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This is a question Unemployed

I was Mordred writes, "I've been out of work for a while now... however, every cloud must have a silver lining. Tell us your stories of the upside to unemployment."

You can tell us about the unexpected downsides too if you want.

(, Fri 3 Apr 2009, 10:02)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

There are some areas where you can generally find work
I have to say, I never ever have found it hard to get work as an healthcare assistant. You can find a job in a residential or nursing home, or sometimes in hospitals. The money isn't that bad (I remember years ago earning over £160 for a night's work on a closed psych ward where I didn't have to even do anything minging) and if you have an ounce of compassion and some common sense you can learn to do it. There is a lot of opportunity for training and development, you learn a lot about people and life, it's good fun even when it's manky and it makes a real difference to the lives of others. Even if you do it as a stopgap it gives you something 'different' over all the other people who work part time at Tesco's on the shelf stacking night shift.

I do not understand why all the folk I've ever known who have been apparently 'desparate' for work, woudl not do it. Oh, unless they really do think it is beneath them, which I find a bit sad really.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 22:06, 6 replies)
When I first joined a job agency after Uni
I'd find myself listening to their hold music for ten minutes a day every day.

It wasn't so bad:

"Always look on the bright side of life..."

(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 22:00, Reply)
The great unemployment saga
After realising that uni would be over in a matter of a few months, and - worse - that if I didn't get a job and somewhere to live sharpish, I would have no choice but to gather up all my stuff and drag myself back to the one-horse town where my parents currently reside, in the middle of nowhere, in Wales, where there's no work even when the economy is good, and miles away from my friends. Not to mention that a long-distance relationship was totally out of the question, this was without doubt a death sentence (my parents' idea of a fun day is going for a nice long walk to the garden centre for a jacket potato and a cream tea). Here began the five stressful months of buying a suit, applying for every job going, doing phone interviews in Smiths and fretting constantly about what would happen if I didn't get a job.

I applied and went to interviews all the way through my finals, signed up with every temp agency going and dressed my idiotic community service making flyers and taking money from old people for their lunch up as "front of house with IT responsibilities" and did everything in my power to hide my lack of experience. I applied to the same McDonald's as Twat Ex With Child worked in, I went for front of house at a hotel, a cleaner, a legal administrator, anything that required basic IT skills and not much experience.

As most of you know, this enraged my already furious father (who sent me an email calling me a selfish little bitch and how dare I not want to come home and play happy families) and he spent my entire results day and graduation days calling me stupid and telling me I was "selling myself short". I crashed with a friend, I moved back into halls, and finally got onto a winner (if the person who told me I'd got the job had been standing in front of me, I'd have hugged her) with the company I've been with since August and want to stay put - preferably after a promotion - but am still not safe, or at least don't feel it. I'm getting a lot of mixed messages and don't feel completely secure in the job - now I have the job and the flat I busted my arse to get, I'm damned if I'm going through all that again.

So, b3tans - how do you keep a job in this climate?
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 21:42, 14 replies)
You're either working, studying or unemployed...
As my Father used to drum into me.

This meant that the second I left uni I either had to sign on or get a job. Fair enough I think.

I've only been officially unemployed twice, both times after uni. Both times it's been a bit difficult trying to explain myself to the soulless drones who work there. However I don't mind doing this since I don't think I'd fair too well either if I'm faced with apathetic/lying/workshy/stinking idiots/scum for most of the working day. I resolved myself to be one of the people who they would look forward to dealing with - someone who would break up the monotony.

Both times my patience began to run thin.

The first time: Shippy is 22, living with the parents in Newcastle and just out of Durham Uni.

I go into the JobCentre (plus?) on the West Road in Newcastle and sign on.

Each fortnight I turn up early and sit down on a bench decorated with stains of I-dread-to-think-what. I prey no one other dole scum sits next to me and so forces me to make smalltalk; I'm happy enough rolling my eyes in pseudo-camaraderie when someone's called up but chatting about how hard it is to find a job as unskilled labour is impossible.

Each interview turns out to be the same, set of questions designed purely to tick whatever boxes need to be ticked:

Q. What have you done in the last two weeks to find a job?

A. Looked (half-heartedly) in the local papers.

Q. What kind of jobs are you looking for?

A. *sigh* Something with computers I guess. (This is a concession I make to speed things along - I realise that this makes the following jobsearch easier.)

Q. Shall we look at the current jobs on offer then?

A. *resigned* Ok.

Q. How about this job in bumbleFuck? It's writing java-based applications.

A. I don't do java, C++, FORTRAN and shell scripting only I'm afraid. (Seething inside: I told you this last week - what the fuck do you use that computer for if not to keep my details on file?)

Q. How about this data entry one?

A. Sure... Ah! Wait, it's a permanent position and I'm starting my PhD in September. Is it worth me applying? (Sighs from the other side of the desk this time.)

Repeat ad nauseum.

I'm now free to leave and dick about on the free climbing wall near the MetroCentre. :) Good times.

EDIT: Second one coming - not worth it's own thread.

The Second Time: Shippy is 27, living in Bristol/Newcastle and in the limbo between handing in his thesis and his viva.

I turn up to the Bristol JobCentre near the fountains.

It's got much the same décor and clientèle as the Newcastle JobCentre. Everyone looks soulless and dead on the inside.

By now I know the drill.

Q. What kind of jobs are you looking for?

A. Jobs in High-Energy Particle Physics, I'll have a PhD in it in a few weeks you see...

Q. Oh, right - and have you been looking in the local papers?

A. *head asplodes*

So I move back up to Newcastle once my rent contract is up and recommence living with the rents. (Hell on earth, again.)

Back in familiar territory now, seems like the same people from 4 years ago are still hanging about the place eyeing up anything which isn't nailed down to chor. I'm slowly adapting to my new surroundings and beginning to pick up the lingo again.

So we go through the tedium of the fortnightly meetings, the same questions over and over again.

Q. What have you been doing to find a job?

A. I've been looking on the two websites in the world which aggregate job postings in my field. And I've been applying to the requisite 2 jobs a fortnight. (I can't apply for more because then I suspect I'd run out and have to apply for a "real job. This I do not tell them.)

