Philadelphia, Pa – July 2021

About a week after I got back from my four-day stint in Wildwood at my sister’s shore house I figured I should probably look for a job.

I had been on unemployment for over a year and a half and it was about to run out for good.

Back in March of 2020 when I was laid off from my hospitality job at a sports bar working 55 hours a week on my feet, I was happy to be off.

After working for 40 years I was happy to get a break. What began as a time of apprehension, quickly became a joy when I started getting $360 a week plus another $600 a week from the government which lasted 6 months. (Not to mention the $1200 stimulus checks I got!) Then they extended unemployment past that and still provided $300 extra per week so I was in good shape financially over the whole year and a half.

During that time I monetized this blog with WordPress ads, and Google AdSense, and acquired my own advertisers to promote their brands on my site. So there was that added income rolling in. I also published six books over that year and a half. Phicklephilly: One Man’s Journey to Find Love in Philadelphia, Phicklephilly II: He’s Found Love, But Can He Keep It?, Crazy Dating Stories, Sun Stories: Tales from a Tanning Salon, Angel with a Broken Wing, & Below The Wheel. So, royalties were rolling in from the sale of all of those books.

Back in April, I started cranking up some freelance writing assignments from different companies across the country. That brought me thousands of dollars and is still going on today. I was in great shape financially. I made more money and grew my investments during the pandemic than when I was working 55 hours a week in some terrible bar job.

I could see why once things started up again restaurants couldn’t find people who wanted to work. People were making great money on unemployment and all realized they could enjoy the summer and maybe find a vocation that was better than working in hospitality. It’s horrible, demanding work and I wouldn’t recommend that type of job to anyone.

It’s full of drug addicts, alcoholics, mentally ill people, illegal aliens, felons, and those who can’t get a job doing anything else. I was told by an executive in the hospitality industry that it attracts the very worst people. I had to agree with him. It’s a thankless, garbage life.

I decided I could never go back to anything like that but didn’t completely rule it out if I couldn’t find anything else at almost 60 years of age. But I was told by friends that they knew I’d get something because of my skills and personality.

During the pandemic, I decided that if I could find a little job to keep myself in step with humanity that was somewhere locally, I’d take it. Maybe something in retail in my neighborhood. But who knows?

About a week after I came back from Wildwood, I decided to look. I updated my resume and made a dozen copies at the local Kinkos over on 15th street. I applied to a few places on Craigslist and Indeed but didn’t hear anything.

The Last Week of July 2021

One day I walked over to the hardware store that’s a block and a half away from my house. I wanted to pick up a timer for some mini lights in my bedroom. While I was there I asked one of the guys working there if they were hiring. He said they were and to bring my resume in the next day. I did, and it was taken by one of the managers.

The next day I got a call from the owner and he asked me to come in and meet with the general manager the next day. I went in and met with him and was hired on the spot. I started that Friday and have been there ever since.

But here’s the thing… the same day I dropped my resume off at the hardware store I met with the owner of a local bar at 23rd and Sansom. He hired me on the spot as well. I told him I had managed a restaurant but never tended bar. He didn’t care but hired me anyway. I was shocked at my flood of good fortune.

I later had to decline the bar gig because I didn’t want to have to work until 2:30 in the morning. No way! Not doing that.

But the hardware gig is great. The guys I work with are nice and the whole vibe of the place is laid back. The work is easy and the customers are great. It’s nice to serve the community and help them with all of their household needs.

I was surprised how smooth my transition went from being unemployed for a year and a half to a nice job a block and a half from my house.

It’s been a great year of freedom and creativity, and now this cat has once again landed on his feet!


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6 Dating Deal Breakers

When it comes to relationships, honesty, and love are not the only two things that you should consider. Love and devotion are indeed the top two things that matter the most, but other things shouldn’t be ignored in a relationship. If we talk about deal-breakers, they’re typically acts or personality traits that can be a turn off while you’re still dating.

Certain things can bother the significant other, hurt them, or make them very uncomfortable. Something that makes them reconsider the relationship can be counted as a deal-breaker as well. We compiled a list of things that can be a deal-breaker for both men and women.

