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Work experience. Are you serious?

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Contributor:
Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor

If you've ever been unemployed for a considerate amount of time for whatever reason, you'll know exactly how frustrating it can be. When you need to fulfil the many condescending requirements to keep the government support going, you begin to question everything.

Since I live in a small rural 'city' and my career aspirations are far greater than the norm local aspirations of working on a production line, working in an abattoir, working as a labourer, working in customer facing roles it is difficult for me to find work that I actually want to do.

Past customer service jobs have almost driven me to committing suicide or genocide. Customers are always wrong have have bad attitudes, bad breath, bad teeth and dandruff, I assume, well, that's how I pictured them while working in call centers.

Past sales jobs have been similar in the close to committing crimes category. Sales is the playground equivalent of trying to make friends by making up outlandish lies and giving stuff away at the same time. Nirvana lyrics gave solace “look on the bright side of suicide.”.

Any past job kinda beats not having a job. It's not the money that's important here either. Recently I've been made to attend what I refer to as 'job search school' where each day, for six hours, I sit and participate in 'activities' to help me 'learn' how to find a job. It's more condescending than it sounds. The 'teacher' at this 'school' is your typical motormouthed mr enthusiastic. I have no issue with him. But I can't help but feel he thinks of his class as nothing but a bunch of absolute no hopers who can't find a job on their own. It's like the class of 'special needs' kids at primary school and I'm stuck smack bang in the middle.

I'd like to go through the characters in my 'class' but I won't because you can probably guess the types I'm surrounded by. Up until I began this 'school' I had been applying for many different jobs in the field I so desire to work in in the big nearby city to little success due to a BA I'm currently completing so hence my enrolment. I'm not conceited but I do know I have a lot more to offer than helping customers with their products or services via telephone.

The other day was a real wake up call. Sitting a class the teacher asked us what our goals were (DUH!) and as everyone said they wished to have a job at the END of the course I offered I wished to have a job like, BEFORE the completion of the course. 'Teach' asked me if I'd work in a cafe. I said yes I would in the interim but I have no experience but learn quick blah blah blah. He sent me off to his mate's cafe. The opening he had was now filled. But, he said I could do work experience for him. Like. I'm talking work for free in a cafe on Fridays and weekends. He said if I did wish to do such experience I would have to contact him AND he would only keep me if I fit in with him and his staff. The later is a no brainer in any job really, that's why god invented job interviews and that's why me and this guy had a kind of interview as he was telling me this! But doing work experience? WORKING FOR FREE IN A CAFE?! I don't think so. I'm not beyond working in a cafe but when someone tells you something they'd say to a 14 year old then that's where I draw the line.

Problem is, this rural 'city' is small so anyone with any tiny business or cafe suddenly has a big ego. 'Teach' says he has another mate with a cafe who might be looking for someone and if this other mate says the same thing then I'll be liable to thing this 'teacher' and his cafe owner mates are running a free labour racket. I'll find out tomorrow.

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