I told you this last week - do you not keep records? (A brief telling off ensues and I'm still left wondering why the hell they type stuff when I answer their questions if they don't ever review it. I suspect it's the usual council habit of making as cryptic a paper trail as possible so should anything hit the fan they can find someone else to blame.)

Q. Have you looked in the Local Papers?

A. (I now have steam coming out of my ears and am beginning to think that the thing sat behind the desk and the computer might as well be replaced by stolen animatronics from Fenwick's window. My eyes wander about the room looking for some likely candidates to put my plan in action. They don't wander for too long.) *barely-hidden, rage-tinted involuntary noises* No!


On to the 6 month interview (god it took a while to get my viva arranged)

Somehow they manage to pick the day of my viva to have the interview, I tell them I can't make it. People do not seem happy, I decide not to try to the well-hyped scam of getting them to buy me a new suit.

I get back home one happy little Dr. Shippy who's forgotten to open his mail telling him his re-arranged interview has be re-re-arranged.

I arrive, 4 hours late but in good time for when I *think* the interview is.

The guy is not happy. Not happy at all.

He looks at me like I'm total scum, like I've dug his Mum up, cut out what's left of her genitalia and made an omelette. I've yet to meet anyone else who has been less pleased to see me.

I'm directed to sit down and he asks me when my usual signing in day is.


"Not any more!" says he whist grabbing my sign-on bundle and preparing his tippex brush.

I mutely watch him begin to blot out the details on the card and listen to him tell me that it's going to be moved to the earliest slot possible with such vitriol that I'm afraid I'll get burned. He doesn't know I have an ace up my sleeve however - as soon as I'd passed my viva, I was formally offered a place at one of the biggest Uni's in Switzerland in a charming city near Geneva right by the Lake and very close to CERN. I do not care when my slot is being moved to - I'm emigrating in a few weeks time and because I'm a literal cunt sometimes, I only answer the questions he asks me.

Q. *still rubbing tippex over my card like he's got some kind of correction fetish* So, what have you been doing to find a job?

Nothing - I was offered a job in Switzerland yesterday, I'm moving there next month.

The tippex brush pauses, now unsure if it's doing the right thing. It slowly withdraws to it's home and is screwed in tight.

It's like the guy is in shock, someone *got* a job? He immediately turns into the nicest person in the world - asking me about it and getting really interested in what I do and how I got started off doing it etc.

Meanwhile a black pen snakes it's way to the card and starts scrawling the original sign-on times over the half-tippexed details. It's messy work because it's not all dry but it makes it in the end.

So, despite wanting to piss this guy off because of the way he treated me (admittedly, I was late) I remembered all the people in the waiting room and at the sign-on desks. The people whose blatant stories of unlikely bus-mishaps and tissue-thin lies I overhear fortnightly. I realise that it must be a really shitty job to deal with people like that daily.

So I gave him a big smile, shake his hand warmly before I leave and hope that he doesn't take his troubles and attitude home with him.

Then I revert to a miserable cunt as soon as I walk out of the building into a cloud of charva smoke and overhear discussions about who should go from big Brother.

Length: 27 km girth and inclined at 1.4%
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 21:37, 6 replies)
Sleep glorious sleep
I haven't been unemployed for years but after I finished art college, I lived the artists life; being pissed on Special Brew & Icebreaker, eating noodles, and sleeping all day...oh yeah and doing some painting was OK if you could live on thruppence a week....
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 21:12, Reply)
Daftest thing I ever did
I told the Job Centre people I would do anything. I had just returned to the UK after getting married to a foreigner abroad and needed a job so I could prove that I could support my new husband without recourse to benefits.

I applied for the first job suggested and got it. Three months later my husband was allowed into the country. Two months after that I got the sack.

Nine years later I had to do a moonlight flit, complete with three children, to get away from the control freak that he had turned into. After six months in a refuge 150 miles away I got my own place.

My now ex is now working on the black market and not paying a penny towards the upkeep of his children and even reported me for claiming benefits that I was not entitled to - wrongly, but I still had to go through an uncomfortable interview.

Upside to unemployment? My then husband would never have got into the country.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 20:58, 2 replies)
After a number of false starts
I eventually staggered out of University in November 2002 with a 2:1 in English with Philosophy. How I managed to scrape a 2:1, I have absolutely no idea as my academic talent is nil. I found out very, very quickly that having an academic bachelors is meaningless unless you're pursuing a career in teaching or the academic research world. It also didn't take long to realise that my parents, family and all my teachers were wrong. Having a degree does not guarantee you a job. Unless you have a degree that directly qualifies you for a role, you're unemployable. Even if you do, there are so many graduates these days that the competition is ferocious.

I applied for jobs. I got turned down. Job after job would come back saying I was too inexperienced. So I applied for jobs with no experience requirement. They rejected me on the basis of being over-qualified. In the end I was forced to start temping. No worries, I thought, it's only temporary. I'll get a bit of experience and then everything will be fine.

I temped for two years. To be fair, I did get a fair bit of experience in a few things that did eventually help smooth my way into my current job but even if I'd have known that in 2004, I doubt it would have been much comfort. The lack of regular, reliable payslips inevitably pushed me further and further into debt. In the end I was forced into getting a permanent job, *any* permanent job, in order to guarantee a monthly income.

So, at the age of 24, I started work at a bowling alley. Everyone else I worked with were teenagers. Some of my bosses were younger than me. Still, it was only temporary, right? It's easier to get a job when you're already employed, isn't it? I did that job for a year whilst trying to get something else. It nearly killed me.

At 25, I got a job at a local Law college. it seemed like a good break, it was a Publishing job and so seemed reasonably relevant to my degree. I could go far with this one, I thought. Sure, the pay was shit, sure my boss was four years younger than me, but that won't matter. I'll be fine. After six months I got told that I wouldn't be coming back to work the next day. Kicked out at the end of my probation. Well, I kind of hit rock bottom. I was 25, still lived at home and despite being in the working world for three years now, I was only slipping further into debt. I'd work for a while, pay off some debt, then head back into unemployment and the debt would mount back up again.

The next job wasn't much better. It was an "IT" job (I ran reports off into Excel and made the coffee) and again, only lasted six months. The reason being that the job role they'd planned for me to fill didn't turn up. 26, back into unemployment, still at my mum's house and now getting seriously concerned at my level of debt.