#1 Dishonesty

Being dishonest about anything at all can create many continuous problems between a couple. So it’s better to be straight and honest about everything to avoid any confusion.

#2 Unemployment

Being unemployed for a while and not having any ambition in your life can be a deal-breaker. When a person doesn’t have a job, and they lack a goal of seeking it, it signals irresponsibility and laziness.

#3 Lying

Lying, at any level, is a big red flag. Lying about anything at all means that the person doesn’t want to share things with you and tends to hide a lot.

#4 Anger Issues

Getting angry sometimes can be fine; it’s a natural human emotion. But some people tend to have major anger issues, and they sometimes either lash out or end up hurting themselves or others.

#5 Future Planning

If you’re in a relationship that has been going well for a while now and you guys planning on spending your lives together, then children are something that must be discussed. If your partner avoids the topic, then it means they might be unsure about their future with you. If you don’t see eye to eye on this topic, it’s essential to re-evaluate your relationship. Kids aren’t something you can compromise on.

#6 Interest in Your Life

This is one of the most prominent deal-breakers. If your partner does not take part in your life activities or takes an interest in your life in general, then they might not be interested in the relationship overall. You don’t need the same activities all the time, but your partner should show you some interest and curiosity.

If you notice that your significant other is doing any of this, then either talk to them about it or reconsider your decisions. Or, if you are the one doing any of the above, ask why you’re doing it and whether this relationship is right for you.


Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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What Happens To Your Body When You Are Unemployed

Losing a job is one of the most stressful events you can experience in your career, especially if the loss is sudden. Losing a job during the coronavirus pandemic can really compound that stress. When you get laid off or fired, you not only lose a steady source of income, but you can also lose purpose, a routine and a community of co-workers. It can even impact your physical health.

“Oftentimes, people think, ‘How can they be feeling so sad, so depressed, so grief-stricken about a job,’ but we’re losing a lot of pieces that we’re not recognizing… that do constitute pretty significant loss,” said Lisa Orbé-Austin, a licensed psychologist who focuses on helping professionals through career transitions. “People feel a sense of heartbreak, especially if the loss was sudden.”

Your mind and body can be sending you signals that job loss is impacting you more than you consciously know.

You can’t sleep or you sleep too much.

Challenges with sleep are one sign that the job loss is impacting your health.

You might have trouble falling asleep, have trouble staying asleep, or find yourself getting up earlier than planned, said Kristin Bianchi, a Maryland-based licensed psychologist at the Center for Anxiety and Behavior Change.

One or two nights of sleeplessness are OK, but if it’s a pattern, it’s concerning. “Those start to become worrisome, if that’s happening over a long period of time,” Bianchi said.

The stress you felt in your job may stay with you even after you lose it. Patricia Haynes, an associate professor in the University of Arizona’s Department of Health Promotion Sciences, conducted research on how workplace stressors may leave a lasting impact on long-term health outcomes after unemployment. In one study, she and her fellow researchers found that individuals experiencing hindrance-related stressors like job insecurity and organizational politics were more likely to report insomnia after they lost their job.

“The more barriers, like political barriers or barriers that have to do with promotions, the things that keep people from doing well in their job ― we found that those types of stressors are associated with increased likelihood of continued insomnia even after the job is gone,” Haynes told HuffPost.

Your mental health gets worse.

The longer you go without a job, the more likely you are to report having depression, according to a Gallup survey of 356,000 Americans. One in five Americans unemployed for about a year or more were more likely to report that they have been or are undergoing treatment for depression.

Bianchi said two hallmark features of depression for unemployed professionals are when they lose interest in activities they used to enjoy and when they start to experience a low mood more often than not over a two-week period. “It might look like sadness, feeling down,” Bianchi said. “It can also manifest as anger or irritability.”

Your personality changes as you become less agreeable.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that unemployment can cause basic personality changes.

Of the 6,769 German adults in the study, who spent four years completing personality tests, those who lost their jobs during the experiment experienced significant changes in their levels of agreeableness compared to the adults who remained employed. Women became less agreeable with each year of unemployment. Meanwhile, men reported being more agreeable during the first two years of unemployment, but got increasingly less agreeable after that.

