Friday, June 27, 2014

'Job Ready'

When I first came to Newcastle I was seduced by the majestic sweep of Grey Street on a lovely spring day.

‘I could live here,’ I thought. And so I did.

I was back on Grey Street this morning, but it felt different. I was scheduled to sign my life away as a temp.

‘You will need to come in and fill in all the forms. 
So you've been doing the childcare - very brave! 
Is that your daughter in the background? 
Eee! She sounds lovely. 
A bit distressed.... but lovely.’

The girl had a sing-song Geordie voice. Of course she did.

I’ve been fruitlessly applying for jobs for some time now. I rarely even get the courtesy of a response. I feel like the Celie character in ‘The Color Purple’- the one who writes letters to God.

‘Just go and see some agencies. Temp a bit. You can catch up with the housework at the weekend.’

Maude, as ever, gave astute counsel.

I approached a busy junction in central Newcastle and felt a little fazed. I don’t get into the city much and it all felt a bit hectic.

I could see into the temp office from across the road. It had a cheerful colour scheme of bright primary colours and young people were moving around inside, carrying pieces of paper.

I was a few minutes early and well-dressed urban types were enjoying coffee outside Blake’s Café. I wasn’t early enough to do the same. I was early enough to stroll up and down outside for a while looking a little odd.

The young people carrying the pieces of paper didn’t look very formally dressed. This was good news - as I had opted for chinos and casual shirt.

A part of me had a very potent urge to just strip off on Grey Street. To strip right off and announce myself in the office in a state of absolute nudity. 

I would be 80-odd kilos of pink flesh thrown into glorious relief against the cheery coloured interior that was fooling no-one. 

I would be a newborn delivered into the world of work.

‘Livery me as you please and point me at a job!’

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