Join my network on LinkedIn – This is a perfunctory request from someone who never liked you, but likes to keep tabs on you. You have no idea how strongly this person dislikes you; you think of this person as a friend you’ve simply fallen out of touch with. You have never been good at accurately categorizing how other people feel about you.

Learn about Steve, your new connection – Steve’s desperation has transitioned from “quiet” to “all-encompassing” this week, which is why he’s expanded his LinkedIn network from friends and former coworkers to friendly baristas at his local Starbucks and people who used to date his roommates. With every week that passes by without a job, he feels his world shrink. Different routes of escape close themselves off from him. He has taken to saying “It is what it is,” a completely meaningless phrase, almost as a calming mantra. “It is what it is,” he says to himself in the quiet of his room every morning before opening his eyes. “It is what it is.” His heart beats wildly, much too fast for so early in the morning.

Jobs you may be interested in – Four jobs for which you are ridiculously overqualified, seven jobs for which you are underqualified, three jobs you have seen on a daily basis for the last month and a half and are beginning to wonder if they are real, one job that is on the other side of the country, one job that you are both interested in and qualified for that 700 other people have already applied for, even though the manager has already decided to hire a friend of someone who already works for the company.

Gemma’s invitation is awaiting your response – Gemma will not rest until you accept her invitation. She is the social media manager at a flailing startup; she has no idea what it means to be a social media manager. She thinks it has something to do with how many LinkedIn connections you have. She Tweets 40 times a day; she has 154 followers, most of whom are spambots or fellow social media managers. She works constantly, but with no idea if she is doing her job correctly.

[Image via Wikimeda Commons]