If You Choose To Be Unemployed In 2021, You’re Not Lazy. You’re Smart.

My Facebook “friends” can go f**k themselves

Rocco Pendola
5 min readMay 15, 2021


I don’t know why I got back on Facebook.

I guess it’s worth it to engage the handful of people from my past who aren’t completely insane. In fact, the guy who made the post that prompted the comment in the image attached to this article isn’t insane. We might differ on a sociopolitical issue here and there, but I think we could be friends if we lived closer to one another.

As for the person who made the comment. I don’t know this person. And I don’t want to know this person.

But let’s not dwell on one dude, because there are thousands where he came from.

People who blame the apparent labor shortage on enhanced unemployment benefits, additional government stimulus, and a workforce full of allegedly lazy mother fuckers who would rather eat chips and binge Netflix — and smoke lots of weed, I assume — than work.

Let’s run through the reasons why these dudes — largely white and conservative — are so horribly off base and out of line.

It’s the rational choice

Given the opportunity to make a little less, the same, or a bit more on unemployment — alongside a stimulus check here and there and maybe some rent relief — why would you go back to work, particularly in the hospitality sector where lots of jobs sit unfilled?

Who in their right mind would go back to work?

Economists would probably agree, it’s the rational choice.

You not only get paid to stay home, but you have unprecedented access to precious time.

You can do a lot with time

This is the key, particularly for, but not limited to, the hospitality workforce.

I spent four years prior to the pandemic working in bars — by choice.

It’s not easy work. Long hours. Your employers often expect way too much from you given what they’re paying you. It’s super physical. And you have very little time for yourself.

My situation was ideal because:

  • I wanted to be there.
  • I was surrounded by quite a few hospitality professionals who are better at the job than I was.



Rocco Pendola

I write about living the semi-retired life, money and cities on Medium, at https://roccopendola.substack.com. Creator of City Life, https://medium.com/city-life