May 22, 2014

Wink Spotlights Hidden Job Market





Ok. Enough already about the wink. And apparently the wink has gone global! Global? However, ironically, it hasn't made its way onto WinkNews.Com. 

But I'd watch that space!

The dreary lowdown

So during a discussion on the May 2014 budget, Prime Minister Tony Abbott winks during a radio interview when a caller phones in to explain how things have got so bad for her, that she, a grandmother! - has had to make the tragic career switch to employment as a sex hotline worker - to make ends meet ....so to speak.

Now Twitterdom and media tarts are bursting their cyber-seams, ranting and raving about the said wink. And they're going ballistic, saying what a nasty piece of work our Tony is for responding in this way. Many infer that the wink was an overt wink-wink, nudge-nudge kind of a wink ...meaning the wink reflected a viscious, misogynistic streak in our PM's personality.

But perhaps he was just over-tired, had lint in his contact lens, or just finds our Jon Faine quite attractive. Well I do!

And now the Prime Minister, has been forced to defend the wink.

The apology

Mr Abbott said on Thursday morning that he WAS responding to the ABC radio host, when he winked during the interview.

"Look, I was looking at Jon Faine, he was smiling at me and I winked back at him," Mr Abbott told Channel Nine. "I shouldn't have done it, Karl. I should've been more focused on the caller and more focused on the interview."

Mr Abbott said he was "momentarily distracted" by Faine.

The question

So why didn't Abbott's media minders, simply instruct him to wink at Karl during the subsequent Channel Nine interview? At least that tactic would have ended the story, and the Twitter feeders would soon return their collective gaze, to under-employed internet kitty cats.


The bigger issue

Winks aside, as an astute and sensitive lady unemploymentista, I empathize with the damsel, grandma'am in distress. I know how underwhelming life is on a pension. Of course in my case, it's the thrills and spills of the Newstart Allowance

Ok, so I'm not a grandmother. But I'm grumpy and old enough to be one. And don't employers seem to know (or imagine) that factor ...when they receive my carbon dateable job applications - as I rarely hear back from them. Which is another key issue people! Now why is there no united, collective grumbling about that particular inequity?

So is the sex hotline industry the way to go then?

Returning to topic. I too, coincidentally, have considered a similar career move into sex hotline work - having found it impossible to get ANY regular job as a librarian/general dogsbody ....even pharmacy delivery boy roles seem to be a no go zone.  

When I saw the latter job advertisement, stuck to the local chemist window, I seized the day - and naturally applied within. Unfortunately, it appeared they only wanted an eager kid with a push-bike.  

"But wouldn't a car, driven by a grown-up (woman of a certain age), be more efficient, and safer than a kid on a bike?" I asked the pharmacist, after seeing his flaccid response to my earnest expression of interest. Apparently he'd already been flooded with applications ...from eager kids, that is. 

It's another strange, but true snippet from the rivetting life of a mature lady-unemployable, as she searches - undaunted - for the unsearchable. I digress.

A case study in skill matching

My yummy-grandmummy, sex hotline idea germinated several months ago, during compulsory "Job Readiness Skills" classes - run by our Australian Government's, industrious Department of Employment.  Yep, those tedious (taxpayer funded) remedial job search sessions, are somewhat useful - after all ...for the mature job seeker, investigating the so-called, hidden, unexplored, niche job markets! 

Very niche.

We unemployees had been sitting around the table - participating in the usual daily discussions, about our unique "barriers to employment" - led by our fascinating French national course facilitator.


flickr


The right voice

I'd explained to the group, and Monsieur, how I would happily apply for the myriad Call Centre roles on offer, but knew I'd fail tragically once on the job, because of the fact that (despite my "mature-age", and self-evident people-person/life skills), I clearly sound like a thirteen year old, when I speak on the telephone.

Annoying phone marketers have candidly and blatantly told me this (even though I'm old enough to be the world's grandmother!). To this day, they will more often than not say, "You sound so young"....Meaning not old enough to own, rent, pick up the telephone, or even be home alone.

Market research

When some telemarketers call, they routinely ask if there's an adult at home. So once or twice, I've undertaken some on-the-spot market research, by asking, "And just how old do you think I am?" One or two have actually told me I sound about thirteen ...which is why I don't bother applying for Call Centre jobs. Because really, Joe Hockey (Bill Shorten et al), who - except Rolf Harris - wants to be pestered over the phone by a thirteen year old? ....about suspect investment proposals, government funded light bulbs, cheap energy plans, and dodgy holiday options?!

That said, when one career door slams shut, another supposedly opens. 

How so?

A fellow unemployee in the job centre class - a laid-back Kiwi bloke (who defined his job du jour as "womaniser"), enthusiastically informed me, that a nubile "thirteen year old's voice, was an attribute, that's keenly sort after by the sex hotline industry" ....and its associated dubious clientele.

Now why hadn't I thought of that career option, and skills-match before?!

And with my womaniser friend's hot job tip almost fading from memory, I admittedly do continue to contemplate, the built-in perks of such a career move. For it would allow me to traverse the usual ageist recruitment hurdles, work from home (thus avoid travel costs), wear a burka on the job if I so desired, have makeup free days every day!, watch TVSN at whim, wear manky pyjamas all day long (more savings), and perhaps claim my phone, other utilities bills, and even costs for replacing the said pyjamas (work uniform) - in my annual tax return! Love that!

Just to have a tax return (oh what joy), and be in a position (like normal people), to pay any of the additional taxes announced in the budget - now remains a mere fantasy. 

I know ....I need to get a life. But MONEY!








So where do I sign up, for a job as a grumpy-but-spunky chat line unemployee? As with standard Call Centre modus operandi, here's hoping I'll be given large-print idiot scripts to follow - for those regular blank senior moments.






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AND

Meet Gloria, the Phone Sex Worker who made Tony Abbott Wink



Image: flickr



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