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Unemployment is no fun at the best of times, but it's particularly strange during a pandemic

6 29 39

One morning recently, my day began like every other: I pulled back the curtains, made a strong cup of coffee, and looked for work. This has been my ritual since March. I logged on to the government Jobactive website and saw the following jobs suggested for me: Portuguese-speaking chef, experienced steel fabricator, and tennis coach.

I’ve now been out of work for over three months after my workplace shut down due to restrictions – freelance work, too, has dried up due to budget constraints or publications closing.

By now, I’m considering everything. After seeing these jobs, that curious part of my brain wondered if I could bluff my way into any of them. I’ve been to Portugal! I played tennis in high school! And I … know what steel is!

A friend suggested a Mrs Doubtfire situation, with me running between jobs and hastily changing outfits. I imagined backhanding Portuguese tarts in a steel factory. Although this did appeal to me, especially as I could work in a Benny Hill-style nudie run at the end, it seemed that the right thing to do was not waste anybody’s time. (Besides, who wants to be around a tennis club when a rogue Novak Djokovic could start a covid conga line at any given moment?)

Unemployment is no fun at........

© The Guardian