This isn't as much an article as it is a plea for help. I need a job. Dear Lord, do I need a job. I'm fucking dying here.
Add to this that I'm gonna have to do a 2 week full time intensive job seeking course because they think that I have no skills whatsoever and that I'm never going to find a job ever. Ever.
Listen: It's a sad state of affairs when a 22 year old with an almost complete double degree (I've only one subject left) in Science (Biology) / Business (Computing and Information Management) is deemed to be unemployable.
Personally I don't care about doing that inane, insipid course or even about the casual erosion of my sanity that it's going to elicit. What I do have a problem with however, is spending more time at an employment centre.
My friends, let me tell you about employment centres:
They have this magic way of turning the usually intangible elements of despair and lack of hope into a paste which they then liberally smear all over the walls. The result is this palpable, overpowering aura which saps the idea of the possibility of getting a job right out of you. It is also deathly cold.
In hindsight, the cold may have been caused by the air conditioner but who am I to question these evil spirits?
They make up for this aura of hopelessness by hiring the most ridiculously cheerful people that live in this fair land. I swear I once saw one of these workers slowly and carefully pour what seemed to be a bowling bag full of cocaine straight into their nasal passages. That's the only way that they can negate the negative energy that is felt in employment centres and still be so Goddamn cheerful without being completely insane.
It seems that they also have a list of unemployable people queued up who they send in every time job searchers who have a chance of finding legitimate work show up. I think that it was decided that these unemployable people, on the basis that they are unemployable, should be employed to taunt potentially employable people with their presence and thus convince these employable people that they are (and always will be) unemployable.
Sitting in that little room and looking for work while these poor lost souls are roaming around is almost unbearable. One disheartening occurrence occurred a few weeks ago involving an older lady.
By the by: Don't think that I'm mocking these people by saying that they are unemployable, I've just come to realise that, unfortunately, people have become discardable. <=== I'm not even sure if that's a word.
One thing to note about this old lady is that her command of the English language isn't that great. She has no experience and no qualifications (all this was overheard while I was making a valiant effort to find employment (note: while I was looking for work, I cannot guarantee that my efforts were 'valiant')).
The eternally cheerful employment officer/person in her infinite wisdom signed up the old lady to do a computing course.
Understand: Those courses are inherently useless. They teach you the rudimentary principles of the topic and not much else. In the computing workforce/market thing, it is almost understood that you know the rudimentary principles. Learning the basics now isn't going to help doodley squat. Hell, 5 year old kids know the basics and those little monsters can type faster than I can.
Not only that, the cycle of courses never ends cause once you finish one you have to complete another and then another and so on and so forth. It's the same thing over and over and over again. It never ends. It's kind of like life except that life has the added benefits of cancer and constipation to add to your already heavy platter of disillusionment, despair and futility.
Anyhoo: The cheerfully insane employment worker signs this old lady up to the course telling her that she'll be "the envy of all your friends" and that she'll find work in no time. I don't think that the employment worker was lying to the old lady but rather that she has faith in the system that she represents.
Personally, I see the system as being fundamentally flawed. There are, at least, 10 employment centres where I live alone.
All these centres, if I understand it correctly, are all vying for funding by the government. It seems that the most logical thing to do would be to have a centralised employment service that receives a substantial amount of scrill from the government.
You could argue that competition makes the service more efficient but that's a load of shit cause as far as I can tell everything has gotten more expensive at the expense of quality. Expense.
Add to this the fact that every time I use one of those magical touchscreen jobfinding machines and actually find a job that I'm capable of doing I find myself having to register with the employment centre that actually hosts that job. It's like getting caught in flypaper. Expensive flypaper. Expense.
I hope that I'm wrong but I'd bet a substantial amount of money that the old lady has yet to find a job in the field of 'computing' or in any other field.
The futility of the courses is nothing new to me. My dad was telling me a story about how, when he first came to Australia and set about looking for work, a similar thing had happened to him.
Apparently he had been signed up to an 'exclusive' English course. I can't imagine why they thought it was exclusive unless by 'exclusive' they meant 'gut-wrenchingly horrible'. The course consisted of nothing more that being handed photocopied pages out of a textbook and being told to translate them. I think they call this kind of teaching 'tough love'.
Incidentally, that's the excuse I'm gonna use when I beat the living shit out of my children. That's of course if I can find someone that doesn't find me so physically repulsive that they're willing to sleep with me and bear my ugly, misshapen children. Exclusive/Expensive.
Now I realise that they're here to teach you the English language and not to coddle you but their methods left a little to be desired.
Listen: The page that they gave my dad came from, he suspects, a book about the psychology of employment. Imagine my father steadfastly translating a piece of paper that slowly but surely revealed it's secrets to him: that middle aged people who don't speak English have a 99% chance of never finding employment again.
I don't know what the chances of that happening are but I suspect that dad didn't care; all he knew was that he had a family to support and that the page he was translated might as well have used him as a case study.
My father felt physically ill and left and, needless to say, he never returned to that 'exclusive' course again.
To the people who chose to use that particular book: how fucking irresponsible can you be?
Just yesterday I overheard this guy begging for an extension on a payment or something. Apparently this guy had been working hard for the past 20 years when suddenly he had lost his job.
I don't know what to tell you; it seems that after 20 years of hard work your only consolation prize, upon losing your job, is a trip down to the local employment centre whereupon they give you just enough hope so that you don't kill yourself and where they faithfully and cheerfully await your return in 2 weeks as if you're some sort of prodigal son. Only this time, approximately 10% of the nation is made up of prodigal sons/daughters and they're all probably better off dead.
As it stands: I have a week to find a job before I get subjected to that 2 week employment centre gauntlet and I lose all semblance of sanity.
"pally, me and you, we's gonna be friends"
Published on Thursday, 9 January 2003
I hope that what I have written will be of some assistance.