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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.

Might be a blessing as I appear to have narked off (*) someone in my office and the atmosphere in here is rather akin to haivng told my best mate that I've invited Gary Glitter to do the music at her son's third birthday...

Yeah, so, on topic, I was unemployed after I did my PhD. So I wrote and presented pub quizzes to scrape some cash together. Then I was unemployed after my first postdoc. So I sat on my arse and watched Jeremy Kyle for three months.

What a great story, I'll tell you again in more detail later if you like.


EDIT: ooh, scratch that, he's just wandered over and handed me a bar of chocolate, well kind of threw it on my desk. I guess that means we're speaking again now.

(*) it involved booze on Friday. Always does.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 14:53, 5 replies)
Oh no...
My local authority "let me go" following a huge misunderstanding. (Apparently it's not a job for life, regardless of how crap you are at it, who knew?!) Although I did start to recognise the signs of a visit from the Depression fairy right around the time my doctor gave me anti-depressants and a counseling appointment. OK, I am a bit slow sometimes, and the inability to get off the train in the mornings and spending all day sobbing uncontrollably should have been pointers as well, it was the joys of Incapacity Benefit that made it worse....

Oh Yes...

Now, Incap Ben is dealt with by the Dept of Work and Pensions in the UK, and as a claimant you meet face to face with them at you local JobCentre Plus. My local one has green and blue livery, and grey carpets, and the usual smells of alcohol, desparation and bodily waste. There's a person in a suit in the foyery bit. I don't actually know if that person works there, they have an ID badge or something, but they don't ever seem to know where anything, or anyone is, so they could just be someone who's a bit odd who turns up 'cos they like people.

Now after the Dr's appointment, I called the Benefits Helpline, they happily told me that I would be better off claiming Income Support, because I would get more money. So I'd waited for the forms to come in the post, I'd filled them in, made an appointment, and showed up at this particular Dante's circle in good time. Simple, I thought.

I asked the suit at the door where I needed to be, and took my seat on the stained upholstery, and waited. Waited some more, and then a bit more after that. When I was finally called, I took a seat at the desk and I explained my situation to a dull-eyed female employee. She sat impassive as I showed her the forms that I had completed, and my supporting documents.
Her forehead wrinkled a bit "OK, OK..Sparkie, why have you filled forms in for a benefit that you're not entitled to?"

"Erm, it's Ms Sparkie to you actually, and because your colleagues told me to" I replied

"Well that was stupid. Your GP has signed you off, you should be getting Incapacity, you can't claim Income Support because your kids are too old."
"But they're still in full-time education"
"Doesn't matter, they're over 16"
"Ok, could I have the correct forms then please? I'll fill them in now"
she shrugged disaffectedly and threw a "War and Peace" sized lump of paper onto the desk in front of me, and pointed over to some sticky desks at the side of the room.

So off I trotted, and filled exactly the same information onto the new forms, in the same order, in the same boxes, because it was the same form, just blue, rather than beige. handed it back to Oscar the Grouch's sister, got a receipt, and thought no more of it.

Eight-odd weeks later, after numerous phone calls from my friends and family members on my behalf, a member of staff admitted that they probably had been getting my sicknotes in the post, and had also been getting the phonecalls on my behalf. They just weren't going to "root all through all that post, it'd take all day, and we don't have the time" Meantime, my rent and bills were going unpaid, but my Mum had been buying food and looking after me a bit, so it was only going to be short term. One afternoon she said to me. "You know your brother used to work for Housing Benefits? Well, I spoke to him about you, and he said that you have to write to your MP, or they'll keep ignoring you"

So I found him via www.writetothem.com/
sent an email, and you know what?

It only worked! Really! My genius of an MP wrote to the Head Honcho at their office, and with much bowing and scraping (to him, not to me, mind)They agreed to sending the arrears via a CHAPS (ie same day) payment of all the money outstanding, it had already hit my account when I got his reply (email and hard copy)containing the arch-grovel from the manager.

So, write to your MP! I wonder if they appreciate the work?
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 14:41, 2 replies)
I've only bothered to sign on once in my life even though I've been unemployed several times.

It was a painful process, going down to sign on.

With my little booklet in hand with my homework in, detailing 'what I've done to find a job this fortnight', I'd go and get treated like a fucking cretin by a shit in a suit who's probably never had a good shag in their life.

