Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Work: The Enigma

Ahhh the workforce. It's a weird often conceptual thing. Jobs are scarce plus there is too big a gap to bridge in terms of what few New Zealanders make and what most New Zealanders don't. Yet we are also told unemployment is at an all-time low and supposedly its all sunshine and lollipops for people looking to get back into the workforce. I saw a human interest story on the news the other night about a 70 year old man who aced a swarm of young bucks to score a job at Dennys, a supposed rarity these days in the heartless 'age of agism'. It was heart-warming slash obviously patronising slash uber depressing slash confusing. Especially when his 3 managers were reminiscent of every behind-the-counter shrill and pubescent character on The Simpsons. The story obviously had a couple of dark ecomomic undertones too and caused the audience to not only judge the man's financial situation (which was supposedly healthy, he was just bored at home) but our own wacky recession that sees business seducing the elderly back into work (a direct request in Dennys newspaper ad). This is all while the mute swarm smile in line for their $15 cheese. I used to eat nachos when I was BROKE wtf is going on!

I am of two schools of thought today.
1) What I call the Henry Miller mind-set (a mind-set I am very privy to). The torchered American author who likened working to trying to fill a permanent leak says in his book THE AIR CONDITIONED NIGHTMARE “This world which is in the making fills me with dread… It is a world suited for monomaniacs obsessed with the idea of progress - but a false progress, a progress which stinks. It is a world cluttered with useless objects which men and women, in order to be exploited and degraded, are taught to regard as useful. The dreamer whose dreams are non-utilitarian has no place in this world. Whatever does not lend itself to being bought and sold, whether in the realm of things, ideas, principles, dreams, or hopes, is debarred. In this world the poet is anathema, the thinker a fool, the artist an escapist, the man of vision a criminal.”

2) I am also however prone to knowing the workforce is a reality for those of us who need to support themselves and their families. I learnt about a great charity where to cut a long story short you can donate your flasher more corporate gears to people who can't afford them and who are job-hunting. Not only do they have offices in Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Christchurch, Dunedin and Northland - they have one in pretty much every major city in the world. Go to www.dressforsuccess.org or email your chosen city eg. auckland@dressforsuccess.org.

Dont let images of cheesey young women looking skyward to a questionable future put you off. I know you've only worn that jacket twice so get over it and DONATE!

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