Friday, 24 April 2009

Refusals all round

Is a very strange state of affairs when in your desperation for a job you start turning ones DOWN! I didn't think I'd ever be doing that but sometimes you just have got to.

1st rejection
Phone call from lovely French lady who got my number from one of my friends. They are looking for a data inputting to help out for a month.

Right I'm game. Boring work but it's money at least hey?


You have to call up businesses within shopping centers and update their information. Still with her. They pay you per business. 20p per business. So you'd basically be earning 6 pounds an hour which is about 50 quid a day, and that is if you work your arse off. Tax would take most of that and I'd be coming away with almost what I'd get on the dole when they cover my housing costs.

No. Thank. You.

It isn't that I'm picky or anything but I wouldn't be able to look for work and would be earning a pittance.

2nd rejection
Email in reply to a Co-ordinator position at a small TV/Commercials Production Company saying that they loved my CV and would like to get me in for an interview ASAP. They've attached the job spec further and the package that they are offering.

18 000 a year? What joke is this?!?! I was earning low before but this just taking it way too far.

Another turn down.

It seems a bit ridiculous to turn down 2 jobs in 1 day but you guys get where I am coming from right? I need to at least be able to cover expenses and I don't want to just jump in to any job because I'm desperate.

Oh well.

Off to spend another lovely day in the sunshine before the rain comes!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Summer sun and fun

Today was the first day in 3 weeks that I have enjoyed being unemployed.

I woke to the most beautiful clear blue skies, the sound of birds in the park and I could already feel the warmth in the sun.

Whilst all of my friends departed the house to their dreary offices with only the joy of that 1 hour lunch break to get them through the day, I had a leisurely breakfast, completed all of my job hunting tasks and crossed the road to the park.

I took a sarong to lie on, a pillow from the couch, wireless headphones (connected to the radio back at the house) and my book.

What joy.

There is definitely someone to be said about Vitamin D creating happiness because for the first time in ages I was not depressed today. There hasn't been a single moment where I've wanted to cry and I even found myself smiling whilst doing some food shopping.

I love sun.

Perhaps this is foremost in wanting to move back to Cape Town as I could never see myself settling in a country that only has hot sun for, at most, 4 weeks a year.

And I'm not exaggerating.

The Great British Summer usually lasts about a month. There a couple of months of buildup (April to June) and then a couple of months of cooling off (August to October) with usually 1 month of proper summer.

How depressing is that?

My point though was that today I got to enjoy the sunshine. Tomorrow I will again. And Friday. Then come the weekend in typical London fashion it is going to rain.

My friends are not impressed.

Insanely Jealous would be the right description.

Hey I've got to have something going for me at the moment don't I?

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Sharing is caring

I have been noticing in the comments and show of support from readers that there are many others of you out there who have also been hit by unemployment in the past or currently are in the same position as me.

So I thought that I would open my blog up to my readers for you to disclose any amusing moments from your unemployment, any disaster interviews that you've been to or basically just anything you would like to share with us all about your hunt for a new job.

Email me.

Open up.

I need to feel like I am not alone.

Yes, you're right, I am going to guilt trip you in to sharing your stories with me. I'll post them up (and of course a link to you if you let me know who you are) and we can all be one big happy family.

Let's make unemployment fun!

I'm waiting.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Never trust Google Maps

Today I did my first visit to The Job Centre in order to sign officially on to The Dole.

My appointment was at 1055 with my personal advisor - Advisor Number 2 - So personal she has a number instead of a name.

In great anticipation of meeting with Advisor Number 2 I left the house at 0950, these are the true events that followed.

0952 - Realise it is actually quite cold and go back home to get a jacket

0955 - Depart the house, again

1000 - Arrive at bus stop

1014 - 156 bus arrives, I appear to have timed this well with travel

1030 - Bus arrives at the designated stop according to google maps. I start walking in the planned direction

1040 - Still walking, no sign of the job centre

1041 - Panicked phone call to Lopz, don't know where I am going and everything looks the same. Stupid London.