They'd look through my book, give me some shit, and then I'd leave feeling like I'd just been emotionally raped by the fucker behind the desk.

And it went on like this for a few months.

Until one day I went to sign on and was told:

"Mr Hanky, you haven't been following the guidelines as a jobseeker, therefore we've got no choice but to cut your benefits immediately." Smiled the cunt behind the desk.

"What?" I asked. "But its got in my book everything I've been doing! Look!" And I showed them.

The bloke behind the counter shook his head: "No, Mr Hanky - you were required in your return to work contract to contact the office once a week by telephone as well as fill in the booklet. We don't have any record of any telephone contacts."

"No one told me this!"

"If you'd have made a call sometime today to let us know what you've been doing to find work we may have been able to help."

I blinked at him, completely lost for words. I felt like ramming his smug fucking head into his desk. Instead I reached into my pocket and pulled out my phone: "What's your number?" I asked.

Grudgingly he gave it to me. I tapped it into the phone and the phone on his desk started to ring. He looked down at it. I looked down at it too. I waited. He waited. Eventually he picked up the receiver.

Ooooh, what a fucking suprise. It was me on the other end...

"Hello Mr Fuckwit-Jobcentre-Cunty-Bollocks," I started. "Please can I tell you what I've done this week to try and find work?"

And the fucker went along with it, wrote down a few notes, tapped away on his computer terminal, and after the call turned back to me, grinned an evil grin and said:

"Well, everything seems to be in order now, Mr Hanky. See you in a fortnight."

And I left, wondering what the fuck was all that about.

Apologies for lack of spunk & Batman in this post. Just happens to be 100% true, this one.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 14:11, 7 replies)
On the other hand
When I moved from Scotland down to England early in 2000, I had to go and sign on for a few weeks until I found myself a job.

I had the usual round of crap interviews, being treated like a brain-dead moron, and then was eventually given my sign-on appointment.

I dutifully turned up, handed over my booklet with newspaper cuttings detailing £15-18k jobs I had applied for, and girded my loins for the 'justify your pitiful existence' attitude.

The woman behind the desk started trying to 'get to know' me. She asked what work I had been doing previously.

"I wsa a project manager for four vocational training projects with a combined budget of £2million."

I have never seen a public servant more ready to help anyone in my life.

After that, I basically turned up each fortnight, signed on, and never ONCE had to tell anyone what I was doing to find work.

That said, I didn't enjoy the experience of being unemployed: I just wanted to put the other side that Job Centre workers are not all, by nature, miserable cunts.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 13:51, 4 replies)
Just a couple of years ago...
...my life took a major change of direction; I had gone to uni in London, much fun was had - the course wasn't for me, so after achieving a first in the first year (cheating) I ambled about working here and there - some good jobs, lots of experience and great for my CV, but I wasn't happy. The only thing really holding me there was my girlfriend of 3 years, but after she found out I had cheated on her a few times a move was immanent.

So I packed my bags and moved back towards home, through contacts I had a few weeks to get back on my feet then a shiny new job was waiting for me - in IT... Now, I can appreciate computers, hell I did scientific degree - but the thought of working in an office like that punching numbers didn't get my juices flowing. My dearest family could see that I was at pains with what to do, which direction to go in, where to head, so my mother sat me down and we had a heart to heart.

She basically told me, that anything I wanted to do I could do - she hadn't had the opportunity I'd now got, and regretted it all her life, and so now she wanted me to really take stock and just go for whatever I wanted to.

So I did, I enrolled in an art college, did a foundation course and loved it - I'd always been artistic - I found a direction, and more importantly I found a sector that was always in demand and paid well. So a degree followed - I specifically chose a degree based on it's employability after graduation - and promptly spent 3 years drunker than a skunk - to roll off the course straight into a job that could have been written for the course.

I was literally in heaven - young bright vibrant company, me in a position of responsibility, my thoughts and actions having a direct effect on the running of the company.

And that my dear reader is where it started to go wrong, about 3 years ago after having not been paid for 8 months in a row on time, or fully - the company was failing with it's cash-flow and margins. They had expanded too fast and had too many expenses. I knew the bank were about to recall their credit facilities, and a little birdy told me having the bailiffs around on a semi frequent basis was probably not indicative of a thriving company.

