Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The best laid plans...

Just over two years ago I gave up the graduate job that I had always wanted, hung up the suit, shredded the business cards and decided that I was going swap the board room for the classroom and become a teacher; a decision that actually rendered my then boss speechless for a number of seconds (which, I should add, was not an easy feat!)
But fear not, for I had a plan!
Before moving to Birmingham in September to start my training I would retreat to Shropshire to the sanctity of the family home to sort my life out, whittling away the months in a rural idyll; mowing the lawn, feeding the chickens and serving pints to the motley crew at my local pub. Perfect. (Blimey, I almost said lovely! Almost!)
Anyways, as luck (no, that’s not the right word) – fate would have it, my dad left his job to set up his own business at the same time so I would not be alone in my sabbatical. This meant that for my already overworked mum, the two men in her life would be spending a lot more time around the house, whilst she was out slaving away at a job she hated to support the her now housebound family. That’s fair, right?
So as it happened, my plan for a few months at home; saving money before heading back to the big city, didn’t quite work out as I had anticipated. After 3 years of working hard working for my degree, involving many hours of slaving over the books in the library and forcing umpteen pints of snakebite down my gullet (I believe that’s worthy of mention and should receive the necessary recognition!) had in fact rendered me completely unemployable. I was now confined to my parents’ house... which suddenly seemed very small and remote. After the initial fervour about which of us would do the cooking and cleaning, my dad quickly lost enthusiasm and I became what my friends hilariously dubbed a “house-child.”
Even though it turned out that I had a bit of a talent with the Dyson, this was not part of the plan!
After sending out my CV to as many places as possible, only to be told that I didn’t have the correct credentials, I took what was left of my self esteem to the job centre; the spiritual home of lost causes, alcoholics and serial baby makers; and signed on.
“How is your job search going at present?” the generic employee asked with the sort of enthusiasm that minimum wage buys.
“Well considering I used to work in recruitment, it’s pretty ironic that I can’t find myself a job.”
A panicked look passed across her face at the realisation that she wouldn’t be able to fob me off with the first job that comes along, for this lost cause knows his onions all right.
(Moment of frantic typing)
“Would you consider industrial cleaning?”
I honestly don’t think my eyebrows have ever reached such heights before.
It was now time for serious action and at times like this there is only one solution, and no I don’t mean turning to male prostitution, selling parts of my anatomy or working at McDonald's (listed in ascending order of the progressively horrific!) Google it is then! If that can’t solve it then nothing will! So tearing myself away from my busy schedule of, well... nothing, I made it my mission to find employment.
Google Search: Summer Jobs
Google Search: Summer Jobs Abroad
Now that’s more like it!
I mean I’m seriously lucky in having quite possibly the world’s most awesome parents, but after a couple of months of being stuck in 18th Century Shropshire with seemingly endless discussions of the dog’s toilet habits (“Bladder crystals, very nasty”), I needed to escape. And emigration (even temporarily) started looking like a pretty good option. Anyways I came across a website that was advertising for English tutors in Italy. You want to know the best part of it? The job description essentially asked for people who were loud, outgoing and not afraid to make a tit of themselves; a sure fire hit! Beware Italy; my idiocy is going international! And how hard can it be to teach Italian kids? Y’know, chow and all that? Pizza, Pasta, Pavarotti; I even had a Fiat! They were going to love me!
Where is this going I hear you ask? After an initial kink in the plan, I went to Italy. Twice in fact, and somewhere in there managed to get my teaching qualification to boot. This year in my absence I’ve sent my awesome and slightly madcap friend Hayley (the sort of friend who bullies me into walking 26 miles under the pretence of it being for a children’s charity, resulting in near hallucinogenic levels of blister pain and tiredness) off to learn about the joys of songs about jellyfish, finding out what a nickel and a dollar can buy, and teaching the most highly strung children known to man.
So now I’m sitting here, reminiscing about Italy and revelling in the irony that the first year I’m actually earning proper, real, grown-up money is the first year I can’t afford to go away. Sad face.
What was it they say about the best laid plans?
Fuck ‘em and move to Italy!

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