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Sunday, 4 December 2011

Back on the dole again

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Paul Whinges About His Life. No walk down memory lane this week, as I thought I'd waffle some nonsense about the latest big development in my current, what I laughably call 'adult' life.

Last week I became unemployed. It wasn't a bolt from the blue, like the 1st time it happened; I was on a temporary contract and was well aware that it was not going to be extended any further (having been extended once already) so I was able to prepare myself. It wasn't even a particularly worrying development; while of course far from ideal, I am assured that once the dead period is over (around March or April), my position should become available again if I'm still out of work; and the pay structure being a month in arrears means I'll be due a full paypacket just before Christmas. What this means is that I can, (cue dole-scum layabout comments), treat it in many ways like an extended holiday; a break from the liberty taking superiors and the unpleasant politics and deeply offensive sense of humour of my colleagues. Or can I?

You see, as much as I hate the attitudes of my colleagues and the atmosphere that can develop due to my inability to bite my tongue whenever they say something I disagree with (oh, the arguments we had about the death penalty, and don't get me started about the London Riots); despite all of that, and despite my moaning about the long hours, insufficient breaks and poor pay; I loved that job.

It's the only job I've ever done and it's the only job I know how to do. Luckily then, I'm pretty bloody good at it. I say this not to brag, or to seem big headed, but simply to state a fact. I spent years getting as good as I could possibly be; I took pride in the fact that I was good at what I did. It's not a particularly glamorous job, nor a particularly intellectually demanding one, so I'm perhaps damning myself with faint praise here, but fuck it, I'm proud of my work.

So yes, I'll miss the work itself, if not the majority of the people I had to tolerate to do it. Sad? Maybe, but it's the truth. There is, however, another factor that makes the losing of my job, even if temporarily, a blow to me. That is, motivation. In that, I don't have any. If I don't have a job to go to, I do nothing else. I sleep really anti-social hours, I rarely leave the house and I can go days without speaking to another human being. As I type this, it's 3pm on a Sunday afternoon and the last person I spoke to was my nephew, when I dropped him at school on Friday morning. For adult conversation I have to go back to Thursday night. Yes, I only left my job on Wednesday and it's that bad already.

At least this time around I have my beloved twitter to keep me company, so even if I'm not actually 'speaking' to anyone, I'm not completely cut off. The first time I lost my job I didn't even have that and I would routinely lose track of what day of the week it was. Dark days my friends, dark days. I started my twitter account about a year into that period of unemployment and it was a Godsend. Fuck the Government, or the tabloids, or anyone else who says that unemployed people 'twittering' is a sign of laziness; no mate, it's a sign of trying to stay sane.

Anyway, my old mate Genghis would have us believe that "Pessimism is Realism, Optimism is Insanity." I choose not to subscribe to this theory, even if do incur his wrath for daring to disagree, so I'm going to try to come up with some good points about my current situation. Just give me a moment...


  1. Sounds ideal. Well done for looking on it positively. So what 1 thing are you going to do to make best use of this time? What would you really like to do work wise?

  2. I'll be using the time, once I get into a routine, to blast off what's left of those courses I signed up for, ready for 'proper' courses next year.

    The thing is, I'm not sure about funding them if I'm not working. I don't know how much help I'm likely to qualify for, I'll have to wait and see.

    In all honesty, it wouldn't be *too much* of a hardship to go back to the same kind of work again; rubbish money aside, I do actually enjoy it, as I say. It's just the kind of people you have to associate with...

    Absolute best case scenario is to down the line get involved in something education based. If not teaching itself (I'm trying to be realistic about my own abilities) then assisting in a school or even some kind of after school program. The one my nephew frequents does some admirable work.

    Only problem there is that funding for that kind of thing is being slashed left and right, so they're in danger of dying out.

    Long story short, I don't really know what I'll end up doing, but I'm excited to find out.

  3. I am full of admiration for your positive outlook and the things you are doing to better yourself. Well done you!

  4. yees colleagues, they have often been the downfall of whatever employment i have managed to worm my way into in the past. actually scratch that, colleagues are usually ok, its the bosses that do my nut in. i dont think they understand that i work more effectively with a fifteen to thirty minute lag at the beginning of the day. *shrugs* and its not my fault i have a loud laugh.

    still, twitter rocks.