The company was off down poo street, and I didn't want to get dropped off on its way down the hill. So I did what all hungover people do, I jumped. I arrived on the Monday morning about 2 hours late... not hungover, still technically drunk - and in a subtle way only I can, announced clearly and to everyone that I was leaving... That Friday they announced the company had been placed into administration.

SO this long and highly unfunny story is how, in my mid 20's I was now unemployed.

I didn't really know exactly what to do, I had about 800 quid in my bank, a sore head and a slight twitch. To the pub it is!

That's where I hatched a plan.

I would never be unemployed again...

I set up my own business, and for the last 3 years, I have never looked back... I have also never had more than a fiver in my pocket at any one time, but the freedom to be your own boss, to really feel the result of your hard work and determination. To see the effect of your mistakes and cock ups. It's amazing, I don't think I could ever be employed again, but that's just fine.

In a few years time when the markets settle business will pick up, in the meanwhile so long as I can keep a roof over my head, food and beer in my belly, then I am a happy man.

And to the Jobsworths at the dole office - you really need a kick up your own bums, well your employers do - three times in my life I have contacted them about finding me a part time employee - I now understand why people don't bother, simple questions couldn't be answered - so in the end rather than battle through their bureaucracy where I was made to feel thicker than I am - I decided not to bother - that's the way forward!
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 13:39, 1 reply)
My first year of university
I ended up dropping out and doing sod all with my time while still collecting a student allowance. My flatmate Roger and I developed a routine where he'd wake me up after his girlfriend went to work, roll us up a spliff, then crack out the N64.

There is a point during any stretch of unemployment when you take a step back and wonder if things have gone too far, if you've pushed the art of doing nothing to it's logical extreme with no hope for redemption. For me, that moment was when I beat Roger at 1080 Snowboarding using only my feet to work the controller.

To be fair, he was using his feet too.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 13:27, Reply)
Knight Work
"You can stick your fucking job up your arse, sunshine!" I said, as I walked away from my latest employer. He looked a bit pissed off, but I really couldn't be bothered with his weirdness anymore. Anyway, he was bleeding heavily and probably wouldn't last the night.

It all started about a week previously. I'd found a job in the paper for a general helper for this incredibly rich bloke who lived in a big mansion. It paid £500 a week, so I thought, fuck me - I'll have a bit of that.

And I went along, had an interview with the outgoing hired help - an old posh English fella who was finally retiering. He kept asking me if I was affraid of the dark and if I minded working the occasional night. He also asked if I was any good with a needle and thread and if I knew first aid. I sort of blagged my way through.

And I got the fucking job! Woo!

On my first shift it started to get a bit weird. I hadn't even met my boss yet. And then at about two in the morning, after I'd done a bit of cleaning, polished a few old swords and suits of armour, I heard an almighty fucking BANG from downstairs. I rushed towards the basement and suddenly remembered: This place doesn't have a basement.

I was stood in the library feeling a bit weirded out, when suddenly the big bookshelf moved to one side and in walks my new boss wearing a rediculous costume - he looked like a camp twat in a mask. He looked at me for a moment and then swished past me, his big black cape flapping about.

"There's a bit of mess down there," he said. "Would you mind clearing it up."

I shrug, fuck it, £500 a week. And I walk through the secret door in the bookshelf and down some winding stairs. Into a great big underground cavern. Wish I'd brought my fucking coat.

My boss had one of his many cars down here - a big black number with huge fins and shiny bits. And then I saw what I assumed was the 'mess' he was refering to. Strapped on the bonet of the car was a man. A man in a purple suit and green hair wearing makeup. He was brown bread, like a doornail, he was well and truly dead.

Oh fuck! My boss is a fucking pshyco!

I was suddenly very scared. I went back upstairs, picked up a big heavy poker, and went to have a word with my boss.

He was in the bath, his costume tossed to one side. I could see he was bleeding himself and heavily bruised. Also looked like he worked out alot, I admire that in a man, not in a gay-I-want-to-pump-your-arse way, but just asthetically speaking.

"What's going on?" I asked, standing in the doorway.

He replied without looking at me: "These things happen. Have you cleaned up the mess?"

And I replied by sneaking up behind him and smacking him on the head until his skull was well and truly stoved in.

Fucking mentalist.

That's when I told him where he could stick his job. The cunt. If you see an advert in the paper from a bloke called Bruce Wayne, avoid it like the fucking plauge.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 13:26, 2 replies)
Employment makes me supid
First year of university - No Job - passed the year.

