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unemployment is the new black

September 30, 2008









Yesterday on my way home from reading the want ads in a coffee shop on Haight I met Ben.  Ben has piercing blue eyes and fluffy brown hair.  Ben is a cat.  He was sitting on the stoop in the sun, and as I have been pretty deprived of felines for the last few weeks, and since I had pretty much nowhere to go at 2 pm on a Thursday, I had stopped to pet him.

“Do you know Ben’s story?” The question belonged to a woman who had suddenly appeared at my elbow. At this point I had no idea who Ben was, and looked at her blankly.  She was holding a fork in one hand and a metal sieve in the other.  “Well, Ben,” she gestured to the cat, “was found in Mexico by a couple who lives in this building.”  Ben did not have the look or the attitude of an animal that had ever been a stray, but she seemed to know what she was talking about.  She went on to tell me where I could find a whole colony of feral cats in Buena Vista Park,    “I mark my days by the cats I meet,” she explained.  Perhaps this is not a bad way to pass the time.  I’m starting to feel that unemployment is wildly underrated.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Kent McMIllan permalink
    October 1, 2008 2:00 am

    She went on to tell me where I could find a whole colony of feral cats in Buena Vista Park. “I mark my days by the cats I meet,” she explained.

    You know, “Mark your days by the [noun(s)] you [verb]” is a fairly rich template, even outside the greeting card and fortune cookie business.

  2. Kent McMIllan permalink
    October 1, 2008 4:43 am

    By the way, this probably falls into the catergory of unwanted advice, but in case you someone you know hasn’t ever taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (or have and can’t recall the result), here is a link to a short online version that isn’t too bad.

    Online shortie version of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

    The way to validate the results is simply to read the description of the type that the test scores you the subject as. Some people probably will not particularly like that the test is based upon the rough sorting of everyone into sixteen different categories using C.G. Jung’s practical description of certain aspects of personality.

    Those people should be told that “Hey, it’s just a practical tool. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.”

    But once one learns that she is, say, an Introverted Intuitive type with Feeling as an auxiliary function, an INFP in short, then there is a surprising amount of useful survey information about people who share that type. The initialization, INFP, is a fine search term for google.


    Naturally, if one is not an INFP, then she would want to make appropriate substitutions in accessing information about such things as the frequency of her type in the general population and the sorts of careers that her type tends to gravitate to.

  3. Kent McMIllan permalink
    October 4, 2008 6:25 am

    Oops. I just reread what I posted above about the INFP personality type and realize that I misdescribed it. I should have written that the INFP (in Isabel Myers-Briggs system of classification) is the Introverted Feeling type with Intuition as an auxiliary function. The Introverted Intuitive type with auxiliary Feeling is the INFJ type. Sorry to have confused that needlessly.

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