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Thirteen things NOT to say to unemployed friends

Boston Herald "Working Stiff" graphic

Sometimes the best way to “cheer up” an unemployed friend is to shut up and listen.

Or just send a fruit basket.

Offering well-meaning comments like “it was meant to be” or “everything happens for a reason” can come across as more trite than a fortune cookie.

Or as my job-hunting friend Rebecca puts it:

“People who say ‘everything happens for a reason’ are being sincere. That is their philosophy and they are trying to give you reassurance that things will work out okay. However, that’s not my world view and it’s being applied to my life and I have to sit there and take it because you mean well.”

“So I end up feeling even worse when someone offers that kind of comfort,” she adds. “I’m not only an unemployed loser, I’m also a bad person for silently critiquing your kind attempt to reach out!”

My favorite asinine remark: “Whenever God closes a door, he opens a window.”

God also drowns people (see Exodus 14:27).

Inspired by childhood influence Al Jaffee, the Mad Magazine cartoonist behind “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions,” I serve up the 13 dumbest things you can say to an unemployed friend — with suggested witty (I think) comebacks.

Check out today’s Boston Herald.

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