Seond year of University - Job in Student Union Bar - Failed the Year

Repeat of Second Year - Still had the job in the SU bar - Failed 2 exams (plus resits) and had to complete an academic appeal to get into third year (So I didn't enroll until December)

Third Year - Gave up SU job, everything was fine. Got a job in a Karaoke bar 1 month before my dissertation is due.

But I caught on so I quit my new job after 2 shifts so that I have time to write the 12,000 words that I should have been writing all year but have left until the last minute. As you do.

But on the upside because I enrolled so late I got a 1 month dissertation extension :)

And of all the things I could be worrying about, for example, Lack of cleverness resulting in Joblessness resulting in lack of money resulting in homelessness.
No. I am now upset because everyone else will hand in their dissertation a month before me so I'll miss all of the parties :(

One of the reasons I came to uni was because my college tutor told me I'm 'not uni material' and I wanted to prove her wrong. She is wrong - I am uni material as long as I remain unemployed (and relatively sober)
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 13:07, Reply)
In so far as for once \talk is worth reading, there's a lot of honesty about, and a lot less gratuitous smut. (Not you Spanky - keep 'em coming!)
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 13:02, 7 replies)
It was getting towards the end of 2005, and I was getting nowhere in my search for my first real job. I was 29, and convinced that I would get to retirement never having had a full-time position and regular income.

A sign in Tesco offered me hope. They needed shelf-stackers over Christmas. Well, it wasn't a career, but it was at least pin-money - and over the course of December, I'd probably earn as much as I had for the previous 4 months. I applied.

They told me I wasn't suitably qualified to work as a shelf-stacker.

That put me in my place...
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 12:53, 3 replies)
We were fired!
I got made redundant - for 3 days really - but they didn't know if the order was coming in. (it did). This was back in 95 working for an oil sensor producing company....

I was a bit dumb, and quite stoned as it was the summer. When they called us in to the canteen i thought i heard "resplendant" instead of redundant. I was f*cking baffled. Then everyone went home (in hindsight we could have been sent home) and no-one was that happy. How was i to become resplendant? Were they to help? Why did my comrades seem really upset?

3 days later and Broadland FM on the radio, waiting for "i've had the time of my life" medley at 130pm.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 12:39, Reply)
I had come back from travelling...
I was looking for something meaningful to do with my life following on from bumming round the world with my girlfriend. I prepped my CV, sent it out to relevant agencies and HR people, had a few interviews, which, whilst not getting the job, gave me good experience.

Then I got a call from an agency asking if I wanted to do some temp for the BPC, who are a government quango. Wanting to put my political knowledge to good use, I accepted, without researching... This turned out to be a relatively naive thing... But what the hell, money was money, and I needed it, and some good politics-y crap for my CV.

I turned up on Monday, suited and booted, to find that in my desperation to get out of unemployment, I had agreed to work for the British Potato Council (Did you even imagine that such a glorious body existed?!).

In a way, it was good for me, I upped the output of my CV 10-fold to try and find a route out. I spent my days stuffing envelopes with posters for schools about how great potatoes are, and how shit pasta and rice are (I swear to God!), answering calls from people asking me why their potatoes were still hard after boiling (seriously, retired people have to much time on their hands), and how to keep slugs off their plants (how the fuck would a temp sat on reception reading a book know?!).

I still get called 'potato-boy', and other such names by my friends.

I probably would have preferred to sign on.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 12:26, 1 reply)
I'm 18, In sixthform and have never been employed
Probably a mistake to have pinned hopes on a summer job and some sort of income. It seems there are no jobs.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 12:20, 5 replies)
I might as well be unemployed...
My cunt of an employer has delayed salaries for the last month and now I'm starting to panic that I'm not going to be paid at all.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 11:39, 5 replies)
Workplace boredom
Can lead you to some interesting places. Like here for example, cracked.com, or the dailymash. However, it can also lead you into other worthy areas of research- like new and interesting ways to get yourself a P45. Or just to give your work colleagues a very good giggle.

Such as doing the "my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard" dance. With your moobs.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 11:38, Reply)
Not me but a friend...
and not about unemployment, either, but still work-related.

He worked for NTL, and had just cut service to someone who hadn't paid their bill. "But," whines the chav on the other end of the phone, "what would you do if you didn't have a telly?"

He responds, honestly, that he doesn't and he reads books instead.

