Catching up and a few laughs from the world of unemployment

Catching up and a few laughs from the world of unemployment

As of the beginning of July I have been unemployed for 18 months. In more recent times I have temporarily abandoned social media and my art/writing projects so as to put even my leisure time into activities that will help me find a job. So this is just a check-in to let you all know that I am still alive and also to share a few funny stories.

I will start with more of a surprise than a funny story. A few months back I found myself sitting in a waiting room for a job interview. It was a trainee position (which says a lot about my desperation). What was really intriguing was the other applicants – they were mostly older people like me who were in their 50s. When I started chatting with them (if you know me then you know that I am sociable) I was surprised to discover their pedigree. One was a pure mathematician. Another was a Senior Network Engineer. Another a banker. And another the former head of a string of businesses. Yet all were unemployed now and having difficulty finding work. That amazed me. This confirms in my mind what a few agencies have told me – employers don’t like older workers in Australia.

Anyway, on to the funny (and sometimes frustrating) stories.

Keeping abreast of things

The most embarrassing interview that I attended was in an older part of town, slightly outside the CBD. I found myself sitting on one side of a table with two extremely serious individuals facing me. We were on about the seventh floor and behind them was a large window which looked onto a neighbouring hotel. All of a sudden a woman stepped out of her hotel room and onto the balcony. She had a mobile phone in one hand and was doing that instantly recognisable thing of trying to get a signal on the phone. So what is embarrassing about that? Well, she was topless and very good looking. And there I was trying to answer technical questions with that view right behind the two solemn men interviewing me. I think that I managed to hide my surprise and continue answering, but the moment she stepped back into her room I asked if the window blinds might be shut due to the “brightness” outside. LOL.

In the end I did not get the job. I suspect that I was overqualified, but who really knows.

Not Jorge

For one interview I was asked to meet at a local landmark where, for security reasons, someone would collect me for the interview. I got there half-an-hour early and was surprised to discover that this was a local meeting spot. Quite a few people were standing around waiting for others. A few people asked me my name. No, I was not Michael, John, Dr Rogerson, George, Professor Smith, etc. I asked a few of them their names. None of them were Missy (not really name).


  1. Sounds like you’re working very hard to get a job and I can only wish you luck – you deserve it! It would seem that you’re better qualified and suited than the people who are interviewing you. I’m about to begin the search. I truly hope you’re successful soon Greg.

    1. Thanks 🙂 All I can say is that it is very, very frustrating. Oh well, another job interview tomorrow 🙂

  2. Those stories are not surprising sadly =(
    If Australia weren’t a separate continent all those miles away, you could land a job here in Russia. There is no concept of “overqualified” here. And foreigners get paid very well.

    1. I would actually be fascinated working there. Years ago (2003) Nicole and I planned a Russian holiday that did not eventuate due to unexpected changes in circumstances. Maybe one day.

      1. If you ever get serious about working here… quite a number of native English speakers come here and land teaching gigs in language schools. The key requirement isn’t a specifically education-oriented degree but being able to explain things and engage the students, make them feel interested and motivated. I’m sure you’d have no trouble doing that.

        And if you ever get a chance to come here for a holiday, I’d say don’t do all those major cities, Tolstoy usadbas and other generic stuff. This is not the true unique attraction of Russia. Try to get a more “extreme” tour that would include taiga reserves, sopki, lake Baikal and other nature wonders of Asian Russia and maybe Northern Russia (but you’re closer to the Asian part, so it makes more sense than flying over all the pretty things to see Karelian pines). That’s the real deal. Yes mosquitoes are huge and hungry, but hey. =)

  3. Has to be pretty frustrating dealing with some of those interviewers.

    1. Very, very, very frustrating. I am starting to become concerned that there is something about me that no one is telling me.

  4. Wow that experience sounds super frustrating. Best of luck in your search friend!

    1. Very, very, very frustrating. LOL. Oh well, easy to laugh at later. 🙂

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