The Unemployed Diary of Paul Chambers, aged 26 and 9/10ths
I have been unemployed for nearly three months now. This is a strange situation for me, as I’ve been in work since I left school at 17, and worked my way up from a trainee position to that of departmental head, attaining professional qualifications along the way. I’m not used to not working, but recent events have changed my views on the whole working thing as well.
I’d had a plan in my head since an early age, a plan of what my life should be. This, in a nutshell, was: school, career, wife, kids, death. Actually, take it out of a nutshell and put it in any kind of shell you want, it was just that. Lofty ambitions indeed. Since being out of work, going back to the rat race has filled me with soul-destroying dread. I should have used the time to try and get into the things I want to do, but my problem is I am such an irritating procrastinator. Yes there were other things going on, but it’s no excuse. I also expected shit to just kind of happen. I realise now that for shit to happen, you have to make shit happen, so I’m trying to improve there. Unfortunately this realisation happened far too late money-wise, so I need to get back into a job pronto so I can afford to pursue other things.
Yesterday, I had my first interview. It was working in a call centre, but I don’t mind that kind of thing and the employer has a good reputation, so it would be perfect for now, as I figure out what to do with my life. I woke up early for the first time in a while, got all suited and booted, and headed to get the bus. I hate public transport. I mean loathe it with a passion. Everyone has a demeanour like you just came down their chimneys and pissed on their kids, and if you’re not sure where you’re going or what routes/buses to take you’re made to feel like an idiot for asking. I miss having a car. It was a company car and had to go back when I left my last job. I know these aren’t real problems by the way before anyone feels the need for a sarcastic “boo-hoo”, but let me gripe and kindly go fuck yourself. The other thing about buses is they rarely take you directly where you need to go. The problem with this is there’s a lot of standing around and waiting, and while you are waiting there’s always the potential of a crotch-groping. I shit you not. As I waited for my connecting bus yesterday, a guy came out of the shop and coughed oh-so-subtley while grabbing my dick. I stood there, utterly confused, looking at this weird pervert shuffling down the street, and wondered if it had actually happened or whether I was having some kind of episode. I should have turned it into a compliment, asked him whether he liked the product and then skipped away if the answer was positive.
Anyway, after another bus and taxi later, I arrived at the interview. I was given a series of forms to fill out by a security guard, whose face like a bulldog chewing a piss-flavoured wasp suggested he was less-than-happy about performing receptionist duties, one of which contained a criminal record disclosure form. Ruddy marvellous. I filled and I disclosed, hoping it would be treated indivually rather than used as a general stick to beat me with. I then waited, and waited, and waited as the interviews before me ran over. Eventually, once my arse was completely and utterly destroyed from the seats designed by Satan’s minions, I was called up.
I had to do an exercise which involved a fake telephone call to a customer, which had me far more nervous than I thought. Thankfully (somehow) I managed to pass that and we went through the interview. I shone. I answered everything brilliantly. I normally do well in interviews but this time I was ideal. I know there’s not a lot of modesty in these statement but fuck it. My best performance for a mile. I was notified that if I was successful (which I was confident I would be) I’d get an email soon. HOWEVER, they said, the powers that be had called not one hour before my arrival, saying everything had changed and the job no longer existed. Fuck. It. Thanks and suck my dick.
I got the email saying I was successful. Now I have to wait and see if there will actually be a job relating to the interview which I was successful in.
I’m sure job-hunting was easier nine years ago.