Seven

Because responses are thin on the ground* I am inviting you today, reader, to share a multimedia experience with me.

Would you like to?

We can do it together!

I am going to assume you have said yes.

Hurrah!

The idea is that you play the piece of music below and whilst the (lovely) music is playing you read the text beneath it and imagine a montage.

Correct: with recourse to montage we are going to inject a spurious sense of drama into this murky affair.

I appreciate that some of you will be at work and will only be able to have a monomedia experience.  Those of you to whom this applies I say: ‘wait until you return to your home’.  I do not want you to feel short-changed.

Because I can’t really work the internet you have to right click the song and open it in a new tab and then:

 read like the wind!

The Silhouettes – Get a Job

<<<<<<<<START>>>>>>>>

>OUTSIDE Shot of newspaper board w/ ‘12 PAGES OF JOBS IN TODAY’S PAPER’ – PAN UP to freshfaced me w/ disgusting self-satisfied glow accepting just-bought newspaper from nice Iranian newsagent’s hand & smiling psychotically/ecstatically<

>Shot of me at desk enthusiastically circling jobs, making phonecalls, typing at keyboard<

>Shot of vibrating phone doing weird rhythmic hovering across table strewn with biscuits and juiceboxes and cigarette packets and old coffee cups<

>CLOSEUP of text message from Landlady reminding me politely that I owe her two months rent<

>Shot of me looking from phone to computer screen<

>Shot of internet bank account w/ £-1100<

>Shot of me biting my lip in rather vaudeville fashion<

>Slow pan across a sexually-frustrated Steph, emotions distaste & boredom playing across face as she watches me hunched over computer applying for what I will later claim with rank hubris to be ‘the world record number of data entry jobs in one night!'<

>Shot of recruitment consultant looking at computer screen like it just farted on her cat<

>CLOSE-UP: consultant’s face now demonic w/ look of determination/outrage<

>ZOOM-IN from behind consultant typing complaint to Reed.co.uk w/text ‘offensive language’<

>Shot of me w/ mild beard growth, greasy hair & rings under eyes reading email from Reed.co.uk w/ text “never contact us again” oblivious to Steph behind me talking & gesticulating angularly<

>Quickfire shots of me handing handwritten & scented with cologne (this will somehow be obvious in the final edit) CV to hale publican / Iranian newsagent / peppy waitress w/ childlike look of expectancy on further bedraggled & lined face (imagine a young(ish) Moe from the Simpsons with long and unkempt ginger hair, if you will)<

>Shot of me regarding vibrating phone w/ some suspicion/fear, desk now STREWN with debris from cigarettes, whiskey, list of possible jobs w/ words “NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO” scratched into it and through the paper into desk with a compass I was glad to finally to find a use for<

>CLOSUP of text message from Landlady reminding me in no uncertain terms that I’m two and half months late with rent.<

>Shot of internet bank account w/ £-1443<

>Shot of me running hand through hair w/ disbelieving look on face<

>ZOOM-OUT with quickfire but seamlessly choreographed shots of hale publican / Iranian newsagent / peppy waitress’ respective scrunched-up noses pulling back to reveal angry eyes & furrowed brows handing back handwritten CV to a limp-at-the-wrist & obviously deflated hand<

>Shot of letter penned by Steph explaining that this stupid thing is consuming our lives, that we cannot go on like this, that she will ‘always love me’, that she will be at her mother’s<

>Shot of me holding pink lingerie to face like child holding blanket after vivid nightmare & crying wretchedly<

>Shot of me putting same underwear on Ebay, w/ text ‘inc. tears‘<

>Shot of me sat on pavement staring into gutter w/ L hand pushed into cheek, face now weirdly both childlike and cadaverous.  Clutched in R hand the CV is now crumpled and darkly stained.  ZOOM OUT to reveal  BUSTLING and VIBRANT*** jobcentre <MUSIC FADE OUT> I pick myself up, cough nastily and walk through the doors of the jobcentre.  The intended impression is that I have been swallowed by the building and that this could be the end of the road, the CV a small-but-intense glimmer of hope. Because the budget has been so small and Larry has been so insistent that we make the jobcentre look good (for “PR”) it all looks more like an advert for the DWP<

>>>>>>>>END<<<<<<<<

An image of a possible future, reader.  This supposedly the emotional dip in the action before the day is won.  The difficulty being that my story is ‘real life’ and winning, if at all possible, is probably going to take fucking ages.

And if the hero is me then we are in trouble.

We are in trouble.

The part of the montage that has a definite counterpart in real life (alongside being thrown off Reed.co.uk) is my return to the jobcentre****, scheduled for later this week.

I hope they’re paying more than they were in November:

I shall be interested to see what they think of my new approach to the jobhunt also.

