Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cliches of 2012 #2

"Our young people are too fussy when it comes to jobs".

...And the evidence for that would be...?

Jack, of course, because it's the typical sweeping generalisation that you hear with increasing frequency from the kind of people who 1) don't appreciate their luck and 2) have a tendency to hear one anecdote and generalise.

Like "media personality" Janet Street Porter, or Frank Field MP on last Thursday's BBC Question Time - the latter telling the story of some stroppy kids grunting that for less than £300 a week they wouldn't even consider a job.

And so the Daily Mailers of this world hear an anecdote or two like that, and voila'...the hundreds of thousands of young people toiling away for shit wages in assorted pubs, supermarkets, Greggs, Starbucks and the rest turn into ghosts.

And so does the increasing army of bogus "self-employed" people, many of them youngsters with no pension rights, sickpay or holiday pay (check out the hairdressers trade, for an idea), forced to call themselves "self-employed" just so that their employer can dodge national insurance and every other obligation.

Not to mention, the millions whose email inbox these days contains more job rejection messages than spam. Because, in case you didn't know, it's official news that in parts of Britain "[a]lmost 80 unemployed people are chasing each job".

Nah. You heard it. Janet Street Porter said it. "Our young people are too fussy when it comes to jobs". "They don't try hard enough". "They're picky". "They don't pull their finger out".

I don't know about you. But I don't know one single person who would accept a job only if strictly related to their dreams. That isn't to say that there's no fussy people out there. But, far from the cliche', most people are quite happy to shelve their dreams for bar work, call centre jobs, zero-hour contracts, or anything that comes their way. That's in the real world, especially these days.

And you can be sure Janet wouldn't like it if cliches were thrown about that people develop her kind of mindest from hanging around too many golf clubs or "dinner parties". And where, while munching on a canape or two, you hear anecdotes from some other media guru whose posh kid called Camilla, Rupert or Hubert is still travelling around the world while waiting for the perfect job offer to follow their successful degree in PR.

Generalisations: don't they just sound hateful?

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