All posts by Eddie Mitchell

Writer|Audio Producer|Podcaster Www.soundcloud.com/phpubcast

PRO-TIPS #1 – Surviving Unemployment

Note: Apologies to mobile readers, there appears to be some alignment issue I can’t fix yet.

 

Everyone has been unemployed at some point.
When you were still attending school doesn’t count and neither does your stint in sixth form or college (kinda).
If you didn’t go to University then you know full well what looking for a job is like, unless you’ve been graced by the golden sleight hand of nepotism; if so then well done my friend, you won the lottery, really.
No it may not have been as well earned as actually applying to 104 jobs in the space of two weeks only to receive 5 rejections letting you know ‘how close you came’ or none at all. Out of the twelve replies you receive, a few are the golden tickets, that’s right Interviews; sweet Jesus what a glorious fortune that has showered into your life, you’ve been given the chance to go deeper in to the soul crusher pit for a chance to walk away gleaming, shining or not at all.

During this period of world record breaking application rates, it’s likely that you are unemployed.
Not many people with jobs look for new jobs because in the world of today it is better to be comfortably numb in any job you can get rather than to get a job that really matters to you or heaven forbid; makes you happy.

It’s not easy to even keep a job and when you are so desperate for work, settling for anything becomes the only option you feel there is, you don’t realise how hard you screw yourself once you enter this train of thought.

Let us begin with a few examples of getting work and then, losing it.

So you took a job, it is two and a half hours away, each way. Good work my friend you have got some real dedication to be hitting that job, but it will only last so long before you realise how much time of your life you spend commuting, which not only destroys your soul but actually causes some slight psychotic thought. To anyone that has to travel between Borehamwood/Edgware to Watford in the morning or during rush hour, you really know how to suffer.

Oh! So you got yourself a Christmas temp job working 10pm – 7am at a parcel sorting warehouse; nothing wrong with this either, if it’s what you want to do. But that bus journey home, covered in soot and misery whilst surrounded by people of the otherworld, the morning-world as the sun rises. That’s a special kind of suffering and you’ll be thanking your lucky stars it’s a temp position.

Oh! Ooooh! You’re really stepping it up a few notches here, what you’ve gone and done is not only found yourself a job working only thirty minutes away, but it’s also akin to the previous picker/packer position you held, you’re basically a pro here! The working hours are suitable to that of any normal human and the people here are great!
Too good to be true, the company drops you an email let you know ‘as per current business and staff levels, we will no longer need you’.

Not to worry, in a month and after all your savings are gone, finally something on the horizon shines so bright you put your hand up to break the glare so that you can see the prize.
A job in a new and expanding company.
My god…
A paid internship?
Woah.

Fortune has graced your inbox today and the job is sweet. It’s an even easier commute, the money isn’t great but the opportunities to progress are fuelling the imagination like never before!
What a rush!
But, you’ve been duped; they were expecting more from you whilst being completely unclear on what it was that they wanted, they let you go.
The reasons are peppered throughout the ‘assessment’ aka the long firing and it comes down to the same old 21st Century executor of jobs – There’s not enough money and work to go around.

Now, these experiences can all happen within the space of a year. Four jobs, with a month or two between them, accompanied by the everlasting stain on your mind that is your own self-doubt; however did you get here? Are you truly incapable of even finding and holding on to that comfortably numb job?

Don’t kid yourself and fall victim to the swirling self-pity that comes with each new period of unemployment, don’t you worry about it too much anyway, swirl a little.
The most important thing to do between jobs is not get desperate and not waste time;
of course you want to relax and fuck around, but that’s not really going to do you any favours right now so here are FIVE very simple and very Pro, Pro-Tips on what to do during these trying times.

#1 – Polish up that CV almost every single day that you’re applying for jobs.
Don’t stop tailoring it towards industry or whatever. This thing is going to save your BACON* so for the love of god treat it like the only bacon saver in the world. *if you do not eat bacon replace with whatever alternative you want.

#2 – Stay busy, stay very busy. It’s extremely easy to fall in to the trap of waking up, putting on the dressing gown, making a cuppa and then only making more cups of hot goodness throughout the day. A few days in and you forget to feed and shower yourself, which is truly when the sweat from not making money begins to stink.
Treat every single one of these days like the chance to do that thing you always wanted to do, which does not mean get your high score higher on whatever game or complete that side-quest and obtain a Platinum trophy, but actually bloody achieve something.
That hit of potent dopamine can propel your mood in the right direction when you’re searching for work. Optimism is a powerful player in this game so force feed yourself some, especially when it’s out of the dressing gown comfort zone.

