Monday, June 27, 2011

Forced unemployment: the introductory rant

Being unemployed, without any say-so in the matter, is a sack of cack..

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I wouldn't have believed me two years ago either. I haven't usually dissed my previous employees on this blog, mainly because I didn't mind working for them, but of course, should they have read this blog with its hypothetical employer whines, I'd possibly have been up before HR. This has happened. But on the occasions when I have mentioned particularly crudola circumstances where work has just been TOO MUCH, I've often thought to myself...”hmm, the life of pleasantly desirable that might be”.

There was this time, not so long ago, when I sat cooped up in a windowless office in Barking, away from the sun, and most definitely, the fun. Or rather , the perceived fun that you , being cooped up, isn't experiencing by dint of that fact. This and being fuelled by the notion that the whole world (on those days off you took for annual leave) seemed to be occupied by leisured, well dressed personages having a jolly good time away from the office – perhaps forever away - and (so one thought in one's bitter way) probably looking at the likes of you, on said pathetic measly day off and let out for the afternoon amongst the rarefied air and privileged, permanently-on-holiday majority (it seemed) in the way which said, “ah, poor guy. Bet he's going to be cooped up tomorrow in some stinking trading estate”...and so on.

When you are stuck somewhere you haven't actually elected to, given a hypothetical choice, be – and despite the fact that my last office actually was in Barking (on the unglamorous trading estate side of what is not actually a glamours place even *on* the glamorous side of town, if you catch my drift) and yes, the office was indeed completely windowless, there was a reason to get up in the morning, whine, scratch your head about the pointlessness of working for a piffling salary (and by the standards of equally unworthy people like Fred The Shred, one could only wonder why my mum was who she was and why I, Adam R. W. Holdsworth, could not have been born to parents who, if not wealthy and privileged, were smart enough to take you to where the influence and smart money actually is. Working as an intern for your uncle's law firm. Or at least naming me Miles or Giles or Charlie. Oh I dunno, this all sounds like envy, and for heaven's sake, it is frigging envy, I know, I know, but this is my RANTS and burblings site and that's what I'm doing. Don't try to convince me I'm selling you a pup here, you came willingly to this joint to hear me fart on and on and on. No, please don't click the back button, honest, I'll be more measured and circumspect from now on....

OK, back to the plot, the one I haven't lost. I'm going to write, over the next few days, an article per day; and please don't hold me to this, life has a habit of getting in the way of a this blog; about how my life has changed since becoming one of the Big Society, without an excuse not to be part of the volunteering, kind, airy fairy bollocks* enabling me to actually have an opt-out excuse. Er, sorry guv, I'd love to work with little kids in wee homes, little cuties who are being whacked around by junkie parents but I have this commitment called a job which steals 37 hours of my week, then adds another 15 hours worth of travelling, then calls me to work when I get home, then means I have to be on call over the weekend, and yadda yadda blah. I, ladies and gents, don't have the opt out any more. I'm at home, cooped up on in front of of the computer, often with Tweetdeck chirruping sweetly every couple of seconds, with the very real option of watching Jezza Kyle for three hours per day, should I choose.

And because unemployment is so rubbish, sometimes, JK is the only cure. It's the only reason to get up, knowing that with the press of the on button, then the three button, you can see how your life, shit though it is, could become a few steps further down the bell-curve on the detritus index.

And so, over the next few posts, I'm going to explore what it is like for a 42 year old, partially sighted male, neither especially stupid but who has managed to live by wits much of the the time, over qualifications; one who used to have ha degree of self respect and at least could hold down a job for years on end with no question...just what goes through one's head? What do us scroungey types do all day? And more seriously, a few words on disability and unemployment. So join me, sweet workers of the world and celebrate your employment. For tomorrow, there is the Big Society, Jeremy Kyle swamp life, and an email in box full of Guardian job ads to brighten your day.

Next: I ask the Talking Heads question: “How did I get here?” And follow up with another song title, this time a Beatles one: “A Day In The Life”.

* By the way, I don't in all seriousness for one nanosecond, have any beef with volunteers, especially those working with kids in such vile conditions. My dad was one for a long time (and he had his own business to run full-time too). I have the ultimate respect for you and indeed for anyone who gives up their time for a good cause. I obtained my first full time job after volunteering too, so I can see its financial, as well as the altruistic value. I do hate this issue being force fed us by the present lot that we are all duty bound to work for free - “we're all in this together” malarkey. We're not. Simple as that. You volunteer because you're a good person or because you have a particular affinity with a cause. Not because some wanker in a suit, attempting to save some government cash, cash you've already paid in, tells you that you should. That's all.

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