After eight months that felt like eight years I finally have landed myself a job. A proper job, with a title, a salary, a pension scheme and a recognised coffee outlet nearby.
So now I’m free of the mire that is signing on every two weeks, avoiding parties and washing underwear for entertainment, here are the ten worst things about being a JSA-grasping spacewaster.
The ‘jobs’ you get offered in the meantime
There are a few annoying clichés kicking around about the unemployed. One is “if you’re not looking for work full-time, you’re not looking for work.” Well, that’s bollocks for a start. In Northern Ireland you can peruse all of the previous day’s new jobs before you’ve spooned the froth off your cappuccino.
The second attitude is that us dole-scrounging scum can’t be choosy when a recruiter sends you their latest condescending “opportunity.”
Man required to stand in hippo enclosure at Belfast Zoo and get flicked with excrement. £5.20 p/h, 2 week contract. Prospect of longer employment if candidate impresses hippo.
And yet, you still think “Maybe I should apply for that.”
Your employed friends cast you pitying glances and say “You’ll get sorted soon” before producing their iPhone 6 and booking three weeks in Thailand.
The lack of social activity
You see your existing friends when limited funds allow. Making any new ones isn’t going to happen, obviously. And forging anything of a more, erm, exclusive nature is right out the window.
The consideration of desperate measures
Thanks to the kind of annoying twat you see on viral videos who scales Big Ben and gets the bells to chime ‘Give me a job’ in Morse code, you think “Am I trying hard enough? Maybe I should spray-paint my first name on the side of Samson and my surname on the side of Goliath.”
The reduced confidence
And people telling you “You just need confidence.”
Asking for feedback after rejection
I don’t even want to hear it – it doesn’t help. Having employers fart in your face once again is bad enough in the first place without having the reasons why hammered home. It’s like a girl at school refusing to go to the disco with you and as you slink off, shouting “Don’t worry, it’s only because I think you’re a creep.”
The dole office
Cold, beige environment staffed by life-loathing troglodytes and “job seekers” who last sought a job when Elton John was married to a woman. Walls and seats decorated with the usual graffiti. “Micky is gay.” “Smicky is gay.” “Sticky is gay.” And, of course, the obligatory phallus/ hirsute scrotum.
Plus there’s this line on the bottom of the literature: “Please ask if you need help with reading this.” Erm…
The utter, utter boredom
Mixed with a baffling increase in laziness. “Oh look, there’s a sock on the floor. Shall I go and pick it up?…nah, ill do it some other time.”
The OAP-esque routine
Your day becomes based around television.
“Ooh, the Bake-Off’s on tonight.”
…and when it’s finished…
“Well, only another six days and twenty-three hours until it’s on again.”
The lack of money
I’d like to say that I drive an ancient car and use a steam-powered smartphone as some kind of statement against the futile Western accumulation of material goods. But I can’t. I’m just broke.