1042 - Lopz quickly confers with Google Maps, I am in the right area but neither of us understand where exactly the Job Centre is as it is located in the middle of a green patch according to GM.

1043 - Hyperventilating done by myself, can not afford to miss The Dole meeting

1044 - Start walking back in the direction I came from desperately searching for this supposed street name

1048 - Still nothing, Lopz offers to call the Job Centre and solve the mystery

1052 - I ask a chavvy passerby if they can help. What a surprise, the Chav knows where the job centre is. And who says that typecasting is politically incorrect?

1057 - After desperately running down the road I make it in to the Job Centre just behind schedule. Am sent to wait on a couch.

1100 - Chav staring at me. Could it possibly be because I am staring at him?

1101 - Break staring match with chav. Thankful for safety of people in the room. Think he might be mad.

1103 - Girl in pink velour tracksuit walks in. Again, who said that stereotyping was politically incorrect?

1107 - Advisor Number 2 comes to collect me. Her name tag says Babs.

1110 - Babs informs me that I was sent to the wrong Job Centre and that they don't deal with my postcode. Have to repeat the same mission tomorrow morning in Kingston.

1115 - Exit Job Centre and scream

Tomorrow had better be less exciting.

Babs promised me it would be.

1155 - Arrive back home and curl up on the couch to watch Gossip Girls.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Miss M is so angry ... she switched off the TV

So now that I am unemployed I am having to discover all new ways of keeping myself entertained during the day.

Do you know how tedious daytime TV is? I seriously think that they make it so boring in order to stop people wanting to actually be at home. It is a conspiracy to make sure that you want to have a job.

Unemployed person
I can't handle another day of watching daytime chat shows!!! PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME!!! I'll get off the dole, I'll find a job! Just don't make me watch that anymore!!!

I swear that Channel Commissioners must think that the people who stay at home all day are lacking in brain cells. What other excuses could they have for the truly terrible day time line up that there is?

We're talking about shows who cover such in depth topics as below:

You threw a TV ... at my head
My daughter went away ... she came back gay
I'll prove I'm the father of your ex girlfriends baby
Who got her pregnant? Me or the brother?
Who’s my FiancĂ© been with until five O’clock in the morning?
Celebrity hair trends - The humble plait is back!

I mean who ever would want to leave their house when they have such juicy topics to entertain them each day.

Thankfully I am one of those people who has the magic of Sky Plus. Each night before going to bed I cruise the channels and record anything that looks like it could be interesting to watch the next day during my Day on the Couch.

Thanks be to movie channels.

And old teen angst shows from my youth - such as Party of Five & Gilmore Girls.

Without these I would be lost.

Or learning about how You've broken up my family by sleeping with my two brothers!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

God bless the English system

I have decided to bite the bullet and register for Job Seekers Allowance.

Otherwise known as The Dole.

Which would you rather tell people you are collecting?

Job Seekers Allowance - money paid to someone who is currently not working but searching for their next role


The Dole - money (and now I hate to say this as it sounds so judgmental and snobbish but I fear it is true) given to lower class chavvy English people who cheat the system by living on the measly amount paid each week whilst using it for beer & cigarettes, chilling out in their council house and generally wasting the taxpayers money as they are too lazy to work.

Wow that was quite the mouthful.

As judgmental as that little ramble was, the questions that I was asked whilst registering today did little to sway my opinion.

Q: Have you ever had a job?
What 26 year old hasn't ever had a job!?!?

Q: Are you supporting any children?
Fair enough, have you seen the typical English teenager? Usually spotted in their natural environment of the mall whilst pushing a pram

Q: Are you waiting on a court decision for criminal sentencing?
Worries me that these are regular questions where people actually answer yes!

Q: Do you receive any income other than your job?
Like my spare time drug dealing?

