Well, more of an update really. Should say I’m full of shit, considering previously writing so smugly about supposedly figuring out how to gain and keep work. I’ve been let go from one job. And I’ve resigned from three or four. But when the site you’re working all but full-time at doesn’t pay the labour hire company you’re employed by, well, it makes it hard to figure up from down in an employment market sense.
So I’m essentially unemployed, again. I’m vending The Big Issue magazine. TBI is a social enterprise (people are paid, but no profits are given to an owner/shareholders). It’s designed for homeless/marginalised (I’m the latter) people (men) to sell in high foot traffic areas. Women in difficulty work indoors packing and distributing the mags. It’s ok. It keeps me busy.
But, as much as I appreciate the opportunity, the area (my “pitch”) I vend at just isn’t busy enough. (It’s between two others that are much more lucrative.) I buy them for $3.50 and sell them for $7. Some people will give me ten and say to keep the change. Even then, if I make any more than $40 in six hours most days then that’s better than average.
I’m trying to get off Newstart (the dole, $250 per week). But so far I haven’t made more than that in a week so I’m essentially wasting my time mostly staring off into space while people ignore me, on top of my obligations to Centrelink. I’m grateful for the support of the businesses and locals at my pitch, and again to TBI, but it feels like bad luck within good luck (great opportunity/terrible location).
Otherwise, I’m still registered with a labour hire company but they don’t offer anything below south Brisbane (apparently Centrelink requires job seekers to travel a three hour round trip to work, which is ridiculous bureaucratic bullshit). They did get me two weeks’ work before a trip I took recently that I’d never have booked last year if I’d known what dire straits I’d be in currently. Sure enough, I was offered more work at that site that conflicted with the trip so I doubt I’ll hear from them again.
For a few months I volunteered with a wonderful group named Orange Sky, that washes clothes for the homeless. My team leader gave my details to a bloke he knew who runs a rim (car wheel) repair business. Again, sure enough this guy got in touch with me just before the trip. I mentioned the conflict with him and got in touch with him after I got back, but, haven’t heard back. I’ve since stopped volunteering to focus on my mental health and search for employment. And I’m going to just vend TBI Sat/Sun, instead of also Wed/Thurs/Fri, now. Because it really is a waste of time during the week, in my location.
I visited another, busier pitch during the week just yesterday (Wednesday) and it was busy! Sometimes I think I’m cursed. Or I would if I was superstitious. So yeah, I’m full of shit. I have no idea what I’m doing. I apply for jobs, and hear mostly nothing back, or rejections. My application to McDonald’s failed. The local casino’s warehouse rejected me. I did a certificate 3 in security. But the license, I since discovered, costs about $500. And my “job service provider”, to her credit, said security probably wouldn’t be great for my mental health – when I mentioned my recent increasing struggles with it.
I have no idea what’s on the horizon. Or if there even is one. Hopefully I’ll have some good news to report, soon. But optimism is lacking, and hardly growing.