Unemployed: A Memoir

Biographies & Memoirs

By Reginald Goodwin

Publisher : InnerCirclePublishing

ABOUT Reginald Goodwin

Reginald Goodwin
Reginald Goodwin is an expert on unemployment.  Three years and eleven months to be exact (and currently, working on round two!). Laid off from his position in the semiconductor industry as a Senior Product Engineer at the birth of a spin-off company, Reggie went through a dark time o More...



Book description:

"Unemployed: A Memoir": A downsized engineer recounts his life growing up in an urban ghetto juxtaposed at midlife with the loss of his career and the pursuit of the American Dream.

I represent the American worker that feels the “fell clutch of circumstance,” to quote Invictus, at or around forty years of age. I bare witness to the fact that despite past performance, college preparation, individual contribution, teamwork, no one is immune to the Leviathan called the global economy and its dictates to save on costs: the largest being employees and benefits. I am an example of the human toll of NAFTA and CAFTA. These are not programs of one party or the other: these are programs that affect the many and enrich the few. If I were to smile and disappear like a “good Cheshire cat” ala “Alice in Wonderland,” what has happened to me, what has happened to many, what is and will, in the foreseeable future, still happen, will not be corrected until a new report is given. There is no lack of blogs from the unemployed. The experience and the pain is worldwide. The book that follows is my journey, documented on my blog and shared by many that have become outsourced Americans. What I will share with you is a walk of faith that is real, that is true. Sincerely, Reginald L. Goodwin Outsourced American

I got this book yesterday, and could hardly put it down until I finished it. It is really good.

First, in the interest of full disclosure, Reggie and I worked at the same large company for quite some time. We never worked in the same department, but we had mutual friends, and saw each other from time to time.

I knew him as an engineer, first in process (making semiconductors in a clean room), then in device (understanding how the process affected the device's performance). So, I saw the technical side of him, and knew him as a good engineer, known and respected among the bunch I worked with.

What I did not know, was that he has a strong streak of poetry within him, and can write well. (It hardly ever comes up among us engineer types).

I was laid off a few months before he was, at a similar age and with similar family responsibilities, so our trials and tribulations have been somewhat the same. Some of the emotions he felt really resonated with me, while others were specific to his journey. Still, for those of us who have walked down the long road of unemployment, you can not help but read his story with a feeling of déjà vu.

His story is moving and affecting, and occasionally funny. For me, it really hit home. I hope he will update his blog from time to time, and let us know how his journey through this dark wood (Dante) goes.

Greg Ferguson, former co-worker and construction business owner

Unemployed - A Memoir takes a look into the heart, mind and soul of the unemployed - his/her fears, frustrations, hopes, and dreams. Reggie Goodwin weaves the tapestry of emotions he's gone through with being laid off from the high-tech industry into a short but powerful work of art, filled with not only first-rate quotes from the works of others but also his own exquisite poetry. He is truly a gifted, ingenious writer, especially in the area of poetry [...]. Each chapter builds upon one another in a crescendo of suspense, wonder, and emotion - even humor -- to the point where you can't put the book down when you start to read it. I read it in one sitting. I love the imagery evoked in the prose and poetry, my favorite being the passage about his dying father. I also liked the chapter about Reds, the shooting range. The writer has a way of drawing you into the book. Although the book is emotional, it does not get lost in the emotion - it is very well structured, contained, and sculpted into a passionate work of poetic prose. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the plight of the unemployed, outsourced and downsized. Unless something is done, these kinds of layoffs will continue to be the norm and the Achilles heel of our economy.

Cynthia Manor

This is a work of passionate poetic prose that connects with our desire to be independent, self-sustaining earners in a time of ever-looming lay-offs. So many of us fear the instability of downsizing corporations and are concerned to the point of anxiety as the options to pick ourselves back up dwindle with age. Here we see the consummate breadwinner, first lose his job and then question his self worth before teaching himself to triumph over both.

Taalam Acey, International Slam Champion, Performance Poet and Author, www.taalamacey.com


Once I sat down to read your blog, I could not stop. I've always known you to be an intelligent and extremely talented wordsmith and reading "Unemployed - A Memoir" seals that knowledge. These "spiritual bread crumbs" are needed in today's world.

"I've been on a two-year journey. I've documented the pains I've felt, the self-doubt, the despair, and the hopes. This is a process, long, complicated." This quote, from the chapter entitled Surrender, is the theme that truly underlies the memoir.

From "Great Games of Cat and Mouse" to "Epilogue", I was pulled into a world interlaced with poetry, poignant and pivotal life moments, prolific premonitions and a journey on "Horizon Road" to F.I.N.E (Fired up, Inspired, Naturally talented, and Ecstatic)

I was especially moved by the account of your father's illness, visiting him in his last days. Your undying devotion to him pulled at my heartstrings. "I saw the strong will that kept me from experimenting with the drugs that savaged my community become weak and...frightened." Your dedication to family and the continued support of your wife is wonderful. The Heathcliff Huxtable and Mr. Mom chapters showed a side of the black family that is often overlooked in society.

Your chronicle from the corporate world to living free and in the confines of talent is real and tragic, yet beautiful. I found myself reading certain passages over again and the Biblical references were well placed. The chapter on Faith was eye opening and clearly displays your extraordinary grasp at physics.

I applaud you especially for the mention of the Sun Poet that took her life. It is true that people suffer in isolation to the point where they feel going on here in this realm is useless. It's a sad testament to not really knowing what a person goes through inside. Depression and suicide is a topic that is not touched on as much as it should be. Many people suffer in silence and find it hard to escape the glass cage.

All in all, I thank you for including me on this project and wish you the best. Be blessed and continued success.

Clarissa LeVonne Bolding, poet and author of Life is a Song Worth Singing.

In the beginning, the blog seems to be too harsh and reads like a person who is very bitter. The reader can feel the honesty, which draws you to continue through this seemly brutal journal.

Next, the blog moves into a vivid description of a person's dreams and vision for living in America. It's as if the painter's brush touches your eyes to view a masterpiece.

CC Stinson, Indi Film Maker, Austin, TX