Many times in the past, we've solicited stories from people who work at various terrible places—Target, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, and others—in order to cut through the PR and hear firsthand what life is like on the inside of America's churning corporate machines. Now, we'd like to hear from perhaps the most vital group of American workers: the unemployed.

The U.S. unemployment rate stands officially at 8.2%, a number that does not reflect the millions of discouraged people who have dropped out of the labor force entirely. Unemployment shot up beginning in 2008, and our nation still hasn't recovered from the job losses of the recession. The average length of unemployment is nearly ten months. There are 3.5 job seekers for every job opening. The simple fact is that millions of people, of all backgrounds and skill levels, cannot find work.

While there is a lot of writing about the unemployed, there is less writing from the unemployed. We'd like to hear your stories. How did you become unemployed? How is the search for work? How has your life changed? What is it like? How do you feel about your future prospects? Email me with your stories. We're happy to keep you anonymous if you prefer. Say whatever you want, as long as it's true. We'll run the results in a future post.

If you can't work, you might as well get things off your chest. Email me with the subject line "Unemployment."

[Photo: AP]