Welcome back everyone to this thoroughly self referential series of posts. To keep you hooked though, there will once more be some actual current news at the end of today’s ramble. I left you yesterday as a recent graduate…
And there were no jobs. Seriously. It’s a good month if I manage to get one interview somewhere, and sadly the job market is so saturated at the moment that there has always been someone more qualified than me. I have over a decade of retail experience, including three years of management, along with 2:1 degree and I can’t even get onto a supermarket graduate scheme. This sucked, as it was pretty much the opposite of what I thought it would be like after getting a degree.
After about a year of this a chance arose to apply to join the services on the officer career pathway with the Royal Air Force. I had all the necessary qualifications, and after passing graduate level psychometric tests, I should have had no problem with the officer tests. I was slightly worried about my fitness levels as I was at the time very close to the upper age which you can apply to join, even as ground support. But I knew I had it in me to work on that so I went and applied. This is not a simple process, exacerbated by the fact that I hadn’t needed to see a Doctor in over ten years so had bugger all in the way of a medical history, I tagged all my tattoos, and spent days filling in the reams of paper work and getting various people to vouch that I was actually whom I claimed to be, and after a month found myself awake before dawn heading to the selection centre in a nearby city.
Sadly I was to find out there was one thing needed that I simply could not provide; my GCSe certificates proving that I had attained the minimum required standard in maths. I had in fact exceeded the minimum, but was no longer in possession of the certificates. For American readers, the GCSe is taken when leaving junior high, and is almost always superseded by a more advanced qualification. The only time I had ever been asked to present them was when I applied to go to college to study production engineering. That was almost twenty years ago, and at some point after that, the certificates had been lost, almost certainly during a house move. I hadn’t even noticed as no one ever needed to see them. The solution was to get replacements printed off, but due to various problems with that – my own personal finances and my old high school being unable to even tell me which examination board I needed to apply to – the RAF idea was shelved.
This hit me kind of hard. I had spent a very long time on this, and was more excited about it than I had been about anything in years. I had always wanted to serve, but there always seemed to be something that got in the way. This was going to be my chance. After that I lost interest in a lot of things. Especially applying for other jobs. My lovely girlfriend and I live together, and if it wasn’t for her career, I would have been screwed. I was still working the same part time shifts at a book store that had helped keep me afloat at university but without a living cost grant and student loans, this barely covered my half of the rent.
My girlfriend knew that the latest setback had hit me hard and was prepared to give me some space and time to regroup. What she wasn’t prepared for was just how apathetic I had become. Not even bothering to apply for jobs because I had already convinced myself that I wouldn’t get them, and only engaging in the most cursory of searching for jobs in the first place. After a few too many days of her coming home from work to find me spending a whole day doing nothing but playing video games, she sat me down and gave me the talking to that I needed. Without that kick up the arse I don’t know how much longer she would have put up with me, and for that I’m eternally grateful.
So, I had a kick up the arse, but that didn’t mean that the job market was any better. I needed to make a change in myself though, and one thing I decided upon was that I was going to start seizing more opportunities, saying yes to more things, and pushing for stuff I wanted regardless of whether it was available.
This brings us to today’s bit of news. A few weeks back I was offered a job. I had no experience in this field of work, and the nature of the position meant that it would not be a guaranteed source of income. I was halfway through writing a negative reply to the gentleman in question when I remembered the promise I had made myself, and typed a swift about turn, practically biting his hand off. What was the job? Well I’m pleased to say that I am now the agent/manager of a stand up comedian. He’s a friend who enjoyed some success at this years ago and had been thinking about taking to the scene once more, but needed representation that he knew he could rely on. I had no idea how to do it, but between blogging and other writing, I’m learning what I need to know, and doing my best to get the news about him out there.
The man in question is Lou Saffire, and if you have any interest in political satire as a form of humour, then you could do worse that check him out. I’ll be back tomorrow with the story of how the blog started, and yet another fun other project I’m working on.