Feature

Willing, able and unwanted: day in the life of a jobseeker

KEEN: Finding work can be a dispiriting exercise
KEEN: Finding work can be a dispiriting exercise File

I WOKE up at 4.30am again.

My furry little alarm clocks start pattering about as soon as first light appears, and I might as well get up when they do. Starting my day by feeding the critters and watering the garden. Then what…?

All those depressing thoughts that were keeping me up last night start rolling back in; just too much money going out; rent, bills, food, fuel… and not that much coming in.

Technically at the moment I have a job, but because I am a casual, and they have no work. I'm not working, and not getting paid, so I'm at the mercy of the Centrelink. I prefer not to open that can of worms, because I'm sure most people are familiar with the concept.

It is still too early to head to town, so I open my laptop and log online. Checking out Facebook and few job search sites… nothing new there.

Funnily enough my "workplace" is still advertising for positions, which is bit disturbing knowing they don't have work for the people who already "work" there. Really makes me wonder what is that all about?

Finally it's eight-thirty and I can head to town. It's a half-hour drive, so by the time I get there, places should be opening up. My first stop is at my "workplace".

The receptionist doesn't know if there will be any work this week, and goes to look for the manager. Not surprisingly the manager is fixing something and he will give me a call later.

Yeah, right, I already know that he will never call, and without income, I can't afford to have credit on my phone, so I can't call him. So I head to the shopping centre, and to my employment service provider.

FIND THE LATEST LOCAL JOBS

I don't have an appointment, but after a short wait she is able to see me anyway. I tell her about my job search efforts - four jobs applied for, zero responses and uncertainty about my current employment.

She tells me there is no work in Warwick, so I should just re-home my pets, throw a mattress in my car, and hit the road. I was hoping to have a roof over my head for Christmas, but that is just a luxury the likes of me don't deserve. It's hard not to get depressed.

My case worker managed to get me an interview for tomorrow on the other side of Toowoomba, and no matter which way I drive it is about 115km - an hour and half drive away. My case worker gave me a $25 fuel voucher to help.

I don't know what kind of cars can drive 230km with $25 of fuel, but it is certainly not my car. My car is not that magical, so if I do get the job, I'm going to have to drive that distance every day… I sure hope it is for a good amount of hours and a great deal of money, or all my pay will go for paying for fuel.

With that, I realise that I can't afford groceries today, or do anything else either, so I return home to my pets and laptop, feeling defeated and hopeless.

I'm a hard worker; I like to work and most of the year I do work, but the work I do is seasonal, and this year the seasons have been short and daily hours even more so.

I'm happy to work 12-hour shifts, and even skip my days off to go to work; do all the overtime I can get my hands on. This year however very soon after the peak, the shifts have been cut short to two hours here, four hours there - it's all about waiting for the phone to ring.

I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't do drugs, and I can pass any medical, drug, traffic or criminal test or screening any employer wants to put me through. So how is it that I can't get a proper job closer to home?

- Name withheld

Topics:  editors picks jobs jobseeker unemployment



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

EXPLAINER: How to grab bargain flight from Wellcamp Airport

"Chances are, when it's at that price, they've just paid for the last two seats on the flight."

She said once they were nabbed, the tickets could skyrocket.

Major milestone for lifesaving service

RACQ LifeFlight is celebrating 10 years in south-west Queensland.

Lifelight celebrates 10 years in south-west Queensland

Spread the joy and Adopt a Family

'TIS THE SEASON: Red Cross program coordinators Carol Turnbull and Jo McKinnon are urging Warwick resident to sponsor the remaining six families as part of the Adopt a Family Appeal to give locals doing it tough a great Christmas.

Dig deep to support Warwick families this Christmas

Local Partners

15 things to do on the Southern Downs this weekend

If you're looking for something to do this weekend, here's some awesome ideas


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Don't miss the free Bunnings Christmas party

Free Bunnings Christmas Family Night

WARWICK'S Bunnings Warehouse will come alive tonight for Xmas

Rose City unites in festive event

Erin and Keely Hilton.

Local performers entertain at Carols in the Park

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Cruz Beckham's single a 'one-off'

He is not planning to launch a full-time music career yet.

Louis Tomlinson's mother dies aged 42

Louis Tomlinson's mother has died.

Star Wars spin off gets green light grom Lucas

Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen star in the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Lucas said to have enjoyed the latest Star Wars spin-off

BOOK REVIEW: The Mask of Command

This narrative from Anicent Rome has it all

The tech-version of the old pop-up book is here

IS THE old cardboard pop-up book a thing of the past?

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!