“I have an arts degree, I’m trained for nothing!” – Friedrich Nietzsche, probably.
I could describe to you the convoluted series of half-thought out decisions that ultimately led to my unemployment but they are incredibly tedious, and more importantly, make me sound like a completely ridiculous human being which is a first impression that is nice to avoid for at least the first ten seconds of being judged by strangers. However, I can assure you that my tale is a tale of the downtrodden! The down and out! Far too heroic and riddled with the suffering of the artistic spirit to possibly inflict upon anyone without them physically dry-wretching in reaction to the despair of my particular misfortune. Although I have to say, most of the things that befell me were probably mostly a result of bad fore-planning and a quite serious addiction to alcohol.
But oh! How I have suffered! Hungry, bored and alone! Oh the tedium of talking to your mother on Skype on your laptop because everyone else you know is at work or university! Oh the terrible conflict of whether to spend your dole money on a one-night bender or a conservative daily budget so that you can keep paying for things like food and the bus.
In my lonely, lost hours of joblessness I often thought of home and became nostalgic for my childhood on the farm, where things were so much simpler. I began to make sculptures of chickens (just like the ones at home) out of broken up plastic forks and super glue, just to have someone to talk to. The task usually proved so trivial that by the time I had completed a chicken I resented it too much to hold up any really engaging conversation with it although that could also have had something to do with the fumes from the glue which I had sniffed quite a lot of.
Like I said, I couldn’t tell you the journey that brought me here… Oh wait I’ve just realised yes, I completely can, here it is… Prepare to weep! (or vomit, either way you will be excreting something so you may want to get a container of some sort.)
The story is this: under the illusion of the existence of altruism I left behind my job as a kitchen porter in favour of street fundraising. Surely, I ‘reasoned,’ all the negative aspects of being a street fundraiser as described by most people who had experienced it or had any sense could just be overcome with a positive attitude! Just like the ones from America on the television. When I told my uncle of my plan he asked if there were “not enough people at your job now telling you to fuck off?” But I didn’t care! I could work for someone whose goals actually had real moral value, surely that would be motivation enough?
Why should I continue cleaning dirty dishes, mopping floors? And for who? A wealthy man who owns a series of cafes serving terrible food and whose only aim is profit? Or a manager who will cut your hours with the flick of a wrist to save expenses and gain a promotion? But wait, oh yeah, I realise now, I obviously didn’t do it for any of those things because I did it for money in order to continue to exist, but at what cost? Money. Money was what it cost. Nonetheless I left the reliably consistent hours of my place of work for a street fundraising team.
And was fired after a week.
And the hilarity of unemployment ensued! I sat around in my pyjamas all day, generally lost touch with reality, the human species, and watched an awful lot of awful television. What a lark! I would watch tv all day, witnessing the god-like specimens of American sitcom characters causing me to grow more and more disgusted at my own pathetic situation. The apparent efficiency with which their organs function is just a display of Darwinian competition that I didn’t feel I could ever compete with. When was the last time a blonde, leggy, American female complained of feeling bloated? It appears to be all British women talk about in advertisements. American ladies must be weaned on tiny yoghurt drinks from birth.
(Side note! It can be difficult being a female in general no matter your nationality. You can just be going to the library or something and you’re walking the street or something trying to concentrate at the same time on all the shit you’ve got to remember with a voice inside your head going: “Ok, ok where are we going again… Tampons! Hair staighteners! Estragen!” The last one is actually a character from a Beckett play which just shows you what a complex intellectual train of thought we are constantly surfing.)
I, in the meantime, would poke the flab of my belly, eat a bag of cheese balls and masturbate to The Big Bang Theory while also crying (or cranking). The occasion when I did actually acquire a job interview, it had been so long since I had conversed with a member of my own species that I would just let out a series of short, high pitched squeaks to indicate my participation in social exchange. I inevitably would not get the job but there would always be a large gathering of dogs outside the building of any interview I had, which provided at least… Some companionship.
I sit here before you today however a changed human. And as I finish off this cake and drain the dregs of this bottle of wine, my future looks bright; for what person has not been through a career at a call centre and not come out the other end nobler of spirit and sexier of the soul?
Talk to you on the phones.