Each week, Brokelyn.com’s in-house etiquette expert, Dear Penny, tackles your recession-related stumpers.
I had an unemployed roommate once. Good god was it awkward. Never mind he was from San Francisco and took every opportunity to blame his joblessness on everything and everyone aside from himself (I should say here he was an “artist,” and refused to even look for a decent gig). As someone who’s had about ten million crummy day jobs, I had zero sympathy. But your roommate is in a different situation: once gainfully employed, now not. Give the guy a break, wait and see what happens. If he doesn’t come to you, be proactive. I had a friend who used to finance the plane tickets for his trips around the world with big parties. He’d cobble some talented friends together—say, a band, or some actor friends—and provide a little entertainment, also some booze, some food, and charge an entrance fee. Rent parties are supposedly back, anyway.
You might wonder why I don’t just say throw him out. The reason is: it seems your roommate is generally responsible, so work with the guy. Whoever you get to replace him may well be facing a similar situation sooner or later; so why not work with the one you already know?
Dear Penny has spent years navigating the social waters of income disparity and doing odd jobs to support her comic-and-novel-writing habit. A former copywriter for , she teaches writing at . Send her questions at [email protected].