b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Unemployed » Page 9 | Search
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.

Dolescum made good
morning all!

I sepnt 10 years on the dole. It started of intentionally and then i kind of got stuck. Then i got a job and am now earning like a proper capitalist arsebag. Thats the jist of the story but i shall elaborate for anyone avoiding work below, those of you with stuff to do can ignore the rest :)

So. After hating school i left and ended up on the dole. I lived in the lakes so i pretty much did a lot of walking, canoeing, hitchhiking painting and the like. I dont really get bored so the usual dole habits never took, hell, i saw the outdoors almost everyday :D

I learnt loads of tricks for filling time and sorting the dole. one of the best being to move location every 6 months. "just moved here to stay with a freind. I'm trying to find work but i need to network and see what there is" job done, preassure off, money comes in. and i got to see and live in a lot of unusal places (dont ever live in carlisle. Honestly its where the twisted violent village types go when they have been throw out of their twisted violent vilages.)

Anyway, i spent my time getting better at the art marlarky and then, due to actually wanting some money to buy nice things with, i started pushing freelance work. Which by some fluke lead me to work in a R&D lab for new mobile tech. I now however work in a college in an innovation lab and things are looking great. Yayy! there was a point i thought i'd be poor forever and some stressful teary nights but a lot of that was preassure from others. i was pretty happy reading in parks but society thinks i should be taking some lone parents job rather then happily living off thier tax :/

The last time i lost my job i discovered Second Life (no. i am not a sex pest :p ) and gave myself 6 months to investigate if it really was the Metaverse from Neil Stephensons SnowCrash. Running places now (new steampunk pirate city just opened). Wel worth eating up my savings as far as i see it. i dont make a lot but its how i got the job i do now.

Being dolescum is fine as ya do stuff and dont let others idiocy drag you down. Who the hell needs work to make them feel like they matter ffs. Unemploment is the time to finish the webcomic, learn new software, retrain, fuck about, learn to unicycle and the rest not wank and play flash games ya dolts!
(, Wed 8 Apr 2009, 12:13, 1 reply)
gis a job
I'm in the DSS office. I'm sat opposite a DSS clerk, going through the fortnightly rigmarole to get my Giro. I hear a bit of a commotion a couple of desks along - there's a mad old bag lady getting a bit upset at (presumably) not receiving whatever benefit she believes she's entitled to. It's nothing new, this happens fairly often, so I try and conclude my business as quick as possible and get out of there with me Giro. The shouting gets a bit more animated and before anybody can say or do anything, the old crone has hoiked up her skirt, pulled down her keks and taken a huge steaming piss on the carpet in front of the desk. Standing up like a man too.
(, Wed 8 Apr 2009, 11:45, Reply)
I love hearing those words...

I know I'm going to be in for a great night...

My erstwhile girlfriend will say: "Hun, do you wanna do that special thing, you know what I mean..." While she strips off her cloths and lays on the bed, legs spread so wide I can almost see her kidneys.

Oh, shit, YES!!! I know what she means!!!

Moments later I've shed my own cloths faster than a man on fire and I start getting down, supping the furry cup. She strokes my head and whispers: "Do it now, Hun, you know how much it drives me WILD!!!"

And I do.

I reach down to the side of the bed and slip a Trebour Extra Strong in my gob. There's something about lapping at her beef curtains and poking my tonge up her baby chamber while sucking on one of these things that simply DRIVES HER WILD!

So, I'm sucking away at the fiery bit of confectionary in my gob, admiring her wet and pulsing axe wound, and then she'll say those three special words:

"Hun, employ mint..."

And away we go!!!
(, Wed 8 Apr 2009, 11:38, 4 replies)
The Joys of New Deal (warning long and rambling story)
I spent the best part of a year scrounging off the state, mostly due to the fact that having reached the end of my degree I found I didn't actually want to follow it into the work place where long hours, lots of unpaid overtime and high stress levels were common.

Salvation was at hand as a flier landed on my doormat from the very university (or jumped up polytechnic as some people would have called it) that I was currently preparing to leave to face the perils of the real world. Stay on and do a Masters they said, study an exciting topic in a growing field they said, we'll pay all your tuition fees and give you £40 a week to live on they said (it was the last one that swung it for me as that pretty much covered my rent at the time).

