Wednesday, 1 July 2009

So, my job hunt. What a crock of shit this has been so far. I wasn’t under any impression that it’d be easy and I always said that I’d do literally anything to keep me going until I get something else, but dudes, it is HARD. I still blame the media for being bastard scaremongers and making places stop hiring.

After I finished uni, I went to stay with my grandparents in Spain for a while. I had planned on staying there indefinitely, probably for a few months. However, living with pensioners in 42degree heat and having no regular access to television, phone or internet started to take its toll and I only lasted 3 weeks. In those 3 weeks, I made enough money to keep me in food, rum, ridiculous dresses and shiny new kicks for a few months by hustlin old men in card games and placing seemingly stupid bets that always came off. Despite this, I hate not working – being able to roll around in shallow pools of liquor all day while wearing a bikini made of 50 dollar bills with no responsibility sounds like a dream, but I need to keep myself in the real world. So on my return to Belfast, I set myself up meetings with 7 recruitment agencies.

This was one of the worst weeks of my entire 23 years of sorry existence. Don’t get me wrong, a few of them were fine. By ‘fine’ I mean ‘less brain dead than others’. A couple of them were weak and made me want to take their desk staplers and bash little bits of sharp metal into my own eyes. However, there was one agency that was worse than all. We’ll call them Office Angels, which may or may not be the actual name of the agency (no lawsuit yeah?). Long story short, I was there for almost 3 hours and of those 3 precious hours, I was left alone in a room for 1 hour and 50 minutes. For the other hour, I was filling in forms that my CV already covered, taking typing and maths tests that a blind monkey could do and filling in little boxes in excel with big numbers, which was all very pleasant. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop thinking about the better things that I could be doing during the other 2 hours when I was left to sit and scratch in a well lit room*. When it all got too much and I went to ask what was going on, I was told that my consultant had gone on lunch and she’d be back in ‘half an hour or so’. Nah bruv, I’ll take my 63 word per minute typing fingers elsewhere and give someone else the commission, cheers. As another negative point, it was the hottest office I had ever had the unpleasant experience of spending time in. Yes, it was a warm day but hello, air con? Or y’know, open a window? Or alternatively, all the consultants could stop harbouring the gateway to burning hell between their legs.

*FYI, just a few of the better things I thought that I could be doing with my time included eating chicken, stalking the moderately attractive man who had come out of mcdonalds earlier, downing whisky chasers with questionable characters in the scummiest bar I could find or getting a colonic. Jus’ sayin.

I also spent a lot of this time reflecting on old jobs that I had. Here is a definitive list of jobs that I’ve worked and their levels of dreadfulness.

Dunnes Stores footwear assistant – my first ever job, where I worked in the footwear department of low-brow department store Dunnes. I started when I was 16 and worked there for about 18 months.
Best bits – napping in the stockroom on a big pile of pillows, when we got a pervert who drilled a hole through the joining walls in the fitting rooms and spied on women through said hole, when tramps came in and took brand new shiny shoes but instead of exchanging cash, they simply exchanged their own piss-filled carpet slippers instead.
Worst bits – my boss, who constantly discussed the importance of having ‘nimble fingers’ while working in the footwear department.
Reason for leaving – the smell just got too much.

Tesco local – deli assistant. I worked in tesco for 2 weeks. Let it be known that I was a strict vegetarian at the time and touching cold meats was my worst nightmare. I did 5 shifts and threw up during each one.
Best bit – eating raw cookie dough from the walk in freezer, old people who insisted on giving me tips for serving them their scotch eggs. I hustled an extra tenner each day, usually.
Worst bit – slicing ham. Shit son.
Reason for leaving – the cookie dough wasn’t enough to compensate for the constant vomiting throughout shifts. And I’m sure health & safety wouldn’t have liked it anyway.

Harry Corry – I worked here during my darkest teenage days, when I spent most of my time crawling between the limelight, katy dalys, auntie annies and various houses in the holylands in a cider induced stupor.
Best bits – hiding behind the curtains for naps, crawling into the display beds for naps, nestling in the pillow boxes for naps…the naps, essentially. Oh and the fact that my mum and her best friend were the managers.
Worst bits – the customers and their lack of understanding in what you need to know when ordering curtains. There is no ‘standard sized window’ and I don’t want to take measurements from some knicker elastic that you’ve held up along your window frame.
Reason for leaving – I got fired for dancing infront of the security cameras and calling company merchandise ‘dogshit’. My mum and her friend left, we got a new manager who was a horrid bitch. One night she left me, my friend and the mentally challenged supervisor alone to process a delivery and close up. Instead, we put J-Lo on the cd player and had a rave. During my disciplinary I was asked why I wasn’t putting out the delivery. I responded with ‘well there was no room, if they would send us stuff that we actually need and not the same old dogshit every week, maybe I wouldn’t wanna dance to J-Lo when I should be working?’
Good days.

Claires Accessories – I actually liked this job for a while. I cant remember why.
Best bits – things being ‘damaged’ and my jewellery collection expanding hugely. Getting to play with piercing guns. The Christmas CDs.
Worst bits – having to pierce babies ears. The customers. When gypsies (sorry, members of the travelling community) came in and asked why their ears had doubled in size and were producing green fluid.
Reason for leaving – needed more cash monizzle and got a better paying job at…

GAP – I loved working in Gap. I was a sales assistant, then moved on to being a visual merchandiser.
Best bits – my managers and all the other staff were all badmen, I loved them. Making mannequins look like ghetto superstars. Doing new delivery nightshifts, getting drunk, wrapping ourselves in cashmere sweaters and napping under the fixtures.
Worst bits – customers who asked ‘was this made in a sweatshop?’. Getting locked in the front window and having a conversation with a drunk tramp through the glass until my manager came to rescue me.
Reason for leaving – I moved to Leeds, but kept working there when I came back on holidays.

Awesome badges – this was a merchandise company that I worked for in Leeds. When I took the job, it was under the impression that I would be designing custom merch for bands and businesses. In reality, I was mostly loading bits of metal into a machine to make little pin badges. It was factory work.
Best bits – nothing.
Worst bits – everything.
Reason for leaving – left to ‘focus on final year’. Read as – I couldn’t fucking take anymore. Mind numbing.

So here I am, with a plethora of experience and a wealth of knowledge, with 10 GCSEs, 4 good A levels and a degree. Yet it appears that I am utterly unemployable. I am now taking bets on how long it’ll be before I start chicken eating demonstrations for money. Odds on 6 hours are currently tight at 2/1.

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