Average 'Mo

Average ‘Mo: Learn to Love the Recession


While it may sometimes seem like Queerty only cares about politicians, studs and celebrities (in that order), nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, we strive to include all members of the gay community, regardless of how ripped their abs are or elite their contacts. To that end, this is Average ‘Mo, where we introduce you to regular gays from around the world to discover what life is like in their neck of the woods.

26-year-old Shane Mayer was riding the second tech boom all the way from his hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico, to the Upper Haight of San Francicso, where he’s so close to the University of San Francisco that he uses the gym. “It’s nice to work out with college guys”, he says. Until recently, he was a Senior Client Manager for Grassroots Enterprise and helped run online campaigns. Like many, he was laid off as result of the Global Financial Crisis, but rather than giving up in despair he showed that when the going gets tough for a tech-savvy social networker, the tough get blogging.

QUEERTY: San Francisco is considered by most to be the capital of America’s gay community. Does it deserve that reputation?

Shane Mayer: There’s a statistic that’s often quoted in San Francisco that one out of four people here is gay. That’s probably not true, but it often feels that way. For many like myself, San Francisco is the first place where we have felt like the normal majority, which everyone deserves to feel at least once. I’ll always remember when someone asked me where to get the Castro parking pass. “You know the little blue and yellow one on everyone’s car,” they said. I realized later they meant the HRC symbol.

What did you do prior to being laid off?

I helped run the Internet campaign for No on Proposition 4, against parental notification. I pitched to run the No on Prop 8 campaign, but they didn’t hire us. They did use the slogan I created: “Vow to Vote No.”

How has the job search been?

I’ve only been unemployed for about seven working days. Most of them I spent on vacation. I went home to my parents in New Mexico and lived off their dime for a week. I know the economic scene is bad, but I’m optimistic. I’m a people person and I’ve got some valuable skills and education, so I’m hoping those pull me through.


You’ve started a blog about your layoff, Recessed; why now?

As I say there, I’m recessed, but not depressed. I’m hoping the blog is an interesting look at the job searching process, as well as a documentary about living through this historical period. It might also be a resource for other people going through the same thing. On a more personal level, it’s a good way to process and intellectualize what could otherwise be a frustrating process.

It’s also partly a PR endeavor. The Internet gives everyone there own channel to be themselves and become famous dong it, I figure I should use it as a tool to help me expand my network. Who knows what might come out of it.

Are there any upsides to not having a job?

As I blogged about, I wake up at 10 AM. Finding a job is full time work, but at least I get to set my own hours. Also, going to Trader Joe’s during the day, when it’s not completely flooded with people, is awesome!

Are you considering leaving San Francisco for a cheaper city for the time being?

Right now, no. I can’t imagine a job or another city that would make me as happy as I am here with my friends. Since our personal choices have to be about maximizing happiness, I can’t see leaving. I might have to downsize my lifestyle at some point, but for now I’m holding out. I grew up pretty broke, so I know how to do it, I’d just prefer not to.

I’ll always remember when someone asked me where to get the Castro parking pass. I realized later they meant the HRC symbol.

What’s a guy on a budget to do in one of the most expensive cities in the world?

I’ve always said that life is about the company you keep. I’m really lucky to have some awesome best friends and to know some fantastic people here. The best thing to do on a tight budget is just hang out with friends. We play cards, watch TV and remind each other that life is too short not to be as happy as possible.

Since the job market’s a roller coaster and we plan in advance, Queerty checked in with Shane yesterday to see if there were any developments in his employment search.

So, any updates?

Since we spoke, I’ve had some luck, actually. I’ve been in negotiations with an awesome firm that I would love to work for. It feels a bit like a pregnancy in that I don’t want to talk about it too soon, for fear of jinxing it, so I won’t get into details yet.

Ironically, the job is in LA. When you asked me before if I’d consider moving, I thought not. Now that this particular job has come up and the question isn’t hypothetical anymore, it feels very different. I’ve weighed the specifics of it – it’s a really great opportunity – and the serious negatives of moving – I’ll really miss my friends – and I think I can’t not take it.