I’m not saying make a fuss over nothing. No. Make a fuss over almost nothing. You walk into a coffee shop, there’s sticky syrup all over the small part you’re queuing in (for over five minutes, that’s important too) and BAM, complaint. BAM, £10 voucher. Goodbye miserable Monday, hello vanilla latte. It’s not about lying, it’s about helping the truth.
(Notable complaint wins include; guest passes to cinema, vouchers, goodie box of…goodies and expensive branded make up – if you don’t ask, you don’t get)
2. The Job Centre
BLARGH. There are so many things I could say about this. And for most of the time I want to scream and kick people in the eye (Morrissey style), BUT you can’t do that, apparently. Staying sane in a system full of the most stupid rules and people is a tough one. If I’m honest, it’s one I’ve not completely mastered. But there are a few things you can do to manage the madness. Firstly I’d advise you to remain polite. This is hard. REALLY hard, but it really annoys the person who’s telling you to go for a 40k a year job when you say, “I’m sorry you have taken the time to research that but I think my experience doesn’t quite match what they’re looking for”. When what you really want to say is, “Read the job in full before you swivel your stupid screen my way, idiot!” You’re telling them they effed up and not you.
Which leads me to my second tip – if possible (it almost certainly will be possible), make them feel as stupid as they make you feel. One of my “advisers” asked a friend of mine how to spell her degree title. This left her little hope she was going to advise her how to find a job. Most of the time they don’t even understand the roles you’re going for, yet they think they can tell you either how to get a job or what you’re doing wrong. If you ask them to explain their point, they usually can’t offer you anything.
And lastly, if all else fails, use the simple – GET IN AND GET OUT, method. Start asking too many questions, resisting their stupid suggestions too much or refusing to listen to their, “You might want to look into a different career” speech, then you’ve got a lock-in crystal maze style situation on your hands. By all means, don’t give up but don’t give them much either. You might end up giving someone that kick. I’ve come close.
3.Get excited about things you might think are rubbish if you had money
I’m talking about local here. Jumble sales, craft fayres, street parties, etc. Sometimes, and more often than not, you’ll need a little light relief, and more importantly, an escape from the house. Okay so it’s not much to tell but you’ll be surprised how much humour (alright, as well as boredom) can be generated out of local events. You won’t have to pay the ridiculous tube prices and you’re in walking (or running, depending on how bad it is) distance from your house.
It’s not always possible to do this. For instance, if you really want to be a doctor please don’t start diagnosing people and/or prescribing over-the-counter drugs *LEGAL DISCLAIMER INSERT HERE*. No, no. If you can do it at home, then do it. You never know when you might need an example of something you want to do when you go for you first interview. And lets face it, nobody’s going to give you an opportunity without it. If you can’t do it while you’re waiting then try to (and I know it’s hard) get yourself a good internship or work experience. Internships have had some bad press in the last year, but I promise you there are good people out there. I’m currently undertaking one I love and I’m getting so much I can take with me from it.
So that’s it for now. Please feel free to comment and tell me what keeps you sane.
* Please ignore everything from this point on; this post was born out of a completely infuriating, hopeless day. Sorry.