diary of a desperate jobseeker

I've bought a three-month season ticket for the gym, so if I haven't got a job by the end of August I can join the circus as a strong man
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Week 2: letters written 10, replies received 0.

John Maynard Keynes maintained that there was no need for unemployment. All you had to do was to bury lots of money at the bottom of disused coalmines, cover it in household rubbish and leave it to private enterprise to dig it up again. As this is only week two it might be a bit early for this approach.

I start my trawl through the local papers. A couple of possibles which I'll have to doctor my CV for and endless adverts for nursing home staff. If things don't improve I'll be in a home before I get a job.

I don't have to "sign on" this week, it is a fortnightly experience. It is known as "biro day" apparently, as opposed to "giro day", when the money turns up.

A friend tells me that the normal course of action for someone in my position is to become a financial adviser and sell life insurance and pensions to their nearest and dearest. They are usually sacked after the first year but at least pinstripe-suit salesmen do well.

I went as usual to my local church on Monday evening for our theological group discussion - prayer is part of my game plan. The priest said he wasn't sure he believed in heaven, so that's one less thing to worry about.

Go to the supermarket. Am greeted accusingly by the lady on the check- out.

"What are you doing here on a Tuesday?"

I explain that I am no longer employed so shopping in the middle of the day holds no terrors for me. Feel oddly pleased that I'm recognised in the supermarket as a regular. Just like a corner shop, if there was such a thing. The man in front of me has only two items in his basket. Three tins of reduced sugar baked beans and three bags of sugar.

I've bought a three-month season ticket for my local gym, so if I haven't got a job by the end of August I could run away and join the circus as a strong man. Funny, I've been going to that gym for 18 months now and nobody has offered me any steroids.

There is a message on my answerphone. One of my letters has got a response. Can't get hold of the person, so will try first thing tomorrow. Things are looking up.


The author lives in Hereford. He lost his job as a factory production manager a few weeks ago. His diary appears every Thursday.