After being royally screwed by too many a job I embraced my artistic integrity. By 1. clicking like on the popular slogan “I am an artist this does not mean i will work for free. I have bills like you too. Thanks for understanding”. And 2. refusing to look for what i call a ‘normal’ job. Did you know that the online dictionary defines work as; an activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. So watching reruns of the original “nana nana nana batman” still count as productive!
Hackney Job Centre. I stand at the welcome sign but there is no welcome. A tumbleweed floats past… “Hello is anybody there?” I call out but as expected, no body answers. As far as the eye can see there are people, but the people are waiting. Who knows what for, but its a god awful place to be waiting in. Eventually a weary looking woman appears. She looks like she’s been up all night taking it up the…nah, it’s probably just the job. I’m told to wait. Ah I shouldn’t of asked! I waited all that time just to wait? The fact that I didn’t confess I’m running ten mins late starts to bother me. What if my names already been called? What then? Will I be waiting here for eternity for no reason?
Some ladies spazzing out at her computer. A man goes over to help then she spazs out at him. She’s electrifying! If only we could switch her charge to positive. Then she’d be dancing with her tits out all over the tables of course. But instead, we’re stuck with this awkward silence (pause). M. Eden. M. Eden Me me! Fuck me next! So I can get the hell out of here! I’m given a form a print out of the form I’d already filled out. I’m told to double check. That makes sense. I may of changed. Could of would of should of. I bullshitted some of this – I highlight my bullshit in pink highlighter! I’m not sure I’m meant to be marking the form. Oh well its already marked now, may as well do it again. I’m under a magnifying glass? Who cares. They can magnify me all they like. I start to burn. How can this person be in customer service when she’s expressionless? Maybe she came in human and now she’s machine. I explain I’m a performance artist. A renaissance woman. I have shows. She doesn’t compute. “when did you sign the contract, when will they pay you?” Does she not read the online dictionary? I’ve got a pile of forms, a list of shit that I didn’t bring that I need to bring and meetings. I should feel important. Instead I feel screwed. Shoulda seen that coming. If the jobs screw you the job centre certainly will. Then a funny thing happens. As I’m silently screaming “please god please let me go!” She hands back my visa and points. Smack bang in front of my face is “you are not entitled to funds”. What?! Now I’m thinking out loud “Thank you god! Oh, sorry for wasting your time!” She’s utterly ticked off. She shoves a piece of paper in front of me and demands I declare my new found knowledge. Why? I try and cheer her up with a joke that now I think of it. Probably didn’t help “Sorry, but you’re only going to have to do it all over again!”
Mums finally cut the umbilical cord. and the cash flow. I start manically looking for work but I’m dismissing 99% of the jobs as per usual. When my trigger lands upon beauty consultant. It’s the last straw. I don’t want to be a beauty consultant! I don’t even wear make up. Immediately I vent this to the world and entitle my vent… DESPERATE for WORK. My hopeless cry is answered by male proposals left right and centre! I’ve decide to leave the add up and keep em cumin; Can you send me your photo I may be able to help. I’m looking for a PA, house keeper, and companion when can you move in? We are hiring lap dancers 500 pound a night…500 pound night!
A hostess is wanted for a Japanese Karaoke Club. Just like lost in translation! I secure an interview. It’s starting to sprinkle and I’m wearing my vintage flowy dress. I haven’t done my hair or makeup. I’m hoping there’s no downfall then I’ll really look like I’ve made no effort. This is a really nice area. So quiet. Feels strange with no sirens. No. 76 and 78 are closed down, abandoned. 74 is just another building. With a tiny nothing special buzzer. (buzzz) Two Japanese women are on reception and there’s old carpet leading up a flight of stairs. I feel like we’re in a cheap hotel. “Go upstairs!” reception shouts. I go on up but I’m not sure which level to stop. Thankfully a funky looking man points to a door ‘champagne’. I walk through into a dark long room. With a horde of girls dressed up to the tees. Fuck, I should of dolled myself up. Now I’ll never get the job. A woman with a paper and pen stops me. There’s something about her. She’s snake like. “Are you Frankie?” I ask just as the real Frankie (funky man) walks in and laughs “she Frankie!”. We sit down at a booth. “Where you from?” “Sydney I’ve just been here over an hour.” Oops I meant year I’m trying to take the whole room experience thing in at the same time. There’s a good-looking girl with vacant eyes pouting her lips. She looks like a real life blow up doll. “Ready to fuck” as Uffie would say. Another with long brown hairs definitely seen too many nights on the piss. Most of them look lost and confused. I take off my retro jacket and granny jumper. “Are you getting naked?” “Yeh, seems to be the trend” She doesn’t smile. She’s all business. Then it dawns on me. Maybe she’s the head honcho. I wonder. Is he the pimp or is she the pimp. Id bet you she is. Seems like the woman have got all the power here. Hmmm… Maybe I’ll be empowered. Become more of a man-eater than I already am. She asks me what I do. I start explaining but she doesn’t get it. Just like at the job centre. So you’re actress? Yes. Have you done this work -worked in club – hostess? No no. She explains you get 30 pound if they buy a bottle of wine, 40 pound if you they buy a bottle of champagne. I’ve done sales, sales are manipulation. Sales and acting go hand in hand. Acting is manipulation. I can do that easily. No piercing. You must doll face with make up. Wear short skirt. No flowy dress. Seductive. Sexy outfit. I can do that. It’s like acting. You change. Get into character. I wonder if any of these girls have personalities. Like if they actually genuinely chat to these men. Or just try and act or be sexy whatever that is. If I’m to do this there’s no way I’m not being myself. Hey I’ll change my image. Image isn’t real anyway. But I am who I am. I’ll chat to these men and treat them with respect. We’re all equals. We all have sexual needs. “We will accompany you to bus Marble Arch.” “That’s okay, I cycle” “You can’t cycle you will be drinking” I’m confused. What for? “You wont be drinking to get drunk but you will not be able to cycle” I’m thinking if I’m not drunk I can cycle. I did it 4am on sat morning pretty pissed I think I can do it after work. And I don’t intend to get drunk. What a fucking stupid idea that would be. “A couple of a glasses” Fuck me I cant do this if they expect me to get pissed each shift. Here I am wanting to quit drinking all together and now I have to drink for work. Then what happens. I get pissed and become a prostitute. “You come Friday. Fridays busy. You see what you think and still make some money” Friday it is. That’s it. I walk out. Down the dodgy stairs into reception where Frankie tells me it’s raining. I rug up and walk out into the fresh now stale night.
I’ve convinced myself that I’m doing ‘one night only’ at the club. Even though I’ve also convinced myself it’s not a club it’s a brothel. I figure I can screw the system and walk away with the cash. Thus keeping my landlord happy. It’s only after the 5th or 6th reading of my encounter that I realize just how naïve I actually am. The funny description I’d imagined is just down right dark. Lines like “Your getting naked? Yeh that seems to be the trend” and the whole alcohol conservation. I would’ve got drunk. I always get drunk when people buy me drinks. I hate that. Then I always end up doing what everyone else wants. And all to keep my landlord happy? Who cares about him what about me I’m not a whore nor do I want to be! Thank fuck I wrote this down or who knows where I’d be or who I’d be! Arty Farty’s of the world solidify! coz no matter how hard jobs screws us we’ll always be saved time and time again.