Hello, fronds, I am reporting live from Rachland where austerity measures are still in force. Recent polls show a sharp decline in approval rates for President Rach Leahy. The current political climate and waning public support are proving to be catalysts for change with many citizens lobbying for reform. Word on the ground is that a coup is imminent. Questions surround the government, guerrilla activity is rife and only one thing is for certain; a revolution is inevitable.
Hiya! Guess who’s still unemployed? BINGO! It’s me. Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. I’m not bankrupt… yet. I have failed in securing employment within in the four week deadline I set for myself, but, I’m still optimistic. I’m in debt, broke and stressed, but I’m still optimistic. So the job I applied for finally got back to me, only for them to tell me they’re not going through with opening the store at all. It’s not the e-mail I needed but I suppose it’s better than them opening and just not hiring me. Silver linings or some shit.
I also interviewed for a position kind of similar to the one I wanted in another neighbouring town. I didn’t get it, I was a bit surprised to be honest. I’m not a cocky person but I know if there’s one thing I can do well, it’s job interviews. The interviewer even told be I gave a great one. I’m chalking it down to me not being local and them hiring somebody they knew. It’s actually only the second ever interview I’ve done where I wasn’t offered a job afterwards. Is this what rejection feels like? I wasn’t too disappointed at first but I got the e-mail from the ideal job a few hours after I was informed I wasn’t “successful” with this one and it wasn’t the best day I’ve had since I last worked but it wasn’t the worst either, and that’s going to be the theme of this post.
So, what’s next. As you know I’m currently in receipt of a social welfare payment. A “scrounger” in some eyes of society and living the good life in the eyes of others. I thought the same before I signed on myself. People doing nothing and getting paid for it, sweet! Unfortunately for me, it’s not as fun. I didn’t have enough contributions to “draw my stamps”; a payment that I would have worked towards, so I qualified for the means-tested one. As a person under 25 years of age, the bar was set at €100, and after looking through my parents finances (’cause I still live at home, innit) the department of social protection told me I only need €62 a week to live on. It’s been upped to €64.70 recently, not sure why to be honest. Grand I thought, I won’t be on the live register long. I signed on in November 2016 and it’s now June 2017. I know what you’re thinking; “aren’t there jobs out there for job seekers, scheme’s and the like?” yes… once you’re signing on over a year. Things haven’t played out, exactly, as I planned so far but y’know what? I’m still optimistic.
For the past month I’ve played with the idea of going back to education and qualifying as a beauty therapist. Mainly because the majority of jobs in the beauty industry at the moment call for a fully trained beautician and I’m only ITEC accredited in make up application. During one of my monthly meetings with my “case officer” for the dole, she mentioned a place in Cork where I can not only train for free but the state will also pay me. I was actually shook. “This could be a serious option” I thought to myself. The only thing that was holding me back from committing was that the course wouldn’t be starting until mid-October and €64.70 a week until then is unbelievably tight. I re-did some maths and I was 80% sure that was the route I was going to take. Fast-forward to the first of June and my next meeting with the boss lady in which I’m informed the “payment” for doing the course, will be the same payment I’m getting now. Kick in the teeth. If I can barely get by now, how will I manage when I’m travelling 160km a day, 5 days a week, for a full year? Scratch that option off the list, and I’m still optimistic.
Even though I signed on in November, I got my payment back-dated to August when I finished in my last job, so on the dole record I’m signing since then. I’m reminded that I’m coming up on one year drawing the dole during every monthly chat. Is there a card for that? Should I order a cake? If I don’t get a job between now and then I’ll officially be “long-term unemployed” and I’ll get to meet fortnightly with a new case officer, who’ll apparently search for jobs for me… exciting. Re-doing my maths revealed to me that I can keep myself afloat, albeit barely, until I find work. I’m raking in €258.80 a month and my loan and car insurance payments only add up to €236.40 so with €5.60 to spare at the end of every week, I’m not the worst off. I’ve had to cancel my AA membership and Netflix and ask my parents for €10 weekly pocket money to keep up my Slimming World membership but for some reason I’m still so optimistic.
I can pretend I’m cool and edgy and pessimistic and all that craic but when it comes down to it I’m a hopeless romantic in life. I have this unbridled sense that everything will work out. I’ve always been like this. No plan. A “play it by ear” kind of person. Dhera or yera being my most used word. I suppose it’s because I’ve been quiet lucky in life. Things normally have a way of working out. Sometimes in ways I couldn’t have imagined, mostly in ways I didn’t plan. Whether it was the year I didn’t have a job for Christmas but my birthday earlier in the month meant a small influx of cash or odd few times I’ve found a tenner in a pocket of jeans that don’t fit me anymore, I’ve never been the worst off. Granted there was a really broke Christmas, when I couldn’t buy a single thing for the family. G’way with your “Christmas isn’t about presents” craic, it’s not exactly fun opening gifts from people and not being able to give them even the smallest token of appreciation. At the end of the day, nine times out of ten, I somehow get by.
Long story short (I’m Irish, that’s impossible); I’m hopeful. I really am. I’m currently taking what I’m calling an unwanted “gap year from adulthood” and I’m sure it’ll all work out in the end. Being unemployed and the psychological ramifications aside, I’m learning more about myself as a person and where I want to go in life. Maybe it’s the stretch in the evenings starting to lighten my mood but I’m motivated, invigorated and ready for what life has next. How my next chapter begins, I’m still unsure. How my book will end, I don’t think I’ll ever know but I’m certain it will all work out eventually. If whatever “it” is could rectify my life soon, it would be great but I’m not too worried.
Let’s end on an Irish mammies favourite saying for times like these;
“What’s for ya, won’t pass ya”
P.S. I realise that I’m unbelievably lucky in the eyes of a lot of people all over the world, but as this is my blog, I’m writing from my perspective and although my relative poverty isn’t unbearable I’d still like to become a functioning member of society again.