The next job was better and lasted for eight months. I still ended up being forced out but it led directly to the job I'm in now. I've been here two years and, ironically, I'm now as safe as it's reasonable to expect in the current climate.

The general point of this post is to say that if you're unsure of whether or not you want to go to University, read the above. If you're going to go, then for God's sake do something that'll actually have a positive impact on your life. Study a Science, study Maths, study fucking Photography if you want. Just don't plump for an English degree because of the vague notion of some 40-somethings who remember a time when a degree, any degree ("it shows you're capable of working and sticking with something!"), was worth the paper it was printed on.

Sorry about the length and good luck to all of you who aren't as fortunate as I am.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 19:51, 13 replies)
Tales of the unemployed volume six
Following nicely on from volume one - (or, perhaps preceeding it even - you'll see why) comes the tale of...

'I'm not travelling on a fucking bus to work man'.

Before I'd seen Darren, I had the misfortune to be asked to carry out a new claim interview earlier that morning. The bloke was in the office, and he was fucking huge. He made the Incredible Hulk look like a 6 stone weakling and probably would have pissed all over him in a fight. I beckoned him to my desk, asked him to take a seat, and went through the general eligibility spiel that I had recited so many times before.

He'd been working as a labourer on a local building site, and had walked off the job for some suitably vague reason. When I informed him that his claim would need to go to an adjudicator and could well be closed down because of this voluntary jacking in of work, he wasn't best pleased.

"I'm not saying it will be suspended, just letting you know that this is the procedure. You'll be asked for some more information, they'll speak to your employer and make a decision from there".

"Like fuck they will", was the somewhat terse response. I could feel the interview slipping away from me at that point, and my own will sapping somewhat.

OK, jobsearch time. "I see you've been working as a labourer, are you still looking for something in that line".

"Aye, it's all I've done".

"We don't get many vacancies advertised in here for that sort of work, it's usually word of mouth stuff; going down to sites, that sort of thing. However, we just had a vacancy placed this morning, £300 a week".



"MORPETH??? That's fucking miles away, do you expect me to go all the way to fucking Morpeth? I'd never see me bairns, man".

"It's not that far, only 16 miles. Besides, I have to tell you about the vacancy otherwise I'd not be doing my job".

"Aye, but Morpeth? Do you really expect me to travel outside of Alnwick for work"?

"Well, lots of people do..."

"Bet you fucking wouldn't".

"Actually, I live in Morpeth and travel here every day".

"Bet you've got a car though".

"Well, yes, but as it happens I got the bus in today. The service from Alnwick is quite good you know".

"Travel to fucking work on a fucking bus? You're not fucking living in the real world mate".

And so on.

Suffice to say, he walked out at the end of the interview, I referred his claim, and surprise surprise, he had actually been sacked from his job for calling his gaffer a cunt or something. Instant 6 month suspension of benefit for gross misconduct, and the labouring job under discussion went to a far better cause at the end of the day.

What a collosal twat.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 19:27, 12 replies)
I'm about as qualified
as the average sea cucumber and can't even get a job at Tesco. The last time I went in there I had to explain to the checkout monkey how to read a date of birth.

Jesus H. Christ and his black bastard brother Barry, they'll employ people who can't *read*, but not me?
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 19:20, 2 replies)
I've been *very* lucky
Up until Jan last year I worked as a web dev for a new media agency. For giggles I convinced myself I was bored there and landed myself a job as a back-end dev at a financial information co in the City.

Lesson learned: the grass is always greener on the other side. From day one I realised I'd made a mistake. To be fair the co was no less fuckwitted than anywhere else, and with a couple of exceptions the people were decent and good colleagues. I just somehow assumed that being on the "inside" I'd learn that shares, CFDs, FX etc are really quite interesting and I'd enjoy the work.

I didn't.

Although I achieved my quarterly bonus for the first two quarters I was eligible, by the end of the year my motivation was slipping and my boss had given me an informal chat that my performance needed to improve.

So when, three weeks before Christmas they announced that there would be two redundancies and it would be based on performance, I wasn't at all surprised when the next day they told me I was to be one of them. I can't blame them. I knew I'd made a mistake taking the job, and the part of me that wasn't bricking at the prospect of an iminent 50+% drop in household income was actually strangely relieved.

So why am I lucky? Well firstly, even though I hadn't been with them long enough to be entitled to redundancy, they gave me a pretty generous severance anyway (I said that they were decent), essentially an extra month's pay that would cover me until the end of January, and secondly, I got a new job, starting immediately after the New Year, within ten days!

I'm now doing JavaScript development for an Internet advertising firm. I like them, they like me, the work is really interesting and whilst they originally took me on a three-month contract as my skill set wasn't exactly what they wanted and they wanted to see how I'd shape up, they made me permament after just two months.

Now I know the above must make me sound like the smuggest of jammy gits, but like I said, I know I've been exceptionally fortunate, and I will *never* forget what it feels like to be told you're out of a job. It's the worst, even if it is a job you don't enjoy. First time it's happened to me since leaving uni (two decades ago). I hope it never happens to me again, though In today's world, I know it may well one day.

So I have every sympathy with all those posting here who are looking for work, whether it's been a long time or short. I hope that fortune smiles on you all as she smiled on me.

Oh and we've got enough work in the pipeline that we're looking for a second JavaScript dev. So if there are unemployed b3tans with OO JavaScript looking in London, post a reply and I'll point you at the vacancy. Best of luck to you all.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 19:07, Reply)
Just like
Enzyme's post below, I encountered similar amounts of knobjockery from the Job Centre.

"You've got experience working in supermarkets. Why don't you work fulltime in a supermarket?"

First time I left uni it thankfully didn't take me long to find a summer job before starting back there again after summer but the next time round my girlfriend and I were living together in my parents house (*shudder* I'd forgotten that that was one of Dante's levels of hell) and for her to be able to claim dole money, I was told that I also had to be.


To the vacuum of self esteem and hope I went. I was waiting in the queue as I overheard an increasingly agitated bloke fail in a battle of wits over a technicality with a poor claims processor.

"Ahm here tae collect mah girlfriends dole money like."

"I see. *taps at computer* Ms Jardine hasn't been in to sign on this week."

"Aye, ah ken. She's been in bed ill."

