Ode to Yesterday – Raining Water, Not Work

Yesterday morning I woke up with a yawn and a stretch to brilliant sunshine and a dog on my head.

I proceeded to do what every Norman does: I had a shower, fought over the electric toothbrush with my significant other, and returned to the bedroom to get dressed.

The sunlight brought with it this level of warmth that screamed: “Thou Shalt Not Wear a Jumper!” And so I didn’t. I dressed for the weather.

Mistake No. 1: Forgetting that I live in England.

So with great vestage comes great piss-it-down rainage. And what could top going back to the car after work sans coat, hat or sleeves? Hailstones, of course.

Luckily, this is not Australia, where hail stones are as large as a baby, so I still have full use of fingers, arms, car windscreen… I’m feeling lucky.

I’ve been on the prowl for freelance work, and yesterday I stayed up half the Pacific time zone daytime waiting for a call which didn’t come. (See, my ultimate plan is to have a job in nigh on every workable time zone – who needs sleep, right?)

Update: Call was received May 28. Position has morphed from proofreader to writer with a salary of gratitude.

In my disappointment, I thought I’d peruse the big boys. I spotted an error in an article that had been replicated by every other article that had used it as a source and figured hey, why not ask if they have a job going? (And if not, who cares – just make sure they correct the guy’s name.)

I don’t recommend that approach, people – ’tis a very bad thing when you’ve ultimately said, “Hiya, I’m a copy editor and I was wondering if you’ve got any jobs going since your current copy editor’s a bit crap!” (I didn’t use those words, but you get my point.)

In this world where it’s hard to get experience unless you’re experienced – and not experienced at trying to get experience – you have to be proactive. Unfortunately, I repeat my problem: “I live in England.”

You have to be lucky in this country for proactivity to work in your favour. In my case, it gets me nowhere – and I know others who would agree with that statement.

I’m a copy editor for a two-year-old online news source that boasts a gazillion more readers than my local rag. Ask for work experience at the local rag (I’m looking at you, Harlow Star!), they fail to respond. But the guys who work solely on the net will pay you to do far more work than you’re requesting from the rag.

I guess this problem happens everywhere; every employer wants proven experience, something you can’t give them unless you have proven experience.

We need to earn money, and it seems many of us are becoming lazy.

Is it any wonder?

I’ve signed up to a lot of websites as of late, and the problem is it shows in my inbox.

Did you know your bank could owe you thousands?

That’s my most recent email.

Following on the list: “Congratulations: You are the chosen one”; “Stop Paying Your Debts” (if only I could); “Borrow from £400 to £50,000″… How the heck are these not going straight into my junk? Hotmail, I think you have some explaining to do.

The point is, though, it’s not just the emails, is it? We’re still inundated with adverts trying to convince us to take someone to court because we were careless and tripped over something which we probably would have noticed if we were looking.

My own mother yesterday announced that she is hoping I fall through the rotting steps to the veranda so that she can claim on my what-she-hopes-to-be serious injury. FYI, folks, I am the favourite child!

It seems that these days everyone is looking for an easy way out. Things are getting tougher, and as much as the country would like to believe it’s down to whichever government is in power at that moment in time, things have just seemed to slow down to a crawl. Unless you’re in the banking industry. You know, one of those guys in charge.

Which brings me on to another discussion of yesterday: wages.

Love them or hate them, our country is in the hands of the politicians. Lives are in the hands of the politicians. Jobs are in the hands of the politicians. The very existence of little fluffy fox cubs and badgers depends on the politicians (and Brian May, obviously).

I just Googled David Cameron’s salary, which gave me a 2013 combined ministerial and parliamentary figure of £142,500. That’s £22,500 more than Raheem Sterling, one of the Premiership’s lowest-paid footballers (really?), gets per month.

I won’t get into the whole banker thing. So basically, the only subjects that will really help you in school are maths and sport – specifically football. Study well and you could save the world! Or not. But this tells us one very important thing, one that can make each of us feel less insignificant: Cameron obviously wasn’t that great at maths, either.

I think it’s time for me to find a talent other than reading and become an entrepreneur. Either that, or arrange to be a footballer’s hit-and-run victim. Whichever comes first. Both are easier than getting a job.

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