Always outnumbered. Generally overdresssed.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Check out my new office!

It's Shepherds Bush JobCentre Plus*!

Ho, ho.

The redundancy money is gone ladies and gentleman. I made it disappear.

As you can see the JobCentre Plus is great. They've done it up to look like a web agency crossed with the Big Brother house: open plan, lots of soft areas, plus an enormous number of beady black fish-eye cameras set into the ceiling. Clearly our taxes have been, if not well-spent, then at least very thoroughly spent. If anyone from the government reads this (I get one IP) I'd be happy with a less well-appointed Job Centre and, you know, a job.

Rock historians may be interested to know that this is the building where Joe Strummer first clapped eyes on Paul Simonon and Mick Jones. He thought they were going to beat him up. Often, in situations that might otherwise be corrosive to my self-esteem I like to imagine that I'm a rock historian.

Generally I'm on time, it's one of the reasons I'm mistrusted in creative departments - that and not drinking or taking drugs and the hair, the clothes and the long words and the pretentious reading material – so I was punctual at 10.40 to meet my JobCentre Plus Job Advisor and slightly annoyed to discover that they give you 10.40 for 11.00 because they assume you're the kind of useless unemployable shit who'll rock up for an interview 20 mins late. So after 20 minutes spent ostentatiously reading Nicholson Baker I met Sam. Sam was a wonderful advert for the psychological effects of office work. Check out the cheery message he had stuck on his work station, next to his Telephone Hygiene Wipes. The slogan faced him, not me:

Sam said that he'd never seen Copywriter on the JobCentre Plus computer - but a cursory search did show a major DM agency recruiting for a web optimisation expert. I'm sort of a web-optimisation expert. I get loads of hits for titling my posts things like "Kate Moss and the world's most famous vagina", or "Bukkake!" I suspect those particular punters maybe disappointed to find themselves looking at pictures of Mark Denton Esq or reading about feminist theatre. At least I hope they are. There's not even a word for that kind of pervert.

I might put myself up for that one, since I believe it just involves typing the words "phone phonecalls cheap phone mobile" in a kind of pointless mantra over and over again in white type on a white background and dropping it into the HTML of websites. It's like copywriting but without the thought. It's like a modern version of employing monks to say mass for your soul in purgatory. That's my understanding of it anyway. I'll be fine. I'll learn on the job.

But even if I don't score that gig, the good news is that the government are happy for me to spend another 13 weeks drinking coffee, eating glazed yum-yums, writing this blog and occasionally emailing people I don't know to suggest that they employ me. After 13 weeks they'll tell me to retrain as a tree-surgeon or something.

After all that, I had to go to Waitrose in the Westfield (which is deserted) and buy sponge cake ingredients totalling £30. Not to bake my CV and send it to Wiedens, you understand, just to pig my own personal self out on.

Gym Shorts Magazine have posted my article on the dubious pleasures of nationalism – I'm also bickering in the comments. Do join in.

*(For all my foreign readers. The JobCentre Plus is what the DWP, formerly the DSS, calls the Benefits Office, which is what everyone else calls the Dole Office. The rebranding of the welfare state really takes the Greggs Spicy Lattice Prize for most degraded and pointless perversion of language outside fiction, IMHO.)


Anonymous said...

Ah, the Shepherds Bush Jobcentre Plus... that was my office for a while. It's a laugh riot.

Wal said...

i'd say your web optimization skills are freakin ace, we should too write some bukkake related articles.

Intregral said...

I'm surprised they knew what a copywriter was. Reminds me of this Billy Connolly clip about being a tobogganist:

Good luck with the centre of jobs.
They're lovely places.

Anonymous said...

I hope you do make us a cake!

Gordon Comstock said...

That's one of the perks of working at Wiedens isn't it? You need never buy food you can just live entirely on portfolios made out of croissants and baked Curriculum Vitae?

Anonymous said...

The last edible portfolio we had was an energy drink a couple of weeks ago!