"The job seekers allowance is paid out to people actively looking for work. If Ms Jardine has been ill she doesn't qualify for job seekers. I can't process her claim for this week."

"Naw but what, yer kiddin' me? She's been ill right! Just, like, we need that money. Whit am I supposed to dae?"

I could see the conversation slowly killing the inner child of both of them. I was called away before finding out how it ended.

"Hi I've just left uni and I'm here to register as unemployed."

"Oh no, just because your term's finished you can't sign on for the dole. Next!"

"That would be why I said I've left uni."

*cold stare*

"Hmmmm, and how are you looking for employment?"

"Recruitment agents mainly. That's how I got all my job offers last time I looked for full-time work 4 years ago."

"I see, and what else?"

"Well, I might look in the industry press if it's a slow week..."

"What about the boards in the job centre here? And have you seen our new computerised job search engine?"

"Yes, I've looked. You don't have any suitable jobs. I'm looking for something in Edinburgh or the south of England and there literally aren't any. There are only two or three jobs even vaguely similar to what I'm qualified for and they're not very well paid - everything else is either in catering or haulage and I don't even have a standard driving licence."

"Well you have to come into the job centre and look at the job board or we can't have you down as looking for work."

Bureaucracy, thy name is the public sector. Destined to forever jump through pointless hoops at the same time forcing others to do the same.

"OK then, I will come in and look for non-existant tech jobs south of the firth of Forth on your computer thingy."

I don't think the fact that I was wearing a League of Gentlemen t-shirt with Dole Scum written on the front helped me any.

Ultimately, if I'm meandering towards a point at all, it's that it's a fun pastime to bitch and moan about the town you come from. You can see everything that's wrong with it and how it could be so much better. I've heard locals complain about Cambridge where I currently live and quite frankly they should shut the fuck up. Cambridge is a small city and as such there's a fair bit of violence and crime but it has so much less than many other places I've seen. The people here are friendly, fun and polite, there are no end of things to do and see, and if you do run out, London is less than an hour away.

If there's one thing more soul crushing than being unemployed, it's being unemployed in a shit town where there are no decent jobs and the concept of not wanting to settle for something pish, the concept of being prepared to move town - move literally hundreds of miles - is lost on the job centre. I fear the job centre, I don't like the idea of having to go back to that place where they're happy to shove a round peg in a square hole if it'll get their numbers down but at least if it happens again, I'm living somewhere where there'll be more than just jobs in sandwich making and white van driving.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 18:31, 8 replies)
I was unemployed for about a year
Living in a hostel, going through the jobcentre, New Deal - who told me "a lot of people sign off and back on the dole to avoid this, so now if you do that, you'll be sent straight here" - and pretty much a low point in my life. New Deal just pressured you into sharing about 5 computers with 29 other people. Writing out CVs that I could have done at home; putting your name on god knows how many sites (though signing up for the TPS was out of order, they said') and learning to use computers (cheers, already qualified in IT). They even had a qualified LAWYER in there, telling her to apply for McDonalds! IMO, there are few people who are truly desperate, that are 'too good' for McDonalds... but a qualified barrister?!

The hostel that I lived in had £11 a week rent, but if I got a job, it'd go up to £75, even if it was just part-time. Where was the motivation to work there? No money to spend on anything but rent.. great.

Anyway, I applied for a student loan, went to university 320 miles away, quit, and have worked ever since. I want to get back into fulltime education but cannot do so without being unemployed again... fuck that.

Apparently, my job is pretty much safe so long as I do it right and don't lose the ability to type or talk, but I do sympathise with all of the unemployed who are willing to work.

There is hope eventually. Apparently, if you're on the dole, you can go to college part time. My friend did that and it's the best thing he ever did.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 18:00, Reply)
Liquid paper, liquid lunch.
A LOT of my unemployed days were spent up at my 'friends' house, Craigy "coonta" Sommerville. The olive skinned result of a liason between a malaysian sailor and a very white scottish strumpet.

He had other comedy nicknames, such as - Lamborghini Coontach, and Paula Abdul to name but a few. He never seeemed to mind, incidentally.

He was also the most profilic, bare faced liar you ever had the displeasure to meet, however, he had a 4 bedroom detached villa and it was empty, all day, every day.

Anyway, i arrive at his place, intent on a day packed with Going For Gold, The Perishers and vast amounts of inhalants.

Oh yes, kind reader, in my youth i danced with the devil, in a big way.

On this day our cups truly did runneth over. Not only did we have the usual lemon air freshener, special cancer edition, but we had a few bottles of the old Tippex and it's even nastier sister, Tippex Thinner.

So, we decanted the evilness into a crisp packet and started huffing, and huffing, aaaaaaaand projectile vomiting, all over the bathroom floor.

Now, this wouldn't have been that bad, had we not just consumed a family sized tin of Heinz Tomato Soup, each. The resulting slurry must have looked exactly like blood, because Coonta started jibbering and freaking out big time. Staggering about the place like the pathetic cunt he was, but not as pathetic as me. Lying there, gurgling and bubbling red effluence.

Eventually he smells the stomach soup and decides i'm not dying. However he does have the problem of a half litre of bile and tomato soup to contend with.

My head is fucking BOUNCING and i genuinely think i am going over to the other side, tunnel vision kicks in and i nearly piss myself.

All the while i can hear Henry Kelly quizzing non UK Nationals about the birthplace of Shakespeare.

Sven from Norway eventually guesses correctly.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 16:27, 3 replies)
Teh Fear
I can’t recall exactly why I volunteered to look after Alan’s much loved Labrador dog for the weekend, but I’m almost certain that Newcastle Brown had something to do with it. After being softened up with a few bottles of Newcastle’s finest over a game of cards, I agreed that Alan should entrust me with his pet, the keys to his house, his finest gentlemen’s art DVDs and a slab of brain grenades while he went away to boff the living daylights out of his latest squeeze.

Friday night was spent bonding with my new found canine pal Harvey before watching the Bond* film on Alan’s new widescreen TV and slurping beer.

Hungover, I woke the next morning on the sofa to see Harvey wagging his tail and looking forlornly at his empty food bowl and lead with a trusting and hopeful look on his doggy face.

