Monday, May 18, 2009

The recent tease of summer is great for those living the dole dream like my youngest brother. He enjoys the sun while socialising on Skerries harbour and pouring his welfare back into the economy, keeping the gym and local bars in business.

While I'm happy to see he hasn't spiralled into depression, I can't help feeling that €200 a week is not necessary for a well-kept young man living at home and should be reserved for those who really need it.

Still, I guess I wasn't complaining during my own dole stint in February. My other brother was not at all content to be signing on and searched very hard for work. Having lost his job two weeks ago he was, naturally, feeling down, spending his days trawling the internet and wondering how long he could cover his rent before returning home.

I assured him that he would land on his feet, and should ignore all terrifying news reports.

What else could I say? Meetings with recruitment agencies proved pointless: top class college grades were useless as many more experienced marketers were desperate for an interview. He was near defeated, ready to give up his spacious lodgings and return home to his box room, untouched, with dusty exam notes and fading posters half hanging from the walls.

Both of our rooms at home are occupied regularly by the younger bro, as his ever increasing pile of clothes on his bedroom floor threatens to suffocate him while he sleeps.

While Mam is too soft to force rent from his welfare, she sympathises and secretly enjoys having one child still at home.
So the youngest is content to ride out the recession and wait. At least he is happy and can pass time with his friends, an expanding group of decent, intelligent, yet unemployed, graduates.

But how long can their extended gap year last before the boredom sets in? And will there be a happy ending for them all?

Bizarrely, as if by miracle, my job-searching sibling received his happy ending after just two weeks! Not a new position, but it was his original job, which had let him go, that called with the answer to his landlord’s prayers!

After some internal restructuring, it had been realised that he played a great role in the company and the workload was too much for those left behind. A miraculous development !

He is delighted to be back working, I can stop worrying and our baby bro can reclaim sole status as the recession victim we can spoil, in return for ‘minding our beds ‘til we move home again..

1 comment:

  1. I graduated last year with an BBs Honours and I am on the dole! I only get €130 a week because I live with my parents and I have never felt so stressed when it comes to money. I began working when I was 18 part time to support myself through college as I was not entitled to a grant! I have never been so poor in my life! Even at 18 and working part time while still in college I was earning well over €200 a week. Now I have a car that needs to be paid for, a credit card bill that I'm trying to pay off weekly and I have no life for a 22 year old. I am stuck in a catch 22, I want to travel the world, I always have planned to when I graduated but I don't have a job to save money to get me there! Anyone I know who has left the country is returning to join the growing dole queue! I am going back to part time education, in the hope that I might be lucky enough to get a job and that I will be able to manage both. This is not how I ever envisioned my life as a graduate being. I wish this years graduates the best of luck, their cockiness and naiveity both entertains and annoys me. I know that this time last year I too felt that as a "graduate" I too was too good for most jobs, just as none of them think that in a month or so they will be standing beside me in the dole office. I cannot wait too see their faces then, when realisation sets in. For eager graduates ready to get out into the workforce, to make something happen, to turn this recession around, our hopes and energy are being damaged. We are being told to reskill to go back to education. There are no jobs out there at the minute for graduates, so what happens in a few years time when there is God knows how many people graduating, are they going to be forced to join the dole queue too or are there actually going to be jobs for them. Our talented educated youth are being demoralised. Funnily enough not one politician has knocked on my door during these campaigns to answer these questions I have. What will become of our graduates??