buddy can you spare me a dime

Ask me how I was two weeks ago, and you would have heard a long saga of woe. Ask me today, and it’s still a saga (isn’t it always) but the circumstances have changed.

Two weeks ago I was on the brink of being financially broke and investigating my exit strategy back to Australia. Today I am gainfuil employed in London, working my arse off and not much else.

I am currently working at a call centre as an agent doing soft sales in an inbound environment. For those unfamaliar with those terms, when you call up a company for something and speak to an operator, that would be me. And I am gonna give you something for free, but try to sell you something as well.

I also am currenlty working as a Dresser in the Wardorbe department on the London production of Wicked at the Victoria Apollo Theatre. For those unfamiliar with that term, I am a costume bitch who hands out costumes and laundry and assists with fast changes for the cast. Anyone who has seen Wicked will know that it has an array of costumes and performers that all need to be clad in their very best Ozian attire.

But since landing on London’s doorstep on Septmeber 1st, I have to say it’s been a bit of an ordeal. Over 70 resumes and job applications were put out there; from waiting on tables, to cafes and pubs, from call centre agents to call centre managers, to dressing jobs and auditions.

No response. Nothing. Nudda.

The United Kingdom has been hit hard with the global financial crisis, and is looming at the back of the back in terms of recovery. France and Germany are already technically out of recession. So generally this is not the best of times to be unemployed in Her Majesty’s Empire.

There are countless websites and countless agencies advertising work. The problem is that so many people are out of work that these agencies are inundated with responses. and to make matters worse for the unemployed, these agencies don’t even bother to respond to applications sent. So the unemployed end up is a downward spiral with no light at the end of the tunnel. Even when they do respond the standards that they set in bulk email are at best a little obnoxious. I have received the same response from the delightful Hannah at Call Centre Managers four times saying that i “unfortunately, due to the specific sector and skill related experience that is required by this particular client, we are unable to take your application forward”, yet I seem to answer in quite a lot of detail in my cover letter my skill sets and related experience. This is a recruitment company who seem to continually advertise the same job month in and month out. I received in one email from Bethan at Hays Recruitment six identical printed rejections for the same job. Marvelous attention to detail! Recruitment agencies really do set a new low standard in service.

Fortunately I am happy to say that in the end, I didn’t require the service of these under-achieving companies. I got my own job through my own applications directly to the people invovled.

So now everynight, I no longer mourn the Wicked, and sing along to Stephen Schwarz’s little ditties about being popular.


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