Everyone: nothing.

__________________________________________________________

*Responses that are not Recruitment Consultants cowardly ringing my phone from a NO NUMBER and then hanging up when I’ve said hello a couple of times – or teeth itchingly cut-and-pasted emails along the lines of ‘we’re terribly sorry but there were candidates better suited to the position but we’ve got your details on file and definitely by no means call us because we’re very busy with actual applications and don’t have but nearly the time to deal with your feedback requests’ – have been hard to come by.

**Because I wondered whether or not I had stolen the line ‘farted on her cat’ from somewhere – I have found myself wondering the strangest things recently – I Googled it (“farted on her cat”).  If ever you want to loose your bearings re: where the human race is headed then you can do the same.

***”BUSTLING and VIBRANT” insisted upon by Larry.  I never really worked out how he got involved with the project in the first place but once you start filming these things they’re more-or-less out of your hands.

****

THE FOLLOWING HAVING BEEN SCORED “TOO DARK” IN 90% OF THE FOCUS GROUP’S FEEDBACK AND WHICH AFTER CONSULTATION HAS BEEN DEEMED NECESSARY TO HIDE IN THE FOOTNOTES, WHICH I’M NOT SURE ANYONE READS ANYWAY.

Like most buildings used for a municipal purpose the jobcentre is deathless and warm.  You see diseases in the corner, rubbing their hands, not believing their luck.  The staff are composed of all kinds of people – as staff are everywhere – there are the sullen girls who throw your precious name and address into a computer like the remains of a meal they’ve not themselves eaten because inputting information into a computer all day long is astonishingly boring.  Though strangely these same girls treat any extra-curricular information you offer them with the same suspicion you’d treat a street-side preacher.  There are the people who you can just tell are real life people outside the jobcentre but who keep their ‘real-self’ hidden away safe from the job and who you imagine might one day be driven to the ultimatum: “me or the job”.  They might have a house by this point.

These people are good people, all told.

The quietly heroic people who deal with like a million customers every day and somehow find the resources to treat each one like they’re a real life human being are exceptional people and BRAVO to them.

The people you’re sent to when you’ve been at the job centre too long with the hard eyes and the manner that doesn’t ‘suffer fools lightly’, who’ll make you repeat what they’ve just said until they’re 100% sure you mean it or have at least made such efforts to sound like you mean it that they’re confident that their will is ascendant and yours broken and you’re sorry, are less easy to see as good.  These microsecond struggles to the death between the two of you leaving you with such a toxic sheen that as you leave the centre every contour of the (now horrid) street is felt by your beating feet as you make your way back to your (now horrid) home to see your (now horrid) friends who you’re sure see right through your (now horrid) self and are friends with you for you know not what reason under the (now horrid) sky.

This being one of a number of ways in which we try to get people who are not in work back into work.  And it is effective.  It can make you scared enough to want never to go back to the job centre again and in this sense these people are cash-money for the job centre and to a whole host of roles whose only purpose is to make damn sure you do something that someone else needs you to do.   Though they do not leave you very happy.

APOLOGIES

On to Eight?

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  1. #1 by Ant Innit on August 3, 2011 - 4:58 pm

    Sorry, if the hero is you, *we* are not in trouble – you are! 😀

    All great art comes from misery, but I wouldn’t want to end up like Kafka, eh?

    • #2 by curriculum vitiate on August 4, 2011 - 9:48 am

      Hello Ant,

      Thanks for the comments! I meant hero in the LOOSEST WAY POSSIBLE (i.e. in that I was the lead in the silly montage piece rather than in the Green Lantern kind of way) and was worried that it might be taken otherwise. Oh dear.
      If I end up telling my best friend to burn all my work and he doesn’t then I’ll have a whole lot of haunting to do and I think that might be FUN!

  2. #3 by Bunghole on September 20, 2011 - 8:17 pm

    46p A WEEK??? HOW?!?!?!? Thanks for making my own chronically unemployed & increasingly unbearable pseudo-existence at least slightly tolerable, for the length of time it’s taken me to read through all this. Brightened the evening a little. Much love! But…….46…..pence…. a week?!? Jesus. That’s harsh.

  3. #4 by Anna on December 7, 2011 - 3:43 pm

    Ah and there it is! Job centre review! At mine none of the staff could type though!

  4. #5 by steve on December 11, 2011 - 10:09 pm

    I thought the song ‘Get A Job’ was going to be what I now realize is called ‘Have A Job’. Anyway I think the latter tune rocks and is in keeping with your attitude to work generally…

    [audio src="http://www.rshb.org.uk/downloads/haveajob.mp3" /]

  1. Six « Curriculum Vitae

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