An hour later and Harvey and I are trudging through nearby fields and farmland, my hangover was still making itself felt as I threw a grubby tennis ball for Harvey to fetch and return, covered in slobber. One more time I stopped myself from retching as I gingerly picked up the slimy ball and threw it over a hedge, for Harvey to chase, tongue flapping in the breeze.

“Yeow! What the fuck’s that?”

I turned and ran towards the direction of the voice, which appeared to come from the other side of the hedge, fearful that Harvey was making a pest of himself. I spluttered an apology as I climbed over a small fence.

“I’m terribly sorry, it was my fault, I hope my dog isn’t being a nuis… Oh…”

Harvey’s quest for the lost tennis ball had been momentarily forgotten, for he’d stumbled across a courting couple and was smearing a cold-wet doggy nose over the gentleman suitor’s bare bottom intent on making new friends. Squirming beneath him was an attractive brunette girl whose face turned from ecstasy to horror in the blink of an eye. I don’t know who was more mortified, her or me.

His poor ladyfriend was reddening even faster than I was and looked absolutely mortified. Obviously our young Casanova had been on his vinegars before slobbering Cerberus had caused coitus interruptus. I weakly offered my apologies, desperately trying not to notice her bare and rather fulsome norkage which was hurriedly being covered with a crumpled tee shirt.

“I’m so sorry folks… Harvey! Come here! Harvey! Fuck’s sake. Harvey!”

Feeling like some kind of seedy voyeur, I grabbed Harvey’s collar and dragged the sniggering hound away. I reattached his lead and led him back home before preparing our dinners and opening a can of Shepps and trying to block out the embarrassing memory of stumbling across the alfresco shaggers.

Six months later and I’m soberly sat at my desk reviewing my diary for the day when the email came in telling me that my interviewee had arrived and was waiting for me. Gulping down the remnants of my now rapidly cooling coffee, I put on my tie and headed downstairs to the boardroom in full on potential employer mode.

“Hi there, Tracy. I’m PJM and I’m the department head here.”

My pretty interviewee looked at me with a horrified expression on her face. For a moment I had an attack of The Fear, my mind went through all the possible scenarios, was I stood there with my cock hanging out? No, I wasn’t feeling a draught.

“Uhm, please take a seat” I added, trying to appear professional.

Had we once drunkenly fumbled on a nightclub floor in a humiliating drunken tryst I’d blocked out of my memory? No, she looked far too young for that. However, my alcohol addled archives are far from the most reliable source.

“Can I uh, fetch you some water or something?”

Her face was the colour of a freshly smacked arse. Ever the professional, I scanned through my prepared questions and asked away.

She was refusing to make eye contact. This really isn’t going well, she was going crimson and the blood rushed to my face so much it felt like my head was about to burst. I knew Tracy from somewhere and the circumstances weren’t the best, but I couldn't for the life of me remember how… Teh Fear was strong and I didn’t know why.

It’s testament to my continual ham-fisted bell-endedness that I seem to maximise any opportunity to make a monumental twat of myself. Suffice to say that I struck gold this time when in a state of panic I scanned down Tracy’s CV and asked the killer question that finally jogged my recalcitrant memory.

“It says here that you used to work for the Environment Agency as a site survey officer. How did you feel getting all mucky in the great outdoors”.

* "Bond film" = Red Hot & Dutch

(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 16:20, 13 replies)
has anyone else noticed the irony in this?
if i liked my job, i wouldn't be on here half as the point where i'm constantly checking the links board for things to make me smile...(thankyou for the recent post of the happy spider!)

i can't wait until summer, i'll be facing the unknown of unemployment in an unspecified location somewhere in Britain. but at least i won't be here!!!
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 15:11, Reply)
I get these weird ideas in my head sometimes.

Its probably to do with having the attention span of a hummingbird on speed.

These weird ideas are usually compounded if I find myself sitting round with fuck all money and fuck all to do. - Being unemployed is not good. Its not good at all.

One time in my early twenties I'd been given the heave-ho from the rather cushdy sales job I had. No fucker was buying houses and I lost my role as 'smarmy cunt in a suit and tie trying to flog people mortgages'.

I was suddenly alone in the flat I shared with my mate John all day.

And one fateful Monday I got an idea in my head. And I followed it through to a shockingly, sickeningly obvious conclusion. It wasn't helped by the fact that I was alone in the flat for a week; John was working in France that week and wouldn't be back until late Friday night. I was well and truly alone.

So, being a normal, rational person I decided to see how much cum I could produce in a five day period. I was interested, curious, I was a pioneer in the further studies of spunk and all things cum-related. If I was a superhero I would've been Captian Cum, or the Masked Manfat Avenger, or quite possibly Sir Spunks-alot.

I found an empty two pint orange juice container in the bin. Thought better of it; I was good, but not that fucking good. Instead I went to the fridge and fished out the nearly-empty pint of milk we had in there. Washed the container out throughly, and went to find some porn which was usually lying about in every room of the flat.

A quick one off the wrist later I had the start of my sperm collection sloshing about in the bottom of the pint bottle. Oooh, a nice runny one with lumpy bits of egg white stuff. Fair size. Nice smell. Good bouquet. Sort of smelled a bit like the ocean. Quite a nice load all said and done. I then went and put the bottle in the fridge and went back to the living room to watch some daytime TV.

After an hour I had another quick wank.

Contents into the bottle again. Lovely.

And this is what I did for the entire week. By Friday afternoon I had just about reached the bottom of the lable on the pint bottle. I was pretty damn impressed. Looked a bit fucked up. I recall tapping the glass and swishing it about a bit. It resembled very runny tapioca. Smelt fucking awful even though it'd been in the fridge.

And then I got a call on Friday afternoon from my mate Hans (who's from Lincoln, not Germany), and I went out to get caned and see Silverchair for free. Woo!

It was a fucking great evening. I got so wasted I ended up sleeping on Hans' floor with an empty bottle of Jack Daniels resting on my chest. I woke up early on Saturday morning, found my trainers, and fucked off back home.

And found John sitting at the breakfast counter in our flat. He was reading the paper. He looked up and said a cheery "hello!"

I asked him how his trip went. He shrugged, it was so-so. I went to the cupboard and dragged out two mugs.

And John said: "Whatever you do don't use the milk in the fridge - I had some in my coffee when I got back last night... Tasted fucking awful."

