Outtamawae

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The youth of today. Perfect in every measure, in the eyes of their parents. Educated to the max and ne’er a want to be denied. Bliss.

 

The same could, no doubt, be said of the youth of my day. We were educated often beyond that which our parents had been. Needs met, fed’ and watered. Entertained for free by television and the infant home computing industry. But today’s youth have one subtle difference. They are afflicted with narcissism, an affliction which, had my studies in media been allowed to continue, could probably be attributed to social media.

 

It seems to me, as I walk about the educational establishment where I work, that the youth of today have this ability, or belief, that as long as they do not acknowledge your existence you do not exist and therefore their lives can continue unhindered by such inconveniences.

 

I should elaborate. I have noticed a phenomenon during my travels around the corridors, where youths sit, legs out stretched, oblivious to anyone else’s existence. It’s as if they believe that if they don’t acknowledge or notice you, you will simply pass through their legs with your trolley and life will continue to allow them to remain as they were undisturbed. Indeed, such is not limited to youths sat legs outstretched. Nay, for it has also been noticed that the youth of today also behave this way when they themselves are walking through the corridors too. They should not make way for you unless they acknowledge you, rather than by denying your existence you should pass straight through them ethereally else step aside yourself for their majesty and self importance out weighs any stature or presence you may hold yourself.

 

This does not just apply to lowly trolley pushing IT technicians, this also applies to members of teaching staff, other students and even disabled people in wheelchairs. Moreover, the same tactic is used by the youth crossing roads. As long as the car is not seen, it does not exist and will either stop or pass through you like a dose of senna. This only adds to the woe for future generations.

 

However, take comfort. For although will you cease to exist in your old age unless acknowledged by others, you can be sure of a perfect haircut, outstanding beauty treatment, stunning photography and advice on the holiday of your dreams. For, it seems, the most popular courses remain photography, art, music, tourism and beauty treatment.

 

Those that know me will probably recall a similar cry of woe from me when I worked in a Yorkshire sixth form college. There the most popular courses were tourism, media and photography. I recall feeling horrified at the realisation that instead of the doctors, nurses and care workers to look after me in my frailty; instead of the pharmacists, accountants and legal people to ensure my health, wealth and freedoms, today’s youth were going to flood the employment market with out of work photographers, beauticians and air hostesses. No engineers to fix the bridges and roads and no mathematicians to count the stars. Just beautiful hair styles, perfectly designed web pages and well performed music.

 

Still, it will take my mind off the disgruntled Polish male nurse force feeding me puréed parsnips in between commode visits eh?

Fingz I dun two day

This morning I was overjoyed at the prospect that I wouldn’t have to navigate to Rugby having been told on Friday that I should go to LemSpa. On arrival at the Leamington Spa campus I was greeted not by smiles but by glowers and “What the fuck are you doing here? You’re supposed to be in Rugby” said in the tone of “Are you a fucking idiot?” to which I replied “I was told to come here today” in the tone of “If you’re fucking me about I will stab you in the eyes and suck out your liver through your nose”. The resulting response of “You’ll have to go to Rugby” said in the tone of “Not only am I a fuckwit manager but my manager is a bigger fuckwit” received a “You’re fucking joking” (exclaimed in the style of someone not amused in the slightest) which in turn received a “No I’m not” in the tone of someone telling you you’re favourite cat has died in an accident with a blender in a microwave.

So it was Rugby this morning. I said “If I wasn’t so hard up I might be mildly amused” with a look of “Piss me about again and I will eat your children using your legs and arms as cutlery” to the big boss.

Typically in education there are far too many managers. Not only do I have a boss, but I also have a small boss, a big boss and a gargantuan boss all doing their best to ensure that every member of staff is micromanaged to ensure that their jobs are seen as valid. 2 months and counting….

Moreover, today was a case of arse wiping, putting up with teachers who seriously should know better and counting things. Mostly computers. For example:

Gnomepants, Go to room 112 and count how many computers there are, small boss

So I went and counted.

Small boss, There are 19 computers in room 112, Gnomepants

Five minutes passed

Gnomepants, go to rooom 113 and count how many computers there are, Small boss

this carried on for most of the day. Walking to the far reaches of the college to count computers which, I realised, small boss could quite easily have looked up on the asset database herself.

