On leaving University I sat on my sofa at home and had a little think about what it was that I wanted to do with myself. Chelsea manager? That would be great. Really, really great. And if FM was anything to go by, I would be a good manager too. Slightly unrealistic though. And anyway I applied for it after Mr Ancelotti was given the boot, and the fuckers didn’t get back to me.
So I headed West for a PR internship, resulting in 5 fantastic weeks in Bristol. It was only work experience, but I got to wear a suit everyday and it took longer for the novelty to wear off than I thought it would. I met some great people, like the couple who put me up for the first two weeks of my stay there, which might have been very awkward a situation had they not been as accommodating and friendly as they were.
I also met a fellow intern named Bob, a student at Bristol Uni who came a week after I joined, and asked me to make him some coffee on his first day. I was the old-timer, the pro, the veteran internee; I was shocked when he asked, so much so that I meekly replied, asking how he took it. ‘Milk, two sugars. Thanks’. I later learned that when a director asked him to close the window because it was getting cold, he replied, ‘I’d rather not, thanks, I’m quite hot’. Clearly his grasp of the chain of command was rotten all the way up.
After Bristol, I headed back to London, where the hunt for that elusive first job continued. I had sorted myself out a PR internship, which I eventually took, but before that, I had an interview with this recruitment agency that specialised in getting graduates work placements. I thought, this is going to be great, what better way of getting myself out there on the recruitment scene.
It turned out to be a complete farce. One of their unique selling points was the recording of a video CV. Now, I have never considered becoming an international movie star, mainly because of my inability to act, but it is just as well because apparently I come across on camera like a gibbering, sweaty, unemployable idiot.
I turned up at their offices on one of those two freakishly hot days at the beginning of October, suited up, and as a result, was rather overheated. I also hadn’t prepared anything for the video CV, confident in my abilities of reeling off something inspiring and unique. When it came down to it though, I couldn’t think of anything to say, that is, I froze, which was quite ironic due to the fact I was melting.
The girl who was filming me had to write bullet-points down on two pieces of paper for me to read off, and held them up behind the camera. As I staggered to the bottom of the first page, I paused, waiting for her to show the second. She didn’t seem to realise, however, that the page needed turning, which resulted in a dramatic pause. The point I was midway through trying to convey at this juncture in time was the fact that I was a strong communicator, the evidence on show however, suggested the opposite.
On watching this video back, I angled that it perhaps might hinder my chances of getting a job, suggestions which were briskly rejected, as if just having a video was all that was needed. The lack of interviews received through this agency suggests I may have been right.
No bother, and on I went, onto another PR internship in Central London. This was great apart from my walk to and from work was interrupted by an over-friendly Big Issue seller, who took a shining to me and insisted on shouting joyously every time I passed. I ended up having to add ten minutes onto the walk in order to take a different route. The trials and tribulations of being an intern.
As I bumbled through the days and weeks, however, I decided PR wasn’t for me, so I left to pursue a marketing position. Handing out CVs on the street in my suit in the freezing cold was a bit of a low point. My hands turned purple, making it difficult to work Google Maps on my phone, searching for Marketing Agencies in the areas I walked through. At the end of one day, I got back to the warmth of the flat to find an email from one of the lucky recipients, telling me I’d spelt ‘November’ like ‘Novemeber’, and hence that it wasn’t very professional.
The definition of a Rat Race is: ‘an endless, self-defeating or pointless pursuit’. People use this idea to describe their jobs, as the mundanity of working in the same place nearly every day of the year. I can imagine it is difficult to motivate yourself in this seemingly fruitless pursuit. However, I think the term ‘Rat Race’ is a lot more apt to describe the demoralising process of actually getting a job. There is the obvious point about doing it to get a job, but there are definitely times when it feels like an endless and self-defeating task. I would much rather be employed then standing on street corners handing CVs out.
So in that sense, I have joined the Rat Race. And I can’t help but feel this video isn’t helping haha.