My Week in Joblessness (12): People really do say stupid things about unemployment

Published 23/8/2013 on GoThinkBig

My Week in Joblessness sticky-2

Jobseekers have spent the past week fielding insults from a meddle of crusty old bastards. My thumb was poised for a twant (tweet-rant) – but I waited. I haven’t shown such restraint since hearing “Does anyone want the last scone?” (They were at the next table, so I said no.)

Brendan O’Neill says, “Interns don’t deserve pay”

Hello, Brendan. I want to play a game. It’s called, “Read Before You Write”.

This one’s partly our fault. We haven’t been paying enough attention to The Spectator, or they wouldn’t have commissioned an article so ill-informed, so arse-baringly crass, so tea-splutteringly outdated. It’s click-bait journalism, the Katie Hopkins model of content: say something outrageously stupid, chuckle as the huffy traffic rolls in.

Yet I can’t avoid taking the bait. Mmmm. Bait.

I Googled you, Brendan. You’re terribly established. You must read the news. You must know many entry-level positions are now filled by cycles of interns. You must have read editors’ confessions of being instructed to hire unpaid interns specifically to cut costs. A man with your résumé KNOWS that a putrid number of internships aren’t for inexperienced wannabes whom editors are looking to teach, but trained junior journalists they’re looking to underpay. I smell a disingenuous rat.

For shame, Brendan, you descended into a Python-esque “in MY day…” rant. Brendan regaled us with a tale of his youth, jobseekers; interning “for a daily cup of coffee, which I had to make myself.” In Brendan’s day, they would walk barefoot for nine hours in a blizzard for a slap in the face with a wet, spiky fish – and were DAMNED GRATEFUL for the opportunity.

Brendan, either that coffee was science-defyingly nutritious and opened out into a small studio flat, or you were one of the privileged few with someone funding you past your education.

Brendan suggests “working class kids” can fund internships (often in London, one of the most expensive places on the planet) by – get this –:

a) Getting “Saturday jobs”. Doing what, Brendan? Fixing penny-farthings?

b) Sleeping on a mate’s couch. Brendan, do you KNOW how long some of these internships last? Who are these friends of yours with a year’s worth of couch to spare? Could you introduce us? They sound really nice.

Also, “working-class”? Brendan, I’m middle class (yesterday I said, “If it’s not extra virgin then what’s the bloody point?”) and I can’t afford to work for free. Class is a BIT more complex than the state of your bank balance. That’s why people call the days before payday “a struggle” rather than “my working class days, before I’m gloriously restored to my rightful place in the squeezed middle.”

So, Brendan, while the term “modern-day slavery” may be a tad dramatic, we’ll be pushing ahead for pay and meritocratic recruitment processes with or without your approval. But every time we have a coffee we have to make ourselves, we’ll think of you. *

*We will not think of you, Brendan.

The Recruitment Society’s Norman Rose says we’re “job snobs”

Hello, Norman. I want to play a game. It’s called, “Mixed Messages”.

Norman Rose called the youth of today “job snobs” for having the NERVE to think we deserve careers in our chosen field.

When we were little, Norman, our parents asked us what we wanted to be. We told them, and they held our dreams to ransom. They conspired with the government to drum into us that we’d have to work in Poundland instead, unless we did our SATs, GCSEs, AS levels, A levels, BAs, MAs and possibly PhDs.

We’ve spent years busting our humps on meaningless exams, learning useless facts and dates, handing in reams of coursework on a Pro-plus comedown. All because it was our ticket to What We Wanted to Be.

We fulfilled our part of the bargain…and now you’re saying we should apply to Poundland anyway? We’re SNOBS for wishing those miserable years had paid off?

Oh, Norman. You’re going to have to give us a pretty convincing reason not to tie you to a chair in the jobless trenches – and Pyjarmy torture methods are horrifying. Worse than Banged Up Abroad. We sit in front of you with a joke book and read out punchlines. Just punchlines. No setups. Because we’re still waiting for our punchlines, Norman. We’re not well, Norman. We’re not well.

UKIP MEP Godfrey “Bongo-Bongo land” Bloom says, “no businessman with a brain would employ a lady of child-bearing age”

Hello, Godfrey. Shut up.

Seriously, stop letting words leave your mouth near human ears.

Women of ALL ages have a tougher time getting a job. Young’un’s are rejected for being “too fresh out the oven”. Later in life, bosses pass over experienced women for younger, fresher blood, like vampires turning their nose up at the over-ripe. “Ew, no, get a fresh one, this one’s passed it’s suck-by date.”

The middle stage excuse? Babies. Affronted budget-clutchers assume any woman of “child-bearing age” (which technically, Godfrey, is roughly 16-45) WILL be bearing them, and on the company dime. One way to stop squashing female employment would be equal parenting leave – bosses saying, “Bob, go spend time with your kid before he grows up and robs me to get some attention.”

Godfrey has another idea: don’t hire women.

Good idea, Bloomers! Let’s cut the UK work force in half! You should probably also avoid hiring anyone who may get sick, take holidays or need a pension. In fact – just hire robots! You wouldn’t have to pay them ANYTHING! Oh Godfrey, we’re full of ideas. We have others, mainly regarding a creative hiding place for your head.

Godfrey isn’t the first to state this opinion, but he is the first to have the Pyjarmy break into his office and plaster the walls with nappies. He got ever so cross, especially when we wouldn’t untie him. Norman didn’t help matters, sitting there laughing (he somehow started guessing the setups).

Godfrey says if we let him go he’ll hire all nine of us, “including both the girls”. Has science mastered male pregnancies yet? If so, this is going to cost him… GoThinkBig


5 thoughts on “My Week in Joblessness (12): People really do say stupid things about unemployment

  1. I’d just read The Spectator article (and the comments. Why on earth I subjected myself to the comments I’ve no idea) and it was nice to read a well rounded, rational response. The Godfrey Bloom response was pretty good as well (;

  2. Pingback: Insincerity: the language of cover letters | howtobejobless

  3. Pingback: Ben Goldacre: “We should be grateful to the young…and pray that they don’t turn” | howtobejobless

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