By 2pm I replied

FUCK OFF

My finger hovered over the send button. Unfortunately I slipped and clicked on the delete button instead. FML

Two months to go….

Stupid

*Her *- I have all these weird emails in my inbox. I think I might be
infected. There’s about 50 of them. I daren’t open them
*Me* – Ok I’ll come and investigate
*One long walk to the other end of the college later
**Her *- Look!
*Me *- *Observing large collection of emails in Inbox* Ok, I’ll just open
one to see what it is. Cover your eyes incase it is obscene.
*Her* – *Covering eyes* What are they?
*Me* – *Reading *They appear to be pictures….of documents…”Guidance
notes for Psychology students”
*Her* – Oh that’s all the pages I asked reprographics to email me yesterday.
*Me* – You spaz.

A levels? Arse levels

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A Levels were hard in 1992 When I left compulsory education back in 1992 A levels were hard. I’m sure they are still hard but back in the day, they were hard. If more than 20 people at your school got A grade A level results fingers would have been pointed and investigations into cheating conducted.

At that time we were told about the various career options open to us. Either you stayed on after GCSE and did A levels with a view to getting a job afterwards or moving on to university. Or you left school, did an apprenticeship if you could find one or joined the armed forces. Because I was bright I was told that my future lay beyond university and that I should focus on what I wanted to do.

Difficulty was, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. To some extent I still don’t know what I want to do. So it frequently amuses me how it is universally accepted that 16-19 year olds should some how decide what career they want to pursue and make life changing decisions.

Rather be a customs officer than a lumberjack I left school with basic job search skills. I had several ideas what I wanted to do, mostly become a customs officer, but the careers department at school wasn’t all that clued up on careers that didn’t involve a pack of Happy Family cards. All well and good if you considered the police, the ambulance service, being a butcher or baker or an estate agent. However, woe betide any pupil set on a non-typical career such as Customs Officer.

It should be remembered that the Internet in those days was basic if not non-existent. There was no vast careers database available to people at home. You would have to attend at careers service offices who would shrug and tell you that there was no work and that you might as well give up and just sign on until something comes along you fancy.

My career in law began and ended here Over the years that followed, so did my career choice. Customs seemed like a nigh impossible career to break into, few vacancy adverts were placed in the local press and by 1995 my appetite for a career in Law had started to develop.
With a few months of experience in a law office I was convinced, mostly by the assurances of the adults around me, that getting an entry level job in a legal firm would be a breeze. Home printers were few and far between in those days. So all applications would have to be hand written and all vacancies sourced through either the job centre or through the local press.

Bored of life on the dole and constant rejection letters (yes, in those days companies replied to you even if it was just with a “no thanks”) I attempted to make the move into a career in law by enrolling on the only suitable course I could find in the area. That being an ILEX course based at Southport college, more than 20 miles away from my home.

Southport College It ran one day a week. Every Thursday I would travel the distance on the train and return on the last night train to leave Southport. This I did until a month from the end of the course the Job Centre told me that they would not fund the following year and besides that they had an interview for me to attend, failure to attend said interview would result in cessation of benefits.

I attended, got the job and stayed in the post for about three and a half years.
Unfortunately, it was not what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted a career in Law. “Fear not” I was told “It’ll give you relevant experience”. Desperate to escape the daily humdrum of no hope of promotion and dead end job, I bailed at the first opportunity. Following the advice that it was best to remain in employment than to leave and look again.
That was a stupid thing to do.

ICT Hell The next 10 years involved working in ICT. I never wanted to be a computer technician. Fuck, I’ve never met anyone who works in ICT that set out to work in ICT. In those days, jobs in IT were easy to get into because few people had the qualifications or experience. Thing was, every day I spent in ICT meant that I was limiting my future prospects to that of ICT related careers. Recruitment agencies would only offer call centre work. Applications for career changes would go without response. Those that did said “No relevant experience” or “Insufficient qualifications”.

Aware that the job market was flooding with graduates with far less work experience than myself I plunged into a Journalism degree on the advice of a career consultant. I now find myself struggling to compete in a shrunken jobs market despite the assurances of my tutors that my worldly experience should make me more employable than my contemporaries. I am back working in ICT. For less than before.

