Time has flown since my last post, and lots has happened, including two job interviews for me as a teacher of "How to bang nails into wood" (imminent and very looming), Nel's got to go to Italy for a conference(poor thing), and Liverpool have made it through to the last eight of the European Cup. All of which pre-amble leads on to further introduction ,namely to say that Nel's disappearance from these pages is not due to anything more sinister than that she's preparing a talk for presentation in Liverpool next week, and is very busy. Nel's been rehearsing the talk in our office at night while I 've been watching dreadful television. Knowing that this is a pretty stressful time - her first talk in the UK, and endlessly vigilant for the wellbeing of my best friend, I have half an ear and a quarter of an eye on Castaway (don't ask), and four sixteenths of my attention on the mumblings coming from the office , on guard in case Nel needs anything. Do'nt be completely decieved by this ceaseless devotion to my life partner of twenty plus years - at least fifteen thirty seconds of the rest of me is a typical man and hopes that she'll get frustrated by the whole endeavour, give it up as a bad job and decide to sneak out to the local pub for a quick pint. Unfortunately for me, and for the information for those of you who never have witnessed Nel in full pursuit of a goal or emporer penguins marching across Antartica, single-minded concentration and determination are only vague linguistic approximations when it comes to the aforementioned creatures pursuit of said goal - the true effect is much more primal than "single-minded".
Still and all, like the true Catholic I am, I keep waiting for something that's never going to happen, and am all alert when I keep hearing "allo", "allo" coming from Nel's lair. I rush in when I hear this, suspecting that madness has overcome her and she's greeting invisible guests. I have the phone and I know she's alone, so who is she talking to? After this has happened for about the fourth time, Nel's getting visibly upset with the constant interruptions, but I'm still concerned, so I lurk outside her door,earwigging, and the truth is revealed (although I question whether truth gets revealed or just lies low and reveals itself, often at awkward moments). Nel is, in fact, a brain scientist and has been struggling over a section of her talk which describes several areas of the brain. One of these areas is called LO. Fortunately for me, and devotees of shaggy dog stories, LO is'nt (I do'nt think) an area that deals with language recognition. After I understand this, another marital crisis is averted and Nel goes back to mumbling, blissfully frustrated by her task.
I successfully completed my claim at the dole office and guided my career councillor through the options available to me. After I had explained to "Mike" (it was'nt the original cyborg after all, alas), what a Further Education Lecturer did, and explained the process of qualification needed for this career, we quickly assessed his career options. It appears that with Mike's qualifications and career record, the 730-2 NVQ Lecturer in Further Education qualification may be useful in furtherance of his aim of becoming a "Life Consultant", because presentations skills are emphasized. Even if this does'nt work out for Mike, he'll be ok, because his job is secure due to the continuing press of the great unwashed and unemployed, so we decided he should just go for it, and approach his employers about working part-time while he studies. Mike was really enthused by the end of the meeting, and I left feeling pretty sure that he'd be making that vital first step towards his new career that afternoon. I got my new signing date and went home.
A final note this week on language and website madness. While trawling the internet researching possible job options, I came across a word which ought to join "wellness", "stakeholder", and the use of the phrase "issues around", in the Plain English Hall of Shame. The word, which I have to copy and paste because I cannot bear to type it myself appears on the 'renewal' website thus:
Worklessness is a less familiar term than unemployment to describe those without work. It is used to describe all those who are out of work but who would like a job. Definitions of worklessness include: unemployed claimants; those who are actively out of work and looking for a job; and those who are economically inactive.
As for the website madness, I have joined the madness. My website, which is being edited and written at this very moment, is an attempt to get my portfolio on line. It is an attempt to address my issues around worklessness, and I would request stakeholders or any interested parties to view it and provide feedback.