Further Down The Spiral.
As mentioned in my last post, I had to attend a Jobs Fair today. My cynicism was well placed.
There were half a dozen companies with representatives there, two of them hotel chains; a photographer who had left before I arrived; an event stewarding company; and a cleaning company. The stewarding company are vaguely in my line (theatre, film, TV, and events crew) but they only offer a zero-hours contract, in line with the rest of the industry. They also only pay minimum wage, and so if I could risk the gamble of having no set hours then I would apply to every theatre under the sun ahead of donning a high-visibility jacket and parading football grounds and festival sites – the pay is better, and it’s what I want to do. The problem with no set hours is that there’s no set pay, and when you have several fixed monthly outgoings to meet it’s a risk. The Jobcentre don’t make it easy for you to take that option either, as by the time your claims are closed, opened, or processed your work situation has changed again. Somebody needs to address that.
The Work Programme have mentioned in passing a number of vacancies they have going in a recycling plant. It’s hardly glamourous, but I know they’ll provide all necessary PPE and it’ll be a lot more enjoyable than anything office based. If it’s lifting and shifting, then that is much the same as theatre to some degree. I thought that was the job I went to ask about today, but I was wrong.
The advisor sat me down and told me that this firm clean offices – fine, whatever, I’ll clean an office. At this point I don’t care, so long as it is financially viable. Then she told me that they’ve just been awarded the contract to clean a local theatre. Specifically, a theatre where I worked as a carpenter, flyman, stage crew, and followspot operator. I politely declined, because I’m not ready to turn up at my old place of work in that capacity. “Hi Jordan, how are you, not seen you in ages, what you been up to, what you doing here?”
“Can you show me where the hoover is?”
I can take a knock to my pride, sure, but I’m not about to dropkick it down a dozen flights of stairs and then stamp its head concave.
It’s not even full-time hours anyway, the most they can offer is 24/week and the Work Programme have already told me (via a Better Off In Work calculation) that I need to be doing at least 37 to make ends meet. So that’s the jobs they could offer me today – one that won’t guarantee it can cover my regular expenditures (rent, bills), and one that doesn’t provide as many hours as they’ve told me I need to be doing. Complete waste of time.
I held off writing that on the feedback sheet they gave me to fill in on my way out.