Posts Tagged ‘jobs

08
Jul
09

Adopt a graduate

My cousin’s husband, who lost his job earlier in the year, has just found himself another one. Apparently this new job bores him to tears, but fuck it, at least they can now go about paying the mortgage.

I’m genuinely relieved for them. Still, I can’t help but wonder why he was successful whereas I can’t even get an interview. Experience is the obvious answer. He’s been working for a couple years now and I’m just out of college. Also, he’s probably not been as lazy about finding employment.

College Humor has pretty well summed this up here. Not that I’m saying I need someone to adopt me. Not yet anyways!

By the way, sorry about the lack of updates lately. I’ve been distracted by several new activities, including time travel as it happens.

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I’ve never wanted to do 88 mph so much in my life.

20
Apr
09

Is it still worth trying?

Today’s “Media” supplement in the Guardian made for depressing reading. The splash was about graduate and trainee journalists, and how they’ve been left behind as this recession bites on newspapers (which, as we all know, have for years been on a downward spiral without need of an economic downturn).

I won’t repeat the article, it’s all hear, but I will agree that this is a loss not just to graduates but to the newspapers as well. A dynamic newsroom feeds from the energy of newcomers as well as the experience of the older journalists. I loved my brief spell at a national news-desk, and I particularly enjoyed the advice and guidance shown to me by one of our senior political writers, who seemed to take me under his wing.

As for what this mean for me personally, well, it might be best advised to give it up. It seems the death-notice for this industry has been long ago nailed to the door. Freelancing doesn’t cut it, I don’t think it ever did for an inexperienced journalist. Several well-meaning individuals have suggested I go for a change of career (PR as obviously been mentioned). However, I’m not letting go of the dream just yet. I’m a hack. I’ve been convinced for almost a decade now that this is my vocation, and it’s what I’ve worked for and committed myself to. I don’t think it’s time go give up on that just yet.

10
Jan
09

Economists need to shut the fuck up

They’re at it again. Today’s Irish Times has a piece about how economists are predicting 10% jobless rates by the middle of the year. Fás economist Brian McCormick went even further, saying we’ll reach 12% by the end of 2009. He warned, “the immediate future for the jobs market depended on the impact of a weak sterling and the credit crunch on the retail sector, as well as the way in which migration trends respond to the changes in the economic environment,” which pulls the simultaneous trick of sounding suitably dire and blaming the immigrants for it. The Indo has a similar piece, which states, “Some economists secretly admitted that their official estimates could be conservative and jobless queues may reach levels not seen since the 1980s.” It’s enough to wonder why we bother getting out of bed.

Well, you know what? Fuck them! The one thing I’ve learn from this whole recession is that there’s nothing quite so useless as an economist. These are the swaggering dickheads who failed to see the recession coming, and let the government get away with wasting money on services that don’t work, giving tax breaks to the country’s super-rich, criminally inflating the housing market, and generally take us all of a fantastic voyage on the good ship “Celtic Tiger”, which sunk like a stone after the first strike of an ice-cube (explained here better than I ever could). If these economists advised banks to invest their (our) money in an online casino they’d have been laughed out of a job. This, on reflection, would have been a far safer option. At least online gambling doesn’t create massive – and quite unmistakable – market bubbles. Ok, there were some economists warning of a possible crisis, but the ease with which these few voices of sanity were ignored largely proves my point that all economists useless. Remember when Bertie suggested that people warning of an economic slowdown should kill themselves and be done with it? I’d love to know what the miserable tit-bag makes of that comment now.

So, now that we’re in the middle of a slump that these knobjockeys helped lead us to, they’re trying to make us feel worse by convincing us there’s no way out of it anytime soon. Well, they can shove their predictions up their holes, because it seems to me that their only talent is to tell us what’s currently happening, like a weatherman who operates by looking out the window and saying, “bit cloudy, might rain.” It also seems to me that reinforcing a constant message that “your job isn’t safe” will undermine consumer confidence further and make the whole thing worse. For all we know (and when I say “we” I’m including economists) the economy might turn around in a month’s time and we’ll wonder what the fuss was about.

Ok, that’s probably not going to happen. All the same, there’s not much use in worrying about it too much, which is what these dicksplashes seem to want, and they don’t expect to be questioned on this because they’re economists and that means they’re experts and know what they’re talking about. The media has given these cunts a free ride for their failures, but there’ll be none of that here. I’m not going to feel bad because they want me to (angry, maybe, but not bad).

28
Nov
08

who we are and what we do

A notion occurred to me yesterday while reading the Christmas gifts supplement that came with The Irish Times. Aside from the self-serving fantasy that I (or seemingly anyone else) can actually afford such wonderful things, I was forced to contemplate our jobs and what the say about us. Towards the end of it they had a vox-pop feature where they ask people what their ideal gifts are, and what they’re going to buy, etc. It was a typically fluff piece to end a typically fluff free magazine.

What I found interesting was that each person interviewed was identified by name and job. It was all “John Murphy: IT consultant” and so on (I can’t give precise examples as I left the rag in my sister’s car when she gave me a ride home. She’s going to be pissed at me now for leaving shit in her car again). The use of people’s careers as a measure to judge them suddenly stuck in my craw.

I don’t think I have ever read a vox-pop type feature where they don’t point out what it is that each person interviewed does. Along with their name, their job is almost certainly referred to, and I’m asking myself why the job? Why not one of the many other facets of a person’s life, such as marital status, how many brothers or sisters they have, or even their yearly income. On occasion ages might be used, but this is almost a rarity. There might also be occasions where the publication in question is aimed at a specific audience, and mentioning the respondents’ job is redundant, but these are really the exceptions that prove the rule. When I was involved in student media we regularly ran vox-pops in the campus newspaper. Obviously, it was pointless for us to mention that interviewees were students, but we would always mention what they studied.

The reason for this isn’t hard to work out. More so that their age or marital status or annual income, an individual’s job is the most useful – if unfair – measure for strangers to assess their personality. When someone expresses an opinion, it’s natural to want to what perspective that opinion stems from. And if someone tells you they’re spending €500+ on their wife’s gift they must expect you to be curious as to what made them so affluent.

The problem with this is that in conveys a sense that a person’s job is a measure of their values. This in turn creates a further problem for the thousands that have been hurled on the dole queues. It used to bother me when women on Winning Streak would say, “he’s unemployed at the moment,” when asked what their husbands do. It seemed to imply they might find a job by the end of the episode. But I understand it now. If what we do is seen as a measure of our worth, those of us doing nothing have to face the prospect of worthlessness.

On a cheerier note, the interview on Wednesday went well, so it looks like I’ll have a couple shifts every other weekend. I don’t really consider it a “job”, but for now it’ll do.