Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Myth of the Jobseeker

Many years ago you could wake up with no job and say “dash this for a game of soldiers. I’m going to find work!”

You could then cycle on Norman Tebbit’s dad’s bike to the local cotton mill and ask for a job sweeping up. They might refuse you but you could grab the broom and prove your mettle and worth, by ignoring the master’s request to vacate the premises and valiantly get every bit of rubbish swept up. As his burliest men came over to persuade you to leave, he may then have smiled and lit his pipe, nodding at your perseverance in the face of a direct refusal and, as he puffed on his shag, say “alright son. I can’t promise you much, but come back at 6am tomorrow morning and I’ll see what I can do”.

You would then be eternally grateful as you turned up with your cap in your hands while it was still dark the next morning, to be given a menial task such as licking the postage stamps or cleaning the bog. You would bear this drudgery with good spirit and eternal gratitude. As you wearily dragged yourself home on a Friday afternoon with sixpence to show for your toil, you’d be proud that you had a J.O.B and could hold your head high. In a year you’d probably be taken on full time. Within 2 years you could be a supervisor and in 10 years a manager. As you retired, the son of your original boss (by now your boss) would present you with a gold plated clock and thank you for your loyalty.

Problem is…some people think that that world still exists.

A long time ago you had a job for life. Keep your nose clean, don’t steal, don’t shag the boss’s wife or punch a customer and you’d be sorted. Now there is no such thing as loyalty any more. Companies will fire people willy nilly yet still expect “Blitz spirit” to prevail as they guilt staff at Tie Rack into turning up for work in 10 inch deep snow blizzards.

The mentality of working hard no longer carries people forward to bigger and better things. In general the crafty, the well-connected and the ruthless will prevail while those with ethics and a sense of fair play will either fall by the wayside or be stuck in lower management limbo for ever.

It is considered better to “sweep the floor at the local Sainsbury’s” than claim Jobseeker’s Allowance.


Asda are now owned by Wal-Mart and their recruitment campaign is called, for some fuck-alone knows reason, “ASDA MAGIC”. I applied for a job “sweeping the floor” (although I hoped there’d be some shelf stacking if not till working in there too) and it was a 2-hour pantomime of the most patronising shit imaginable. Group chats, designing posters, filling in forms and finally being shown around the shop. The things that are burned into my brain more than anything about this wretched experience were that I am now a “silver medallist” as I didn’t get the job but my name is on file for future vacancies. The other is that they call the guy who drives the van at night for home deliveries the “Evening Service Hero”.

This is his actual job title.

It is not a nickname.

I replied to the Silver Medallist email with “stick this up your arse…and by the way I always cum second.”

Just before Christmas I saw a stand for Lawyers2You in the Royal Priors in Leamington Spa. A bored looking chap was stood there and you could ask him for advice and he’d refer you to a team of lawyers back at head office. He said they were recruiting for a person to take the position at that stand PERMANENTLY. I live 2 minutes from the stand and can in fact see my lounge window if I turn around.

I applied and got called for interview in Birmingham. I turned up in my best suit with a Croydon facelift and was interviewed in about 15 minutes by a guy who said he’d like to take me to see the big boss. The big boss interviewed me and then said after a slight pause that he’d like to offer me the job. I gladly accepted, ego bursting that I’d just creamed 2 interviews in less than half an hour AND got the J.O.B.

Next day I began to think more carefully about what he’d actually said to me in that second interview, particularly the line “would you be prepared to work elsewhere to cover if we needed you to?”

I had replied “of course”.

I phoned them up and asked what this specifically meant. They replied that if needed to, I would have to go to a stand within a 20 mile radius of where I live. I replied that I had been specifically told that I was being recruited for a stand I could see while eating my cornflakes from home. The guy chuckled and said “mainly yes, but we might need you to go to other places.”

I then asked if they paid for petrol and/ or public transport. He replied “only over 20 miles.”

I told him I didn’t want the job and stayed on benefits.

The cynicism now is that in a world of people who desperately need jobs, those who want to work can be treated exactly as the powers that be see fit.

Fuckwits who are where they want to be (or comfortably retired) wax lyrical about how it is morally wrong to claim benefits if you can work, yet fail to see that those with money think they can treat employees as they wish.

The average long-term unemployed person is seen by most as a caricature of the type of scum you see sharing their squalid life stories on the Jeremy Kyle show.

Sometimes that is true.

I know one fat cow (the girlfriend of a former friend of mine) who is now 40 and has NEVER worked in her life. She waddles out once a week to sign on and once a week for a drink with her friends. She weighs about 20 stone.

She is lazy.

She pisses me off.

I was unemployed for 5 months and for the job I currently have I sat in a meeting with my fellow recruits at 8am on day one and the Big Boss said,“500 people applied. We interviewed 40. You 8 are the best we saw”.

I floated for days on this BUT it doesn’t change the fact, even though I now have a J.O.B that I like, in a country where work is like properly poured Guinness there are always going to be people who take advantage.

I will work my arse off 24/7/365 if need be. But NO cunt is taking the piss out of me for money.

1 comment:

  1. So - not being a postie for that gold-plated, public-sector pension then, eh Lance? ;-)


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