The Hexacoto

Listening to the sound of one hand clapping

Tag: cynicism

To be driven to despair

Job seeker, 21, with 3 A-levels and 10 GCSEs, kills herself after she was rejected for 200 jobs

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1267953/Job-seeker-Vicky-Harrison-commits-suicide-rejected-200-jobs.html#ixzz2bABkpoVL

After being unemployed for two years, and after over unsuccessful job application, 21-year-old Vicki Harrison kills herself. I read this today and I felt immeasurable sadness for her family, and empathy for her situation. While I have not been unemployed for two years, there are times when my mind have wandered into the similar regions of despair, self-loathing and frustration.

Every day gained is an extra day lost.

Time is ticking out for me; I’m currently on a visa that gives me a year’s grace to be employed in my field of study. A sixth of it has gone. Unlike Harrison, I don’t have two years.

Today, I bumped into the unemployed friend of mine on my way to circus. He told me that in the two years since he graduated from college, he has been unemployed for a total of 15 months when all his unemployment periods are added up. That’s more than a year, more than half of how long he has since graduated. It did not hearten me to hear that he could have been unemployed for that amount of time.

What if it happens to me? What if my year runs out and I still have yet to find a job?

The problem with being college-educated and being told that you’re good at what you do only sets you up higher for a bigger fall. Harrison has 3 A-levels and 10 GCSEs. I have 3 A-levels and 9 or 10 GCSEs, and a college degree. But these alone do not get you a job. Jobs these days want a minimum of “3-4 years work experience” for junior, associate or entry-level positions. Well, what are fresh-graduates supposed to do to get this magical work experience for entry-level jobs that are supposed to help them get experience? What’s the level below entry-level where graduates can glean experience from then? Friends have told me that internship experience counts, but I can scarcely imagine a hirer choosing a fresh-graduate with only internship experience over someone who has actual work experience from a time when entry-level was really meant for people to enter into the industry.

I wonder how long I can hold out before my font of optimism snuffs out?

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Chasing Roads

otakarova

Once upon a time, in Prague, a tram and a car stopped at the corner of a street called Otakarova. The traffic light was red and both vehicles were waiting for the light to turn green.

“You know, you have it really good,” says the tram, let’s call him Twenty-four, to the blue Skoda car who was waiting alongside him.

“What do you mean?” says the blue Skoda, whose name is Rush, because that’s what his owner named him. “Why do you say I have it really good?” asked Rush to Twenty-four, as his engine rumbled silently and he went put-put-put.

“You have so much freedom on the road. Look at you, after this traffic light turns green, you’re allowed to turn left, right or go straight ahead or anywhere you want to go!” says Twenty-four. “As for me, I go wherever the tracks are laid for me.”

Rush considered what Twenty-four said, and looked at the roads around him, and then he said, “But looking at the roads, you have options too! The tracks bend left, curve right, lead straight ahead.“

“I have choices?” Twenty-four scoffed. “While the tracks bend left, curve right and lead straight ahead, I cannot take any that I wish to. Do you see that small, red blinking light above the traffic lights?”

Rush swivelled its headlamps upwards, and saw that above the traffic lights was a smaller single light that had a red arrow, blinking steadily. It pointed straight ahead.

“Yes I see it. It points ahead,” says Rush.

“There you have it,” says Twenty-four, “that’s the path I will be going, no other ways about it. Many roads have been laid for me, and I don’t even get a say in which ones to take? All I can do is run on schedule and go where I’m supposed to.” At that, Twenty-four rang its bell, alarming a pedestrian who was attempting to run across the road in front of Twenty-four.

“But it’s not so bad, is it?” put-putted Rush, “You’re a great big tram! On the roads, you’re the king – everyone has to give way to you, maybe with the exception of ambulances and police cars. You have the right of way and if you crossed paths with me, I’m expected to maybe even go up on the pavements just to make way for you if the road is too narrow for both of us.”

Rush continued, “Also, look at the good you do for everyone! Hundreds of people, with your help, make it to work, to school, to wherever they need to go.”

“Hundreds of ungrateful people who litter and vandalise within me,” Twenty-four shot back.

“Hundreds more people who’re glad you bring shelter from the rain in the spring, and warmth from the biting cold of winter,” says Rush.

“Trekking dirt in from the rain, vagrants who sleep without meaning to go anywhere, just to be warm,” says Twenty-four. “I wish I could be like you, going anywhere I want to.”

“And I wish I could be like you, and not have to worry about changing lanes, giving way, looking out for pedestrians, etc,” said Rush.

Just then, the traffic light turned green.

“Well it was nice to meet you,” said Rush. “I’m going left now.”

“And I’m going straight ahead, as if I ever had a choice,” rang Twenty-four its bell angrily as it started to roll ahead.

And so they parted ways, with Rush put-putting off to left and Twenty-four moving straight ahead.

 

A couple of hours later, as Rush was returning back to that junction at Otakarova, and took the route that Twenty-four had taken earlier, he saw a tram lying on its side. There were many people around, some sitting on the sidewalk, some crying, others holding up a bandaged arm. As Rush drove past, snippets of conversation could be heard: “It was as if the tram was trying to go off its tracks or something. How scary!”

Blame it on the Aracuan

Sometimes, I make myself so busy with my own projects during this period of unemployment that I wonder what it is all for.

busy (1)I’m just trying to get to the end where I hope there is no Aracuan bird to derail my efforts to delude myself that this is all worth it.

train

Keep your chin up, little bird. There will be more nests to build.

dest2

[edit] I decided to turn the above gif into a “Thanks, Obama!” gif, because it seems like the right thing to do.

tksobm

Invitations of a candle

DSC06253

Little moth, O little moth,
will you dance with me?
I sparkle and shine
all pretty and bright;
a beacon in the night.

Brave moth, O brave moth,
do I not inspire?
My flickering ways
set your passions aflame;
your goals, ambitions, aims.

Never mind the pile
of charred moths before you
lying at my foot.

Because you, illuminated and blinded
by my warm light
cease to be a moth for a night,
but become a butterfly
like they who flutter by;
unfazed, unhurried,
because you, with your Icarus wings,
know that you can make it.

So come and dance with me.