The closing date for job applications for the outreach worker post was at midday on the Monday. I had submitted mine the week before, where they had stated that I’d know within a couple of days after the closing date if my application had been successful or not. I reckoned I’d know by the Wednesday, so I set about improving my CV in the meantime. It took me most of Monday to complete because I kept getting distracted. Why do overmorrow what can be done the day after? Or to be more precise - Fuck it, I’ve got all day.
Tuesday was the launch show for the fourth Shield Your Eyes record, titled Volume 4. I had enough money to buy a record, get in, and buy a few beers. I had actually decided beforehand that I wasn’t going to drink. I could have been getting a phone call the next morning and didn’t want the hangover, plus beer is extortionately priced in bars and I had become niggardly with my money. The gig was in Stoke Newington and because I knew the area quite well I was in charge of directions. I showed my friend the Arsenal Stadium which is now houses, and the pub I used to drink in on match days. Ten minutes in to the tour I realised that we were lost. We consulted google maps on a mobile device and headed for the big church in the distance. We were a tad late but had luckily not missed any of the bands. I went to the bar to buy a cola, and my friend Tom was already there, waiting to be served.
“Would you like a beer?”
“Cheers, but I’ll be fine thanks”
“Don’t worry, I won’t expect one back, I know you’re unemployed at the moment. I’ve got a job and loads of money”
Tom is a cheeky fucker, but at the same time was being genuinely nice and thoughtful. I took him up on the offer and he bought me a pint of Spitfire. It‘s a great beer with an excellent slogan (No Fokker Comes Close). Tom suggested that I should apply for the Royal Mail [he is a postie himself] as they were already behind with the Christmas post and were short staffed and looking for temporary workers. I decided there and then that I’d apply first thing in the morning. With a pint of beer in one hand and a temporary postie job on my mind, I headed downstairs to the part where the bands play. My mate Stef was on the door [you may remember him from week three] and when it came for me to pay he looked a bit embarrassed, tilted his head, then lowered the volume of his voice
“you don’t have to pay if you don’t want to, I know you’re a bit skint at the moment”
“It’s cool man, I’ve got enough for tonight, cheers anyway”
I was quite touched, and although it is embarrassing to be thought of as a person in need, put into perspective, it was just friends looking out for each other. The gestures were small, but still very much appreciated. I might be over analysing things, but fuck it, humans rule! Sometimes.
I didn’t get a phone call on the Wednesday like I hoped I would. I did however apply for the Royal Mail, measured myself for the extras work and applied with the casting agency (the website said that they were desperate for men of my description and filming was taking place November-December in my area) and applied for a job working with kids at a Virgin Active fitness centre, which I was more than qualified for. I also uploaded my CV to Reed and Monster and other job search websites. I was done by early afternoon, so I gave Shield Your Eyes’ Volume 4 a few spins whilst drinking a shit load of tea, and treated myself to some frozen diced beef and made a beef stew.
I was woken early on Thursday morning by a guy from an education employment agency
“I got your CV from the Reed website and am just wondering what sort of work it is that you’re looking for?”
Tired, and trying to sound awake I replied with
“I’m not sure, I’ve got an NVQ level 3 in Childcare, Learning and Development”
“I’m led to believe that you’d be interested in teaching assistant work?”
“Yeah, I think so, would I be qualified enough for that?”
“Yes certainly. More than most of the people that work for us, plus I see that you have lots of experience with both primary and secondary aged children”.
You see, when I went for my careers advice, this is the sort of shit I expected to be told. I don’t know why, I just thought that a teaching assistant would have a specific qualification and that because of this, it would be beyond my reach. You might think I’m a plonker for thinking that way, but I wouldn’t have still been thinking that way if someone had told me. Someone like the JOBCENTRE! Dennis, the guy on the phone, made me an appointment to meet up with him at his office for the following Friday. I hung up the phone, smiled, then headed downstairs to make breakfast and a cup of tea.
Nothing of note happened on the next day. I didn’t get a phone call or receive any emails regarding the jobs that I’d applied for. Sadly, they weren’t in as much of a rush to employ as I was to become employed.