Thursday, 4 February 2010

Room 101

Day: 1billion and twelve
Job offers: Zero
Outlook: Bleak

It's 10am. Job centre. Perv guy waits outside. Slouched against grey stone, puffs of white smoke trickle between a crooked yellow smile as he nods in my direction. I wince and walk inside.

Level One. The swarm of unemployed builds. We look like normal people and yet underneath our soft human skin there lies a bitter soul, hopeless, seething. The smell of vodka and shampoo overwhelms. It mixes with damp clinging to a worn leather jacket on bony shoulders. I shuffle away with an awkward smile. The kid behind glares up with demon eyes black and clicks a tune with his tongue. I throw evils in his direction. He clicks faster, louder. My nails dig a deep crescent pattern into my palms.

Later, name called, I sit as the woman types quickly without looking at me; her fingers heavy and pronounced on every letter. Keyboard clicks, tongue clicks. Head hurts. Her pupils flit over my form once before she signs in hurried blue strokes.

'Can I ask you a question?'
The woman sighs, head cocked to one side.
'If you must...'
'Well...' I struggle to find the least offensive words. Inside, my bitter self sharpens her bite, ready to lunge.
'Look, I haven't got all day.'

The clock says 10.30am. Clearly she's lying.

'Do I get any guidance at some point?'
'What do you mean?'
'You know, do I get to chat with someone about my prospects or potential job avenues?'
'What do you think this is?' She lifts eyebrows to furrowed skin.
'Well, you're just showing me a computer screen of jobs. I can do this at home, online.'
'Go do it then.'
She pushes my form towards me and shouts 'next' over my shoulder. Demon child pokes his tongue as I stagger away.

Floating downstairs, my eyes sting. I refuse to let them win, and battle with my lids to keep them open, to stop the flow. Outside I gasp air and let its crispness flood my lungs, clear my head. I shake myself and walk away, leaving the dreaded place behind. I do not look back. Until next time.


  1. Lou, maybe that ole lady thinks that is her answer for a "bail" out plan

  2. You are a stunning and clever writer. Someday, you'll write a best selling novel Stay with your writing.

  3. Lou, that sounds tough. Hope things look up on the job front.

  4. You will channel it into your poetry. You have that. Most of the others in that room with you are not so fortunate.

  5. Very compelling prose!

    Sorry people are such jerks, and good luck with your job search.

  6. I know exactly how you feel on the job search, though I am amazed you got someone behind the desk that could type fast. My job centre only seem to have people who have a type speed of five words per minute.

  7. Never has being unemployed sounded so hopeless yet so eloquent all at once. You are an amazing scribe, Lou.
    Check out my latest - I ended up in bed with Rapunzel!

  8. You write so beautifully Lou. It won't be long before you're out of that world and then all this stuff will just be stories.

  9. Not a single soul in that room can write like you. Hang in there. Good things are going to happen to you.

  10. Ouch that sounds so hard. I am wishing you all the luck. You are a great writer good things will come.

    Kate xx

  11. Wow. Thanks for all the support everyone! When i write about the job difficulties, these comments mean even more to me. I suppose it gives me a feeling akin to hope.

    Thank you :) x

  12. Why is Chuck Croll abusing Blogger Help Forum forum – allowing molestation, libel, and child pornography?
    The pedophile stalker is roaming Blogger Help Forum for more than a week now, and moderator „nitecruzr“ alias Chuck Croll is still into his Bruno L. schtick, against better knowledge, see here:

    Croll knows the avatars of the stalker and impersonator. He has read L’s alert blog and knows that L. is molested by this anonymous pervert since three years. He knows that the pedophile stalker has an avatar here under „NikolaiDersauger“, i.e. NikolaitheCocksucker in German. Further, he knows that the pervert is posting messages under „DerSaugerNikolai“ at YouTube, see this screenshot:

    or directly at Youtube:

    (though Youtube will delete the messages today, as every day for three years)
    And still Croll doesn’t see fit to take action? It’s the easiest thing in the world to compare IPs, but Croll and his colleagues simply do nothing – more, they do delete all legitimate questions by other, long-time members of this forum.

    All members of this forum have to endure this chaos because the moderators agree with impersonation, libel, and child pornography?

    The avatars of the stalker:

  13. Piss off Troll. Not wanted here, thanks.


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