Fast forward 1 year and there I stand, new diploma clutched in my sweaty hand ready to face whatever the world could throw at me. (I think perhaps I had somehow grown MORE naive in the previous twelve months having swallowed my lecturers assurances that our field was a growth market and I would have no problems finding gainful employment hook line and sinker).

Rather than head back to my parental abode a flat is found in a rather studenty area of town, (the rent is reasonable but the bathroom is unheated which is a nightmare in the winter) and off I trot to sign on, collect my housing benefit and generally continue enjoying being able to sleep till 2pm and watch dvds all day (I eschewed daytime TV on the grounds that it was hazardous to my health).

I think my first job centre interview ran along the lines of "So you have a degree and a masters, you're far more qualified than most of the people we get you in here, we'll put you down as looking for admin jobs" Why they thought I wanted to do paper shuffling when both my degrees had been in computer related subjects I never figured out but i thought heigh ho anything with a pay-cheque is a start, so after promising faithfully to check the newspaper job sections every week off I toddled happy that I could now afford to eat again even if it was Morrisons value beans on toast.

6 months in and having had no luck finding work in my chosen field and a few dozen companies evidently looking at my CV and thinking blimey we cant employ him he'll either a) decide he can do better elsewhere and quit or b) take our jobs and filed my CV safely in the rubbish where it couldnt scare them (I tell myself this so as not to get depressed that I am apparently completely unsuitable for photocopying jobs).

Then the rumblings started, dark looks about how I wasnt getting work despite being offered the finest data entry jobs the JobCenter could provide. (I did get one interview but despite my thinking it went ok evidently did so badly that when a second job with the same company doing the same work came up they didnt even bother to respond to my application). Enough was enough they declared, you're obviously doing this wrong doing this wrong, I hereby sentence you to sit for 2 weeks in a classroom full of chavs and listen to somebody alternately pretend to be your best mate and talk down to you as if you were a 4 year old with learning difficulties, there you will be made to eat stale sandwhiches and you will learn how to contruct a CV and write a covering letter.

The first day of my sojourn in hell dawns and wearily I trudge through the streets to the office where I was to spend the next 2 weeks. I find a spot on the desk with the people who least look like they would stab me then drink white lightning while sitting on my slowly cooling corpse and rifling through my pockets.

In bursts the first of our two tutors, he's everything i was dreading, loud, chummy and determined to make our time here as enjoyable as possible (we looked at him with contempt), in shuffles the second tutor, quiet, grumpy and bored with life (he was to disappear by the start of the second week with rumours floating around saying he slept with either the bosses wife or one of the pikey girls from one of the other classrooms nobody ever got to the bottom as to which if either were true)

We soon settled down and they quickly got on with insulting our intelligence (well those of us that had intelligence) by handing out literacy and numeracy tests that would have embarassed a 7 year old child if they got the answers wrong.

The rest of the course passed slowly being based mostly around group based discussions of the type "what are good/bad things to do in an interview? discuss then make a poster" "make up a job description then make a poster" "list the good and bad things about being employed and make a poster" all that colouring in took me straight back to GCSE geography class.

I have only 2 good things to say about that course, the first being that because all the people with some modicum of intelect clustered together for safety we absolutely slaughtered the other teams in the daily quiz, and the second because of all the hard work put in (I suspect largely by my group again) in actually trying to find work we won the most sucessful class competition and got treated to a free breakfast of crumpets, croissants and pastries on the last day of the course.

The reccurring theme of these posts seems to be don't expect the job centre to find you work and mine is no different, approximately 2 weeks before i was due to start this course i responded to an ad in the local paper for the public sector company i currently work for with an interview slated slap bang in the middle of my 2 week new deal course (do you have any idea how much a target, not to mention a prick, you feel sitting in a nice clean suit and tie while everybody around you in wearing tracksuits and gold earings large enough for a parrot to use as a swing?)

Despite being incredably nervous and stammering my way through the interview then assuming i'd shot myself in the foot by arguing with the questions they set for the practical test I made it through the day relatively unscathed although i did need to sit down for a while after some malicious prankster had apparently swapped out my shins without looking and replaced them with quick set jelly. As I was leaving I was told if you dont hear from us in 6 weeks you havent got the job. 6 weeks came and went not a peep from my prospective employers, 7, 8 I was just about resigning myself to having exausted every avenue of doing the job I was actually quite interested in when a letter landed with a thump on the mat informing me that I would start in 2 months time.

