An apt title, if somewhat technically incorrect – as anniversary refers to a yearly milestone – but I’m going to allow myself some poetic licence here.
For it’s been three full months since I took the decision to leave my previous long-term employment and try to find something more fulfilling, where I didn’t feel I was just another number ripe for abuse and discrimination wherever my Big Company Bosses saw fit.
So I thought I might take a look back at the last three months, run a fine-toothed comb through where I am in life.
And my conclusion? I’m in an angry place. Perhaps angrier than I’ve ever been. But not in an all-out-rage, shouting at kids and ramming the lollypop lady’s stick up her arse from the circle end way. No, this is a more subtle kind of fury, bubbling away like a little cavity of lava, just waiting for the right moment to pop out and infusing my entire soul with a sense of anger pretty much all day.
I suppose its the frustration. They don’t tell you this bit about unemployment, when you aren’t a serial dole scrounger. Don’t tell you how every aspect of your life becomes deeply frustrated when you make no progress, or how easy it is to fall into a pattern of disinterest in everything.
This was made stark to me yesterday. I went on a tour of the London Underground and I’m a massive train geek. I was looking forward to it, but even that didn’t have the magical impact I usually get when tube-hopping. The reason being that this unspoken pressure is constantly on my mind. I can’t enjoy anything properly at the moment.
Even my writing has suffered. My main source of relief and escapism has fallen quiet right now. I can’t focus, concentrate, and my creative powers have gone dormant. Which is hugely frustrating. I needed that to vent, to release, but I’ve struggled to type at all. Hence my long gap between posts.
The frustration is several fold. The job scene is the main one. I’ve subscribed and uploaded CV’s to all the major recruitment groups, but the jobs they send me are nonsense. I got through the first stage of a recruitment process for Welsh Government but failed at Stage Two. I can accept that one, but it’s disappointing. But when I get suggested for jobs two or three levels above my pay grade its just a waste of time.
I know I shouldn’t be so picky, casting dark looks at coffee shop and fast-food jobs. But I’m 38 this month, I left a job that was less irritating than those sectors of hospitality and I have no wish to go down that route. But my savings are dwindling at an alarming rate. If I cant find a solution soon I may have to consider selling my body.
And I don’t mean offering my kidneys on the black market, if you get my meaning!
Can you imagine that? Standing on a street corner, offering my wares. Well, my previous employer fucked me up the arse in my opinion, so I should be used to getting screwed for money, right? But maybe I’ll put being a Rent Boy on the back burner for now. Maybe invest in a vat of KY Jelly just in case.
Not that I’d mind a bit of attention. I think one of the biggest downers of the unemployment is the loneliness. I’m on my own for a good portion of every day, and without writing to absorb me it can be easy to get lost in the darkness of my own head, once the job searching proves fruitless again. That’s the other side of this frustration.
The home problems. My being off work caused a big strain on my relationship. My partner of twenty years resented me for a bit, misinterpreted something my mother said about me taking time off for a little holiday once I quite my job. It was all lost in translation, with my meaning being I was going to take a few days to see how the dust settled and plan my next move, but it didn’t come out like that. It led to some animosity between me and the missus that threatened to escalate to something worse.
Thankfully, we’ve sorted the problems and are working to make things better. Okay, it turns out that after twenty years she’s decided she doesn’t want children and I’m a little devastated by that, but what can you do? Parenting isn’t something to do if only half the couple want it. So I’m disappointed, but at this stage of life I sort of guessed it wouldn’t happen anyway. So, we move on and focus on the positives.
But the same cant be said about the other aspect of my life. Friends. or ex-work colleagues. For this experience has made it quite fucking stark to me that there is quite the distinction between the two.
Now, let me qualify this my explaining a little about my personality. I’m a fairly closed book. I think I mentioned in another post that I’m fairly introverted, and I use misplaced arrogance as a shield against my insecurities. I don’t easily let people get close to me. As such, I have few ‘friends’. I built my social world around my girlfriend and I’ve never had a problem with that. I had a few mates, but no ‘best friend’ as such. I socialise with members of my family and that’s enough for me. I got burnt in friendships during high school and never felt inclined to trust easily after that. My default position is that people are arseholes until they prove otherwise. Its not a great outlook to have, but its protected me well over the years and as a conceit, its a fairly healthy one.
So I’ve always put a barrier between people I work with and my intimate side. Partly, this is due to the fact that I’ve held management positions for years, and there needs to be a professional distance in my opinion. But there have been some I’ve gotten on better with than others, ones I’ve forged good relationships with.
And they have all – bar one – utterly forgotten me in three months.
Hence proving my point. I’ve had no messages of support or interest in my well-being since I left my job. My old GM – who I’ve always held in high regard and I hoped would be the most keen to know how I’m doing – is at the top of this guilty list. I’m most disappointed in her, to be honest. She took me into this position, and now I’m starting to think she failed to fight my corner as she claimed, maybe even resents me for bringing up her claims in my grievance appeal. I’m starting to think she may have culpability here, too. But there are plenty of others who have followed the same tact.
And this is where the loneliness comes from. Problems with my partner, shunned by work ‘friends’. Except for one. My work-wife from a previous pub. Shes a gem, an angel who’s been through some serious shit herself over the last year. The only one who has kept in touch with me, touching base almost daily. See, it only takes one to keep you going. But the others are really falling in my estimation, and my security blanket seems all the more worthwhile.
But, enough bitching. I’ve actually spent a good deal of time over the last few days trying to plan my life. I’ve let it drift over the last three months so it’s time to get it back on track. So, I’ve made lists of content for this blog so i can update it much more frequently, a list of short stories I’m going to write and sell, updates on my fiction – both fanfic and original. And I’m just going to apply for every job that isn’t ridiculous and see what happens.
So, how it is after three months? Tough. It’s been bleak, but now’s the time to get my arse in my hands and change it. Improvement isn’t going to fall into my lap. Christmas is coming, I’m about to add another number to my age, and I have nothing before me.
Or do I have everything before me? Just something else to ponder on the voyage.