Saturday, 12 May 2018

Descent

Last Friday, I went for a job interview. This isn't a new thing for me, really; it became apparent recently that my current job - soon to be one I'm leaving - isn't doing me any favours. I spent weeks wrangling to get any payment, eventually getting February's salary in mid-April, and although I enjoy the basics of the job, the amount of administrative paperwork that I'm now expected to do - unpaid, of course - could barely be termed tolerable, especially when it's quite clear that at least half of that is completely unnecessary.

Anyway, last Friday I went for an interview. This was a long one - a few hours with a number of applicants. There was a skills test, which I passed - followed by another skills test, which I passed. There was a mid-point cull, which I survived. I ended up on a sofa in the staff room, debating the various merits of multicoloured pens with the remaining applicants - 5 of us, for 4 available positions. In my case, the one I'd applied for had one other surviving competitor, who I had a lot of respect for... but the one who impressed me the most, the youngest, ended up being one of the reasons I wanted the job so much. I think we could be friends.

I left the interview feeling refreshed and relatively buoyant. I didn't even take my business suit off for the rest of the day, and arrived at work that evening still wearing it.

I had a nailbiting weekend, followed by a relatively sedentary Bank Holiday. I was incredibly nervous throughout work on Tuesday, keeping a close eye on my 'phone and becoming increasingly jumpy every time I heard a noise which may have been a call. I'd been promised a response and being made to wait isn't always a good sign. Maybe they're just chasing references, I thought to myself. I went home, set up and went hungry for hours, unable to leave the house because my 'phone was on charge. Sod's law states that the instant I left, they would call. I waited for three hours before taking my 'phone off charge; I had a (very) late lunch; went back home and sat and waited.

They called at five. I got the usual, all-too-familiar response of "x person is slightly better qualified than you". I pushed for feedback; they gave me a bit. Nothing particularly useful, but the one thing they did pick up on is something I'd actually highlighted in the interview. They hung up; I sat there and mourned. I called my parents on my way out to get some more food, and the one thing I did hang onto was that this possibly couldn't get worse.

Halfway through the Eurovision semi-final, the letting agency turned up for a meeting. I was expecting a fairly easy encounter, as all their previous meetings have been relatively relaxed.

Instead I was served an eviction notice. The landlord is unwilling to keep the share house and is going to renovate it into a family home; everyone has two months to pack up their things and get out.

For those of you that are counting, this is the SIXTH time we have been told to move in about as many years. We moved here for exactly the same reason a few months ago; we haven't even finished unpacking yet. The lesson I'm taling from this is that a succession of greedy landlords have very little pity for millennials who need somewhere, if not affordable, at least stable.

I went to sleep that night feeling doomed. I didn't have the job that I so desired. I was being evicted - again. Flat prices, which my girlfriend started looking at, are ruinous, and the other job I've been offered (which might afford us some leeway in the amount of rent we can pay) are being increasingly difficult insofar as paperwork is concerned. I don't even have a start date for that.

Gateway to hell creaks wide open and there's nothing I can do to stop the fall.

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