"Errr, I'll just pop out and get a fresh pint," I said.

And I did.

And to this day John doesn't know he has actually tasted my baby making cake mix.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 15:09, 5 replies)
I almost lost my job today
but thanks to some good advice from a b3tan and her man on friday, I managed to turn it into a week of holiday and two weeks unpaid leave. So a three week sabbatical in other words :)
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 14:46, 5 replies)
Thanks Nan
I flunked my first first year at university, leaving around mid January. My girlfriend of four years had left me and I was in a bit of a state. Some would describe it akin to being an absolute pussy, and they'd be right.

Months of sleeping in and being throuoghly unproductive just amplified my depression. Then my Nan died in May.

Not being very close to my Nan I volunteered to write and present the Eulogy in order to get to know her better and connect with her at some level. This gave me focus.

We held the wake at a fabulous restaurant in Worcestershire. Speaking to the owner / executive Chef about the menu for the day it became apparant he was looking for a junior Chef. I've always had a passion for cooking so I let him know I was looking for work.

Low and behold a week or so after my Nan's funeral I got a call informing me I could have a trial at the restaurant. I passed and worked there until I retook my first year in October.

It was the best therapy a young man could wish for. It was like working with a bunch of pirates where a simple mistake (like burning a Soufle) would result in something like a gangland murder trial in a warehouse. Couple that with zealous camaraderie; copious amounts of hard drugs, women and alcohol on an almost nightly basis; it soon rid me of any despression and was the best possible preperation for university.

I've always worked since the age of sixteen, paying my way through college and uni. I'm now nearing the end of a work placement with one of them evil investment banks and have an offer of permanent employment after graduation.

Signing on during those four months between Uni and Cheffing was humiliating and depressing. One sympathises with those stuck in a rut.

Thank you Nan for giving me the best job I could have had and kickstarting my university career.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 14:05, 5 replies)
Well, I'm unemployed now, and 2 B honest I am not sure that enyone will ever give me a job agian after teh right balls up I made of my last one, so I could be doin nutin a while, not that thats kmuch diffrent than when I wuz wrking, goddamn these kyebaords. it iz prbbly my ownn folt, becoz i wos a rite slakcer at my jobb. Now all I hav to do is look aftre our house an 2 B onest I hav not a good track record at that. In my last jbo I hda to look after lots of hsoues adn I got into big trubl when I let sum get fludded and let some opther reely big wuns got nkokcd down. At least the wife is lookin after our money, coz i wrnt 2 gud at managin that eithre. I used to get my godd pal Dick 2 do mst ov the wrok, well him and Don. Dick an Don in da House I used 2 calll them. But then they went and cocked it akll up. I only gott the posishun becos my dad is well rich and famus, but I think he dont like me as much as my little brover, becus he got hima job where it iz much bettre wether lots more sunny. that job I had was good thouhg, big house, car, office, plane, heliktper. The heliopcter wos teh best bit i think, plus playing wiht the toy soldiers on the big baord with Don. yessir, so now I Am at honme all the time wiht the missus and my two daugters who are doin my hed in and R reely embarrsing coz they are alcyholics like wot I uzed 2B. see ya.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 13:53, 24 replies)
How to lose your job through the medium of music...
If I had to listen to Don't Speak by No Doubt one more fucking time I would've gone on a mad fucking gun rampage in Milton Keynes city centre. The food court in Marks & Spencers would've been knee deep in blood (instead of the usual cous cous, ciabatta rolls, and lemon mouse) at the end of lunch time. The walls of the Disney store would've been sprayed with the entrails of all the lovely little kids who run about in there like the bunch of bastard-cunt-fuckers on ritalin withdrawl that they are. The Body Shop would've contained real bodyparts as part of their window display.

I fucking HATE that piece of shit song by No Doubt.

The reason? I used to work in a well known hobbyshop in Milton Keynes city centre, and being a till monkey meant you'd listen to the approved store tapes over and over -

- and over and over and over and over and over AGAIN!!! Argggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!

And the store I used to work in in Milton Keynes, the mecca of the roundabout and narky traffic warden, only had one approved store tape. ONE!!! And on that tape was this fucking SHIT song.

I'd somehow managed to land the job of Assistant Manager in this shop. One day the store held an area meeting for all the managers in the Midlands (they had a nice comfy room upstairs for the staff to piss about, sleep, fuck their girlfriends, oh, and to hold area manager meetings). My manager was involved in this meeting, so I was left in charge of the shopfloor.

Now, I knew these meetings went on forever, so as soon as all the VIP's had disappeared upstairs I went to my bag and found a tape, any old tape. I ripped out the store approved tape and lobbed it in a drawer where I hoped it would never be found again.

"Whatcha doin', Spanky?" asked my underling for the day, Greg.

"Putting something decent on the stereo. Can't stand listening to that peroxide fucking bint from that self-mastabatory load of old bollocks, No Doubt, one more fucking time," I reasoned. And I put the tape on. It was a mix tape, lots of nice gentle funky stuff. Nothing offensive, to the best of my recollection. And anyway, it was Tuesday morning, it was always dead in the shop on Tuesday morning.

Greg and I put out new stock, danced round a bit to such classics as Sweet Widow by the Spin Doctors (goes on for fucking ever, that one, but is rather fucking ace).

And then someone comes into the store - fuck me! That's unexpected...

And then someone else, and then a bunch of kids. A load of Japanese tourists. Fuck! Curse those fucking coaches that stop by occassionally and spew their fetid contents into my shop; the fuckers made me do work! WORK!!!

So, Greg and I are suddenly working our asses off, selling all this load-of-old-hobby-bollocks (toy soldiers etc), to these small people from the Far East.

And then my boss and his boss (an itinerant Geordie midget with the voice of Bernard Blessing and the temprament to match), and all the other managers from the Midlands area, take a break from their meeting and flood the shop.

It was fucking PACKED!!!

And then, as if through some strange twist of fate, I remembered what song came after Sweet Widow on the tape. And I felt my stomach flop about inside me like a spasticated whoopie cushion.

Oh... sweet... merciful... crap... on... a... shitty... fucking... bike...

And I was way across the otherside of the shopfloor dealing with some oriental dickweed, Greg was closest to the tape machine but I just couldn't communicate with him without drawing more attention to myself.

