The title says it all (again, hopefully) – I don’t plan on being completely unemployed again. I’m technically under-employed at the moment. Or, I would be, if I wasn’t living with my mum and paying less rent than I otherwise would even for only a room. The three or four hundred dollars I’m earning a week would be barely enough to survive on if I was paying 150 to 250 dollars per week just for a roof over my head and four small walls within to contain my bed. There is a way to gain a low income classification by my federal government to allow me to gain subsidised housing. I would like to do that, but only when I gain full-time work – which if I do at my current workplace still won’t have me earning more than the limit for what’s called the National Rental Affordability Scheme. But I digress.
My immediately previous period of unemployment lasted only a couple of months, after a couple of month stint working at my extended family’s free-range chicken farm (until they got some egg packing machines that rendered me redundant (this was always planned)). I didn’t really expect to be working already. This was concerning, as though I had savings I’d planned a surf trip to Indonesia with a mate for April this year, and I was not convinced my money would last. So I don’t have that to worry about anymore, barring any unforeseen massive hits to my bank account. I have three days’ work per week, now. So the trip should comfortably go ahead as planned. And I should/might be able to gain more hours at my current workplace. Or I’ll just get myself another part-time job. Then I’ll move out of mum’s place again, and get on with life in the sense of being less dependent on a parent.
I’m quite confident I’ll never be long or medium-term unemployed again. This is because I think I’ve figured out the game. And it is just a game. It might not be a game I enjoy, but I have no choice but to play it (as alluded to in a previous blog post). Like I said, I didn’t expect to gain work so soon, as the last time I was unemployed it lasted a good year or two-ish. This time, I did two things different. 1) I took a friend’s advice to remove my education and white collar work experience from my resume. (I’d struggled with this only on the basis that I wanted to keep my original resume. I resolved this by using my first and surname on one, and first, middle and surname on the other.) 2) I started volunteering with a group, Orange Sky, which washes clothes for the homeless – usually in conjunction with a group which feeds them. I applied for a job in industrial laundry, told them on my resume and over the phone that I was volunteering with OS. After that, I was probably a shoo in. So I know in future in order to gain a job I have to manipulate my resume, and volunteer/intern in whatever job I want to get.
You’re probably wondering why I wanted a job in industrial laundry. I didn’t. I don’t want a job at all. As far as I’m concerned (and again this is touched on in the same former post) automation has proceeded to the point in which people should increasingly no longer have to work if they don’t want to. And it will only accelerate. Some people love work. It justifies their existence. Not me. I see work as a compulsory means to an end – survival. Universal basic income (UBI) is a concept in which everyone in a society is paid a basic income they can survive – even purchase various luxuries – on. After which they can earn more money by working, if they so wish. Again, I don’t. Or at least wouldn’t in a full-time sense if UBI existed. Which it doesn’t, yet. So I’m playing the game. And I don’t mean to win (you can’t win, because you’ll one day die; also earning more money generally increases your expenses, anyway). I mean to survive. That’s fine. I’m happy to survive until a better world worked more and more and eventually totally by machines emerges. In the meantime, I’d be happy to be homeless if I could do it without compromising my health and some creature comforts.
But if I want to have a place to call home, with a bed and a kitchen and bathroom and all that good stuff, currently, I have to work (unemployment “benefits” in Australia are at the quite simply criminal nadir of about $250 per week (haven’t been increased in decades, far’s I know)). Also fine. I will work. I’ve figured out how to. You’ve just got to manipulate and outsmart the people seeking employees. Lie, even. Considering the heinous evils that capitalism has committed against this planet’s sentient beings, including humans, I have zero qualms about white lying for survival within the dystopian system (where I can get away with it). I’m willing to play the game and pretend to, if not actually enjoy it. I enjoy living life. Knowing that a better future might be on the horizon, in which humans, again, might, emancipate themselves by finally letting technology take over. Even if I might be too old to enjoy it much by the time it happens. 2045, from what I know. I’ll be in my 60s. What a drag. Though if the technology is advanced enough I might be able to achieve immortality (for at least my mind). Not sure that’s something I even want, but I’ll cross that bridge if it appears across the river dividing humanity from eternity, in my lifetime.
For a blog post about unemployment I haven’t mentioned it much. It was ok, this hopefully last time. I drank less and all but stopped smoking. Of course I’m back into both, now, with zeal. Work! It’ll kill ya 😉