January 18, 2014

Hooking Up With Mr Darcy [Obligations Mutuelle: ep. 13]

When I attend my monthly visit with Mr Darcy, my thoughts are far from jobseeking. 

It’s a day of steamy mid 40 degree celsius heat. And, all I can think about, is my gainfully employed, older sibling's plans to re-marry. This is not five minutes, after swiftly divorcing, and de-cluttering from her life – hubby number one! 

Didn't marriage #1 teach her anything?  And this time it's no small affair.  

Imagine my spinsterly surprise when I hear the wedding reception is to involve a flotilla of ships(!)  ...well two boats actually. 

What gets into these people!  Isn't one boat enough?

And you guessed it, the dress code is Pirates of Penzance. What?!

And how ever much I do appreciate a bit of a dress-up, chin-chin, and sea breeze - in these post-GFC times, when austerity measures are clearly the haute couture of the season - I can't help wondering why the darling betrothed, can't just elope to the next suburb and simply live together ...happily ever after?  

And ....quite frankly, it's a kick in the face for a downwardly mobile, terminal singleton, such as myself. Moreover, doesn't big sister know that I never did get my basic swimming certificate?

What if, whilst on board the "Loveboat",  I trip on a canape saumon and end up overboard? Who on deck, is going to save, or even notice(?) a desperate, dateless, and unemployable welfare recipient (dressed up in a pirate's costume) flapping about in the ocean?  ...I digress.

Rumour has it that they found each other online. Apparently her "groomee" has a twin brother, who has also found himself a bride (being wife #3?) via the same efficient online resource. However, this one's Russian. No surprises there.  But, the question remains ...Will this exotic dame from the Soviet regions, be happy living back of Bourke? - in the land where women roar, men thunder, and the weather is glorious one day, and flooded, drought-stricken - or swarming with obese locusts, and gargantuan frogs, the next?

Meantime, all I’ve ever got online, are shoes that don’t fit, and of course those artfully(?) composed job application rejections. But really, who needs to go online, when once a month I get the opportunity to hook up - face-to-face with the delectable Mr Darcy!

So the heat is on, when the studster sidles up to me for our second contact appointment.  

This time, Mr Darcy has changed tactic, by organizing a “group job search” activity at the Job Network. 

Oh what joy! Not.

Do I like this idea, in place of the standard - one on one - in-cubicle appointments? No. For one thing, I don't get the chance to give Darcy a blow by blow account of my recent job interview. And then there's the failed opportunity to update him on my belly-dancing exploits.

It's plainly obvious, that Darcy’s motives are merely a clever time-management strategy, to halve his workload.  He says he prefers this method - to being tied to an office cubicle - doing endless one on ones  ...so to speak.

Perhaps the time-poor studster, needs to get out more.

But today he’s got his work cut out, keeping we we three lady unemployees in line, as we sit at our Job Network computers – pretending to jobsearch. 

A fellow unemployable, tells me about her plans to enhance existing social worker qualifications, and switch careers, by undertaking a course in Hawaiian massage.

“A wonderful vocational move. A win-win strategy ...and you do seem to have the right aura about you, for such work,” I tell her.

"I just like touching people!” She replies.

“Well that’s just great,” I say (and thank you for sharing), “And what a snappy sales pitch, you have there for job interviews! ... Perhaps I should try it?”

“But really,” I can't help adding, “Imagine how potential employers would react, if I - a displaced cinquagenarian librarian - used the same line to engage my interviewers?”

However, perhaps I do need to be more touchy feely at interviews? Maybe overtly demonstrative "hands-on" people-person-skills - are the sole key to job hunting success? The Idiot's Guide to Jobhunting does advise that body language accounts for ninety per cent of all successful recruitment liaisons?

And in pondering the thought, and wondering where I'd gone wrong so late in my (non)career, I begin to shriek with laughter.  It's a well needed belly laugh that permeates each and every wall, ceiling, and whiteboard, of the job centre.

This of course, stirs Mr Darcy’s attention, and he immediately wanders over to find out what it is that could be so damn funny?!

“We were just chatting about a massage course,”  I tell him. 

Darcy stands hovering over me. His eyes are alight with curiosity. And he gleefully asks, "Oh please, that's a service I really need at the moment. Can I be your client!"

Well, I never. And Darcy plonks himself beside me, and says he has an activity I might like to consider.

I silently pray that Darcy will make an offer, that’s actually ...quite useful?

He says I’d be a good fit for a new intensive job skills course coming up in the next week.

“But I’ve already attended one of those,” I cry. “It wasn’t so long ago, and we covered everything from interview deportment, goal setting, dealing with smelly co-workers, corporate warfare tactics, modern French history, the ins and outs of 21st century communications, cold-calling 101, Eddie McGuire and the racism debate, facial jewellery, illegal immigrants, illegal welfare recipients, team skills, low-flying obstacle avoidance, deodorant usage, office-shagging, the merits of nasal hair-clipping, to ....who should buy the f**king birthday cakes at the office!”

"This new course will be different." Says Darcy.

How different could it be, I wonder?  

And would there be any chance of a particular Monsieur returning to conduct it?

“Do I HAVE to do it?” I ask Darcy.

“If you're serious about looking for work, you should.” He replies. “Apparently, the woman who takes the class is fantastic at finding jobs for people with drug and alcohol addiction problems.” 

WHAT?!  Now where in my Employment Pathway Plan did I tick those boxes?

Although just quietly, as someone or other once said: I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy. 

“So that’s the kind of dame you think I am, Mr Darcy,” I mutter to myself.

“And I think you could benefit from being in a group,” He replies.

A group of what?

But I don’t want Darcy to think I’m some kind of recalcitrant, job avoider,  like Madam Absconder.  I want the studster to see me as a role model unemployable.

And, in considering the heat of the day - as Darcy sits waiting for my answer -  I decide to close the deal by enthusiastically saying YES! to anything that get’s me out of that horrible Job Network building. Tout suite! 
On the way home, I mull over what I’ve done.  For I had stupidly said yes to Mr Darcy (just to keep the studster happy) when – as a dame of a certain age – I should have just said NO!

And really(?), how could I bare sitting around a Job Network table, for four hours daily, over a month, with a new batch of twenty miserable unemployables?

Undoubtedly, it would be a GroundHog Day re-run, of what Monsieur had already shown us (with his exquisite baguettes thrown in) - just six months earlier! And nobody could do it better than the nuanced Monsieur!

More importantly, I knew that if I went ahead with another similar job skills course, drug and alcohol addiction problems could surely follow... 


  1. So what did you do?, is Mr Darcy (Kutut Kaput!)

  2. Darcy is alive and well. But he and I are definitely on a collision course - especially now that Kevin Andrews is in da house!

  3. Ha Ha, we're all on a collision course now, it's even more important to know our rights and exercise them with JSP's.