Unemployed Man Working on Staying Unemployed

Unemployed Man Working on Staying Unemployed

For millions of Americans, unemployment is a nightmare. For one, however, it's been a dream come true.

Meet Franklin Schneider, a 32-year-old man who's been fired from 10 crummy jobs in 10 years and couldn't be more delighted.

His horrible work experiences provided him with enough fodder to fill a book: "Canned: How I Lost Ten Jobs in Ten Years and Learned to Love Unemployment" (Citadel Press).

The recently released paperback captures his forays into the workforce and the many adventures that came with it.

Schneider has skimmed money off token sales at a mall arcade, manned the cash register overnight at a XXX video store, harassed people during dinner as a telemarketer, worked at a failed startup and shredded millions of dollars worth of contracts at a construction company (no one seemed to care).

And while his vivid descriptions of creepy regulars and unpleasant duties at the porn shop might have you believe he'd reached the bottom of the barrel, for Schneider, it was still a notch above telemarketing.

"Telemarketing required that you actively exploit people, whereas the porn shop was just selling people things to look at while they touched their genitals," he said.

As it turned out, Schneider became quite good at exploiting people. For one week he said he was the top-selling telemarketer in America.

Despite his success (he even earned the executive parking spot), Schneider's favorite crappy job was writing for Commotion, a doomed startup company that hoped to sell digital music and movies to college kids.

"Once it became clear that the business was going to fail and all hope was lost, it got sort of interesting. Fistfights, screaming matches, lots of [expletive]. It was like 'Lord of the Flies' with beanbag chairs and [worthless] stock options," he told AOL News.

Today, Schneider remains happily out of work in Washington, D.C. His unemployment ran out at the beginning of last summer after 102 consecutive weeks. Although the system mandates a continued job search, he had been sending out a resume littered with typos, bad fonts and emoticons to ensure that no one would hire him.

Schneider is now "pretty much still coasting" from his book advance and occasional freelance writing.

"As I was writing the book, I realized that I will never work again. Even if I wanted to, I'm now completely incapable of holding down a job," he said. "I've become so absorbed in my own little world, I'm like one of those kids who was raised by wolves."

Fortunately, Schneider is blessed with cheap rent, helping him stretch his meager unemployment checks far enough to get by. He said his landlord moved to a Third World country years ago and hasn't kept up with the rising property values.

"I'm still paying '90s rent," he said. "But really, once you stop working you realize that you don't need a whole lot of money. I mean, I think that when you start working, you're essentially trading your leisure time (i.e. happiness) for money. And then when you're working and miserable, the natural impulse is to try and reverse that transaction and buy some of your happiness back. So you become a compulsive shopper."

Unlike many hardworking Americans, Schneider has no urge to buy giant televisions or high-end furniture.

"I just needed money for food and rent and going out every night, and if you go to the same bar all the time, pretty soon they don't even charge you for drinks anymore," he said. "The best year of my life was also the cheapest."

And while many of the unemployed don't have the luxury of being single and childless, Schneider offers this bit of advice for those who are:

"File for unemployment and then relax for a while. It's your money, anyway -- you paid into the system, and so did your employer (who skimmed that money off your labors). You're going to spend most of your life toiling away, you might as well enjoy some downtime when you can get it. The sad (or maybe not sad) truth is, the world doesn't need and would actually be better off without most of our 'contributions.' "

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