The researchers believe these changes can be due to how your outlook can change once you become long-term unemployed. “In early unemployment stages, there may be incentives for individuals to behave agreeably in an effort to secure another job or placate those around them, but in later years when the situation becomes endemic, such incentives may weaken,” the authors of the study wrote.

Your body aches, and you get migraines and an upset stomach.

When your body is stressed, your muscles tense up to guard you from a perceived threat. It’s part of the body’s fight-or-flight response. Over time, being on high alert all the time can result in chronic stress-related problems like migraines. The American Psychological Association notes that pain in the low back and upper extremities has been linked to job-related stress.

Our brain is in constant communication with our gut, and job loss stress can also lead to gut discomfort. “With anxiety, it’s not uncommon to see [gastrointestinal] symptoms emerge. People may report frequent stomach aches, or other GI distress,” Bianchi said. “We tend to see headaches and muscle aches when we are anxious.”

Your appetite significantly changes.

Stress may cause an increase or decrease in an appetite, according to the American Psychological Association. Those appetite changes “may or may not be accompanied by weight loss or weight gain,” Bianchi said. “Changes that are marked from what people are used to.”

When you feel like you can’t count on much — like ‘I don’t have a paycheck coming in, I don’t have a job’ — having a routine creates something that you can count on. Psychologist Lisa Orbé-Austin

What You Can Do To Support Yourself During Unemployment

Make a routine. When you lack the built-in structure of a work day, schedule a new routine that can get you out of your pajamas and is something you look forward to, Orbé-Austin said. That can include physical exercise, lunch dates and breaks from your job search. Because of social distancing, meeting up with your friends may not be possible right now, but you can schedule online social dates like virtual game nights.

“When you feel like you can’t count on much ― like ‘I don’t have a paycheck coming in, I don’t have a job’ ― having a routine creates something that you can count on,” Orbé-Austin said.

Getting up at the same time every morning, making sure you have consistent meals and developing your own daily routine can be beneficial for people who have lost their jobs, Haynes said.

Try mastering an activity. When you lose your job and your job search stalls, you can develop learned helplessness where you feel like no matter what you do, nothing changes, Bianchi said. To counteract that loss of agency, try scheduling activities that bring you a sense of pleasure, mastery or self-efficacy, she said.

“In part, it helps [your] mood. But it also instills in us a sense of one’s capability and capacity to continue living even if we are out of work at the moment,” Bianchi said. “It helps us to be more resilient.”

Watch out for all-or-nothing thinking. Bianchi said that when people are down and demoralized, they can overlook the positive. “We’ll see people tending to dismiss the positives… and over-focus on negative experiences and disappointments that they’ve had,” she said.

One concrete way to push back against these distorted thoughts that can lead to feelings of helplessness is to keep a credit list where you track any actions you’ve taken that you are proud of, Bianchi said. “Those can be actions [you’ve] chosen, or you can also include in that positive feedback,” Bianchi said, like compliments or the fact that someone called to check in on you, which is a reflection of a positive relationship you’ve created.

By reminding yourself of all the good in your life and all the actions you are taking, these reminders can “strengthen our sense of self and maintain it in the absence of what tends to be a major source of identity,” Bianchi said.


Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Keila – The Gaza Stripper – Out of the Pan and into the Fire

Why would Keila pull this kind of nonsense on her dear friend, Alice?

So Keila has resigned from Alice’s recruitment firm. Her farewell party is coming up. It’s the same day as Church’s birthday. (See: Church – 2012 to Present – Brand Ambassador) I should do something for him. I’m bringing him to the event when I finish my shift at the salon. I’m also bringing a girl I met through Keila. Her name is Brooke. She’s a Jill of many trades and a fitness model. So it should be an interesting mix. I’ll write about it all in the coming weeks.

They offered Keila a raise and 10% equity in the company which was more than generous. But she turned them down. As far as I know, she doesn’t have anything else lined up. She had been talking about getting her Masters in marketing but that could take a while. She said the firm no longer met her life goals. If you ask me, I think now that she is settled down with the boyfriend, she wants to get married and have children. I remember awhile ago she said the window was rapidly closing on that prospect. So if that’s what she wants, she should get at it.

