I was very tempted to postpone this post until February. It would be a full two years since I’d last posted then. I’m not sure why I wanted to celebrate it, but there you go, typical me not knowing why I do things. I’ve just reread this and it’s long enough, welcome back and enjoy the slodge through the word mud. I don’t know how syntax works anymore.
A lot has happened since I last wrote, but not a lot has changed at the same time. I finished college, lost a lot of hair and a friend or two along the way but I graduated regardless. You are now looking at the quintessential Celtic tiger cub, college educated, unemployed and contemplating emigration.
I’ve tried writing about college but I’d rather leave that one in the past. It was stressful and I came home an anxious wreck but I’m doing a lot better now and it just doesn’t feel right going back there for the sake of a post. I might feel different in the years to come but for now, I think the whole experience is still a bit too raw.
Anyway, I moved back home with my family after college and went back to the job in the deli and petrol station that I posted about getting before. I can’t fault my former boss or co-workers, that was a great spot but I needed more hours so I applied for a call centre that my sister was working in at the time. I started there in February of this year and my God do I have stories. I will one day write a sitcom based on the place. Honestly.
So then we come to this July and I’m disenchanted with the place, the people working there are great, kept me going really but the people on the other end of the phone were less desirable. In the middle of the month I get told I’m going to be trained in on another line, the most abuse-ridden one, and I’m like “not a hope, fuck that” but I stay regardless as I had no job lined up. Fast forward to the end of July and my beloved Dog, and Grand Aunt die, two unrelated deaths that I will also work in to a morbidly funny episode of my future sitcom. I take a day or two off work and when I return, I can’t deal with it and in my grief and pure stubbornness I decide to e-mail my manager and give them my two-week-notice. Against the advice of my Mother, I left without another job to go to.
The first two weeks were like a holiday. I had money saved, another pay cheque yet to arrive with my holiday pay and I was living the dream. I didn’t even look for jobs in those early days let alone apply for them and here I am, two days off 16 weeks without work. I have had to do something I never wanted to do, and sign on. You are looking at the ashamed owner of €62 a week job seekers allowance. Now I have been applying left, right and centre with weeks but I have a strict set of demands for my next job;
- I’m not going back to shop work
- I’m not going for a minimum wage job
- Customer Care/Service can eat shit, customers are assholes
- Must be full-time
- And preferably in my home county or the city I went to college in.
Am I daft? Picky? I don’t think it’s much to ask for really. When I’m reading job descriptions, I often get lost in the finicky wording and I tell myself I’m not qualified for the job. One night, full of confidence, I set about applying for everything. Three weeks pass, it’s the 14th of October and I have two rejection e-mails in my account. I’m waiting for a phone call from my sister and my phone rings. “No caller ID”. “Odd” I think to myself. “Hello” I answer, only to be greeted by a potential employer. Thankfully I didn’t answer the way I would normally greet my sister! I’m so taken-a-back by the prospect of somebody finally contacting me, after applying for so many jobs I’d lost count, that I have to ask the person to repeat themselves. I was for a company that I had to search through my applications folder to confirm to myself that I did apply to. It’s in the city I went to college in and that I still have a big grá for. Perfect I thought. Interview booked, let’s Celebrate.
I got the call late on a Friday, so I tell myself I’ll research the company the next day. I’m busy the next day and I have a night out later on, I drink too much and I lose half of my Sunday to my hangover. I finally google the company, as I still don’t know what they do and then I have to sleep because I’m driving 290km in the morning. Hotels and B&Bs are expensive. Monday the 17th arrives and I drive back to the city that was home to me for three years. I arrive early, grab a small bite, park the car and walk to the building… I then struggle to figure out how to get in for 90, embarrassing, seconds. The interview isn’t how I imagined it would go, I’m not as prepared as I should be and I don’t get the “You’re hired” vibe. I stop off at my old apartment to drop off a little thank you gift to my landlady for being sound and I also pay a visit to the college to do the same for a lecturer who helped me so much in getting my degree and keeping me, some-what, sane. I then get back in my car and make the 290km journey back home.
Days turn into weeks and I hear nothing back. Just what I thought, the interview didn’t go my way. Every time my phone rings my heart skips a beat, it’s usually Mom telling me to bring in the washing or walk the dogs. It’s the same for her, I sent her a call-me one day, unemployment and dole-less meant I couldn’t top up my phone, only for her to ring thinking I got a job. The call was to tell her I taught our puppy to give paw, I still think it’s to equal importance and she still disagrees.
Friday the 11th of November, the day in which I coincidentally made a wish at 11:11 on the 11/11, I get a call from “No caller ID” again. It can’t be, can it? Four full weeks since first contact, and almost the same since the interview. Yup, it’s the crowd from the interview that I bogged, “you still interested?” they asked. “Yeah” I hesitantly replied. I wasn’t sure, but I felt I couldn’t turn down the chance of a job. I thought they must have hired someone and they backed out so they’re coming to the only one available, me. We set up a phone interview/mock call for the following Wednesday and I await the e-mail with the script. My Job seekers claim also got approved the same day, so my belief in wishing and candle lighting is strong.
I spend the next few days talking myself out of the second interview with nerves, “I’ll just tell them I got a job” I think to myself. They contact me on the day, they’re going to send the documents on at 10.35 and call at 11. The internet goes down and I get to read the five pages of terms and conditions and a basic call structure at 11.50. They call, I can hear the nerves in my voice, but it goes better than the first interview. I look online at house shares, pointless really, I still don’t know if I have the job. I collect my first dole payment and lodge it in my bank account, all the while thinking to myself, I hope I don’t have to draw it much longer.
Monday the 21st rolls around and the familiar numberless call vibrates my phone. “We’re going forward with your application to the next round, can you e-mail your referees”, grand job, my old bosses are sound. The next day, surprisingly quick given their correspondence history, they ring once more. And this is where they lose me. They want me to do a medical. This job is another call centre job and they want my medical records. What? I have a friend who works with chemicals all day, is a qualified engineer, on more money than my parents get paid a year and has healthcare included in their contract. Now them being required to do a medical is understandable but me, getting paid €19,000 a year to answer the phone and put some information in to the system, doing one is bazaar.
So that brings us to right now. It’s the last straw. I’ve weighed up the pros and cons and it’s just not working for me anymore. The two pros are going back to the city I love and having a job but the cons include me missing Christmas with my family and not being able to save any money. I don’t know will I regret this decision in weeks to come but c’mon it’s been two months since I first applied, six weeks since I first interviewed and I still can’t sort out accommodation because I could still be rejected. Talk about being strung along.
Back to the job search I go, maybe collecting my €62 tomorrow might inspire me to be less picky with the jobs I apply for, I just hope I get something suitable soon. Watch this space.