Posted in My employment status

… but I get up again

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”

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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.

 

 

Posted in My employment status

The Hunchback of Notmuch Goingon

Fronds, how are we? It’s ya gurl, Rach, here with a blog post fresh out the kitchen, laden with shit writing and not much else. Wayoo!

It’s been a lil’ while since my last post. As you might have guessed, with my stubborn streak being the only thing strong in my body, I turned down the Galway job. The overall reason is that I really couldn’t imagine myself in such a formal role and then a million other smaller reasons. So what am I doing now?

I’ve started a night course in Make-Up artistry. I’ve only had one class so far but I really like it. I also really liked spending €180 on supplies, that I genuinely needed, albeit I could have gone cheaper. I liked checking my bank balance after a lot less. So it would turn out that my weakest subject throughout my 14 years of state education is still causing trouble for me. My budget calculations and impulse control problems mean I have approximately 4 weeks to find a job, or I will default on my loan, car insurance, and most importantly, Netflix. So, as you can imagine I’m a bit stressed.

The shit has hit the fan. I applied for a role in a pharmacy due to open in a neighbouring town. I would be working with cosmetics, be able to live at home and save some funds… but I haven’t heard anything since the initial e-mail they sent three weeks ago. It would be ideal with my whole plan of going into make-up as a potential career, but I can’t afford to wait for an interview. I e-mailed them back today to “follow up”, they’re still advertising, and I’m really hopeful that I’ll get a positive reply on Tuesday morning. Please employment Jesus, help me.

Anyway, other than my impending bankruptcy, nothing much has been going on. Hence the title. My only other update is that I’ve rejoined Slimming World and I’m actively trying to eat less pizza and doritos but I think I’ll save that post for when I’ve a good few pounds shed. With that I’ll bid ye adieu and, fingers crossed, my next post will be about my new job selling and applying make-up… and how unbelievably toned I am.

I’ll take the former.

Cheers,

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Posted in My employment status

Rerouting

Hi Fronds,

I have a job… and a million and one different emotions to go with it.

I’m after getting a job in Insurance. I know. Me? Insurance? It’s very official and career-y and I’m a bit worried. I can’t see myself actually working in the sector for longer than it takes me to find a more suitable job but I can’t silence the part of my brain shouting “GET OUT!”. I’m afraid of getting stuck in a job completely different to where I want to be in life.

Before I got the job offer, even before the interview, I’d been toying with pursuing a qualification and/or career in Make-Up for a while. I love doing my own, I’ve done other peoples and it dawned on me that maybe this is how I’ll utilise my Film degree, eventually that is. And now, now I have mixed emotions. I was just about to apply for a bursary to complete a course when I got the job. I asked a lot of my friends and family for advice, the majority answered with “take the job”, can’t blame them, I’ve been all talk about getting a job with ages. Another pal, Leanne (hup!) suggested I did a pro/con list to sort my shit out and the most basic one was;

Pros:

  1. An income over €62 a week
  2. Signing off the live register
  3. An opportunity to move back to Galway

Cons:

  1. Having to secure accommodation from now until Sunday the 12th (That’s four days)
  2. Putting off the make-up route completely for the foreseeable future
  3. Delaying my ideal career path

I couldn’t turn the job down though, realistically. It would be ungrateful, no? I’ve been scouring job sites for months and €62 just doesn’t stretch far enough to live a life unfortunately. Now I feel like I’m after taking a massive step in what, definitely, is the wrong direction. Then again, I said I wanted to be a writer, maybe underwriting was destined?

Could this blog be my last ditch attempt to escape an office life? I’m too artsy for a 9-5. Save me influencers! Make me one of you! I could do with whitening my teeth. I’ll put up with the laxative tea, I’m already lactose intolerant I can handle it! (soz). Maybe it’s time to start taking blogging more seriously. How does one do that btw? Should I start reviewing things? Do you want my opinion on stuff? I’m very passionate about the Eurovision, does that draw in readers?

Basically, I don’t know what I’m doing, which is the underlying theme of my blog and I suppose I’m not dead yet so I can handle a few months of pretending I’ve the personality for insurance. In the meantime, if you wanna stick around, you can. I’ll try to be more ‘current’ and we can see if I can salvage my life from the wreck that is my self-destructive mind.

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Posted in My employment status

TL;DR: I’m jobless

Hello,

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.

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Posted in Family, Me Myself and I, My employment status

Heatwaves and Happiness.

Hello! Long time no… type?

Rachland update in 3…2…1….

Ireland, which is where I live, is currently experiencing a heatwave and it’s both great and horrific at the same time. My home town is  paradise in the sun. I live in a coastal area and there’s beaches five minutes away in almost every direction. It’s great… when you want to be out in it. Where it gets a bit shit is at night when you want to sleep but your bedroom is hotter than hell. Seriously, I’m sleeping in a sauna. I woke up with a nasty heat rash this morning and naturally, being the hypochondriac that I am, I informed my Mother that I had Meningitis.

I really shouldn’t complain though, all of Ireland are genuinely terrified that if we speak ill of the weather the sun will leave and we won’t see it again. After all this is the best summer we have had in years. Even if there are talks of water shortages. So seeing as we have warm, dry, sunny days, I have been out doing typical summery things. Barbecues, Beaches, Blisters… Seriously, sunburn hurts.

I’m really enjoying my new job. I actually like what I’m doing. It’s only deli/till assistant work but having my own money again after 8 months of hand-outs from dad (Thanks Papi!) is wonderful! I’ve been meeting up with friends and just be having a generally great summer.

I’m happy right now and I’m going to blog about it. So that was a quick update. I’ll leave you with some of my favourite summer pictures, that I’ve taken so far. Now, where is that Aloe Vera, my arms are on fire!

