24 May 2006

I'm Too Sexy For A Job

Illustration by Frank Patch Cubillos

Remember Right Said Fred and the song 'I'm Too Sexy'? Well back in the 80s in Britain you could get all sorts of t-shirts proclaiming that you were 'too sexy' for something or another. The funniest was 'I'm Too Sexy For a Job.' People would actually wear these t-shirts while 'signing on' for their dole checks. Oh how I miss the dole. How I miss Tony Blair's Surf and Skate Team. One of the few negatives of moving to the USA as having to get a job. Now, I know I sound incredibly slack and I am very good at being incredibly slack but I didn't waste my time on the dole. Aside from spending my days, writing bad poetry, reading novels, surfing and skateboarding, I did a lot of voluntary work. I helped do conservation management on Gower (See the Fall Bay post) and I taught a group of sixteen year olds basic literacy skills all while living off the state. Unfortunately, the glory days had to come to an end as Blair and his Champagne Socialists decided to tighten up on slackers like me and rename the 'Unemployment Benefit,' 'the Job Seeker's Allowance.' It should be obvious where this terminology change led. All I can say is, the dole, while it provided a state income for people who genuinely deserved it (like everyone in South Wales after Thatcher's reign), it also presented many young people with the opportunity to do worthwhile and creative things before becoming a wage slave. Britain would not have had half the great bands and artists if it were not for the dole. All in all I spent about three years on and off the dole in between crappy jobs and I was rarely idle.

The point of this post, was really to show you Frank's new illustration for my story "Turning My Curriculum Vitae Into A Resume" which will be up on Smokebox soon. The story is about the dark days when I eventually had to seek out a job. It was partly inspired by a collection of stories from a great zine called Temp Slave. I'll post the link to it when its up. For now, enjoy Patch's illustration and the opening quotes:

A paycheck is the worst drug there is- there's nothing worse. Never put yourself in the position where someone youwouldn't urinate on is telling you what to do at 11 in the morning- that's just too grim. You just have to say no. It's better to eat garbage. -Greg Palast, investigative journalist.

You say I need a job. I've got my own business. You want to know what I do? None of your fucking business. -Repeater by Fugazi