So I got a job. Finally. And I got my cat neutered. Big earth shattering news we are dealing with here, huh?
Again, I have so much to say, and then I log on to find myself utterly tongue (finger?) tied. Come on, Matilda. I now work for a local arms-lengh management...thing... that deals with council tenants, as well as locals in the area, and their benefits.
Whilst at the Job Centre most of the staff have been long-term unemployed at some point, my colleagues have not. Having to deal with a humanity which is frequently rude and demanding, and coincidentally receiving benefits has made them all quite derogatory about people on benefits and the wasting of their tax money. Having spent six months on the dole, I find this attitude pretty irritating. No one is having fun on the dole. Ok, that is not quite true. But if all you have is your dole money, there simply isn't enough of it to be living the high life (a life which to be honest, I despise anyway), and by that I mean a financially free and loush life, full of material consumption. I sound like a wanker. And yes, there are people who take the piss out of the system, but the system is there to help. Just because some people manage to work it does not mean the system is wholly corrupt, or rubbish. Now I'm not quite on the other side of the counter (like the Job Centre staff), but kind of worse. At the Job Centre they deal with the 'finding a job' bit, the bit that is so frustrating, because you deal with people who, like me, perhaps, want a job, but who struggle to find one, especially because they do not already have one (fucked up trap?). This is the frustrating, depressing bit. But the stuff I deal with, people's payslips, their bank statements, their sick notes, their applications to have a council house, and their stories (and I mean this in a truthful rather than fairytale way) is truly harrowing.
In a way I like the job because I like people, and I'm interested in politics and social studies. But really my job is (when you remove the people) a very repetitive, quite boring, and very tiring way to spend my working day. So here I am, complaining again. But I'm not. When I got the job, I was over the moon, just at the wonderment of getting a job, finally! When you want a job, and you get one, you overlook the fact that, wait, this is not what you wanted to do, not even slightly. This post, dear reader, is starting to sound depressing, sorry for itself, but it really isn't, I promise. I am happy. This job will help me get other (yes, other rubbish) jobs in better places, and then hopefully I can get better jobs in better areas. You see. Horizontal movement, then onwards and upwards. And while I have said I despise a life of excessive capitalism, money is a useful thing. Money, when you don't have any, feels like the most important thing possible. But when you have just a little bit you can almost forget about it, a little at least. The experience of being on the dole has definitely taught me, at the risk of sounding like someone's grand-dad the 'value of money'. Hopefully I won't unlearn that.
And now, having said that I hate excessive consumerism and now know the value of money, I will just add a little disclaimer. I have done some shopping! Three fantastic late sixties frocks from a local charity shop (a fantastic find!), a long skirt that looks like it should possibly have been curtains, a velvety number that reminds me of a psychedelic stained glass window, a black velvet dress with bell sleeves that has made it's way from the US, to me, back again to the US, and now, hopefully, is returning to me, a 1920s silk lined fur hood, and a 1950s wedding veil, which I have not stopped prancing about in since I found it two weeks ago sitting in the window of the charity shop I used to volunteer at. A rather large amount of stuff...I'm hoping to take some photos and show you, since my words can only stand for so much in the absence of pictures.
But really the relief of having a job and therefore some money is not that I can now start living much differently from how I was materially, because I have always shopped secondhand for more or less everything, and cut my own hair and such, but that I can now envisage a future. I don't care that I want to believe that money doesn't mean anything. It does. Money means choice. Money means a freedom. It means, depending on the way you look at it, either an autonomy or a further involvement with slavery of free will. Since I am happy, I choose to believe it gives me autonomy I did not have two months ago.
I'm sorry if this post is convoluted, a mess, hypocritical, indecisive, all of the above, I wrote this at 5.30 am, and am still recovering from getting my cat neutered... (!). If you got this far, well done, have a cup of tea and we'll forget this ever happened.