Hooray, hope was in sight, I marched down to the JobCentre with a new spring in my step, even the cluster of stripey topped malcontents lurking outside the doorway and attempting to immitate the cooling tower of a nuclear power plant didnt dampen my spirits.

My JobCentre handler (makes them sound like the CIA doesnt it) gave me a hearty congratulations then dropped a bombshell onto my carefully constructed facade of cherryness that I wouldn't have to keep coming back and signing on. "I'm sorry Banjax but you're going to have to keep looking for jobs if you want to keep claiming your benefits up to your start date (the logic behind this stil escapes me), infact because your startdate is going to be more than 12 weeks after your last new deal course we're going to have to enroll you on another course where you can learn some skills that will make you more employable (WTF? I was already practically employed) you start in a month in an area of the city that would have been the armpit if the armpit hadnt complained.

With a heavy heart (and light kidneys) I start making the daily commute to my new place of education where I'm to learn everything you need to know about being a computer technician in 13 weeks (the fact that I was only going to be there for 4 seemed to pass them by).

I walk in and start being introduced around by the leader of the course, "Banjax this is Steve, Stephen, Steven and another Steven (yes 4 out of the 7 people on the course (including myself) were called Steve (a 5th was to join us halfway through my last week there).

"So Banjax do you know anything about building computers?"
"Yes I've built my own computers for the last 4 years"
"Right well umm, there are a load of spare parts in the back room there, just rig yourself up a test machine so you can get to work"

I was to spend the majority of my time there being given tasks that I could finish in 5-10 minutes but would take the rest of the people on the course an hour minimum so I spent a lot of time browsing the internet (sadly at that point i had never heard of b3ta or i might have actually enjoyed my time there). Eventually I was paired up with another student there in the hopes that I might be able to get through to him and actually get him to do some work rather than just sitting at a computer talking on yahoo messenger all day.

There was something about M as I shall call him that was just not quite right, possibly it was the fact that you had to practically yell to get his attention or possibly it was the fact that throughout the course his personal history included being a liutenant in the US army, having just come out from jail for overpowering 3 men who broke into his home and raped his wife by grapping a knife and cutting the dick off one of them then slicing open the shoulder of a second, all the while holding a crying baby, and that he was currently engaged to the daughter of a russian oil magnate who he had met over the internet.

My last day there was filled with a heady air of relief (and more than a little second hand smoke) as I worked out my shift explaining how to install windows to M for the third time that week and I walked out of the classroom sure in the knowledge that I was walking into a secure job with a good pension (should I stick it out for the next 40 years).

Now all I have to do is make sure i stay here and dont get fired for gross incompetance or wasting time by reading b3ta all day...crap
(, Wed 8 Apr 2009, 11:24, Reply)
Unemployed ? you decide.
I'm not working at the moment as I'm my partners full time carer. So I kind of live the unemployed lifestle, no job, sleeping odd hours, the boredom, i'm too old to play Videogames so tend to spend a lot of time on T'intenet. But I also work some very anti social hours, Getting up at 3am to help Parther, I'm cheif cook and bottlewasher, my cooking skills have improved from being a singleton and survicing on Boil in the Bag, to cooking for a family of 5, 1 of which is a vegitarian. My skills base has improved considerably, apparrelty I have a talent for hairdressing, as I do my Misssus hair couloring and straightening. I'm a dab hand with the washing machine, mop and duster, and for this I get £53 a week.
I'm skinter than when I worked, But I wouldn't change it.
Only downside is I can't go to college and improve my skills base because i'm a full time Career.
(, Wed 8 Apr 2009, 10:56, 1 reply)
I got sacked as a paper boy when i was 13
for taking a piss in some bushes.
(, Wed 8 Apr 2009, 10:47, 2 replies)
Well maybe. But the way I saw it, if i had the bottle, then bring it on.

After I had left my 2 years at college and was careering headlong into another 2 years at Uni, i decided to sign on.

Because i was married and had a kid, they paid ALL our rent and i got a half decent giro every fortnight, maybe about £220 or so if my memory serves me correctly.

And they paid the council tax.

So when it came time to start Uni and sign off, i only managed to do the former. And every fortnight would skip a crappy lecture in order that i could present myself to the Burroo, as it is called up here in Scatland. Pretend to be looking for work and being very earnest about it as well.