Q: Are you able to work fulltime?
Well no, with caring for my 4 young children and my alcoholic 19 year old husband I don't have enough time to actually work. Please can you give me money?

Also the people I see day to day during work hours wandering the streets do nothing to change my opinion either.

Middle age woman drinking out of Stella cans at 1045am, teenagers hanging around street corners drunk at lunchtime and the loads of people chilling around the council estate during work hours.

And it isn't my fault that these people all seem to resemble Chavs is it?

So for all further reference I will be claiming Job Seekers Allowance, along with Housing Benefits so please do not mention the dole to me.

I do still have my dignity.

Though I am willing to drop standards to get my rent paid each month along with 65 pounds a week spending money!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

All by myself ...

I love my friends.

I really do love them but sometimes I am just so jealous and envious of them and their serious relationships/marriage that I feel guilty for it.

It isn't that I want to be them or have their lives. I just want the support that they have.

Yes my friends are there for me. They listen to me and offer me their advice and support. They're my family and I wouldn't swap them for anyone. But at the end of the evening I go home.


And the fear that I have at the moment doesn't vanish the moment I leave them. In fact as soon as I am by myself it increases tenfold.

And then there is no one there to hold me. There is no one there to wipe away my tears. There is no one there to talk to me until 3am in the morning about what I am going to do.

I'm doing this by myself.

No matter how they all say that they are there for me they just can't relate.

I don't have someone else who can pay rent for the month. If I run out of money there isn't someone else who can buy the weekly groceries and treat me to a drink to cheer me up. MY debt is just that, MY debt, and there isn't someone else there to help me clear it.

I wish I had the support that they have. No one wants a crying Miss M on the phone at midnight and I know that I can't really phone them every single time I am slowly losing it by myself.

I just wish I wasn't alone right now.

Monday, 6 April 2009

First day is over

Today was my first day of unemployment.

After waking up at 0900, looking at my phone and going in to a flat out panic because I'd overslept and was going to be late for work I suddenly realised that I didn't have to go to work and that I had the whole day to sleep.

So I got up.

That was probably my first mistake. In retrospect I should have slept till 1pm, had lunch and then gone back to sleep because that would have been more eventful than my day was.

0930 - Ate breakfast

0940 - Watched an episode of One Tree Hill

1025 - Watched another episode of One Tree Hill

1115 - Old Housemate came around (he is job hunting too) and we reworked my CV and cleaned up on my Powerpoint skills

1315 - Ate lunch

1345 - Watched another episode of One Tree Hill

And so on.

The day stretched in to a whole long day of nothingness with me just staring at my computer screen willing a new job to appear.

It is strange how you can waste away 10 hours until your housemates arrive home and then waste another 4 hours until it is time to go to sleep again.

Tomorrow I am going to go meet with a recruitment agent and beg her for a job. If tears work I will try it, if promising sexual favours works I will try it and if handing over my first born works I will try that too!

This is my pledge to you!

Oh and I probably will watch some One Tree Hill cause you knows I am all over that shit!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Is the end the beginning?

Tomorrow is my last day at my current job. I've been there 1 month short of 2 years and probably have spent more time in the office than my own home overall. It is going to be so strange to not be getting up in the morning, leaving the house, taking the train in to London and walking over to my office with the wonderful view of The South Bank.

Extremely depressing now that summer is inching its way in to London and the view is getting more and more beautiful everyday.

I'll be honest with you.

I. Am. Completely. Terrified.

Other than when I first moved over to London I have not been unemployed in 4 years. I have not been unemployed when there was not even the faintest hint of a job in the air.

I don't know what to do.

I can survive for 1 month without a job but if I don't find one to start on the 1st of May I literally can not pay rent for June. Add to that the fact that unless I find a job in a week or 2 I can't afford to go to Croatia with my friends. That makes me just want to cry.

I'm 26 but right now all I want is the safety of home and my Mother.

It might make it less scary.