One of my roommates, let's call him "Howie", just recently got a job. After a long stretch, more than a year, he was finally able to will employment out of the black hole of our economy. I was proud of Howie. Our other roommate was proud of him. Our landlord said something in Spanish and then was proud of him also. Howie was back in action.
But the real reason I was happy was because this meant Howie was no longer going to be hanging around the house in the middle of the day. See, I've been "unemployed" for a while myself. But it's by choice!
I'm a "work at home" type; my skills never really translated to an office setting. My "work" being wearing just boxers, drinking milk straight out of the carton, then writing parody articles about Game of Thrones.
So, while I'm happy for Howie getting a job, I'm happier for the below reasons (and if Howie's reading this right now, don't take this stuff personally…I did the same things myself.)
Passive-aggressive chore duties
Your unemployed roommate (or UR) has just done the dishes for the fourth time in a row. He is able to do this because he never leaves the apartment. So he asks politely if you could scrub the dishes before putting them in the machine from here on out. "Sure, UR…" you reply "…after you GET A JOB."
I was suffering from latent NUR rage.
It's important as the non-UR (or non-unemployed roomate, or NUR) to never "pile on" your UR's emotional problems. Isn't the threat of being unable to pay rent properly punishment enough? Don't be a jerk. Do the dishes even if you're cursing under your breath about it.
Unemployed Roommate never, ever, wore pants
To be honest, I think most people would do this if unemployed for long enough. But at a certain point not wearing pants screams "I don't anticipate ever making money again".
Could you imagine if Batman pulled this crap? Maybe there were a few days where Gotham was a little slow, maybe Bruce decided to wake up at 8am instead of 6, and kinda walked around until noon in his bat-briefs. What if the city was taken under siege by The Penguin or something? You think Batman just rolls in there half-dressed with his utility belt over his underwear?
Well, technically he does. But what I'm saying is that your UR should be like Batman, always prepared for action. And in this case, action includes pants.
Depressing graveyard of fast-food items on coffee table
Carl's Jr., McDonalds, In and Out, the taqueria down the street, all these places have been frequented by your roommate throughout his lengthy unemployment. What was once a great excuse to get out and walk around the neighborhood with newly given free time has regressed into "oh I'll clean it tomorrow" attitudes. When your coffee table has become a myriad of Slurpee cups, Burger King bags, and Hot Pocket crisping sleeves, you have a problem.
Bonus points for finding your UR asleep next to said bag stacks. And by bonus points I mean shame points.
He witnesses your lady friend's "walk of shame" the next morning
I want to say this slowly. Nothing. And I mean nothing. Is as embarrassing. Or harmful. To your love life. Then your roommate. In his boxers. Staring at your lady friend. In the clothes she wore last night. Leaving your room.
Always exit first and case the living room for any sign of your UR. This same rule applies for "alone time with your laptop" when the door to your room is open. Your UR is a privacy ninja, make sure he doesn't accidently scar his eyes either.
The guilt inducing "How was your day?" question
You've just got done with a long, hard day of work. It was soul-crushing and amazing at the same time. All you're looking forward to is a cold beer and a hot bath. What? That's what I do.
As you open the door you breathe a sigh of relief. The living room is completely dark. The UR is no where to be seen. You shamble your way to the refrigerator door and open it. Pssst. Ah yeah, the beer is ice cold. You close the door to the fridge and your UR is standing in the tiny apartment hallway "How was your day?" he asks. "AHHH" you scream.
You freeze. Then you realize silence is not the answer, perhaps you make something up about "ooohh, it's so hard…uh, my boss is such an ass…" But in reality you don't want to say anything. Whatever you're problems are, at least they're at work.
You were at work all day. Your UR was not.
So whatever you do, just ask about his day "How's the job search going buddy?…You know I could help you out…Need me to be a reference?" Be there for your roommate, because in this economy, you could be in his shoes tomorrow…
…but if you are a UR don't ask this question, it's kinda depressing.
For more advice on how to get kicked out of your apartment by your roommates contact @cravesam