The Joy of Jobhunting

I often wonder about the folk who have to write the advertisements for jobs. If you have been reading this blog lately you will know that having found myself a single parent again at 60, I am trying to rejoin the workforce with the help of my friend “Jim” at the Jobcentre. Between us we have not done so well.

I spend a great deal of my time trawling through job sites, and I often have a little giggle at the way something is worded. The word “casual” gets used a lot, a Casual Labourer or shop assistant is often required, does this mean a person who is very relaxed and who turns up  in their old clothes, hands in pockets perhaps chewing a bit of gum,and at some time during the shift  does a bit of work if they feel the need?

Tesco want someone to work in our tiny store attached to the garage, they are “looking for people who have a hunger to work with customers and colleagues…”. Does anyone have a” hunger” to work for Tesco?

Sometimes I just don’t understand the title of the job. For example do you know what a “Guest Services Colleague” does? Sounds quite grand doesn’t it. It’s a cleaner. They can also be a “Housing Assistant”. If the title is fancy , often the salary is too. The Council seem to pay a fair bit for their senior staff,and from the complicated job descriptions they must earn it, but it all seems to involve administration, which I would not have a clue about because my administrator did all that, but she was called the “secretary” then.

At the moment you can apply to be a “financially driven Spa Therapist” ,that says it all, or an “Off shore Rigger” ,the advert tells you about the wonderful accommodation you will get. It doesn’t ,however, mention much about the weather conditions in the North Sea, but the pay looks good.waitress

The one I really wanted to apply for, until I worked out that it would take me 4 hours to get there by public transport ,despite it not being that far away,  was a Seasonal Visitor Assistant for a cafe at a power station. I loved their advert. One of the character traits they request is” to be able to deal with complaints timorously and with hostile customers sensitively.” What kind of cafe do they have, and how do they manage to upset their customers so much in the first place? Do they know that to be timorous is to be fearful?

Sometimes a job looks just the thing, then I realise that the computer programmer didn’t do Geography at school because Chandlers Ford and Shepherds Bush are certainly not in Argyll.

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Letter No. 2 please. (Jim)

Dear Jim at the Job Centre,

Oh Jim you did cheer me up this morning when I received your latest letter. I laughed so much, you should have been there.

I got three photocopied pieces of A4 Jim ,titled “Skills to succeed Academy”. It has a very nice looking young man on it, I’d guess he’s around 19. You tell me Jim, (I hope you don’t mind me calling you “Jim”, Jim, I shall try to interject your Christian name as often as I can, as your employees do mine.) ( And what’s good enough for you Jim….)

These pieces of paper tell me that the programme is to help” young people” like me, what flattery Jim, choose the right career and find and keep the right job. I hate to tell you but you are a bit late Jim, I had my career and I kept the right job for nearly 30 years!

But thanks for calling me “young” Jim, I collect my bus pass in a few weeks and I was beginning to feel a bit older. It tells me on one sheet that I can have a go at “engaging with the videos,quizzes,activities and the mobile app”,I don’t have one of those phones Jim. It suggests that it is a “flight simulator” for workers! Do you think that I could be a pilot Jim?

I did try to have a little go on your web site Jim, but the access code you gave me doesn’t seem to work, also if you click on a similar site that has an h in the web address you can enrol in an American academy that will help you get to university Jim!

When I have time, I’ll have another go. I have been looking for work, Jim, but it seems the only jobs available around here are in “Care for older people” (unless I know something about Marine Fisheries), and I’m not that far off their age Jim. I have enough trouble getting my own housework done with these knees  and I only have my bike to travel with. Although I could use my bus pass I suppose.

I’ll keep looking though, and maybe I’ll be able to stand like that young man in the photo ,with my thumbs up. By the way Jim, do you need help with your photo copying? It’s best to put the paper in the right way round. The boy on the reverse doesn’t look so good that way up- or maybe he’s just trying out the flight simulator.

I’ll keep looking then  Jim, can’t wait for your next communication,

Best wishes, J.