The chav complained. He got a written warning.

Apparantly people don't like being told that watching Big Brother isn't a human right.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 11:30, Reply)
Testosterone Rob aka The Terminator
I was sitting in the pub with my mate Testosterone Rob for a Sunday morning opening time pint. Testosterone Rob started badgering me to lend a hand on this project he was working on. At first I told him I wasn't going to be able to help as I was going to be too busy watching television later that afternoon.

Testosterone Rob put his pint down, looked me squarely in the eye, and said:

"Why don't you want to help out, Spanky? I mean, these people need a bit of a lift to get them back on their feet. They just need a boost in confidence, most of um. And what I'm doing will do that. I just need someone to run the line."

I should explain the origins of Testosterone Rob's nickname. He is a fucking full-on mental fucking all-man freak of fucking nature. If there's a mountain, he'll climb it. If there's a cave, he'll shoot down it. If there's an incredibly dangerous new-fangled adventure sport where he could end up with every fucking bone in his body broken, he'll try it out - blindfolded.

Grudgingly, after another pint, I agreed to help out. Sometimes its easier just to give in than put up with a whinging twat that early in the morning - especially if that whinging twat can rip your arms off and feed them to you.

So, later that afternoon I'm down at Finsbury Park. I'm wearing shorts and a t-shirt and shivering against the cold. It was December and the wind was blowing a bastard across the open spaces.

Testosterone Rob is there too, dressed in the latest designer training gear, looking like a complete and utter twat-bag.

And there's also a motley collection of men aged between 18 and 45, kicking a few footballs about and generally looking a bit sheepish. This was Testoterone Rob's latest and greatest project. He was running a Sunday league footie team for the local job group. All these unfortunates were on the dole and currently looking for work.

Rob sidles up to me and enquires if I know the off side rule. I say: "Of course I do, you fuckwit!" And I start warming up, ready to run the line. Over on the otherside of the pitch the opposition are getting ready. They look like primed athletes, all muscular and super-fit. I look back at Rob's lot. They look like flumps on stilts. This is probably going to be a bloodbath.

Rob nods at me: "Good, Spanky - I appreciate you helping me out. And remember; this is about giving these lads some confidence. A bit of fresh air in their lungs, a bit of male bonding, that should help them out no end."

And off he trots to gee up his troops. And off I slouch to run the line. I didn't even know who was going to be the ref, I had a feeling this wasn't going to go well.

Eventually, an old fella with a limp turns up and says he's the ref. The game starts. And after five minutes Rob's team are three-nil down.

I'm running the line just infront of Rob and that's when the shouting started.


A few moments later:


And few more moments later our intrepid boys have let in another goal; its now four-nil.


And it went on like this for the remainder of the game. At halftime Rob refused to talk to his team. He went on a fucking jog instead, his face bright red, a big vein throbbing in his temple.

I went and had a bit of a chat with the fellas. They looked pretty low.

"Its only a game, mate," I said to one of them.

"Yeah, we know that - but try telling the fucking Terminator over there."

Oddly enough, I never helped Testosterone Rob out with his project again.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 11:12, 2 replies)
Not getting the job
A few years ago I went after a job to 'supplement' the family income - read: not enough beer notes coming in from the Common Agricultural Policy Subsidies for the Farmer (the ex). It was as a supervisor in a candle shop in town - just above minimum wage, part-time, no hassle, no dirt, no tractors to tip over and no brain required. Sounded wonderful.

I went for the interview and talked up how since I'd had kids I'd taken a part-time Fine Art degree to keep me sane and to expand my skills and qualifications - I'd been a Primary school teacher before I had children. I asked questions about their displays of candles and about their marketing strategies - this was a supervisor's post after all!

The guy interviewing me was about 22 and looked terrified. At the end of our chat - sadly dominated by me - I think I interviewed him rather than the other way around - he whispered to me...

"Look, it's been really nice having this chat with you, but I can't offer you the job. No way."

I frowned and asked him what the problem was, he replied...

"Erm....I'm sure you're really nice and all that. It's been really nice chatting to you. Really nice."

Yes, I know you've enjoyed it.

Why can't I have the job?

"Look..." he hissed, "You work here and I'll be sacked but thanks for the hints and tips - I've got my review next week"

So I left the shop with mixed feelings - I was pleased he thought I'd have been good at the job - good enough to get his job, but pissed off that I came away with no job.

