Job Search Hell

That’s where I’m at right now.  One of Dante’s lesser-known circles.

Possibly the worst bit is that I actually already have a job- one that I love and don’t want to leave.  So why am I looking for something else, you ask?  Good question.  The answer of course, is money.

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Turns out that working seven hours a week as a library assistant, and about fifty hours a week as a ‘writer’ pays…well…pretty close to nothing actually.

I’m aware we’re not supposed to talk about money- that in doing so I’m breaking some weird universal taboo, but honestly- who is this secrecy helping?  We all need to eat and somewhere to live, and I’ve yet to find a landlord or supermarket that accepts poems in lieu of payment, (not that I’d do much better even if I did, since I can’t write poetry for shit).

So, with a heavy heart I find myself looking for other options.  I spend about half of my time feeling really MAD about the unfairness of the situation, and the other half telling myself to STFU and stop thinking I’m some special snowflake who isn’t subject to the same economic strain as almost every other working class person on earth right now.

In more dramatic moments I hear Jim Broadbent, as Harold Zidler in Moulin Rouge:

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(just change love to live)

In less dramatic moments, I tell myself that I’m no different to anyone else and that I’m lucky to at least be (vaguely) employable.

One thing that is really pissing me off as I trawl through job search results, is the demand on applicants to not just be willing to do the job for the pay, but the requirement to declare it your life’s ambition.

Seriously, if you’re looking to employ someone as a neurosurgeon, or helicopter pilot perhaps, I can understand you wanting the role to be one of that individual’s defining characteristics, and for them to display a real passion and significant dedication to the field.  But when you’re looking for a cleaner?  Isn’t it enough that they’re capable of doing the work, and that they’ll show up and give a shit, at least within proscribed working hours?  If you want someone to display AMBITION, ENTHUSIASM, FLEXIBILITY AND PASSION about cleaning a toilet, you’re possibly going to need to offer more than £7 an hour, and appreciate that you’re appealing to a very niche audience.

Ehhh…I don’t know, this could just be me having a surly attitude and poor work ethic, but when I stumble across yet another minimum-wage job that not only wants me to spend forty hours a week away from my children, my partner, my home, and my writing but also wants me to demonstrate that I will treat it as my #1 priority and life’s work, I find myself getting a bit ‘Braveheart’, yelling at the screen.

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It’s times like this I wonder if leaving nursing was a terrible terrible mistake.  But, when I (briefly) went back to it last year THAT felt like a terrible mistake, so how can that be true?

Gah.

Regardless, I should probably get back to it.  Incidentally if anyone knows of any kick-ass jobs that would allow me to keep my Saturdays at the library, and pay me enough to feed my children who basically never stop eating, then HIT ME UP.  As you can see, I am totally AMBITIOUS, ENTHUSIASTIC, FLEXIBLE AND PASSIONATE etc etc etc 😉

Week Two Run One aka Ouch!

Ouch.

That pretty much sums it up! I ran a teensy bit further today and slightly faster but i found it much MUCH harder. This was the first run of week 2 so the run/walk ratio has switched from 60 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking to now 90 seconds of running followed by 2 minutes of walking. You wouldn’t think that would make much of a difference would you? Well i didn’t anyway but turns out, it does! It was tough going.

To be frank though there were mitigating factors, like the fact i’m still getting over this damned cold. Also i worked last night and although i went to bed this morning it was only for a couple of hours.

I was worried about already being a few days behind though (week 2 should technically have started on Friday) and that’s why i decided to just do it today. Kind of wishing i hadn’t now though as my knees are absolutely killing me.

I don’t mean in a muscular “What a great workout” kinda way but a “FUCK ME MY KNEECAPS ARE ON FIRE!” kinda way. It’s definitely joint pain rather than muscular pain.

I do have dodgy knees. Not officially or anything. I just get creaky aches and pains from time to time. I’ve always assumed it’s because of old injuries from when i was a teen coming back to haunt me now i’m an old lady 😉 but maybe they’re actually naff and it’s only now i am expecting them to actually do something that we’re both realising the fact?! I dunno. The internet says i have “Runner’s Knee” which is vague and unhelpful but it could have been worse and churned out “arthritis” as an answer.

So i am laid in bed with a snotty nose and sore throat, a wound under one of my boobs, crippling pain in my knees and a fresh new wound on my shin where a vegetable knife jumped off a pile of washing up on the kitchen counter and attacked me while i tried to make dinner earlier.  Leading me to post the following status update to Facebook:

“That’s it- i quit. The Holland family.needs a new maid. Working conditions=abysmal, Rate of pay= non existant. Interested? Apply within!”

Emma, Chris’s sister expressed an interest in the vacancy so i’ve hired her on the spot.

Now i can barely move so we’re going to need a cook, cleaner, chauffeur, nanny and general dogsbody as well as a maid *sigh*

I’m happy to jobshare with the Nanny but the rest will be full time unpaid positions- anyone?! No-one?!…

The Ghost of Sick Days Past

We’ve all been ill.  Apart from Toby who must have some kind of superhuman immune system to have avoided all the germs flying his way.

It started with Chris who had a dodgy ear, then he had a cold, then i thought i had a cold but it turned out to be the flu.  Around the same time Rudy started with horrendous explosive diarrhea.  Three days later i felt that maybe, just maybe i had got through the worst of the flu when Chris and i both came down with Rudy’s tummy bug.

I have to say that i have been feeling a tad sorry for myself.  It is my annual leave week after all, and i’ve spent three days in a row stuck at home in my pjs.  It’s Rudy i feel most sorry for though, four days of toxic biohazard poop have left their mark (literally) on his behind.  He now has what may be possibly one of the worst cases of nappy rash i have seen. We’re talking blisters.  What he really needs is some lengthly nappy-free time. But what with a. the diarrhea, and b. It being November, it just isn’t happening right now.

I will say one thing.  Sick days are not what they used to be.  I remember sick days.  They used to involve nothing more strenuous than a telephone call into work (if required) and a decision on what box set to watch whilst lying in bed/on the sofa.  Possibly some sourcing of liquid refreshment/nutritional sustenance might be required.  And toileting.  But pretty much everything else used to fall by the wayside.

They certainly never used to involve laundry, housework, preparing meals for other people, getting up multiple times in the night to attend to the needs of others, or trips to Ikea (Don’t ask! It’s best not to ask!)

No, sick days are not what they used to be.

I have said before, and will say again, that the single hardest part of being a parent (practically, rather than emotionally speaking) is when they, or you, or both are ill.  You’re already so stretched.  And then the vomit/poop/fever hits.  And initially you cope, because you’re in crisis mode.  But then 2, 3 days in, it’s not a crisis anymore and that’s when you really feel it.

I am trying (so hard!) to be a glass-half-full mama though, rather than all doom and gloom.  And i’m half aware that all kinds of shit has hit the global fan recently so want it known that i do, really and truly appreciate what i have.

In that vein, i will say that i am so very very grateful that so far we have only experienced D rather than the full D&V.  I cannot begin to describe how pissed off i will be if i start vomiting.

Additionally, although sick days are not what they were in years gone by, they also never used to include this handsome bunch either…

So it’s a fair trade i suppose 😉