I'm going to just leave this under construction. Work doesn't work. And I can't spell 'bollocks'.
A poem about employment
I found this little poem amongst my paperwork and it took me right back to the years when I was oscillating between
fuck you unemployment and faking it in an office for a tuppence. I should be praying nightly that I never have to go to
that world again.
There is a new, prospective job
The handshake's sticky. Weather's hot.
Don't have a shirt that has a collar
Borrow or steal - no shirt, no dollar.
The long, brisk walk.
The sweaty brow.
Paid in three weeks but working now.
Can't wear the same shirt every day.
The yellow stain won't go away.
Professional and daily burning
In this half-office and half-furnace.
You'll be rewarded.
You'll be pleased.
Hard work earns respect, drugs and cheese.
Next week they promise
The job is new.
The money's old.
What you should do at work
Set up a jar in a secret place at work, maybe in a drawer. TELL NOBODY. Call it the Disobedience Jar. Put money in it
each time you do as you're told. When the jar is full spend the money on something sufficiently bad.
Job application/interviewing advice
Gods willing I won't ever have to apply for another job. Here's what I learned over the years when I had to apply for jobs.
- You know those statistics on how women wait to fulfill the job requirements perfectly before applying whilst men just go,
apply and see what happens? I started seeing qualification requirements in job descriptions as "marketing speak" and applied
to a wider range of positions, even those I wasn't really qualified for.
- I binned my suit and dressed more casually for job interviews, which made me feel more relaxed (and hopefully look less desperate?).
- I accepted that most people lie on their CVs and since I have to compete with them, I will embellish if need be.
- I learnt that a job lands just when I start to seriously despair of ever getting one.
- First days in a new job always feel scary and it feels like I am so out of my depth but if I play it cool (and use
the Internet search for what I don't know) I inevitably settle in. I've spoken to other people about this and it seems
like it's common to start a job and think: "Oh no! I talked my way into this but I'm not actually qualified!".
- For entry level positions, I would do one application per day. For higher level positions, I'd check the situation
once per day and apply when necessary. The more applications you do, the better you get at handling rejection. And your
confidence grows the more interviews you do.
- If I worry whether my CV gets read, I call and tell them I have a query about the position before applying. It's a
pretext for me to introduce myself and for them to remember me. I've tried this when my anxiety was really bad and
couldn't do it but I started doing this later when my anxiety was lower.
- Something that helps me feel more confident in interviews is to ask my interviewers questions. "How much overtime
is there and is it paid or unpaid?", "What happened to the person who previously worked in this position?", "What kind of
annual leave is offered?", etc. This gives an impression of a more equal power balance. But you can't do it as a gimmick,
you have to politely and respectfully ask questions you actually want answers to.
- Look at the unqualified, inexperienced hacks that every company is full of! It's all a game, a show, a bit of theatre.
I was taking all of it (interviews, job descriptions, company policies, etc.) way too seriously. Until I wasn't.
- The job market is terrible. If you're throwing shit at the wall and nothing sticks it's not you, it's the job market. See #4.
- Apply only for jobs with a higher salary and tell them how "you enjoy your work but feel that it's time to move forward".
My partner taught me this. He said: "You didn't work all this time to just go elsewhere and do the same thing". You've earned
a raise. Give yourself one because they won't.
- Every so often, write a few rejection letters to employers who haven't gotten back to you. "I regret to inform you..".
Potential career idea
I have been thinking a lot about the elusive 'job satisfaction' and 'professional fulfilment'
and I have a bad feeling that the only way forward could be to start a church. It would not have dogma, homophobia, Bible
study and you-know-what. But it would have candles, good acoustics and silent contemplation. It would also have bells and
triangles of various sizes, ambient sounds, herb gardens. Maybe it could be in a church building, but instead of the pews
there would be rugs and cushions. Sometimes it would have jazz concerts and sometimes it would have ska gigs. Sometimes we
would just sit around making and consuming endless amounts of toast. Everyone could shelter from the storm. What would it be
called? A Church of no Creed, perhaps.
Take me home