The trick to a reasonably hassle free interview every fortnight was to be very specific about what kind of work you were after at the initial interview. I wanted to be a photographer, or a web designer, and not much else.

So every fortnight the gimp would make a cursory check of the jobs i wanted but where definitely not going to be available. Woo.

This merry go round of lies and deceit continued unthwarted for nearly 2 years. This was well before they introduced New Deal, so i was pretty much safe, living the life of an unemployed dole mole.

During this time i also managed to convince the University Access Fund to pay me several thousand pounds in free hand outs. The trick with that one was to bring my rather beautiful 3 year old boy with me to the assessment interview, and clear my bank account out till it was ball deep in overdraft. The female interviewer barely glanced at my file and instead coochy coo'd at my young son before resolutely writing a cheque for the maximum hand out available.

All the while the giro's are coming in and we are paying no rent. I had no debt to speak of and was cruising at Uni. Times were good.

It was also about this time that i discovered a love of expensive Belgian beers. My current finacial situation allowed me to indulge this past time to the absolute max.

Although signing on can be, and usually is, a very horrific experience, of which had had years of ground down experience, i used to arrive at the Job Centre with a spring in my step and a glint in my eye. There were lots of hairy moments though, when circumstances changed and other forms had to be filled in. But the fact that the organisation as a whole seemed to operate outside the sphere of all other organisations...eg Student Loans, Student Grants, even the tax office, as my wife was working at the same time i was claiming for her, I felt I was riding the crest of a fraudulent wave, the stupid twats. if i had been caught, i would have had to repay all i had claimed and had my name in the paper. I had weighed up the risks and decided they were so inept that i would get away with it.

A few weeks before i finished uni, i got the fear and decided enough was enough. So i signed off to the jubilation of all present and walked out for the last time.

The only downside was a reasonably impressive beer gut that i still proudly own, nearly 12 years on.

Now, i have been gainfully employed ever since and now have a misery inducing amount of debt. So it was a very fortunate period were signing on equalled happy days..
(, Wed 8 Apr 2009, 9:57, 16 replies)
Unemployment top tip - hopefully
The biggest worry most of us unemployed people have is paying the mortgage, if one has one. I could never get the payment protection stuff as I'm self-employed. Anyway.

Ring up your company and change it to interest only. They'll do it straight away, no questions asked, regardless if you are on fixed rate or variable.

Did this yesterday and it should save me more than £300 / month.
(, Wed 8 Apr 2009, 9:38, 6 replies)
Unemployment and b3ta-time
As many of you know, when I first started becoming one of the QOTW regulars, I was unemployed. This meant I had plenty of time for writing posts. Back then, I was making it into the "QOTW best-of page" about once every two or three weeks.

Then, about 6 months ago, I returned to full-time employment. This was at a workplace where not only did I have no Internet at my desk, but it meant that even if I did, I'd have hardly any time for b3ta, and since I started (during "Spoiled Brats week"), I've only made it to the "Best of" once.

As for my thoughts on unemployment itself, I don't have time to write a full post this week, so instead, here's a link to one of my earlier posts that's relevant.
(, Wed 8 Apr 2009, 9:35, Reply)
Ready? Meals!
As we're learning this week, there are so many negative aspects of unemployment. It's actually been quite humbling to read many of the posts, and there seems to be more gloom about than during the 'Credit Crunch' question.

However, I wanted to pass on the most beneficial thing I got out of a recent stint of unemployment: a love of cooking.

During the affluent years leading up to losing my job, I'd slipped into eating ready meals and pre-prepared foods, such as sandwiches and pizzas. I'd become lazy in the kitchen and went for a long period of time without using anything other than the microwave and oven.

When I lost my job, I signed-on immediately. When I got my first JSA cheque, I went shopping for the fortnight and quickly ran out of money. My usual nonchalance at the tills turned to horror as I realised there was no way I could afford to eat my usual stream of bung-it-in-the-microwave luxury.

So I did what any sensible man in need would do. I turned to the font of all knowledge, the oracle, the one person who'd know what to do in time of crisis.

I went to see my mum.

She wasn't initially that helpful. She related the time the family had struggled to feed itself during the last recession, when Thatcher's government pushed interest rates through the roof and most had trouble paying their mortgage blah blah blah... Anyway mum, about my problem?

'Oh yes. Back in a mo.'

