Posted by: jspiegel | June 3, 2009

#34: The Driving Range

johndalyWhen you are unemployed, it becomes an inevitability that you must give up certain luxuries such as new clothes, fancy cars, and the love and respect of your friends and family.  Included in this category of extravagance are sports of affluence such as golf.  Make no mistake about it, an afternoon filled with hitting the links can put a real pinch to the wallet and it is one that the unemployed cannot afford to take.

That is why there are driving ranges.  There is no more prominent a display of bourgeois leisure than by whacking a golf ball with no other purpose then to hit them as far as possible.  Even the sounds of the driving range scream middle class as expletive-filled tirades seem to echo from station from station.  Here, the unemployed can feel right at home.

Initially, the transition from a full eighteen holes to the driving range will be hard.  You will be used to a full day of sun and sand traps, not to mention doing a little wheeling and dealing while trying to nail down the Maxwell Account.  Put those days of corporate socializing behind you.  Try to avoid routine-based processes that you ’employed’ when you got ready to go on the course.  Avoid golf carts and the clubhouse, these are for members only or at least people who can afford to actually engage in a gentleman’s activity, and will only remind you of a life of civility that is no more.  From now on it’s just you, a bucket of balls, and a three-hundred yard marker as your goal of the day.

Once you have accepted your commonplace existence, you should have no problem enjoying yourself out on the driving range, or ‘home’ as people of the street so fondly refer to it.  In fact, the driving range can serve as place for you work out many of your unemployment frustrations.  It is not uncommon for a recently fired individual to imagine the golf ball they are about to hit as the head of their former boss, or as the arrogant douche-bag from IT who chided you for not knowing how many megabytes of RAM were stored on your computer (in truth, you probably didn’t even know what RAM was).  It is perfectly acceptable to couple such acts of frustration venting with booze and crying to add more of a dramatic effect.  Most likely anyone witnessing your irrational display of rage will simply chalk you up as ‘one of the regulars’.

Eventually, the driving range may become your safe haven.  A place to for you to relax and ponder your life all the while improving your long game.  Of course, if careful introspection does not calm you down, throw a golf club at the local bum wandering out by the two-hundred yard marker.  Hitting him is bound to make you feel better.

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