Instead, I just ploughed on with my sale and hoped no one would notice the song that would blare out of the speakers anytime soon.

Unfortunately they did.

And unfortunately I received my P45 later that morning, and a proverbial kick up the arse. (It would've been a real kick up the arse if the Geordie area manager had his way).

And the reason?

Standing there with my hard on bleedin'
Theres a devil in my dick and some demons in my semen
Good God no that would be treason
Believe me Eve she gave good reason
Botty looking too good not to be squeezin'
Creamy beaver hotter than a fever
I'm a givin' 'cause she's the reciever

- and so on.

Fucking Red Hot Chili Peppers...

Still thinking of sueing the bastards for having my name added to the ranks of the unemployed...
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 13:37, 13 replies)
Another one
I'm spending day 243 of unemployment forwarding some of these to my girlfriend usually accompanied by "See, I'm not the only one struggling"
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 13:07, 2 replies)
I've been unemployed for a while now,
living in the wilds of Cumbria. Jobs are pretty scarce, and often only highly-skilled in the nuclear industry(I'm a musician, so of no use there. Or, really, anywhere).

However, I just got a phone call, and am working, as of the 14th! So, yes. It's a terrible time, economically, and the country is fucked, but if a lazy black metal idiot like me can find work, you can too. Keep trying :)
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 13:00, 4 replies)
Demoralisation at it's finest

Unemployment? Yeah I've been there - in fact that is where I currently reside, and it is anything but fun. As it stands I am on the verge of eviction, several bailliffs are after me, and at the moment I am struggling to see a way out. Still you are probably all thinking this is my own fault, I'm a workshy, whatever - you'd all be very wrong.

See when I was 16, further education was a luxury for many - yes it may seem very monty python to a lot of you, but honestly there was no way my parents could afford me to do A-levels and then University - not that I begrudge anyone who has been - several years more in a classroom I could not imagine as being an easy ride at all. But that aside, I did a YTS, got taken on for a year until my employers went bust, then found a way into IT as a trainee assistant computer operator - basically a tape and print monkey - it was a start.

Since then I have got my head down, learned what I can, and if the opportunities were not there, I left to another place to find better ones. I contracted for several years as well as built up a plethora of skills in what I do. I have worked in several different countries for some very famous companies, tried to keep abreast of all the new developments, and when I realised that contracting was looking grim in the future, took a permanent job. Sadly the first one didn't work out, but the second was far better, got my stripes and settled in for the long haul. Wonderful little bank, a joy to get to in the morning, and tons of great projects to get my teeth into.

Then along comes a world famous American bank, whose investors greed had put unnatural demands on their own resources, as well as that of their directorship. In a panic, caught short one day they took two loans from us, for what in banking terms are paltry amounts - less than the bonuses of some of their directors the previous years, but their failure 2 days later, combined with the way it rocked the markets, destroyed in days my employer. So I was made redundant.

Since then all I have done is relentlessly apply for jobs - more than 60 in the last 10 weeks, and yet all I have managed to achieve are 2 interviews and one week doing desktop support for less money than the dole. I'd like to know why a lot of my applications simply end up unanswered - Is it my nationality? My age? (just turned 40), my lack of a degree? Seems that everyjob over here, no matter how junior insists you have a bloody degree for it, and as much as I would love to, I can't just up and spend 4 years getting one - eating and paying the rent kind of take priority just now.

Like I said I do not begrudge anyone their education - I just got mine differently, through on the job training and taking relevant work courses. I managed two years part time at college, and do have letters after my name, just not the right ones it seems. I honestly feel discriminated against because of it, and wonder if indeed this is the case. If I knew now I would have wanked sailors for coins at the docks to get through Uni, and maybe now things would be different. So if anyone out there reads this and is considering an early start to their career over an education, or is contemplating dropping out of University, take my advice and seriously think about your options first, for where I am right now is not a place I would wish on anyone.

So by all means enjoy the stories on here, but have a thought for those of us, who not only want to work, but can work, yet are seemingly ignored by the agencies and employers out there - I am sure I am not the only one in that boat on here. But honestly, for all of you, if you get the chance of that little certificate for 4 years of your life, then don't take the risk and go for it - you'll thank me one day.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 12:57, 15 replies)
Stupid benefits
Ok, so picture the scene. You've just decided that perhaps the glamerous life of a Personal ASsistant to some twunts in Probation just isn't the life for you, from there you spiral into crappy job to crappy job in a vague attempt to try and get yourself some money so that the crows don't peck your eyes out and your parents don't ship you back to Ireland to pick potatoes for a living. So after some soul searching you decide to go back to college and get some re-education so that you can go work in a different field that you actually enjoyed working in.

The downside to this however is that you will need to make yourself completely unemployed, with no savings and no job prospects until you have studied the bare minimum and get some basic volunteering experience. So yay! I gleefully called the Benefits office to be told yes, that I was elligable. The flip side is that I would have to get some education (under 16 hours a week), get some volunteering experience in my field (unlimited hours) potentially get yourself a part time job in said field (also under 16 hours a week) and finally be available to work for any other vacancies that are available between now and the day that I get qualified.

So what did I do? Went out there got a part time volunteering 3 days a week. Got myself a job for 12 hours a week. Got myself an education for 3 hours a week.

Amazing! I managed to get all this in place in under a year and on my 10month review... I am then told words which still make my jaw drop down to my uncles ankles in Austrilia;

"You'll have to stop everything you're doing, you're making yourself over-qualified for any potential vacancies we can give you".

I mean seriously, what the FUCKsocks are they talking about? On querying this I was then told that basically I need to be able to accept any job that was offered to me, from £3.25 a day jizz mopping in Soho to £10 a blowjob in the toliets back in the Benefits centre because the policy I was on meant that there was no room for self improvement. I've got experience working in Woolworths, here! Go work in Greggs for £4.35 an hour! Oh looky, you've worked in a bar? Amazing! Go work here for £3.00 p/h, including "generous tips".

Long story short, told the dearly beloved lady to go fuck herself and within 2 months landed myself a job which I love and the best bit? Pays me more than any job that had ever been offered in the job centre.

