Thursday, 6 February 2014

Gerths gerting jerbs

Someone asked me a very good question, and it's something I've been thinking about too, especially today. I think one of the chief First World Goth Problems is: getting a job. I've had a mottled history as far as work goes, but being judged on appearance has been a really big deal throughout.

In answer to the question, yes I do have a job, just a part time one, but my employers have never met me and don't know what I look like. I'm working for a large marketing company at the moment, not terribly exciting. When I go, I do my best at "toning down" my style, but I still get "Oh, is it Halloween" comments. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong and why I can't blend in with the muggles. I'm currently hunting for a full time job somewhere better. I've applied for five high-end jobs today. I also work on short films and music videos as a director or art director, but generally don't get paid for that. Oftentimes the film industry in this country expects people to work for free.

First of all, when you look like a weirdo it is REALLY hard to find an employer who isn't going to judge and dismiss you the moment they lay eyes on you. I have gone to interviews in the past where I've been given the cold up and down glance, and known instantly that it was already over. One regularly hears, "we'll get back to you" or "we'll let you know" and of course they don't. It's pretty upsetting.

I don't see why one should have to essentially wear a disguise or a costume (ie. look normal) to go to work. Having to dress up as someone you are not seems dishonest, but it is expected.

 I have had loads of jobs in my life though, and a really random variety too. I've done cake decorating, chainsawing, orchard and vineyard work, caregiving, pizza delivery, and run a shop. The best job I've ever had by far was when I worked for an underground ghost tour company in Edinburgh, Scotland. Looking spooky was encouraged, and my primary role there was to stand out in public looking as scary as possible, and attracting tourists to come on the tours. I was a fucking CHAMP at that job. I loved the shit out of it. I also got to jump out and go "boo" at the end of the tours, I was the receptionist some days too, AND I got to host overnight ghost hunts with mediums and paranormal investigators where we held seances and all manner of spookery. It was tremendous, and I'd often work 80 hour weeks. Unfortunately there is nothing even vaguely similar where I live now.

I wish people wouldn't judge based on appearances. That's life for you though, isn't it. Unavoidable. I'm not sure what assumptions people make about me, but I try and belie them quickly by being all nice and friendly at them; try and show them my personality. It's frustrating when you know you've got a good brain and no one wants to let you put it to use because you look a bit strange. It really isn't fair, and they are losing a potentially perfect employee too.

It's like not getting employed for having tattoos, as if the tattoo somehow diminishes your ability to do a good job. It's really, really stupid and I wish it weren't the case. The world ought to allow more Goths and Punks and whoever else into the workforce, because of who they are, not how they look. Probably they're more likely to bring cool, creative ideas to the company.

So yeah, I do have a job but am looking for a better one, looking in a land full of judgemental employers who are making the whole process difficult and drawn out, and in turn missing out on a great employee.


Ps: sorry if this doesn't read very well or is just bad in general, I have a massive freaking headache. >___<;

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