Wednesday, September 28, 2005


I haven't paid for therapy for 15 years now and never intend to again. I benefit just as much from unloading here, it may piss people off to the point of turning over to another channel, metaphorically speaking, but I now look forward to coming home and composing something usually as I write, as I am now. It's only a day since I last posted, but in blogs a day is a long time... I didn't do a lot more than work today (makes a bloody change) but I have finally discovered how to replace the dodgy knob on my front door that had meant it was possible to push it open for weeks unless I used the deadlock. It now clicks shut like a Rolls Royce door, and only cost me £12! I also started fixing the metal windows now the doors and bricks are more or less repainted, and filled all the old putty with new stuff, which is essential to maintain as if the windows rust it'll cost as much as a new house, well more than I want to spend anyway. And my mum told me she did all the same work 45 years ago when we lived over the road in an identical bungalow. That's one advantage not having a top floor as you can reach much of the easy DIY areas you can't on a house and save the money you then spend on the double stretch of guttering compared to on a house, ie you can't win.

I have relayed my 'love history' on the new blog, and looking at it seen how incredibly repetitive my situations have been, and still can't understand how. I have (no names so no readers embarrassed) admirers abroad who are quite unlike the weird and wonderful array of misfits I meet in London, who I believe would still like me in person goes to add to my view it's not something I do that leaves me terminally single. In fact, getting to know people online means by the time you do eventually meet you already know each other so well there are unlikely to be any new faults left to discover. I have no reason to hide my own weaknesses online as we all have them, so what's so clever about pretending you haven't if you have? That's the British way and means people of my age or so don't realise their problems are shared with anyone else, let alone common, so I do my bit to balance this pathetic situation and after pretending I was OK for many years, now try and educate people it's OK to have problems.

So, I've done the little jobs I had to do more or less, and painting the windows will follow when there's time, but there's nothing urgent left thank goodness till the next crisis god forbid. Even though it's still September, I almost feel like an annual review as I've had such a shit year besides the media and creative side of it. I have met and pursued three women of varying qualities, with even less success than average as usually at least one will go out with me a few times before saying I'm only a friend. This time one said she would and didn't, one asked me to travel with her, and when I couldn't never offered me anything again. And the third was a bit like Barnet's chances at Manchester Utd coming up, it's possible to win but no one expects it. The result I had was unfortunately the expected one, though she was not only the best but the only one without 'issues', which is almost unheard of in the women I go after. And many things I still had have now gone, most of all being my income, with dodgy health from all the stress of the year's situations. When you're in a legal dispute over your very financial survival, the post provides the equivalent of about three day's work a week. You get a letter, you try and dispute it, needing legal help, compose letters, print and copy them, and then get a reply repeating the previous one. This happened continually for four months and is still going on, and in all that time I haven't earned a thing. For a while I offered my services in various suitable places, but unless you're from a particular field with a consistent work record no one in London will touch you with a barge pole, they'd rather get school leavers or women with kids who don't expect much out of it compared to a man who may actually want more than the minimum wage as he hasn't got a partner to earn the lion's share. This is not my opinion, I emphasise, but most employers looking for part time staff. Men don't get a look in. I worked part time since 1989 simply because I was at college one morning a week and not a place in Britain would let me take the morning off. So I worked probably 25 hours a week altogether over about three different places. Then when I finished college I spent a year and a half applying for full time jobs, being free at last at 31! After I think 150 applications and 3 interviews I ended up working three days a week in my friend's shop. This paid my bills for 5 years and allowed me to work another day or so elsewhere If I could. After that I couldn't imagine full time work again and never got another job save for a few days in another shop I knew which closed from lack of customers after my first week.

I used the time after that (another 100 plus applications and about 3 interviews) to study from home, and in 2001 became pretty well qualified. I applied for about a job every month (counselling is not often offered as regular paid work, certainly not enough for all the applicants looking) and I got one interview after over a year, and that was it. In the end I went back to looking for shop and similar work, but I've run out of friends and family with businesses, and that's where I am now. In reality I doubt I can go broke, but as that's an assumption at most, it's only too easy to imagine it, as going by my past record it's near on impossible to get a regular job I'd be able to do for more than a week without cracking up. Ideally by now I'd be married, looking after the kids at home while my wife worked, if that's what we could agree, and if self employed media work ever came my way I could do most of it from home along with painting. To think, had just one of the jobs I applied for in 1991 had come up, I'd never had stopped working full time and become used to it. I was so flexible the only criterion I had was not to work inside the London ring road, as the journey there in the past had been like a day's work in itself. Sadly it's still the custom to locate about 90% of the offices in London within the ring road, so I was restricted to the few left that everyone else wanted as well. But I was prepared to do anything in an office I didn't need secretarial training for. I'd done despatch work and computer entry before, as well as accounts and filing, and every firm needed that, so I thought. What did they need? Shorthand and fucking typing. Not just the typing I do now (32 wpm, consistent for 20 years) but double that minimum. I went for a job thinking it was clerical legal work to find out they wanted the office manager of the clerks. OK, I thought, a bit more work to do but some authority. What did they do in the interview? A bloody fucking typing test, again! I was interviewing for a manager of a whole legal department at the council, with a law degree, and all they wanted to know is 'How fast can I type?'. My spelling and accuracy, as anyone can see, is almost 100%. Anyone reading my work may complain about the layout, but it'll always be accurate. Who really cares if I may have to stay late the odd day to finish it?
So for all the people in the past (you know who you are, if you still read this) who criticised my evasion of work, it wasn't my choice. In fact, I chased work for years and ended up with one job that lasted 5 years and one 3 days, both part time. After about 300 applications. This is rapidly becoming like an eastern bloc economy, and soon at this rate crime will become a bigger requirement for success than qualifications. And if you don't believe me, remember who said the oil price would ruin the world economy a month before Gordon Brown finally admitted it. I live in Brent, I see it happening around me.

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