(The following was written after watching Sin City 2 and I may have been slightly influenced by it)
My eyes linger over every word. I eat them up like a cute puppy with a Dental stick. Over and Over I read it, searching for the clues, the answers, the EVERYTHING. I may not know much in this God forsaken life but I know a job description is the holy bible of jobs and I’m too long in the tooth to mess this one up. It’s got everything. 22 grand a year, holidays, a pension plan. That’s not something to be laughed at and I ain’t giggling no more.
I read through the description over and over again searching for clues. I may not know much in life but experience has taught me, this is where I will find the answers. If I could just break their God damn code, God dammit. I might just make it through to a job interview. The precious interview which now seems as elusive as an actual job. I re-read, I make notes, I draw diagrams , I compare and contrast and align my experience with what they want. Then I finally feel ready to conquer the 8 page application. I start off nice and easy, no sense in stressing me out this early on: Name, address, Phone number so far so good. I begin to feel at ease. I can do this I’m an individual with average intelligence and a knack for witty dialogue. I can fill in an application form. But just as I’m beginning to get cocky I come to the work experience section. I know this is what they really want. This is the money shot. Fuck this up lady and you’re going nowhere faster than an x-factor winner after Christmas.
I start trawling through old curriculum vitae’s for lingo that might make me sound good when that fails I turn to the expansive internet to fill the gabs. I re-read the job description over and over and OVER again and use a thesaurus to reword what their asking for. I mean I’m sure nobody’s ever thought of doing that before. This is my DiVinici code. Here lies the secret to a successful life and I will crack it. Three days later I finish the work experience section, I’m a little tired and worse for wear and have spent the past two nights waking up abruptly, sweating and mumbling job jargon. I think the end is in sight then I turn the page and find a whole section for ‘why I think I’m suitable for this position’ which they’ve kindly informed me is how they’ll decide who gets an interview. I feel a throbbing headache coming back and wonder if it’s this hard to get into Yale because in all the movies I’ve seen it usually involves a less than intelligent person giving them a sob story which greatly moves the professors. I consider writing one of these for my application.
Dear Sir or Madam, I haven’t gone impulse shopping in five years and while most people would learn a valuable lesson on the uselessness of consumerism, all its taught me is how much I want stuff. I want stupid stuff and pretty stuff and expensive stuff and stuff I don’t need. And stuff I do need but most of all I don’t want to have to spend forty five minutes in Primark trying to choose between three pairs of €15 boots because I desperately want all three but will probably only wear one and actually can’t really afford any of them. So please give me a job so I can release the consumer monster within. I promise to arrive promptly, work hard and look stylish and funky for all occasions.
I think losing my job is actually a really good thing. Oprah says ‘ you have to open yourself up to possibilities’ and you can’t get more open than jobless. Yes I’m sure the universe is now going to offer me my amazing experiences. I should do up a dream board and make a list of my dream jobs. I may even discover that I’m the most talented person in the world at jewellery making/cake designing/teaching/administrative office skills. I could be the missing link in turning this recession round. God I’m so glad I lost my job. I never would have discovered the person I was suppose to be if I hadn’t.
I hate everyone. Every…single…person. Everytime somebody asks me what I do for a living I just want to slap them about. I have no go-to answer anymore. There are only so many times you can say ‘Not right now’ before the look of pity you receive makes you boil with rage. I don’t need your pity I just need to you to ask me about something other than the parts of my life that I’m failing at. For example movies, my dogs, world events (at a push, it would really have to be big for me to have read about it), Irish celebrities who annoy me and the weather. I really am a fascinating multi-faceted person who just happens to not be working ‘right friggin now’. So ask me any other ‘effing’ question.
Dear Mr Interviewer, if you give me this job I promise to turn up every single day on time, no scrap that, early, I’ll be there before the cleaners. Unless you want to hire me as a cleaner in which case I won’t even bother going home. I will never get sick ever again. My entire period of unemployment was me preparing my body for peak physical fitness. I’m talking Krypton factor obstacle course style. Whilst taking a whole heap of illegal probiotics. I will never ask for ‘acceptable working conditions’, nor expect over-time pay. I will accept the sleazy comments as ‘friendly banter’ and I will always, always fake interest in football/rugby/Zumba when required. I promise to be the single greatest employee you have ever hired.
Get up out of bed around one, stay in pyjamas. Combine breakfast, lunch and snack time by having cereal, toast, a sandwich and half a packet of biscuits. Watch terrible daytime television that you hated when you first became unemployed but has now become part of your daily routine. Those loose women sure have some interesting points. Change into tracksuit that’s resembles pyjamas to walk the dogs. Buy crisps on way home. Get back into pyjamas. Watch 8 hours of Netflix before falling asleep with pizza slice on your face. Repeat the next day.
Doing some ludicrous employment scheme because it reminds you what a capable human being you are. And because your jeans don’t fit anymore and you can’t afford new ones.
This is a reference I received from a shop I worked in that was closing down (through no fault of my own may I add. I made many a helpful suggestion such as turning the heat on in Winter and not gluing the jewellery back together when its returned. None of which were taken on board). My flexi-part time hours involved working 5 days a week and regularly pretending to be the manager because I was the only employee in the shop. And a good job I did too, many a child went screaming back to their mum because of the scary lady behind the counter. Anyway, I’ve always thought of this reference as less of an endorsement of my character and more of a confirmation of my existence on this earth.