She nipped out of the room and returned with two big hardback tomes, their dust-covers crusted with all manner of dried sauces and marinades.

She gave me the first two books in Delia Smith's How To Cook series, and I must remember to thank her for sending me on the most exciting culinary journey I've ever had.

Buying ingredients and cooking from scratch is often touted as a false economy, but I don't see it that way at all. I buy ingredients, cook them up and have a number of servings to pack up and store in the fridge or freezer.

I now cook soups, risottos, curries, stews, breads, pizzas, pastas, pies, cakes, biscuits, roasts, stir-frys, salads, sauces and salsas, and a multitude of other dishes I would never have dreamed of cooking for myself.

The whole process of cooking from scratch has given me so much pleasure. I regularly find myself bouncing around the kitchen on tasting my concoctions, and feel very pleased with myself that I've managed to provide, for example, eight meals for three quid - leek, chili and potato soup last night... awesome!

So thanks mum, and thanks Delia. Your encouragement and insight has given my cooking a new lease of life, and a considerably more frugal attitude to food shopping. I wouldn't have done it without you.

Now, if only I could find someone to cook for...
(, Wed 8 Apr 2009, 8:58, 36 replies)
I have no story. I have been unemployed for a total of 7 days (Im now 39). More through luck than judgement.
(, Wed 8 Apr 2009, 7:54, Reply)
I am lucky
in that I already have a job. However, this being the NHS, any time you want to transfer (even between 2 jobs of the same skill) you have to apply. Then be shortlisted. Then called to interview.

I had an interview for a job on Monday that was actually lower skilled than the one I am currently doing. I got a phonecall yesterday telling me "oh sorry, we gave it to the other guy. You both did brilliantly in interview, but we felt he wanted it more."

Wanted it more?

Sweet St Shannon of Matthews.

How much fucking more did they want me to show? I never realised expert fellating of the interviewer was what was required to get the job. Maybe I had to cut off a little finger, Yakuza stylee, to prove my dedication. "Excuse me Carrot, see that bath of hydrochloric acid? Please hold your face in it for 3 minutes. That will show how much you want the job."

(, Wed 8 Apr 2009, 7:27, 5 replies)
Christ. This is hard.
I've been with the company I work for 2 years - approximately 3 years LESS than anyone else that works (worked) there.
When I started, there were 10 of us, now we're down to 3.
The owner of the company (my direct supervisor from the start - I am his "executive assistant") has figured out that I have the skillsets of EVERYONE in the office, and has laid the other 7 people off over the last year. Yes, we need to do this to keep the company afloat, but I feel absolutely fucking awful for the staff we have laid off.

Don't get me wrong - I'm incredibly grateful that I have the skillsets I have (which basically amounts to 17 years admin experience, plus a bit of everything else, currently working in the mobile tech industry and have the ability to pick up what the customers need to know).

But, I spend most nights on the computer working away - this could be updating our eBay store, invoicing what I didn't get around to during business hours, updating the company website, whoring us out to industry forums.
If I'm not at home, I have my laptop everywhere and the only exception I make to that rule is if I'm out at dinner, a concert or a ballgame (i.e. somewhere I can't take it), and in those instances I have my PDA so I can at least answer emails.

I think my point of this post is what I said above - trying to keep the company afloat - so that when things do get better, we can employ you, you and you.

The downside is, small businesses have to let go good employees, the upside is, people like me need your help (and if you live in Southern California, send me your resume/CV!!!). There are companies out there that could manage to take on a part time person, cash in hand.

I wish all of you who are currently unemployed good luck. I really do. I hope this post doesn't come across as bragging, because it's really not meant to. I just wanted to give a view on things from a "small business owner" (although I don't own the place, I do everything required to run it).
(, Wed 8 Apr 2009, 6:47, 1 reply)
I'll have to stop reading now
Reading these posts, looking for the upside and reading about so much doom and gloom, has left me feeling very despondent.
I just got made redundant on Monday after returning to work after my honeymoon. My hopes, dreams and plans for the future have now been put on hold indefinitely. I have a small payout that will keep me going for about a month but with unemployment at an all-time high and job vacancies at an all-time low I hold little hope that I'll find something soon. My husband is self employed and earns enough to keep us going but on his sole wage we can't start a family or buy a new house like we'd planned. I know we'll get by, for now, but with the economic climate as it is, who knows if his business will survive.

