Today, ladies and gentlemen, I Made an Effort in the field of finding employment. Well, I say “effort”… more of a token gesture really, but the point is that I have applied for a job. As an “Arts Assistant”, which is a fancy way of saying I have to help file and archive a shitload of paintings. Some may consider this job too menial- effectively, it’s just shelf-stacking but with pictures. Personally, however, I couldn’t be happier about the prospect. Why? Because it means I GET TO SPEND ALL DAY AROUND GREAT WORKS OF ART with VERY FEW PEOPLE! The hours are also pretty good: 10 till 6. That’s handy because, as was discovered the last time I spent the day at the national gallery, six o’clock is around the time at which I start to get bored and draw little mustaches on the Monéts.
So, basically, hoozah for me. Whether I’ll get the job or not, I don’t know, but at the very least the next time I go into the Job Centre to collect my unemployment allowance, they won’t be able to look at me like I’m indolent scum happy to remain forever unemployed. The fact that I am incredibly indolent and would happily spend my days dicking about pointlessly without formal employment is besides the point: I have actually made a move towards towards being a gainful member of society and therefore am now beyond legitimate criticism. Incidentally, I think I’ve worked out how to explain what’s wrong with Job Centres in one short sentence: They’re a place where people who are already putting up with a lot of shit go to be told that having a job is the only way to be dignified and happy by people who clearly hate their jobs… and also everything else.
Not that I don’t think useful employment is a worthwhile thing to do with your time. I do. But the key word in that sentence is “useful”. Most jobs look to me quite a lot like somebody made them up just to give people something to do so they wouldn’t spend all day masturbating and watching Swedish crime dramas on BBC Four. Allow me to demonstrate:
I’ve just typed “library” as a key word into the website Jobsearch. Some of my results included “Java Script Expert”, “Infrastructure Software Engineer”, “Embedded Software Developer” and “Web Development/Support Analyst”. The first of these is clearly, erm, bollocks. The next three sound like three different variations on exactly the same job, which MAY be something beneficial to the sum total of human society… but probably isn’t. You can tell by the employer’s desperate need to insert bullshit words to make the position sound important. I mean, I’m sure they’re essential to the company putting them out there… but then, the company itself probably doesn’t need to exist. How many companies, needing data analysts, systems designers, etc, basically just exist to try and sell you shit you don’t want via call centre? How many companies exist to manufacture variations on the theme of Shampoo, when the world can’t possibly need more than three or four brands of what is essentially hair-soap.
What’s my point? My point is that contrary to what the folks down the Job Centre might say or think, a job has little to do with personal dignity or sense of purpose. It might look more organised than my day-to-day dicking about, but at it’s core that’s all it is: dicking about… just done on an industrial scale.
Still, I quite like the idea of being an “Arts Assistant”, partly because the job title is sufficiently un-bullshitty not to trip over my extraordinarily low tolerance for drivel. They’ll be some Art, I’ll be assisting with it. It does exactly what it says on the tin. Besides, Art is usually beneficial to mankind, psychologically, and somebody has to look after it, so I can be happy in the knowledge that my particular part in the Great Dicking About cycle of civilization is slightly less dicky than the next man’s. Bravo for me. woo fucking hoo.