Your  definitive  glossary for the economic downturn

Tough times, they are upon us. Job losses abound, wages are being frozen or cut, and in many sectors it is virtually impossible to get hired.

Fret not, friends. I am here to help.

I have been through the toughest of times. There was the time in Grade 9 when I told my parents that I was no longer interested in attending weekly Catholic mass. Their synchronized response “Well, then I guess you are no longer living in this house” did not deter me whatsoever . . . until I ended my holdout and went to church 15 minutes later.

Then there was the time in my second year of Grade 12 when I wore a massive woman’s wig for a mug shot that ran with some fellow basketball players on the back page of the first section of the Calgary Herald. My dad’s response at suppertime on the day it was published: “Thanks Rob – now my entire staff thinks that my son is a transvestite!” (Publisher’s note: my dad is actually a super nice and tolerant guy)

Then there was the time in my first year of university when, on a date with the hottest babe I could ever imagine dating, we went back to her place, her parents were out of town, and I had to pretend that I knew what I was doing.

Yes, I have survived some extremely difficult experiences. So I am kind of a big deal on the subject of emerging from perilous times with style and grace.

The key is understanding precisely what is going on, so you can formulate a strategy for success. With that in mind, I present the definitive glossary of terms related to the current economic crisis:

Layoff – a verb used to help fend off job loss when your boss comes in to your office with the “I am about to deliver really bad news” look on his face. Usage: “Hey, layoff, Man! I am just trying to pay the rent and feed my children.”

Economic downturn – a term describing a cost-saving initiative at a hotel on a business trip. Usage: “(To front-desk personnel) I would like to save a few dollars on room cleaning, so could you please do an economic downturn of the sheets and skip the chocolate on the pillow?”

Severance package – a phrase used in the organized crime disposal business when someone sleeps with the boss’s wife. Usage: “Hey Vinny, I want you to take out the garbage – and don’t forget to sever his package.”

Oil patch – a Band-Aid solution that covers up a lack of economic divergence when crude behaviour is at a high. Usage: “Hey, Alberta- don’t worry about that silly economic-diversity thing; just apply the oil patch and everything will be OK.”

New ditty – A short, repetitive song performed by someone who has just been laid off and is facing divorce and foreclosure; usually sung while running naked. Usage: “At least that crazy streaker had a positive new ditty; you could hear him yelling ‘Everything is awesome, everything is awesome,’ all the way down the street.”

Supply and demand – Natural forces that drive economic success or failure. Usage: I am going to supply you with a gun and demand that you rob a bank so we can cover our next mortgage payment.

Profits – an obsolete term that used to describe the cash earned after covering expenses. Usage: “Hey, Fred – remember when our company used to make profits? Now, we are merely prophets of economic doom.”

Economic hangover – the act of hanging over the railing of a bridge, pondering if you will ever get a job again. Usage: “That dude is experiencing an economic hangover; let’s go try to talk him off the ledge.”

Don’t jump! Unless it is at a chance to improve your economic fortune through a positive attitude and determined effort.