I didn’t get much job hunting done on the Monday or the Tuesday, instead, I opted to do a bit of reading and writing. I was trying to keep away from the internet too, staring at Facebook and Twitter waiting for something to happen might be captivating but it is extremely boring. I also figured that it wouldn’t be fair on my house mates if I was running up huge electricity bills while they were at work.
On Wednesday at midday I was back at the job centre, this time for my careers advice interview. It was with a guy called Frank. Frank wasn’t his real name, when I said to him that I was there to get careers advice he straight away said “I’m going to be Frank with you” and it stuck. I wasn’t going to use real names anyway so he had saved me some time making one up. His full sentence was “I’m going to be Frank with you here, we’re not here to give careers advice, our job is to find you work and get you off of our books”. I liked Frank, he was honest. He wasn’t saying this stuff to be horrible or because he couldn’t give a fuck, he was just relaying back to me what he had been told. I mentioned to Frank that I was interested in doing a course in rope access but couldn‘t afford it. He did a quick investigation into funding but the problem was that I wasn‘t borrowing enough money and the course was too short. He was apologetic about it and said that the best thing to do was to go away for a week and think long and hard about what it was I really wanted to do. It was at this point I realised that I needed to pull my finger out and make my own mind up, and understand that no one was going to give me the answers. I told Frank that I couldn’t come back next week because before I was made unemployed, I’d planned on going to see a friend in Northern Ireland that I hadn’t seen for a few years. Frank gave me a Going On Holiday form and said that I’d need to fill it in and bring it back to him before I left. I agreed to search for work everyday while I was away and give serious thought to the type of work I wanted. We shook hands and I departed the job centre. On my way home I did my usual lap of the pound shop, bought a root beer, and headed home.
My youngest brother and sister [twins] were going to be turning 21 at the weekend and because I didn’t have a lot of money, my sister asked me to go around hers on the Thursday to put some pictures up, mend the curtain rail that had fallen down, and help move a sofa so the carpet fitter could get into her living room [for my brother’s present I just let him keep all the money he owed me]. It was nice to spend the day with her because I hadn’t spent much time with just her and me since… well… ever. It’s a big family [six children and a mum] so when we do meet up there is usually at least four of us. I didn’t get around to putting up the pictures because the carpet fitter took longer than we thought he would, and I had to get to the Job Centre to hand in my Going On Holiday form before it shut.
Security wouldn’t allow me to go and see Frank because I didn’t have an appointment and made me queue at the reception to get permission. By going on holiday I felt like I was doing something mischievous and naughty and I tried to keep what I was doing quiet when I handed my form to Frank. He had a look at the form, said the form was fine, shook my hand and said goodbye. Then as I was walking away he very loudly wished me a safe trip.