Thursday, 14 February 2013

Unemployment, seeing RED and 'Managing To Perform Basic Functions'

So what do you do when you can’t get a job and you have 16 hours a day to kill?  You have a degree in writing so write a BLOG my mother suggested.  I immediately drafted an email back saying that this was difficult when you’ve completely lost all enthusiasm for everything.  Then I considered that maybe I could get enthusiastic about my nihilistic lack of enthusiasm for anything.  Let's find out.

So today is day, no week, no actually easier to make that MONTH FOUR of not being able to get a job.  I moved away to live in Mauritius in October 2010 having packed in my civil service job to work doing call monitoring and staff training in a call centre.  When I was made redundant two years later in October 2012  I was told by family, friends, recruitment consultants and members of 'the general public' I bumped into that I’d find something in Bristol where I was moving to.  Easy.  No problems.  I paid £70 to get my CV professionally written to give me the best chance possible of getting something decent.  4 months on and it’s not exactly going to plan.

Last week I went to an interview with an agency, RED Recruitment – presumably named because of the colour their recruitment consultants see every time they close their eyes.  Every consultant I've met from RED looks like they've just finished group feeding raw meat from a trough they half suspect is actually filled with dead babies.  They constantly look like they've just about convinced themselves they've not done anything wrong but deep down they know they've just done something terrible - they're just not quite able to place their finger on what it was...

The job was a £14k a year Telesales advisor.  I was told my professionally written CV was “not up to the standard they would expect” and told to rewrite it (taking out pretty much everything the professional CV writer had put in it).  So I did what they suggested but was then told I still did not ‘meet the requirements for the job’.  Considering I spent a year training Telesales agents in Mauritius, have done Telesales for about a year before and, most depressingly of all, got offered an identical job when I was 15 and had no experience whatsoever doing TELESALES this was something of a kidney punch that left me feeling rather deflated and seeing RED.

Then there were those two basic Admin filing jobs at £15k a year which I wasn’t even shortlisted for.  I’m going into agencies every week trying to sound enthusiastic and like I’m the best thing in the world but it gets tricky and mildly ridiculous after the fifth or sixth time...

Tomorrow is my ‘Managing Your Emotions’ course which seems to be aimed at, among other things, putting things in perspective and remembering things could always be worse.  Kind of like an episode of EastEnders but presented as a lecture and with helpful handouts at the end. 

'Managing Your Emotions' is rather an unfortunate name for the course.  Given my inability to manage anything in my life at the moment the idea of managing something as vast and sweeping as my own emotions seems rather daunting.  I'd much rather start with 'Managing To Eat An Omelette' move on to 'Managing To Reach The Toilet In Time' and then perhaps eventually a final course of 'Managing To Keep A Small Hamster Alive For A Period of 24 Hours' before bringing anything as erratic as my emotions into the equation.

That way at least if I attend the final session covered in egg, piss and carrying a small lifeless corpse in my hapless hands we can safely agree the course probably won't work for me...

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