Kofi, have you taken the leftover food I kept in the fridge? Have you taken the coins I left on the table? Have you seen this or that?… These and many more are the few funny but annoying questions an unemployed young man/lady has to answer every day of his/her life until she/he gets a job.
Imagine your mother waking you up from an afternoon nap, only to ask whether you saw the one who took the bucket of water she put at the entrance of the washroom or your sister asking whether you have seen the panties she hung on the drying line.
This could be so annoying!!! You virtually become the security of the house. You as well become the storekeeper who keeps all the keys in the house: Keep these keys and give to the children when they return from school.
As if the “internal” humiliation is not enough, you go outside for fresh air, and outsiders too are tearing you up with this same topic. The slightest provocation, people are quick to remind you that you aren’t working: “Nny3 de3 ehia nie, k)p3 adwuma bi y3” (This is not important; go get a job for yourself) becomes the answer to almost everything you say.
Unemployment occurs when people with employable skills, who are willing and able to work are unable to find a job. Aside from the financial difficulties such people go through, there are other immeasurable pains they suffer. The embarrassment, frustration, and humiliation people put you through are so disheartening and heartbreaking.
Isn’t it heartbreaking that regardless of the effort you are putting in to get a job, people see you as either lazy or selective? when you stay unemployed for some time, even some of those friends who were once unemployed like you begin to see you in a “certain way”.
If you are fortunate to have friends who support you, it gets to a time that you can’t run to them for help again because you have exhausted all your chances! When an employer invites for an interview, no one is ready to give you T&T, according to your financiers, you have taken and “wasted” so much money on interviews, with no result to show.
When you stay unemployed for a long time, you begin to lose confidence and doubt your capabilities. Unemployment is a serious headache I pray no human suffers. It is something no one should wish for a fellow human being; not even an eternal enemy.
Societal Pressure and Crime
Unemployment in itself is trauma and comes along with so much mental pressure and stress for any individual. Notwithstanding the mental pressure you are personally going through, society compounds it by exerting additional pressure on you.
As if the trauma you experience is not enough, if you are living in a part of the world like mine, whereas a man, it’s a crime to be a bachelor after twenty-five years; regardless of how much is in your account, whiles you are thinking of where to get your next meal, the old lady sitting somewhere is also asking when you are bringing her daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
There is so much disrespect from neighbours, some friends, and even your own family.
If your younger siblings are employed before you, the situation becomes more complicated. During family meetings, your suggestions may not even be considered because you can’t contribute financially to the decision being taken.
It gets to a level that your girlfriend begins to lose her patience and continuously threatens to quit. But do you blame her? Obviously, you can’t! Because she has waited and defended you for a long time yet, you have not come close to getting a job.
You then become a “suggestion box” because people think you don’t even know what is good for you. your rights begin to diminish when you try to explain things to make them understand your situation, you are seen as giving excuses.
The situation becomes so depressing that at some point, you may accept anything that is thrown at you. The disrespect and disregard; frustration and humiliation become so much that you are tempted to move to a new place, without knowing exactly how you are going to survive there.
In an attempt to escape this dilemma and seek the love that is deprived of them, many join groups, societies, and organizations that they later wish they never joined.
Others are behind bars for various reasons all due to their inability to endure this pressure anymore. To prove that they are men like their mates, many guys have crossed moral lines and committed inhumane crimes that they never thought they could commit.
Some innocently joined groups with the mind of whiling away time but unknowingly and gradually became drug addicts. A lot of guys have become gays; and ladies, prostitutes and lesbians; not because they wanted to but as to how they got there, they themselves cannot tell…All in the name of proving society wrong!
Many of the social vices we are experiencing as a country are a result of unemployment. It is not surprising that unemployment is seen as a security threat to this country. But per experience, unemployment itself is not the problem but the societal pressure that comes with it is what makes unemployment dangerous. A lot of deaths could have been avoided, and the social vices reduced had society shown love and patience to the unemployed youth.
Moving Forward with Empathy
If you are one of those people who disrespect any unemployed person, kindly stop! If you look down on these guys and put pressure on them, kindly refrain from it because you don’t need the job desperately than they do.
The pressure they wake up to every morning is so much…It’s not easy for them! The weight they carry is too much for you to add yours! No one would want to stay home and be treated like a child if they had their own way. None of them went to school with the mind of staying home and “stealing” food and coins.
Dear parents, all of these young people want to work and make you proud so if things are not going as planned, please have the patience for them.
To you the unemployed, if things are not going as planned, don’t give up! Resorting to crime and drugs isn’t the solution…No! We should rather use that period as an opportunity to read and learn new things. Instead of engaging in crime, Let’s learn to employ the entrepreneurial skills we have learned. Let us be more careful with who and what we listen to during this period.
Most importantly, when they throw insults at us, let’s not bow our heads in shame, rather let’s walk with pride because we are doing our best. Let’s us keep on fighting! We should not be dejected when we are rejected; instead, let’s persevere and stay focused until we make it. Don’t give up! It’s just a matter of time!!!
Did we come all this way just to give up?