Procrastinating by reading this QOTW is a Very Bad Idea. This is why I have to stop reading now, I'm getting more and more worried and depressed and my resolve to get back to work ASAP is slowly slipping away.

I'm off to find more work before I become dole-bludging scum...

See you in next week's question.
(, Wed 8 Apr 2009, 5:29, 1 reply)

The hours are great!


The pay is shit!
(, Wed 8 Apr 2009, 3:30, Reply)
How Timely
What a cunning plan: Olympics For The Unemployed


"Registration was taken at the "Unemployment Office" for the Unemployment Olympics, which took place in Tompkins Square Park on Tuesday. The event was organized by Nick Goddard, a 26-year-old unemployed computer programmer who hatched the idea because he yearned for the chance to "battle all the unemployed people for stuff."
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 22:38, 1 reply)
Eight Months of Hell
I discovered the heady joys of unemployment straight out of university. Not because I'd done a degree designed to do bugger all (Hi, Art History graduates!). Oh, no. I'd got a 2:1 joint honors degree in computer science and mathematics. For much of my time at university, people had said "You'll have no trouble getting a job."

Unfortunately, I graduated in summer 2003. Everyone who lost their job after the dotcom bubble burst crowded the job market, with their experience that's worth more than any qualification.

Before then, I'd had no experience of unemployment. After all, I'd worked two jobs to fund university.* My courseload had been heavy enough that working a job would have meant settling for a third. I only had time for two of socializing, degree work, and job, after all. My liver and lungs won't thank me, but what else is new?

So I graduated, moved back in with my parents (due to being at the rock bottom of my overdraft and having no mates' sofas I could crash on) and signed on. The job centre staff were all very understanding. My handler was great. I showed him that I'd been applying for jobs and he told me tales of when he'd done the same right after graduating. Probably lying to make me feel better, but I appreciated it all the same.

That was mid-June. I had a simple routine: wake up around eleven, wank, check livejournal and forums, wank, play some sort of video game, wank, do chores, wank, greet parents, drink tea, eat, check job sites and work on CV/covering letter, have a crafty fag once parents have gone to bed,** wank, get really quite depressed, sleep.

On average, I think I found one job a day at the start, but by the end of the first month I was down to checking once a week and not seeing anything for weeks on end. I got two interviews over the summer. One was for a large charity for a helldesk position, which they turned me down for because I'd had experience in a more advanced field,*** and the other was a small business ISP, a family-run type thing, who scrapped the position due to lack of funds and folded four months later.

Come September, my mum had a serious operation. In the "fifteen weeks off work to recover" level. This cut in on my wanking time, but I finally discovered the "joys" of daytime television. I did what I could to make her life easier, and tried to apply for jobs but by that point my depression was so deep I pretty much gave up on graduate positions. My dreams of twenty grand a year were far off, and sixteen was my new goal: enough that I stood a chance of getting a job and paying rent so I could move out. Then fourteen, so I'd have some cash I could save while living at home. Then anything.

Needless to say hearing friends going on about their ace new jobs earning 20-25K sent me spiralling further down.

By chance, I ended up supply teaching for an agency. All you needed was a degree--any degree--and you could be a supply teacher due to the chronic lack of said. A hundred quid a day when I was paying a hundred-ten in board (and on £40 a week as I was living at home)? Fuck yeah. I soon discovered the downsides: I got maybe one day every two weeks, and they were in the worst schools in the most deprived areas. Showing up at the first place, expecting some actual help and support, I got told "You've got a full day. If the cunts don't riot, you're golden." One day every couple of weeks was about all I could manage. On the other hand, that freed up more money for booze. And the agency christmas party was truly epic. I'd never had a four-day hangover before.

I got three interviews in December. One to be the web programmer for a local design house. Just what I wanted to do, what I had some experience doing (I didn't just herd servers in Germany, I'd done my share of PHP and Perl). I wanted that job. I *needed* that job. I poured my all into the interview, did all my research, aced the technical demo and shined in the final interview. It was between me and one other bloke. In the end, they tossed a coin, and I lost.

The second one was to be a lab technician at the local high school. Twelve grand pro-rata for twenty hours a week. Fuck the degree, fuck what I wanted to do, I was getting interest based on A-Level physics, grade D. I seriously considered moving my degree into the "Hobbies" section of my CV at that point. Humiliated at how I'd obviously wasted four years of my life, I went for the interview. I obviously couldn't give a shit, and I was offered the job two weeks later.

