I shouldn't really be doing this. I'm 32 years old. Conventional wisdom suggests that I should already have a steady job, be married with two children, own a Vauxhall Vectra and a St.Bernard called Cunningham. But I'm not and I don't.
I don't want to make excuses for not conforming to society's tedious values. But I will. The trouble is that when you have a disability, and are therefore entitled to Disability Living Allowance and Income Support, there is precious little incentive to go out to work. It was only when I moved in with my other half, thus losing my entitlement to Income Support that I decided that I really needed to get out among the workforce. Actually, she might have had some input in that decision if I'm recalling it correctly.
It's not all that easy to get a job when you are in your early thirties and have precious little experience in the workplace. That's why I took a 12-month contract at Liverpool Community College. They hinted at interview that they would probably take me on permanently but that turned out to be something of a smoking gun. Despite the fact that the HR department is desperate for someone to do my job, I find myself on the scrapheap once more. Shoving a further turd up my drainpipe is the fact that I am not entitled to Jobseekers Allowance because I have only worked for one year, rather than the two you need to have been paying National Insurance contributions. It's enough to make a bloke vote Lib-Dem. Nearly.
So anyway I've been updating my CV. I got a call from a Scottish man called Russ (or Ross) asking me to visit Starting Point to carry out this update. Why? Why can I not just update my own CV? Why do they have to continue to poke their noses in? Dutifully I turned up and met Sarah, an incredibly helpful woman but who nevertheless made a contribution which was quite unnecessary. She asked all of the usual questions; Are you looking here? (I was looking at her cleavage actually) Have you tried there? What about this? What about that?
What about it? I learned more about how to go about getting a job in 12 months in HR than I would do if I spent every waking hour for the rest of my life at Starting Point. They're just that, a Starting Point, so why do they insist on staying so closely in touch? They're like a holiday romance that has suddenly turned a bit sinister. By Christmas they will no doubt develop slightly psychotic tendencies. I'm relieved that I don't have a rabbit for them to boil.
The best thing about finally getting a permanent job (I have an interview next week) will not be the money, nor the opportunity to get away from this keyboard or daytime television. It will be the fact that I will be able to email Russ (or Ross) or Sarah and tell them that I won't be needing their input any more. Or their cleavage.