There I stood, staring down a dirt path. I had another three hours before work began and I had to keep mobile. A lot of workers rode bicycles to avoid detection, but I prefer to be on foot, dressed like a wino, my work things in a locker in the staffroom. Dressed like this, no one would suspect I even have a job.
Fifty years ago, before all the systems crashed and reality TV gave way to reality with all its murderous ideals, working nights in a care home for adults with dementia was a job you only did if you couldn’t get anything else. Now, the night carer’s job is one of the most sought after jobs.
The reason why goes back to when it all fell apart in 2019. Rising population, terrorism, the rise of the Right, privatisation, the collapse of the welfare state – it all blew up. It was jokingly suggested by an “edgy” comedian that no one had heard of before that people fight for jobs. A TV reality show was quick to take up the idea as politicians and pundits bickered. Just as with the old Chinese water torture, it’s not the drip of water on your head that drives you insane. It’s the constant drip drip drip drip drip drip drip drip drip over a period of time – days, weeks, months. It’s the constant drip drip drip that drives a person insane.
Rumour has it a conglomerate – who happens to own the TV station and reality show – had paid the comedian to come out with this hilarious joke. The Right seized upon it, saying how lazy immigrants were, how they always claim racism is the reason they don’t have a job, but when they do have a job they’re never grateful and constantly make false accusations of racism so that the indigenous workers get the sack and the immigrants move into the newly vacant job roles. It was only two days between the comedian making his joke for the nation to hear and the Right suggesting the indigenous Brits – of whatever colour and religion – fight the immigrants at their workplaces and beat them until they leave. “Coming from the hellholes they come from, it’s the only language they understand.”
And all hell ensued. Women attacked women, men attacked men, bosses attacked cleaners. At first, there were only a handful of incidents. Then more the next day. By the third day, thousands of immigrants were a “no show” at work. By the end of the week, immigrants were “heading home”, contacting relatives back in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, India and Syria to see if they had room to spare, booking the first flight they could get on. So that was the start of the concept of Fight For Your Right To Work. Drip drip drip.
This is the beginning a piece I wrote after the prompt of the concept of “job hunting” being literal.