Yes XXXXXXX appeared to exist while in my presence in the universe of the shop however what happened when she was no longer in my sphere of vision I cannot can confirm.
So existentially speaking I felt a whole lot better. Financially speaking I did not!
We’re no longer Fas the woman behind the desk informs me before launching into a well-rehearsed speech I had heard several times before. I’d always found something very unsettling about the fas take over. I mean the sign above the door reads fas, all the machines have fas on them, even the print outs have fas at the top yet it’s seems very important to them that you know they’re no longer Fas. It all has a very soap opera feel to it, like they’ve killed off the evil villain only for the same actor to pop up a week later playing his twin brother Eduardo. Yes this is the building formerly known as fas and I am a person formerly known as employed. What I think they could really do with is a re-launch party. I mean that’s what my hairdresser does when taken over by new management. A Few balloons, some sausage rolls. Granted the guest list would be quite long but that’s one hell of a rock the boat we could play. I feel like suggesting this to the woman sitting opposite me but she’s only half way through the why we’re not Fas speech and I’d hate for her to have to start all over again. Yes a little social welfare party would cheer this place right up. They could call it ‘starting over’ and give themselves an upbeat and ironic name like ‘Jobville’ or ‘Jobs’r’us’. With a matching slogan like Don’t be blue, we might possibly have a job for you. By this stage the woman has moved onto reading off a form which she has placed on the desk between us, I guess so I can feel included in this experience. I have an overwhelming urge to read along with her or to yell out random words just to see what she’d do. I decide against after all I really want to get on that V.I.P. guest list. ‘Any questions?’ she asks ‘No’ I respond. No sense in getting her all excited about the re-launch until I calculate the cost of 5 balloons and 5062 vol-au-vents. As I leave, pondering if party planner is in their jobs database or if P Diddy has hired anyone yet for his Hampton soiree, I turn and bid adieu to the building formerly known as Fas after all the next time I come I could be meeting its mysterious triplet Pierre.
(This Post Originally appeared on February 2014 at http://www.bexyrr.wordpress.com/2014/02/ )
Republic of Tellys hilarious but accurate account of doing a jobsbridge scheme. It really is that horrible.
First things first, I thought I’d better cancel my leap card automatic top-up. Who the hell can afford that anymore? It’s amazing how quickly you can switch back to unemployment mode. It may have been a year and half but my dole instincts kicked right back in. Appointment with social welfare, Sort out P45, register with Fas, return all recent purchases to Penny’s. As I sat on the bus wallowing, I started going through my job options in my head. Let’s see, I was thinking about becoming a world famous cake decorator at one point when I was going through my ‘Great British Bake-off’ Stage but then I realised that involved a lot of washing up which I wasn’t a fan of plus I had no discernible talent what so ever in baking or cake decorating. At another stage I had thought about making jewellery and setting up my own international jewellery range if only I hadn’t given away my jewellery making kit to the charity shop. At the time I thought perhaps there was a homeless person in need of creativity in their life. God damn my generous soul!
I began to start listing the new skills that I had developed in my recent job. Mainly so I could exaggerate and lie about it on my next CV but also because I thought it might give me a little lift. So what do I now know that I didn’t a year and a half ago? Well I now know that sales men can have a whole host of problems including but not limited to drug and alcohol, OCD, gambling, compulsive lying and serious anger issues but as long as they keep bringing in their commission they can do no wrong.
I know how to get a franking machine with poor internet connection working again through a sophisticated method of turning it on and off several times while jiggling the wires about. But most of all I’ve learnt that you need to leave work at ten to one in order to avoid lunch time queues and/or getting fired . That was a lesson I learnt the hard way. I may need to rephrase these for the CV. Salesmen will become flexible when communicating to all departments, franking machine will be multi-tasker with strong knowledge of technical equipment and lunchtime will become goal orientated.
I had nearly made it out of the building when I bumped into one of the sales guys. At first he walked past and I thought I’d be able to leave with a teeny tiny bit of dignity. But it was not to be as he turned and asked
‘Are you okay?’.
Apparently the red eyes and chocolate smeared across my face was a giveaway.
‘NOOoooooo’ I wailed ‘I’m no longer Miss Manager’.
He seemed confused ‘I don’t understand……………..you were a manager’
‘A production manager’
‘I thought Peter was the production manager’
‘He left two months ago, didn’t you notice me handling all this extra responsibility around the office’
‘Is that why you kept giving us miniature post-its with comments on them.’
‘Yes I was trying to be organised’
‘So did Peter have a farewell do?’
‘Yes and it was a lot of fun’ I sobbed ‘We went to that new restaurant on Dawson Street’.
‘Ahh I really want to go there’
‘You should’ I bawled ‘Its LOOOVEEELY’
‘Don’t worry you’ll find something else in no time’
Why did everybody keep saying that to me, I started with them on a JobsBridge scheme does that seem like somebody who can walk into jobs effortlessly or somebody with absolutely any other options in life. I don’t know what impressed me the most that my production manager facade had fooled everyone into thinking I was a capable human being or that apparently nobody had bothered to look at my CV before they hired me. Either way I had decided this was a ‘bad day’ and that I would need a sugar fix soon as my emergency chocolate was wearing off. As I walked out the door for the last time I could hear the sales guy asking ‘Do you smell mint?’