I love Keila and I really want her to be successful. I introduced her to Alice. I hope she finds her way and gets the things she wants in life. She’s the one that got me the new job at the institute where I am now. I’m very grateful for that. She is so well-connected. A networker and collector.

But here is the thing… She introduced me to Carol, Bibi, Sarika, Harper, and Brooke, and now the Alcohol Institute. The first four are some of the craziest and worst women I’ve met in Philly. I’m already getting a bad feeling about the institute. So I should probably steer clear of anyone she introduces me to from now on.

There is probably more darkness and betray to come…


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Alice – 2012 to Present – The Cute Recruiter – What Now?

I got a text from Alice the other day. “Did you hear what happened?” That doesn’t sound good. “Keila resigned. Please don’t say anything.”


I got a text from Alice the other day. “Did you hear what happened?” That doesn’t sound good. “Keila resigned. Please don’t say anything.”

I call her. She’s clearly upset. She says that Keila calmly walked into the office and said she was giving her two-week notice. Alice was stunned, but probably not entirely surprised. They have been working together for about two years now running this start-up. I never felt that Keila was the right candidate for the job. I like her and think she has a lovely heart, but it just never felt like a match for her skill set. But Alice felt strongly about bringing her on board and making a go of it.

They did well considering it was just the two of them, and the occasional intern. Alice always seemed under a great deal of pressure from the investors. She’s incredibly driven to have this business succeed. But I think she saw this coming. Keila wanted a raise, equity and then took a vacation during a financial crisis. That’s not what your partner does after you’ve given her the greatest job she’s ever had.  Maybe Keila thinks that the company is going to fail and wants to get out now before Alice has to let her go.

I don’t personally believe that. Alice will fight tooth and nail to keep her company afloat. I suppose the only upside to all of this is the biggest expense many companies face is staffing. With Keila gone, Alice will save a ton in payroll. This is such a shame, but Alice will prevail.

She actually took the high road and is having a farewell party for Keila. I’ll be attending that event with Church this week, so we’ll see how it plays out. (See: Church – 2012 to Present – Brand Ambassador)

On a lighter note, Alice called me the other day and asked if I’d be a reference for her to get a cat. “You need a reference to get a cat now?” was my response. Apparently you do. I told her I’d be happy to give her a good reference. Great thing is, Alice is so nice I won’t have to lie.

The lady from the shelter called me today, and I gave her the lowdown on the ruthless CEO I know from the IT recruitment firm. I told her about how long I’ve know Alice, and what she has done for me personally and professionally. I described her as a well-mannered, church going, grandpa loving, nephew adoring, all around super lady. There was no way that I could fake any of that, because it’s all true. Alice is truly one of the best people I know. She is a hard-working dedicated businesswoman, but she always makes time in her life for family and friends.

Keila gave her a glowing review as well. Now if Alice’s new landlord just gives the green light, she’ll have her cat. I hear he’s a big fat orange guy. May even have a little Maine Coon in him. If she gets this cat (and I believe she will) he’ll be in the hands of a loving companion.

I spoke with her today and she says she texted her new landlord and he replied “I said I’d let you know when they contacted me.” What an asshole. I’m sure it’ll work out for the best. She also said she was moving into her new apartment here in the city and her parents were helping her move. She also complained that she had terrible cramps and that 2016 was definitely not her year. (Love her mettle!)

I’ve been hearing that term more and more lately. “This is going to be your year.” I think that gives people a false sense of hope for success. I have found that there are high and low points in every life. Having suffered from anxiety and depression most of my life I know that it’s best to fly in the middle. We all have good years and bad years. A bad year would be one of grinding poverty and not being able to keep a roof over your head. A good year would be, “Netflix had decided to pick up Phicklephilly as a TV series with a three-year option.” (Not happening yet)  Every year has its ups and downs. I’ve learned to just enjoy the day you’re in right now. There will be ups and downs, but it all shakes out in the end.


Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 8am EST.

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