The final interview was for a... sub-prime loan agency that's currently in administration with pretty much all the staff made redundant as the company's fucking clueless. Software testing. I asked in the interview what the chances were for promotion to developing, maybe wrtiting code or just an internal transfer based on core skills. I was told they were good. They wanted someone with A-level IT, I had a degree, but I was "enthusiastic" pronounced "desparate". Fourteen thou full time. I got the offer on the same day as the lab tech job, and snapped it up. Which was a mistake, but that's another QOTW.

I don't have any funny stories about being unemployed. Between my mates from uni with their cars and their girlfriends calling me a layabout pikey cunt, between suited folks who treat you like a timewaster for daring to have experience--or ignoring that which you have, between pure random chance costing me a job I would happily have killed for, between family trying to be supportive and destroying any sense of self-worth...

I spent eight months feeling lower than a tapeworm. I blame those eight months for sending me into a depressive spiral that I only emerged from four years' later and that nearly destroyed me.

* Well, that's what I told my parents. Actually, it was so I could drink and smoke and spend vast amounts on books. Twelve years later and I'm a professional writer, so it paid off!
** My mum's one of those people who couldn't bear the thought of any child of hers smoking and to this day I won't ever tell her that I did. My dad, once I lied that I'd picked it up in Germany and only spent my own money on it, didn't mind, but he joined in with the silence.
*** My degree included a year working, which I spent propping up the network and users at a large German defense contractor when not pissed. Since that was more than just answering a phone and reading a script, they didn't want me.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 22:12, 2 replies)
Oh dear...
My boyfriend and his friend are both on the dole. They've been placed on one of those Job Skill courses at a place called Best (Best by name but not by nature). The ironic thing is that his friend used to teach at Best until they made him redundant. Now he's on the same course he used to teach.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 22:10, Reply)
good book
There's a really good book about unemployment.

Check out The Giro Playboy. It's cool.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 21:52, Reply)
Ups and downs..

* I can sleep in
* I have gotten much better at my GTA games
* I've taken up yogalates and lost almost a stone AND dropped a dress size (FINALLY - was getting a bit lardy - too many pizzas!)
* It gives me a chance to catch up on my dvd watching
* I'm learning myself a bit of photoshop


* I'm bored
* I'm constantly drooling over the DSLR Camera that I badly want but can't afford
* Unemployment levels just keep on rising as they are so fond of telling me
* The woman who signs me on each fortnight is seriously up herself and appears to think I'm taking the paltry benefit I receive directly from her bank account
* I am skint and I hate it

Ok the negatives outweigh the positives.. but I'm still (kind of) smiling at the moment...!

Anyone want to take up the job of being my rich husband?
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 21:35, 2 replies)
Bad Bear Blues
Myself and my friend had just finished university. I'd just finished a *shudder* media degree, he'd just finished business.

He'd always been, well a little bit more succesful than I had.

He applied to a high flying job with one of the largest (at the time)investment bank's in the world: Bear Stearns.

I applied for a job with The Bear Factory.

He got the job with Bear Stearns. I did not get a job with The Bear Factory.

I remained unemployed for some time.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 19:20, 2 replies)
Another tale of annoyance
I am in awe at the ineptitude of my local dole office. Last year, we found oout my wife was up the duff for the second time, and I found out that statutory paternity leave is utter fucking shite, and I wanted to spend more than two weeks at home being paid shit all to help out with the new family member.

So we decided it was about time we got some savings together. I quit my job and took on a six month contract down in our nation's glorious capital for a daily rate that would allow us to put enough cash away so that when the time came, we could support ourselves for a little while without me having to work and free up time to enjoy with my newborn.

So I commuted to London every week from Wales, leaving my poor wife at home getting bigger and bigger with each month. Baby due in February, but the credit crunch hit and I was let go in the middle of January. So I called the dole office and explained my situation, I had a new job confirmed to start in June and enough cash in savings to pay the mortgage and a few bills until then. The folks on the phone tell me that I'm definately elligible for income support and after 45 minutes of tedious questions where I had to explain 3 times that I am not a foreigner nor am I on parole and the rest of the bullshit that I'm sure we've all been humiliated by when applying for a little state help.

That was on 16th January.