Three months later the company went bust.

If they'd employed me I'd have saved them.

(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 10:58, 1 reply)
Depression and being unemployed
When I lost my job a while back I got very low, I just couldn't get out of bed in the morning. I started eating crap and put on about three stones in two months. My wife ended up getting me an appointment with the doctors and he put me on prozac. And they worked. They worked too well. I ended up not caring about cash anymore. Whereas previously I would be really careful with my redundancy money, I suddenly didn't seem to give a shit about what I spent my money on. After the end of my third month of unemployment I'd blown all my redundancy on a brand new stero, concert tickets, you name it. I was broke. And then I started using my credit cards.

Now, years later I am in employment but am currently getting constant hassle from the banks who want to know where their money is. I'm ok now, not depressed at all. But if you are unemployed think twice about taking prozac. It might take the edge off and make you feel like you can get up in the morning, but it fucks you up so much in the longrun its really not worth it.

I might be losing my job soon and if I do I won't touch anymore pills to make me feel better. I've learnt the hard way. The best way to keep from getting depressed is to take walks and keep your mind busy. Get a hobby. Do anything except take those damn pills.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 10:42, 5 replies)
Clouds and silver linings
I've been - well, not made redundant, more asked if I'd consider resigning - three times, and each has worked out well (so far, touch wood).

The first time was back in the early 90s, I'd been working in an industry I hated ever since leaving school, decided to go to Uni at the age of 26, in August I came down with a really bad virus, and although I was genuinely ill, I wasn't in a rush to go back to work so kept getting signed off by the doctor.

Anyway, one of the two people I'd confided in at work about my place at Uni managed to blurt out my plans, which resulted in me getting a phone call from my employers saying that there was probably little point coming back and if I sent them a letter of resignation they would pay me three months in lieu of notice.

I recovered pretty well after that and spent the month before Uni inter-railing rather than working in a London office. Result.

And on that inter-rail trip, I made sure I visited both of the cities where I would have the option of spending my year abroad, which meant that when the time came to make the choice in my second year, I knew I was choosing the right one.

Second time was three years after graduating, I'd slipped back into the industry I hated because there were no other jobs around, I was obviously unhappy at work and my boss would disappear down the pub for hours on end leaving me to cover for him. My work was suffering, and the company - nicknamed "Break 'em & Sack 'em" by staff, which rhymes with its actual name - suggested it was time to move on.

(Aside: This was during the World Cup in France in 1998, so I hopped on a plane out there and had a great time - although I wouldn't recommend wearing a kilt in Marseille when the temperature is in the 90s and you're dehydrated from the night before).

As a result, I was forced to make a complete career change which started with a lower-paying position and in terms of the firm I was at quite a menial job, but a couple of job moves later (in the same position) I found an employer who gave me opportunities to advance my career and over the next five years I shot up through the ranks there, almost trebling my salary in the process.

So that was result number two, and after five happy years there - during which time I also met my wife through a work colleague - I took a job away from London in a beautiful city which I absolutely love.

Now, the boss at this new job was an absolute psycho - future QOTW material there - and after a couple of years I was headhunted to a job in Birmingham but didn't want to leave where I was living, so ended up with a two-hour commute each day.

The work was well paid, but it was a high-pressure environment, and with my Mum back in London dying of cancer at the time, I couldn't give it 100%, and when around 18 months ago (and six months after my Mum had passed away) I came in to work one morning and was immediately ushered into a meeting room with the head of personnel and my boss, I knew what was about to happen.

Still, another three months in lieu of notice sweetened the blow, and after making two phone calls - the first to the missus, the second to the place I'd worked for five years, who I still did the odd bit of freelance work for - I spent the day on the piss, thinking that this might not be such a bad turn of events after all.

So, 18 months later, I'm working freelance from home, making decent money, and on days when I'm at a loose end waiting for work to come in I can go on a bike ride in the beautiful countryside round here, or take the dog for a long walk that invariably involves a stop at a pub or two.

At the same time, it has left me with enough free time to start pushing my career in other directions - I am getting paid for spending my Saturdays as a sports reporter and have also started getting photography commissions at decent commercial rates. In the longer term, those are the areas that I would like to concentrate on, which probably wouldn't have happened if I'd still been working in Brum and spending 20 hours a week commuting.

