Work is tiring.

Oh yes, I did just say that.

I’ve completed my first week of proper, adult work (this is not to say that I have never worked before – indeed, I was a shop manager in my previous life) and I am tired. Today, I slept until 2. Yesterday, I slept until Mama Fox phoned me at 5 in the afternoon, and I fear I would have slept even longer had she not acted as a wake-up call.

It is strange to be back at work full time. I have not had full-time employment since my early uni years, when I would return to my hometown during the holidays and work every hour under the sun to try and claw my way out of the depths of my overdraft. When the company I worked for went under (Principles, RIP), I was about to start the third year of my degree course and decided to concentrate on that and survive on what I could. And so it was for my subsequent third year of uni (yes, yes) and post-grad qualification, whereby I became rich in qualifications and far less so in monetary terms. Needless to say, academic life, followed by the now inevitable period of unemployment, has bequeathed me a sleep pattern best described as chaotic, bordering on nocturnal. 9-6 (and no break! How and when will I nap?!) is going to take some getting used to.

Friends, I have spent most of this weekend asleep, and I am still tired. How long before I emerge from my unemployed, student chrysalis as a fully functional grown-up?

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The Burning House

The Burning House tumblr asks:

If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It’s a conflict between what’s practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.

And what an interview that would be! As one of the many surplus Graduates this fine country has amassed, attending interviews has become a regular feature in the tedium of my life. One thing I’ve noticed – they all ask the same bland, tiresome and interminably boring questions.

Presumably, an employer asks someone to interview to figure out if they’re a) capable of the job and b) going to fit in with the company. Both of these you should have a reasonable idea of anyway from the person’s CV, so why not make the most of meeting an actual person by talking to them, not at them; finding out what they’ve got to say for themselves, and what they’ll be like on a day-to-day basis rather than the vapid robot they’ll inevitably be when asked a standard question. There  is little more demoralising than going into an interview like an exam – getting the same questions you had anticipated and then rattling out the answer you had prepared. Yeah, the answer may be correct, but it will also be really fucking dull. More than likely, it will bear an uncanny resemblance to the answer given by the next poor, unemployed bastard as well. ‘Scuse my French.

What I would give to attend an interview that asked me a question like this. Simple, interesting, and you would learn more about the suitability of the person in five minutes than if you spent an hour reeling off the list of questions you downloaded off irksomeinterviewsrus.com.

A selection of my favourites:


Name: Fifikoussout Age: 29 Location: Stockholm, Sweden Occupation: Illustrator Website: http://fifikoussout.blogspot.com/
List:
  • A kimono my Grand Ma gave me
  • A box (filled with photos) i bought in Spain when i was 11
  • A copy of the Gradute i received from my danish friend
  • A box my mum used to keep coarse salt
  • An old salt shaker
  • A snake bracelet i bought when i was a student in France
  • My wisdom teeth
  • A locket medallion with a photo of my mum insdideA clay ocarina i bought in Portugal as a kid
  • An old glasses case 

Name: Mårten Bläckberg
Age: 22
Location: Umeå, Sweden
Occupation: Technician at a Recycling Center

  • Ernest Hemingways selected letters
  • My collection of Western DVD’s
  • My favorite backpack that i use everyday
  • A horrible painting from the 50’s made by a crazy starving artist found in my mothers childhood home picturing – – the death of Stefanus.
  • My stratocaster
  • The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris, to remind myself who the man is.
  • Nikon F4, the only camera i will fail to break, built like a tank.
  • The first shirt i bought which founded a life-long interest in blue shirts, you can’t have too many.
  • iPhone
  • My beautiful loving girlfriend (pictured in my iPhone)
  • My favorite records:
  • Pebbles vol. 2, a collection of super rare 60’s garage punk singles, love it!
  • Them!
  • My humble collection of 7” punk singles
  • Snus
  • Hungarian mustache wax, got to keep it under control
  • The key to my bicycle

Name: Alejandro Sosa
Age: 36
Location: Venezuela
Occupation: Technology consultant
Website: j.mp/asbinfo

List:

  • Everything is recoverable, except my daughter

Name: Andy Forch
Age: 27
Location: San Francisco, CA
Occupation: Sous-chef, Huckberry
Website: Huckberry.com

List:

  • Toms Shoes: They smell horrible and gave up the ghost years ago, but they’re still my go-to.
  • Infinite Jest: DFW is my favorite writer, it’s a first edition, and yet I’ve never read it despite having it on my bedside table for over two years. It’s coming with me.
  • iPhone: Never. Lose. iPhone. Again.
  • Pipes: My uncle smoked these bad boys in law school. Incredible smell and patina.
  • Tag Heuer watch: The most expensive thing I own. If my apartment burned down, I’d pawn it.
  • Boxers: My favorite pair from college. Close second to my Toms on most-comfortable-(and smelly)-thing-I-own-scale.
  • Thinkpad: Worst computer on earth. I just got a Mac, and only included it because I want to be the one to throw it in the fire.
  • Jameson: I’d first use it to stoke the flames around my Thinkpad, and would then swig it on the street.
  • Favorite shirt: Wear these threads way too often.

http://theburninghouse.com

Kate Bush

So you may remember that I had an interview a few weeks back. It went well and I got to the final round of interviews, but I found out this morning that I haven’t got the job.