I guess having a career plan  helps. Problem is I am reluctant to fix on one specific career choice. The avenues that lie before me mostly involve further study. Applications to entry level graduate careers receive “No relevant experience” and “inappropriate qualifications”, responses I believe are veiled “You’re too old” replies. And that’s only those firms polite enough to reply.

Could I be blacklisted? It’s hard not to think that I’m on some employment blacklist. Even recruitment agencies do not respond. Those that do give the usual “Nothing on our books as yet”. Firing off CV after CV into cyberspace results in nothing. All the time the clock is ticking. Unable to gain relevant experience because I have insufficient experience. I’m 36. I have experience. I can manage a team of administrators and teams of media students. I can type, use HTML, instruct, use computers, communicate via telephone, email and inter-personally. But no. Nobody wants me.

It’s plain to my sight that even when you take into account the lack of jobs out there, there must be something about my CV or work experience, that puts potential employers/HR departments off. Even my companion, who was recently made redundant, gets more recruitment agencies calling than I do.
I bet it’s cos I’m ginger.

Or old.

Regardless, I am conscious of the approaching wave of 2011 graduates. The flood of students with “good” A levels (better grades than me!) up to and including 2015. The lack of industry and opportunity in the UK and the fact that each day I spend in ICT I am making myself more unemployable to my chosen career change.

Qualification:Experience Relevance Quotient

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Looking for work is arduous. Filling in application forms time after time after time with the same information, slightly tweaked to promote relevance to post applied for.

jb I must have filled in more application forms during this period of unemployment than I did during the last period back in the nineties. I suppose this is because everything is online now. You fill in forms, click send, then either you get a “Thank you for your application” or you get nothing. Leaving you to wonder if you have actually just spent the past half hour filling in a form with data that has now gone into the ether or to the great spam folder in the sky.

It has been 3 months now and out of over 100 applications filled only one interview and that…well that we’ll just ignore because nobody likes bureaucracy and, as first impressions work for potential employers conversely the same applies for potential employees.

Not being restricted to looking in one geographical area should mean, according to the laws of probability, that as a job seeker I should be getting a 3:1 interview ratio. But no. This is not the case.

wood Being a new graduate? At 36? I can’t help think that this is not the boon that I needed to find further employment but the detriment in that employers look at my CV and think “36? Only just graduated? And in a subject unrelated to their existing career path? Must be some sort of mong”

And so the search continues. My email inbox, once filled with playful notes from colleagues and friends, now replete with job vacancies. A surprising number of which duplicate. Indeed, the duplication often means that you could apply for the same job several times. Something that has happened. Several times.

This week  I shall be in one of the aforementioned geographical locations in an attempt to find work by going out and meeting people. Taking Norman Tebbit’s advice and getting on my bike to look for work. Work that, I am becoming increasingly under the impression that, does not exist.

Job search

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Probably one of the most disheartening things about looking for work is the fact you constantly fill in forms with the same information over and over again.

 

Ever since I’ve found out my results, in fact no, ever since April, I’ve been looking for something work like to do. It’s so hard. Everytime I fill in an application I think “OMG I’ve had such a shit career how the fuck am I to get a job doing this?". Admittedly, if I was an employer, I’d look at my CV and say “This guy?…nah”. Sometimes I think maybe I should become the employer. Other times I think teaching. Maybe even a stint at Tesco or somewhere.

 

Ye gads. It’s so depressing.

 

And the longer I spend not doing something, the more my qualifications seem like a waste of time. People say “Oh but you’ve got so much experience”. This is true. I have. I am experienced in customer services. I am experienced in IT. I am experienced in wiping people’s arse for tupence ha’penny. But those jobs pay shit these days. My needs are greater in line with aspirations and the like.

 

So far I have applied for 20 jobs and not a thing from any of them. I’m starting to think these jobs don’t exist. And no…I haven’t signed on yet. I can’t face signing on.

Work

I hate hand in days at work. I want to go home now please.

I’m up and down like a bride’s nightie. Getting stuff from cupboards and change from the till for students who have all been struck with the incoherency bug today.

It should be like this:-

Student – Can I have a clear plastic press stud wallet with two heat binders for 35 pages, a DVD and a submission form
stegzy – Sure. That’ll be £x
Student – Thanks bye.

Instead it is more like this

cut for sanity preservation

Ghosting Images

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The Haunted Generation

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The Chrysalis

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Florida women take on culture and stuff.

northamptonshirewalks

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