Monday, April 12, 2010

Must Try Harder - Monday

From the standard of casual job applicants who dribble through the door, it’s a pretty safe bet careers officers haven’t changed much since the early eighties. Under-achievers who flunked their exams, or were just too stupid to accept spoon-fed modules they could retake until the grade boundaries had been changed enough to hit the school quota, keep on coming. Often with their mother prodding them along like a cattle herder.

‘He’s more a hands on sort of boy.’ Pitches the latest woman to drag her surly off-spring through the door, as I think the only thing the scruffy-looking lad has had his hands on recently are probably some gym-slip mum’s tits. For some reason I glance across at negotiator S at this stage, fortunately she’s engrossed in a phone call, so I turn back to the delusional woman.

‘Oh,’ she says crestfallen as I point out we’ve no vacancies at the moment and if we did we’re trying to recruit a well-qualified workforce to battle the ongoing public prejudice. ‘Only I though you didn’t need any exams or anything to be one of you.’
Not when I started, I think, which is how I ended up here. And nothing much has changed, but it doesn’t stop me hoping. It doesn’t stop me bridling at be called “one of you” either.

‘He likes people.’ Perseveres the mother gamely, as Emo-boy picks at his fingers and refuses to look me in the eye. He wouldn’t after a year doing this, I think glumly. ‘And I understand it’s good money with a company car.’ Continues the woman digging a hole even her son couldn’t extricate himself from, despite the fact he’s clearly destined for manual labour - or the local cheap fee agency at the end of the high street.

They all think it’s the suit and the car indicating we’re on banker’s money. With commission based earnings there should be one of those government riders to let people know, remuneration can go down as well as up, on the application form. And the company car? It’s taxed into benefit-in-kind oblivion, and if you have to smoke round in one with a corporate logo on the side you’d be less loathed if you were a known paedophile in an ice cream van.

‘Does he have a CV you can leave with me just in case.’ I offer in a spirit of conciliation. Talking to her, as if the unqualified lad doesn’t exist. It’s a fob-off, but then the mother may have a house to sell and you should never make more enemies than you already have.
‘Not yet.’ Apologises the mum turning to her beloved boy and adding. ‘You were about to do that weren’t you Jason.’ He grunts like a Neanderthal, as I want to scream. “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail - you numpty!”

‘Who was that deadbeat with the older bird?’ Asks mortgage man M as he waddles out of his office once the pair have left. I tell him - a précised version.
‘I thought maybe that was his lover not his mother,’ chuckles M chins wobbling grotesquely. ‘One of those cougar woman. Thought I might be able to flog the kid some life insurance on his wrinkly other half. Top investment opportunity.’

I bemoan the standard of potential employees to M. Railing at the perceived idea that if all else fails, if you are an academic disaster area, then you should gravitate towards flogging houses.
‘Isn’t that how you ended up doing this then?’ Chortles M, delighted with his bouncing-bellied wit. Man the truth hurts.

‘We can’t all have a crummy CeMap certificate.’ I snipe, hating myself for biting and ridiculing the industry mortgage qualification that I could pass if, like the just departed lad, I put my mind to it. I just don’t want to. Certainly don’t want to fail. I’ve had enough disappointments to last a lifetime.

‘What’s a cougar woman?’ I ask assistant manger T later. He nods towards lettings lush B, flirting shamelessly with a couple of young guys looking to rent.
‘Only,’ continues T. ‘You’re not really in the right catchment group, so I wouldn’t bother.’

I’ve a lot to learn.

1 comment:

Trotter said...

ha ha. excellent. keep it up SA.