They sent me forms to fill in, which they lost. They sent them again, and lost them again when I returned them so I went in and filled them in at a desk and watched as they placed said forms in an envelope to be sent to Wrexham for completion of the claim.

Wrexham sent more forms which I filled in and sent back. They lost those forms. So I had them send out another set which I filled in and insisted on watching them be faxed to offices in Wrexham. The fax was lost. Only when I sent the forms by post, and paid for the postage myself, instead of using their postage paid envelope did they get there, and their emergency 24 hour decision finally came through about a week later and we got our money the following tuesday.

That was last tuesday.

I have had to get a job to see us through as the money ran out a while back, thereby rendering the whole shitty 6 months of commuting to London leaving my pregnant wife to deal with our very rambunctious 3 year old completely pointless.

Okay, maybe not completely pointless, I got a little time off, but I didn't get the stress free, chilled out 3 months of family time I had planned and budgeted for.

Why is it so hard for them to sort out a bit of temporary help for someone who has always worked, paid tax and national insurance for years and just wants to take a brief hiatus to spend some family time when all the genuine dole scammers and wasters seem to get money handed to them without fault?

(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 17:15, 7 replies)
Dutch pancake
My mate Vanny is Dutch by birth but his family moved to NZ when he was just a toddler. However he still holds a Dutch passport and as a citizen is eligible live and claim benefits there.
A few ears ago after a relationship breakup he decided it was time to go and see a bit of the world and his first stop was the old country.
Vanny decided that a bit of extra cash would help with his sightseeing of tulips and windmills as well as providing him with a new pair of clogs. As opposed to going to all night dance parties and indulging in substances illicit in most other parts of the world.

By trade Vanny is a mechanic , in fact he was workshop supervisor before he left.
In Holland they have quite an efficent job center , when you register they take your details and match you to all the avalible jobs on the computer. (this was back in the late 1980s so very impressive then). If anything suitable comes in you are contacted straight away to arrange an interview.

However Vanny realised that as a mechanic he had a fair chance of landing a job immediatly . This would severly cut into his Heiniken drinking sorry canal appreciation time. So when in the central Amsterdam equivalant of the Jobcenter and asked his occupation he replied..........

"High country shepard . You know looking after sheep over 3500 feet above the snow line in the mountains."

Rarther oddly there were no vacancies for a high country shepard in the greater Amsterdam area. Despite this Vanny still recieved his job seekers allowance .
As it turned out he got a nice job in a Porsche dealership about a month later once the hallucogenics wore off.

Although his time living in Holland did come back to haunt him when he got arrested on drug importation charges (aquitted)but thats another story.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 15:19, 2 replies)
Note: Not a funny answer.
I've only had one brief spell of unemployment between leaving 6th form, realising university wasn't for me and beginning 'real work'.

I had to sign on in an amazing little town in the North-East, amazing for drug addled nu-monkey raves and brain dead etiquette.

I expected to be treated like crap at the Job Centre, I mean half the people there I knew from my old school and I wouldn't have given them the time of day if it was my choice. Not because I feel I'm socially better then them, but because they have attempted rape convictions and have assaulted some of my good friends.

The first woman who took me through the intial process was pleasent and helpful, although a bit patronising either because she wasn't sure what she was talking about or because she found it easier talking like a four year old instead of using a vocabulary which people wouldn't understand.

Then after that I got put on to an 'old school' draconian member of staff, this guy made me feel like I was back starting Comprehensive school again and enjoyed talking down to me, he passed over that all important little homework book and sent me on my way for the week.

My next appointment got changed at short notice and very few busses run between our villages so I turned up 20mins late after running most of the distance, I handed across the book filled with 3 pages of detailed employment hunting, also an up to date CV and an idea of what jobs I wanted to search for.

He looked at me, looked at the booklet and I'm sure that was the first time he had warmed to an 18 year old school leaver since he started there. He talked civily to men helped me all he could and commented on the abysmal organisation of the whole place.

Thats when I realised that they were actually normal people who had simply had their souls destroyed by people who didn't give a toss about finding work. So please next time you're in that situation don't treat them like a disease ridden mong just because you don't like the situation you're in.

The organisation is crap, their communication is non-existant and the jobs they had available ranged from cleaner to 'hygiene technician', but atleast some of the staff there can retain humanity.
(, Tue 7 Apr 2009, 14:57, Reply)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1