Every single time I look in the mirror I’m stung by a reminder that I’m not 18 anymore (or 20, or 24, or… I’ll stop there). Every time I wobble into a choppy patch of life I find myself wishing I was a fresh-faced school leaver again, only this time armed with the knowledge I’ve collected over the years. I’d look myself directly in the dumb demented-teenage-face and tell him to ‘suck it up.’ I’d tell him to throw himself like a career-driven whore on every opportunity, to ride every prospect that came along and to stop blowing chances. Can you imagine how different my life would be if I did that?
I’m a fan of bald, unvarnished truths so I’m just going to just fling this out there: I hate my job. Hardly a spoiler alert, but there it is. You see the place gnaws away at me to the point I’ll soon require two therapists just to tell me that a homicidal rampage ‘isn’t the answer.’ The job role itself is tedious, and brings me a much joy as having cigarettes stubbed out on my nipples. Being in that place makes me feel worthless; as though I am a frumpy floating entity that’s engulfed in the massive jaws of corporate capitalism. I could hurl myself down a garbage chute and be found two weeks later, bleeding out on a mountain of rubbish and ‘vote Tory’ flyers, and it wouldn’t even elicit more than a ‘Huh’ from (some) people at work. In summary: It is making me miserable. So, like anyone who is miserable, I’ve had a week or two of wallowing and now I’m trying with a conviction that’s bordering on religious to change my entire life: Starting with my employment. The only issue is, the career path I want seems to be undergoing maintenance – and this is terrifying me.
It’s a syrupy kind of terror that keeps me awake at night, characterised by looping thoughts of how I don’t have a proper career, or that I don’t have partner, or a mortgage or a French bulldog named ‘Wolfgang’ yet. It’s not unlike the feeling I got the night before Sports Day at primary school that kept me ten-year-old self awake. To combat this terror I’ve been ruthlessly applying for jobs – some within the field of my desired career, as well as others. Anything to kick-start the much-needed change in my life. Trouble is it’s never that easy. You know those people that tell you it’s easier to get a job if you have a job? Yeah, they’re lying. Those are the same people that said you looked good in that top that was blatantly too small for you and are also the type of people that consider going vegan ‘for fun.’
Nevertheless I am continuing to look for jobs, ALL jobs, employing the assistance of various websites and bombarding friends with requests to pass on any job-related knowledge they have. I heard back from a marketing/social-media related job I applied for earlier, but alas the news wasn’t good. Granted they gave good feedback but said they wanted someone with ‘at least’ two years-experience in that field. Which prompted that age-old question, how are you meant to gain more experience in that desired field if you aren’t afforded the opportunity? The real kicker was a follow up email they sent which implored me to apply for one of their internships. Now, if I were 17 again and able to survive off £162 a week then sure, I’d be game, but I’m not and they know this – how? Because my date of birth is on my fucking CV and we spoke about it at the interview.
A jokey conversation with another friend lead to me, quite seriously, being offered the chance of becoming a rent boy – ahem sorry – an escort. Apparently he knew someone that was paid to blow-someone and, jeez, I don’t know the details. I didn’t exactly ask for a documentary-style rehashing of the tale. His heart was in the right place, but anyway I said no. As if anyone would pay for ‘this’, I’m like a leper I can’t even give it away half the time. Although, if things get much worse I may consider bringing that back to the table, but even that itself presents a lot of issues:
1) You’d be self-employed which is like wondering into a whole different kinda terrifying tax-related nightmare.
2) You’d have to work on a sensual, and alluring narrative; one that’s brimming with possibility, but still makes you sound unattainable.
3) I’d have to give out business cards in a way that’s pseudo-sexual.
4) Would I need a pimp? Like, do they come recommended, or are you assigned one like you are a guidance teacher or National Insurance number?
5) I’d have to design the business cards – how much glitter is too much glitter?
6) I’d have to think of an alias; a stage-name which suggests that I don’t drink my wine from a plastic cup. I can see how much time this would take up; I’d juggle ideas and zig-zag back and forth between them. I’d need a name that jumps off the screen and into a rich older man’s wallet/lap; something that’s silly but not obvious. Something that didn’t make it sound as though I was lisped before exiting the womb. A name that won’t attract sociopathic chicken hawks (aka a cougay) or that makes me sound like a pseudo intellectual (aka bossy bottom.) I’d lean towards ‘Twinkerfella’ but then steer away as it’s rife with implications that I have multiple sex tapes out there, all of which are probably available to view for free on PornHub.* I’m also as far away from Twinkhood as Theresa May is from the working class. A veritable RAT (rapidly ageing twink.)
7) I’d have to bulk-buy glitter. All good prostitutes carry emergency glitter. It’s for insurance purposes.
8) It sounds like a lot of maintenance work. I’ve seen Dove commercials, I know.
I obediently drank out of sippy cups in my youth, but that’s the only time I’ll be commanded to put something in my mouth. Rent boy – ahem sorry – escort, is not for me.
Then when I do get interviews, a whole bunker of other issues is unlocked. I have a traumatising fear of job interviews (again, primary school, night-before-sports-day.) The fact is, since my first ever job interview, I haven’t gotten any more comfortable with them. Every interview feels a lot like a first visit to a new general practitioner: Burdensome, awkward and a little bit chilly. I always leave the flat looking interview-ready and arrive looking as though someone’s slapped make up and 26-inch rims on a wheelie bin. I go into the interview room and my nerves get me in a choke hold, forcing me to either talk too much or not talk at all. I start sweating like someone who can’t swim being told they must cross the Atlantic on punctured lilo. Then I fumble over, through and around the questions and the whole time the person interviewing me in penning his suicide note. I try and sound professional, and to lighten the mood, but my attempts are feeble; to him my voice is like honey-coating a knife, so I pray that I’ll melt into the chair. After enduring a heated round of interview-questions under sweltering anxiety, the kind of heat that makes you want to pass out in the shower, I go home, climb into my softest hoodie, make myself a spot of tea, and settled in for a long-winter’s worth of job rejections.
I am not happy in my current employment, I don’t feel valued and everyone should feel valued in their jobs. There isn’t any magic site you can visit that will gift you with your perfect job; just as there’s no magic pill you can take to make you happy. I spent a long time waiting for happiness and my dream career to come to me. It’s only recently that I’ve realised you need to make your own luck and build your own career path. I want to be a successful writer; one that can make a career and a sustainable living from his books, essays, blogs, and whatever. When people say they want to be a writer that is normally translated as he/she just wants to stay home and masturbate. A lot. But I do want that – the first part that is – and I’ll keep writing and churning stuff out, accepting the fact that for the time being only a small cluster of people will read my blogs or buy my self-published books. But I will do that while working in a job I enjoy and that offers progression. I might not find my dream job, but any job is better than a job I hate getting up for in the morning.
*Disclaimer: I do not have ANY sex tapes out there.