Believe it or not, I was asked that question on a job interview. I have two things to discuss about this and I promise I will stop writing about this recent bout of joblessness. Even I'm getting bored with it!
First off, how does one explain to a hiring manager what the job market has been like for the past six years? I temped at companies that had hiring freezes or huge rounds of lay-offs in the banking industry, consumer goods, and healthcare. Was there an industry 2008 to present that did not have workforce reductions and still was hiring? Did I lose the magical compass that pointed True Employment? My MBA degree got me interviews but did not open up employment options. For three years I was a temp. How do I answer a question that implies there's something wrong with me and ignores what was going on in the job market?
Secondly, how can a fully functioning human being be so clueless? Yes, I'm sure it must be nice in your cushy job that you've had for a decade. Maybe you noticed there isn't a receptionist anymore at work or there are new faces in accounting every couple of months. The office supplies closet is really dwindling and your health plan's deductible has doubled. You don't listen to NPR and when you watch the news, the unemployed are Those People. The lazy, uneducated who would rather suckle at the government teat than earn a living. Or, on the flip side, you are scared to death that you could lose your job so you stick your head in the sand. If you meet one of Those People, you have to blame them for their joblessness because if it isn't their fault, whose is it? That scares you.
I didn't get the job where that question was asked. I have to figure out an appropriate response to that question now because apparently that is still a question in MOTHER FUCKING TWO THOUSAND AND FOURTEEN.