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Slea Head Drive with my Roommates. Got to visit the girls and go sight seeing.

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Ventry, Dingle with the roomies

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Family barbecue. Auntie made some gorgeous food! Great day

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Desserts! Same barbecue. More great food.

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Just one of the many local beaches. Beautiful.

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Ventry, Dingle

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Barbecue set-up.

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We made Pimms. It was not nice. Still regretting following the recipe on the bottle. Cucumbers are not nice.

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Signing my name on a cliff face in Co. Kerry.

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Enjoying the sun while listening to my cousin playing some summery ukulele.

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Posted in College, Me Myself and I, My employment status

Back Home

Hello! It’s me again. I know what you’re thinking, “What? Didn’t you write a post a week ago? What are you doing back so soon?”. I just thought I’d update you all on what’s happening in Rachland.

I moved home on Saturday. As per usual, I procrastinated the night before and didn’t pack much. My parents were not impressed when they arrived, after a four and a half hour drive, to find they had to help me clean. I had spent the night before watching ’24 hours in A&E’ on Channel4. One episode, featuring a man called John, broke my heart. He had a stroke and couldn’t remember what year it was. It’s been a few days and I still can’t stop thinking about it. According to the show he got his memory back but my heart still goes out to him. I’m such a big softie. In the van on the way home, my sleep deprivation coupled with my emotions about that episode made me want to burst in to tears. I didn’t. I cheered up a bit after a sleep but if anybody knows John, tell him to tweet me, I want to give him a massive hug.

Anyway, I still haven’t unpacked. I have a great reason though… I’ve gotten a job! I’m employed again. I couldn’t work at my old job while at college so I finished up after Christmas and I was worried about money but thankfully something opened up at a place I worked in when I was 16. I moved home on Saturday and started on Sunday. I’ve worked in the Deli the past two days and my God, do I have a new appreciation for Deli workers. That shit is tiring! I was so nervous about starting the job, I couldn’t sleep the night before. I’m still learning but I’ll be on the tills/cash register on Sunday and I’m looking forward to that.

I have one more essay to finish for college, about Classic Hollywood Cinema, due on Thursday and after that I’m a free girl. I’m so happy right now. I’m finished college, I have a job and I’m starting to get my diet back on track. Expect more posts over the summer. As always, thank you for sticking with me.

I’d normally put my signature here but it’s glitching lately so this is going to have to do,

Rach

Posted in College, Family, Me Myself and I, My employment status

Deadbeat blogger

It’s been so long. I’m sorry. I’ve been really busy with work, college applications and just life in general.

I’ve got an audition coming up, that I’m so not prepared for, and I’m stressing out to the maximum.

This is just a post to assure you I’m still here and planning on writing more soon but not until Mid-May.

Thank you as always for reading and supporting!

Posted in Me Myself and I, My employment status

GOOD NEWS!

Things are on the up in Rachland…

I’M EMPLOYED! 

YESSSS!

Well it’s one month trial part-time job in a local shop but hey, it’s something! I’m delighted! I knew it wouldn’t be long until I got back on my feet. Having a positive attitude is one of only a few things that has been keeping me sane through the rough patch. Trust me, I’ve lost count of how many C.V’s I’ve handed out in the past 18 months, it’s crazy, so to have finally gotten a job is brilliant!

I don’t want to jinx anything but I can’t hold in my excitement. Knowing me and my over-emotional tendencies, I’ll probably start crying with happiness when I get paid!

Any way, thank you for reading and supporting and all that crack! I’ll try to post more… try 😉

Posted in Family, Me Myself and I, My employment status, The 'rents

9 days to go!

Short little post today, ’cause I feel bad for not posting in yonks (ages).

Currently listening to some gems of festive goodness on YouTube! Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas’ and The Pogues to be precise! I’m off to town to start the Christmas shop in a bit, a little later than usual. I’d normally have the majority of my presents bought, wrapped and placed under the tree by now but I’m trying out this whole more ‘relaxed’ nature this year a.k.a. I’m lazy and poor! haha

Indeed, the moneys tight this year, which I’m not letting get me down! Instead I’m focusing on my family and friends and the basics. So for this Christmas I challenge you to forget about the material things and make some memories … ’cause that’s what I’m doing! 😀

Talk soon,

Posted in Family, Me Myself and I, My employment status

Festive Cheer!

Before I get in to what’s happening in Rachland, I wanna do a short piece about today  🙂

December 1st 2011.

It’s my 19th birthday today 😀 Yay me!

I’m going out tonight to celebrate and I’m preparing myself for the onslaught of “pinch and a punch for the first of the month”. That’s one downside to be born on the first of any month. It’s also World AIDS Day, a day that I am forever associated with. Aside from the anniversary of my date of birth, it’s also, in my books, the start of Christmas. The lead up begins now.

I’m not sure why but I’m really excited for this Christmas, I’m always excited for Christmas (I’m still the first person up and awake on Christmas morning) but more so this year. I thinks because of all the shit I’ve been going through lately, it’s just going to be nice to hang out with the family and relax.

I was worried a few weeks back about not being able to afford presents this year but by a pure stroke of luck, I’ve found myself with just enough to cover something small for my family. I always seem to find something and I’m hoping my string of bad luck has changed and that I’ll find work soon.

It’s the first day of the last month of the year and I’m here thinking about what 2012 has to hold for me. Although nothing is set in stone and I can’t predict the future, I’ve a feeling it’ll be a good year… or so I’m hoping.

It’s half past three now and the sun has slowly began to set, December is here, Christmas is on its way and for the first time in a while, I feel hopeful for what life has in store for me.

Thanks for reading,

19-year-old Rach! 😀