Sunday, 9 October 2016

Gainful employment

before I left college I had a weekend job. I worked for an electrician, fixing washing machines, toasters, irons etc. It brought some money in, not a lot but some nevertheless. There was, unfortunately, no permanent job when I left college so I managed to get a job as a civil engineering technician at Southampton university. That was a fascinating job, working with postgrad students to build experimental equipment so that they could gain their Masters degrees. I met many hard working young people, most of them from foreign lands, Egyptians, Iranians etc. But again it came down to money and the fact there wasn’t enough of it. I joined a company where, over a period of 30 years, I worked my way up the ladder, slid down a snake, started climbing again…
This summer, after a period of illness, I was told that I was no longer needed and was duly paid off. This was an interesting time which, if you follow me on Facebook, you would have seen that I labelled #vexit and allsorts of people were following to see the outcome.
After 33 years of continual employment this came as a bit of a shock to the system. All of a sudden I was unemployed. Too young to retire and, it seems, too old to start again. What does a chap do in this situation?

Well, too start with, I have to ‘sign on’. That is an experience in itself. Walking into a job centre for the first time in my life and finding my soul being sucked out of my body as I do so. There is something about the atmosphere of this place, from the pile pile of discarded cigarette butts outside to the slightly grim lighting inside, that is not conducive to a cheery outlook on life. It may be fine for those who have no interest in work an just want to play the system for whatever they can get out of it, but for someone who wants to work it is depressing, to say the least.

On the whole, I am positive. But every other Tuesday the thin veneer of positivity that covers the fear and depression that unemployment brings cracks like the sugary crust on a crème brulee and my will to live stalls. But I am not desperate yet. I am taking my time to find a job that I want to do rather than what I have to do. In a couple of months I will have to apply for any job but for the moment I look to the adage that if you find a job that you love you will never work another day in your life. That job is out there somewhere, I will find it (the crust on my crème brulee is, currently, intact)
In the meantime, starting from #vexit, I move to #vennployment. keep an eye on my Facebook page for further developments.


Giant68 :-)

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