled with cherished mementoes of the beautiful family you both successfully reared together.

Talk about “winning!”

Just because you’re fortunate and wealthy, however, doesn’t mean I can’t empathize with you. I know having a job

It’s not about the money, money, money
We don’t need your money, money, money

I understand. I know what it’s like firsthand, Susan. Here. Dry your eyes. Take a moment to reflect on Her storyline. Now here is Someone who really has somethin’ to cry about. Her real life storyline began in November, 2009. She can only hope someday She’ll be fired from this. Who knows, you may even ask yourself what all your drama is really all about. Up next, the all not-so-new, all consuming, all daytime, nighttime, continuing lifetime drama…

All The Unemployed (multiple marriages not included).

Look at me. Still languishing here in this place some might call Hell. I just listened to Jason Reitman today as he discussed, in an interview with Robert Seigle on NPR what he learned from his experience working with “real people who had lost their jobs” for his newly released movie Up In The Air” starring George Clooney and Vera Farmiga.

“If you’d asked me before I did this movie, ‘What’s the worst thing about losing your job in this type of economy?’ I would’ve probably said the loss of income,” Reitman explains. But as I talked to these people, that rarely came up. What people said, time and time again, was: ‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.’ … It was really about a lack of purpose. They would say, you know, ‘After I finish this interview, I’m going to go get in my car, and I have nowhere to be.’ And I can’t imagine thinking that every day.”

“I can’t imagine thinking that every day” young Mr. Reitman said. We’re not just thinking it, Mr. Reitman. We’re feelin’ it and that, I can tell you from experience is far, far worse!

Imagine getting up every morning with no one in the world expecting you. No one who knows or cares if you’re even ALIVE or not. No one irritated because you are late.

Days blend into weeks. Weeks into months. You check and recheck the calendar reminding yourself what day of the week it is. The Today Show is a touchstone.

There is no greater hell than to have to begin and end each and every day having had nothing to do. Nothing to think about. No Where to be. No one to be with. Never hearing the phrase “See you tomorrow.” I go whole days, weeks, months even, without ever having to part my lips to make a sound. I can go equally as long not hearing anyone say my name.

The phone never rings.

Death of a SalesmanAbsolutely, you are right, Mr. Reitman. It is not the loss of income that is the thing. I used to always joke that if I wanted to work soley for money I’d be a prostitute. No, it’s not the loss of an income that we miss most.

Work is the anchor of a life. Look what happened to Willy Loman, for god’s sake. Everything you do in life is because you work. Work is not a privilege. It’s a RIGHT! There can be no Life, Liberty or PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS without WORK! Work is the American dream!

Once you have your job and feel secure in it and have adapted to the routine of collecting and managing the paycheck, that’s when

L-I-V-I-N-G actually starts to begin. Every plan, every decision, every thought, even your commute to and from work each day is predicated upon the completion of those allocated eight hours and the blessed assurance you’ll get to repeat that routine all over again tomorrow.

Then there are the dribbling, mundane routines and rituals. Before work you may do a load of laundry, drop the kids off with caregivers, stop at a drive through for a McGriddle, stop at the dry cleaner, plan dinner.

Sliding the card key through, getting the green light, entering the place where you go every day, where you chit-chat about those mundane, shared experiences with co-workers, grocery shop on your lunch hour, online bill pay, multi-task, and pitch in for birthday cards, cakes and balloon bouquets for co-workers you hardly know (and likely don’t even like). You’re at work. You have a job.

After work, complain about traffic while listening to tomorrow’s water cooler topic on the radio; pick up the kids, stop at the grocery store or Pet Smart or Target or just head straight home because dinner has to be made, the dryer has to be emptied, the carpet needs to be vacuumed, homework needs to get done, bills are in the mailbox. Everybody has to pee.

Meal time, bath time, quality time, bedtime. All the while your mind’s already reflecting on tomorrow’s in-basket, (how much gas is in the car?) e-mails that need to be responded to, deadlines, projects, your special work algorithm or just the everyday joy of the everyday routine of everyday people doing what they do every day– anchoring their lives so they can orbit all the things they really love and care around all that. There can be no family, no friends, no food, no music, no TV, no NPR.., no…“But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and J-O-B is the sun!”

Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do

There is no community without people who are working. Studs Terkel wrote a book about it. Real people don’t give a s**t about “champagne wishes and caviar dreams.” All they wanna do is work so they can live, make their parents proud, maybe even in the same neighborhood they grew up in. Grow their childhood friendships, marry their childhood sweethearts, share the old neighborhood and most cherished memories with their children and then check out, kick the bucket so to speak, realizing some measure of satisfaction with the content of their lives.

People have to be working to do that.

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before.

That’s Her story. Talk about a work in progress. See, Susan, unemployment often contributes to estrangement from family. It did fur Her. Unemployed People are often too ashamed to let their families know where they are or how they’ve ended up. They’ve lost everything. Now they sit among things that are not their own. They dwell in interior spaces that are not an expression of themselves. Joyful experiences are few and far between. They isolate themselves. Conceal everything.

free music

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in any way.
But now those daya are gone, I’m not so self assured,
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Don’t worry, Susan. You and I both know this will never be your story but I understand you feel awful now, though. It’s a terrible thing to have to let go of something when you’re not ready. I understand you’ll miss your work routine, certainly the character, the friendships you’ve cultivated because of your long association with the show.

But you are in a blessed position to reflect on your experience with fondness. After all, All My Children has been very, very good to you. You had 41 years. You never have to look back with fear or financial uncertainty or even anger. Maybe you should do less crying on TV and be more grateful about all that. If you won’t do it fur yourself, do it fur your fans. Do it fur me.

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me
Help me..,
HELP me… Oooooo…. ♫♫
Goodwill Energies I project
Upon each and every one of you
Each and every day!

“And there came to be evening and there came to be morning…”

That’s life. Today.

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