I got fired from my job recently. I was partially to blame, I’ll admit that up front, but the fact of the matter is this; they wanted me gone. I didn’t fit in the established order of the place. I’m a hard worker, but I’m not designed for group think, or towing the line, or following meekly. I have no compulsion to fit, in, assimilate, or otherwise conform to what a group of people may require of me. I am me and nothing will change that. This isn’t a virtue, don’t think I’m writing this post as a loving tribute to my individuality, no, I am a backward, misanthrope. I am moody, sullen and exasperating. But I didn’t deserve to get the sack. I’ll do your bloody job, just don’t expect me to like it. Because this is the worst part of low-level employment, the insidious concept that you have to love your job, regardless of unsociable hours, of minimalist pay, or awful working conditions. At some point someone decided that working for them and their company was a fuckin’ honour. It was the highest compliment, to be allowed to step foot in that hallowed workplace. No you may not complain, no you may not voice your opinion, no, you may not, I repeat, NOT, have a negative emotional response to your employment conditions. One of the reasons I was let go was because, and I quote; “I was treating the care home where I worked, like a day job.” But considering it was my day job, I did not consider this unreasonable.
But hearing about my trials and tribulations are not why you come here. So let me introduce you to Manchester’s own Benedict Le Gauche. His real name, a mystery, the only published photograph blurry and self shot. He looks like a lost Weasley child, if I’ll be honest, but don’t let his shabby, ginger mug disarm you. He is a hero of our times. He has published his curriculum Vitae online for us to behold it in its glory. And it is truly a beautiful thing. It challenges the concept of bullshit, self promotion and aspiration that CVs are supposed to contain to allow you to find a job. Instead Mr Le Gauche’s CV gives us the cold, hard truth. We are mostly average people; sometimes lazy, sometimes bored, often soul crushing.
My name is BENEDICT LE GAUCHE and I was born on 02/05/83 which makes me 28 and ripe as a lemon. I’m looking for a job I’ll like. As a man of integrity I’m not about to try and give you the impression that all the jobs I’ve had previously were brilliant learning experiences tailor-made to equip me for precisely the job I’m applying for (hello you) when in reality they have been, for the greater part, boring and drudgerous and disheartening.
Le Gauche has cracked apart the very notion of self promotion and turned it into a self pitying rant. Truly a voice for our miserable times. But this is just the beginning. He elaborates on his virtues and abilities to survive the drudgery and pure tedium of minimum wage existences;
I like working on my own if there isn’t anyone fun to work with but can also stand the company of people I hold in contempt and am, in this sense, versatile. I can work incredibly long hours, and will work for very little money.
When it comes to actual instances of previous work, he does not hold back, capturing the essence of the workplace in such a way that I almost want to throw him in with work place satirists like Ricky Gervais and Mike Judge;
Host: Zion Arts Centre, Manchester; 02/02/2011 – 28/07/2011
Moving chairs from one place to another place. Tables, sometimes. I sat on the front desk. I collected printouts from the office which is 300 meters away from the desk and I brought them back. When people passed the desk and made little jokes in a kind of we’re-in-this-together spirit I laughed even if the jokes were not at all funny. This made me feel hollow. I tried to fill the hollow by eating stem ginger biscuits that I stole from the cafe. The biscuits were delicious but they did not fill the hollow.
And not forgetting his esteemed education that led him along a path to his current state of cynical hopelessness;
BA (hons) Philosophy (2:1) ; Manchester Metropolitan University ; 06/06/2002 to 06/07/2006
I know your pain, brother. My BA (hons) Creative Writing (2:2) from Derby University has been as useful at finding a job as would my name on the sex offenders register. I’ll let you Codexers discover the rest, for it is a joy to read. And it kinda helps, knowing that somewhere, out there, someone else has these thoughts. I’ll work for a living, but don’t expect enjoy myself.