I have a catalogue of artists that I rely on to give me a boost whenever I’m feeling crappy, and Kate Bush is one of them. I love her voice; there’s something incredibly soothing about it.

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As some of you know (because you are dear friends who visit largely to boost my site stats…), I work in a charity shop on thursday afternoons. It is honestly some of my favourite four hours spent each week. Grammatically, that last sentence was atrocious, but I’m tired, and you catch my drift. Basically, I drink a lot of tea (and occasionally wine, yay for shop-drinking!), get fed things with chocolate on, and gossip, while rummaging through bags of donated items. It’s the same sort of covert, nosey joy one might experience when going through someone’s bathroom cabinets after popping to the loo. Very, very pleasing for someone who loves to tidy and organise shit, so long as it isn’t theirs.

I was happily munching on a chocolate digestive, balancing a cup of tea in one hand and upending a carrier bag with the other, when a woman a few years older than myself brings in a fresh batch of donations. While I was merrily rummaging through her cast-offs out the back, she told my colleague they were her boyfriend’s old things. He had just died, in a hospice, aged 32. She explained she was having to have a clear-out; she had to move from the flat they had shared as it now belonged to his father – his default next-of-kin – and he wanted it. They were unmarried, and he hadn’t made a will to protect her, because he genuinely didn’t think he would die. The poor woman was obviously very distressed, and by the time she left we were all having a bit of a cry into the digestives.

I was devastated when my nan died at just 62, but to be taken half a century before you should is such a waste. While I finished what was by now a very maudlin cup of tea, I figured that, were I to die in 9 years time, I would feel slightly less cheated by the situation if I had actually made the effort to enjoy my life up until that point.   I am not really one for new years resolutions, goals and things; my life’s ambitions are modest: I would like to get married to the person I love, have her babies and one day live in a house that we own. I am learning to be more patient; to know that it may be a long time before I finally find work, but not to freak myself out over it. I have a nice house to live in, a loving partner, a family not too far away, and enough money to keep me going. And I’m going to try to make that be OK.

And now, to lighten the mood, I shall inform you of my latest, ground-breaking discovery: it is, indeed, entirely possible to give someone a love-bite on their nose. I’ll leave you with that thought.

ta-ra

Disillusionment and a List.

In the interest of retaining some semblance of sanity, it has become necessary for me to compile the following list.

WHY MY LIFE IS NOT BOLLOCKS:

  • I have a very lovely Lady Fox.
  • Unlike Lady Fox, I have not just had my phone, wallet and Oyster card stolen.
  • I have a permanent and stable (if unsanitary) roof over my head.
  • This roof does not belong to Mama Fox, meaning I have escaped the eponymous graduate trap of having to return to your parents’ home after graduation.
  • I have had the opportunity to go to university, where I attained a 2:1 degree and have a post-grad diploma, theoretically enabling me to get a job in my chosen field.
  • I have interests and hobbies, theoretically making me a well-rounded individual.
  • I have a reasonable level of financial stability, despite being unemployed.
  • I live in London, in an exciting part of the East End.
  • I live in a country that recognises my right to marry someone of the same sex.
  • I have a family, who live near enough to visit, but not so near that we are forced to kill each other.
  • Really struggling now…
  • I’m not sure if this is making me less miserable or more miserable…
  • I got street style spotted the other day! That’s definitely pleasing.
  • Things like Harry Potter and LOLcats exist.
This city can really kick your arse sometimes. When I have to stay in bed to do anything because my flat is freezing, and we can’t afford to put the heating on for more than a few hours a day. When my GP admits that the NHS is useless and I should just go private if I actually want to get any form of medical assistance. When I apply for jobs I am over-qualified for and don’t even get a courtesy reply.
I read an interesting article in Stylist magazine about how people who lose their jobs can feel like they’ve lost their identity. That’s sort of how I’m feeling – almost like a non-person. My generation was told that we could do or have anything if we worked hard enough for it, and now, of course, there are many of us in the situation where we have put in the time and effort, and taken on huge debts, only to find out that we’ve been rather misled. Or fucked-in-the-ear, as I prefer. Yes, yes, think of the starving orphans and all, but really, I’m feeling incredibly despondent about how things have turned out.
On the other hand…
… there are things like this in the world.
It can’t all be bad.

On unemployment (or, the Devil makes work for idle hands)

Well, at least that would be someone creating jobs.

I am not taking unemployment well. Yes, the job market is dire, particularly for recent graduates. Yes, we must all put on brave faces and lower our collective expectations. Yes, we should be embracing the opportunity to volunteer, get some experience, build up our CVs!

Balls.

When the kind folks at the Job Centre begin to grow impatient at talking one off the proverbial ledge, it is officially time to retreat, rethink and regroup.

Lo! A blog is born!

A creative outlet intended to give me more motivation to get up of a morning than the possibility of a rejection letter, or a new episode of Cash in the Attic.

Never did like that Jennie Bond, anyway.