Another month has passed since I stopped paying the government lots and they started paying me hardly anything. I don’t expect a card from the Job Centre. I don’t think Hallmark has cornered that burgeoning market just yet.
Now it hasn’t been days of total inaction. Though I never, ever want to see another episode of Cash In The Attic again.
Many people have told me to treat my unemployment as a job in itself. They failed to mention that the job in question seems to be similar to that of Scott of the Antarctic. Battling unbelievable odds. Staying focused amongst feelings of isolation. Trying to get to a place that you haven’t been to before and when you do get there finding out that some bastard’s beaten you to it!
Where do you go from the cold South Pole? I could perish like Captain Oates, all noble, and just pop out for a short time. Not really my thing, though. If I did myself in , my wife, Andrea, would kill me. Practically, and of course geographically, the only way is up! I have come to the conclusion that the only boss I can rely on to employ me is me.
Many people have told me to concentrate on what I know best if I’m to dip my toe back into the water of self-employment.
Well, I can reel off all of the Liverpool Championship winning sides of the 1970’s and 80’s with Motson-like aplomb.
“Neal, paaaasses to Rush, paaaasses to Hansen, who paaaasses to Souness, who paaaasses to Dalglish, who goos raind McQueen”. No. A Northampton accent is a definite minus to a career in football commentary, or indeed any public speaking ventures – town crier aside.
I have a photographic memory when it comes to numbers and letters. I could tell you the registration numbers of all my previous cars and my parents, in-laws and siblings. And though, like Rain Man, I’m an excellent driver, I can’t see any practical application for this savant ability.
I’ve realised that after 22 years of employment I don’t have any qualifications other than the ones I left school with. Not strictly true I suppose. I hold two certificates. One is from a course attended many years ago called "Smile - You're On The Telephone" and the other is a St Johns ambulance certificate in first aid (expired). I was only practically tested on one injury. This would only be useful then if you collapsed in the street with a broken jaw and I just happened to be passing at the time. Then again, if you were one of the many people who have told me to treat my unemployment as a job or indeed to concentrate on what I know best then this is a definite possibility!
So, the debts are mounting up, the Chronicle & Echo jobs section should be prosecuted under the Trades Description Act and I’m getting desperate.
Where does a man go when he’s desperate? No, not there. I’ve decided to set up a sandwich delivery business.
What do you know about sandwiches, Steve? I can hear the question rattle around my head, too. It can’t get out and re-affirms itself every couple of hours or so.
Nonetheless, it’s a job I can work from home, takes very little start up cost and my natural charm, enthusiasm and 6ft2 bulk should ensure a steady round of deliveries to office girls and oily mechanics around the trading estates of Northampton.
I’ve registered with the Food Standards Agency and Northampton Environmental Health. Both sounded like they, too, were smiling when they were on the telephone.
I’ll keep you all posted…