Turns out a year of doing what I thought was best (volunteering/working/studying/masturbating/playing Warcraft) was actually far superior to the "sit on your fat arse and wait for work to magically appear in front of you" ethos that 90% of all people who work at Job Centres want you to do.

Oh, and the best bit is that I love my job and reguluarly get to shout at Job Centre twats who stop my clients benefits for no reason. Ah, Karma is a bitch, and now so am I.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 12:48, Reply)
I was a bright kid at school, did well and went to university. Not such a major acheivement, but as the first of my family to go to uni, winner of the pupil of the year etc I developed a raging ego about it. I thought anyone who didn't want to go into higher education and try to "better" themself was just an idiot, and that in due course I'd glide out of the univerity and smoothly into a good job. After all, that's what happens in all the books and films, right?

Wrong. I applied for numerous, nay, a vast plethora of jobs during my final year of uni and got precisely nowhere, except for unsuccessful interviews where my lack of accomplishment in areas outside my chosen subject seemed painfully obvious. (I hadn't bothered with any extra-curricular activities, leaving them for the wanker ambitious types.)

However I got a basic admin job - temporary, but enough to get me going. Or so I thought. When pounding the pavement job-hunting, it became obvious that the criteria I'd expected to go on forever applauding me no longer applied. No-one gave a fuck if I was intelligent and knew all about this, that and the other. Did I know Excel? (No). Could I type fast? (No). Could I use Powerpoint. (Thrice no). Had I ever shown initiative and organised something? (Apart from planning big hash-smoking sessions, no).

So after the temp job finished, I was on the dole. I had to move back to my parents house and sign on amongst people I'd looked down my nose at completely a few years earlier. It was something of a let-down and I just about fell to pieces in a black cloud of depression, self-pity and self-loathing.

But after coming through six months of unemployment, it made me a far less arrogant tosser of a person. When I see someone down on their luck, it makes me think "That could easily be me" and I feel fortunate and humble and grateful.

Good luck to everyone looking for work.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 12:28, 3 replies)
When I was signing on, I allowed myself the small pleasure of putting "Dr" in the title box on the paperwork, purely so that the person behind the desk would have to call "Dr Enzyme" when it was my turn in the queue.

The bastards were always friendly and informal and used my first name instead.

Anyway - I had to explain what I was doing to look for work.
Well, I said, I'm hoping to get a couple of papers or a book out of my thesis. That'll make me much more employable.
"Hmmmm. Have you thought about doing an apprenticeship?"
Um... no. I just explained that I've recently finished 8 years of higher education. If I wanted to be a plasterer, I'd have followed that route instead.
"But you have to be looking for work..."
I am.
"... or in training."
But... but... isn't the training to make you more employable? That's exactly what I'm planning with the papers I want to write. And I'll end up with a much better job.
"Are you working at all at the moment?"
I have a bar job a couple of nights a week.
"Ah. Catering. Have you thought about doing that full-time?"
Hang on. You're saying that I should throw away several years and thousands of pounds to get a full-time bar job that I could have got when I was 18?
"You have experience..."
... I'm genuinely lost for words. You actually mean this, don't you?

The thing is, I can see the sense behind that kind of policy. But, on this occasion, there was an important difference - to wit: it applied to me.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 12:14, 23 replies)
I came out the Army last year and there wasn't much call for Tank Drivers at the time and too many under-qualified Photographers taking all the work.
As I joined when I was 17 straight from college I didn't have much previous experience and nobody wanted me. Instead I decided to go to Uni so I could get an easy student loan as I was running out of money.
I picked photojournalism but soon found out it was crap. One of the few lectures I did go to was war photography. I couldn't sit and listen to someone who'd just graduated, talk complete nonsense about a something I was very experienced in. I decided the other lectures must be a load of rubbish too so after Christmas I did a runner from my student house and moved to London to find work.

That was a mistake.

It's now almost a year after I left the army and I have only worked small, petty jobs since (Labour, 4 days on a building site, bar work and a skateboard shop) and am currently unemployed still.

I have been volunteering as an adult instructor for the Army Cadets though. Just got a few more months before I can re-enlist in the Army as a Medic.
Might stay in for the long haul if they take me back. Plus I get a few K as a welcome back present from them. I could do with that right now.

EDIT: In the mean time I've just been on here, or arguing with people on YouTube.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 11:51, 1 reply)
When this QotW started…

I thought to myself: “Hmm, I’ve been unemployed a few times in my life, With a few interesting consequences…”

However, before I started typing, I made myself a promise, that whatever story I post must not contain copious amounts of wanking.

It’s now 11:20 on Monday and I still can’t think of anything.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 11:22, 6 replies)
Fringe benefits to unemployment.
There I was. Recently graduated from a former polytechnic in a social science at the height of the last recession, and nobody wanted to give me a job! It was an outrage. A sure example of The Man keeping me down.

I'm not actually someone who can sit still for long and I soon got bored, so I asked after voluntary work at the local job centre and ended up doing several days a week in the fundraising department of a major hospital. I thought I'd be jangling a tin on street corners, but as I was good with computers and quite funny I ended up writing and designing adverts and helping out with big corporate charity appeals. It was a pretty good job - I even got free food on the days I worked.

One thing that this hospital did was arrange huge events and try and set world records in 'wacky' things - the biggest conga line, that sort of thing - in order to raise sponsorship funds, and one event I was involved in had an expected attendance of ten thousand people. Some corporate, marketing-type presentations were done and sponsorship was gained for the event from Mcvities, who as part of the deal agreed to supply a 'fun size' packet of Jaffa Cakes for every attendee.

The day of the event came and I was wandering round the site in the morning, making sure all was all right and I wandered into the stockroom to make sure everything was Ok in there as well. As I stood there, I heard a click behind me. Someone had noticed the stockroom door standing open and shut and locked it - presumably to prevent theft. I had a moment of panic before I realised I wouldn't be in there long as the sponsorship goodies were stacked in pallets and the event attendees would be along in a while. Plus there was a tap so I wasn't exactly going to die in there.

And then it struck me. I was locked, alone and unsupervised, in a room containing thirty thousand jaffa cakes. You may be able to guess the rest.

It was the best mornings work I've ever had, and I was unemployed at the time.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 10:48, 11 replies)
Work is the curse of the drinking classes.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 9:47, 2 replies)

This question is now closed.

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