Friday, 2 October 2009

Easy Money

After last week’s lamentation of the fruitless job search things have taken a decidedly upward turn. Not because I have a job- oh no! But because I am now officially on job seekers allowance! Yes, I had to brave the Leith Jobcentre to be assessed and assisted. It was a curious experience that had me quite nervous. I dressed up in smart clothing and tentatively made my way there. Initial impressions were good, a barrage of ‘welcomers’ met me at the door and directed me where to sit and what to do. I was quickly seen by a very enthusiastic chap who went over the job seekers allowance form and processed my request. He was very chatty and proceeded to give me his entire life story about how he had 2 degrees and was living in Canada on some big oil job when his father and brother died and being the eldest son, he returned to tend to the family ad had never returned. It was sorrowful tale full of regret and lost potential.

Anyway, after that I was taken upstairs for my motivational job seeking advice and guidance thingy. The chap there was not nearly so warm and helpful. In fact had the distinct impression was he had clinical depression. But then who can blame him as undoubtedly most of the people he had to advise are not, let’s say, motivated like me. For an example, as I walked up the stairs, following the directions of ‘go through that door, go upstairs’; directions I felt were pretty self explanatory. However a fellow jobseeker did not obviously feel this way. As he barged past ne he screamed in my face 'IS THIS LEFT’ and once entering the room full of chairs he again bellowed ‘ WHERE DO I SIT DOWN?’ I felt the rows of chairs were a clue.

Anyway, back to the job advisor chap. Well, his attempts of advice where immediately limited by the fact his response to my request to seek a career as an Allied Health Professional was a blank empty stare. I repeated myself and after a second blank stare I explained it as ‘not a doctor or a nurse but health related’. Then when I said I would also look at other jobs as well he got ever more confused and said ’but you are a doctor?’ despite me already explaining about the whole quitting thing. Eventually he stopped talking to me and started fiddling with his computer and brought up a list of recent jobs listed on the jobcentre website. I explained to him that I had already looked at all the relevant jobs and applied for them, but he didn’t seem to understand that and insisted on printing off a couple of jobs that I had already applied for. Then he said ‘you’re better at doing this on your own, aren’t you?’. I nodded.

After that sojourn into the joyful and pleasant land of the poor (despite having no money myself I am not one of the poor as I have fond memories of having money that enriches me) the weekend came to pass and with brought much fun and excitement. Andi came across from Fort William and I duly showed him the sites of Edinburgh- the pork roll stand at the Saturday market and the vintage clothing store- before descending into an alcohol fuelled afternoon having cocktails with my old flatmate and his friend who also happened to be visiting the fair city. Things proceeded on that same vein that evening when more revellers joined our little party and we ended up dancing in a rather sweaty club with poor music.
If you would like to see how I was dancing on the dance floor that night and want a laugh, look up Shakira’s She-Wolf video on Youtube and imagine me in very tight jeans, a bad back and slightly alcohol fuelled, attempting to imitate the bendy Columbian’s moves. Not a pretty sight.

The beginning of the week began quite productive again with a brief journey back north to attend an education forum thingy my aunt Moira organised. During that time I also saw my mother and her house which now excitingly has a toilet! On my return to Edinburgh, my descent into being a slovenly unemployed alcoholic continued as I attended a pub quiz and was chatted up by a 60 year old drunk woman covered in curry stains. However, I think I’ll leave that tale for another time and keep you in suspense, because who can resist tuning in next time to hear how that story panned out.

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