So things are working out for me pretty well so far (again, touch wood) and although I sympathise with people who are made redundant from a job they love doing, or who are unable to find any other work once they have been let go, on each of the three occasions it has happened to me it has got me out of a situation in which I was unhappy but where I'd probably have just kept drifting on and put my life on a new path.

In fact, just writing this has put a lot of things in perspective and given me renewed determination to succeed with what I'm doing right now, so for that, it's a good QOTW from my point of view.

Hopefully others out there can also turn what is after all a nasty, negative experience - I'll always remember how numb, even physically sick, I felt on the last two occasions - into a positive.

Apologies for length and thanks if you've read this far.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 10:24, 1 reply)
I had a job as a document delivery technician
which required a fair bit of travelling, mostly on foot. After a while I stopped delivering said documents and was fired.

Oh well, crappy paper round anyway.

Apart from that, I've been very fortunate in that I have never left a job unless it was of my own accord.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 9:58, 3 replies)
Her Maj
I've been happily employed by HM for 14 years, sadly, over the last year or so, I've become disallusioned by the whole thing - effect on family life etc etc.

Even more sadly, the current climate in the UK means that binning a job that pays well, gives vast amounts of paid holiday and sunny trips overseas (granted, a couple of risks there) is a fairly stupid thing to do. Not only that, the prospect of leaving my warm soft pink world and getting out there frankly terrifies me.

Despite grabbing a slew of qualifications on Her Maj's tab, I still have absolutely no idea what I am actually going to do when I do finally leave. For those out there searching for jobs, all I can say is -


Seriously though, deepest sympathies (to those that want it)
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 5:12, 15 replies)
Pending unemployment
After leaving my decent paying, nice and safe job last year, working for the Police in the UK, selling my car and using all my savings, I moved to New Zealand.
Got a sweet job doing IT Contracting looking towards a permanent post. Had an awesome few months filled with sun, sea, booze, bbqs and girls. Great days and even better nights!
That was until the company meeting the other week... there is a freeze on recruitment, my post will not be made permanent, Fucksocks!

So now with my contract ending shortly i am now desperatly looking for another job (the contractor market here has pretty much dried up) or face the possibility of returning to the UK due to having no more money.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 2:23, 1 reply)
At my last job we lived in constant fear of being P45ed, since it seemed to happen rather a lot to our colleagues, often for no reason other than illness.
I think Miss S. Harrison put it best when she said:

"If I DIED, they'd come and put a P45 in my coffin"
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 0:25, Reply)
Being a young 'un
I'm only 17 and currently taking A-levels, so I really have very little to say, except that I really pity you guys who are struggling right now.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 0:10, 3 replies)
Jobcentre music
In order to help the general public while away the hours as they browsed the job boards, or waited to sign on, Jobcentre offices used to play piped music. They probably still do.

However, being a public sector organisation it had to be by the book and properly licensed, so we got supplied with tapes (yes, tapes - none of this newfangled CD rubbish) with specially sanctioned tracks on.

There were certain tracks that were no goes, however. So as not to upset the customers, you would at no time hear any of the following blaring from the Jobcentre's PA system:

Money's too Tight to Mention by Simply Red (which was a good thing as it's shit anyway).

Money, Money, Money by Abba.

Or Money by Pink Floyd.

Somebody thought it might have upset some people.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 23:53, 4 replies)
On Union Suits:
I graduated last year, and moved to America (well, Canada actually - but it turned out they didn't want me) to check it out. After spending all my savings (not much) I decided to get a job. Nothing fancy, working in a cafe or whatever would do. Surely the whole economic crisis thing hadn't affected the service industry. People still want cake and beer, no?

Such was my thinking.

Two months later and still no job. My flatmate and a friend from just down the road were in the same boat. Misery loves company so we hung out a lot, drinking 40s (the single greatest creation of American culture) and playing video games, as you do.

To fully embrace the experience it was decided that we needed to do this while wearing union suits, so we hunted some down in an army surplus shop. They were $20 apeice, far too expensive for our meagre budgets at the time.

Now we all have jobs and can afford them, but can't justify wearing one as productive members of society. It just wouldn't be right.

I'm waiting for someone to ask me to explain the concept of catch-22 so I can use this as an example.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 23:43, 2 replies)
My friends are unemployed, I had a few days off, so we all went to the park and got pissed. Brilliant.
(, Mon 6 Apr 2009, 22:26, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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