#3 – Try not to spend money.
This little fact of life may not come easy to some but good lord it matters, if your coffers are running bare then you need to budget your estimated period of unemployment.
Sure, treat yourself to some comfort beer and food, but this here is a caution to you; there is nothing worse than lining up several interviews only to not be able to afford the travel, a hair-cut or some bloody new shoes. This is an added anxiety that you really don’t need and will almost absolutely play in to your decision making when applying for work. ‘Is it smart, is it casual? How far away is it?’ are factors you can’t afford to worry about nor is worrying if you can even afford to make it to the first week of work if you were to get the job, so prevent that at all costs.

#4 – Apply for work every single day.
For a lot of us, it’s hard to know what we want to do. So don’t go ahead applying for jobs you know you don’t want in the long term or can’t do for much longer than a few months. Knowing what you don’t want can often help you filter the applications down to your interests/skill set, which is an extremely powerful move.
Whilst applying for these jobs, getting any work is better than nothing so, be sure to aim for at least some part time work or low skilled work that can you tolerate and won’t feel guilty for leaving when that special something comes along. It’s better than nothing so get what you can take for the mean time.

#5 – Stay strong!
This is a cheesy last entry but it’s true, when you’re a grown adult and the only true career you’ve had is working on finding a good job, things can get very depressing very fast. It’s easy to end up blowing all your money on making yourself feel better, watching TV, playing video-games and doing whatever it takes to take your mind off how horrible you feel and that natural urge to give up.
So avoid that, stay productive, reach out to all those who you know can help and keep your head held very high.

And that’s it, simple eh?

Obviously, these have nuances that you can apply to work in your own life but these extraordinarily simple factors have helped me, even in writing this.
So keep your heads up, your inbox constantly refreshed and for the love of god have a shower.

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Tinder to Cinder

Cinder, cinder! Swipe right on your tinder,
Another conversation disaster, no wonder you binned her,
Trust you to be the fire kindler.
Could you hold that torch as you burn through winter?
Or would it be preferable to find someone fitter?

Cinder, Cinder! Swipe left on your Tinder,
She looks like shit but you still want to be in her.
She talks pretty well, thank god for that filter,
Well, go ahead and engage your shag-o-meter,
Head out on a date and tell everyone on twitter.

Cinder, Cinder! Well done, this one could be a repeater,
The date went terribly, the food was good and the hand job was a beater.
She’s looking for a completer, you’re in her race and not the only sprinter.
She’ll crush you, a man defeater, she just wants free drinks and a free dinner.
Oh! Cinder, Cinder! A regular DM receiver, you hold no court, don’t let it deceive ya.

A note on Mother’s day, and other ‘days’.

Note to Reader – This is the amalgam of the writers’ own hatred for card companies and forced falsities; projected thus unto the page and therefore the reader.

Christmas, Birthdays, New Year and the multitude of religious festivities/holidays are the only ones of note in the calendar.

Mother’s day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s, Easter, Shrove Tuesday, Bonfire night, Halloween etc.; These all, are cancers on society; for people like me anyway, which is people who know all to well the original message of the holiday has been lost in card companies, high expectations and pointless, false, forced fun.

It was recently Mother’s day, it ranks high in the blight of pointless holidays because of the enormous pressure applied by women on to children and men to readily and eagerly (desperately) deliver some disposable cards, breakfast in bed and some sort of gesture to ensure that woman in question doesn’t break down in tears, feel undervalued and go insane with disappointment.
It’s not the recipients’ fault that they act so righteously, they have spent a lot of time being told just how important mothers are, how it is the hardest job in the world and about how special it is.

Well, there is nothing special about being a mother, much more than it is special to be a father.
For generation, eons, men have been ejaculating in to women, producing sprogs and then providing, protecting and raising them.
Much like women, who for generations have been ejaculated in to, then to inevitably carry the child, push it out, feed it, keep it clean and raise the little sprog alongside their father (A growing rarity these days…)
Well done all of you, you did exactly what every other successful species has done, you took part in procreation, a phenomenal achievement, outstanding! Well done!
But now, we need to devote our time, energy and money in to a holiday that forces you to show ‘appreciation’, patronisingly, almost as if you never really did or do.

If it mattered so much, we wouldn’t need a month worth of adverts or the incessant lists of ‘top ten mother’s day gifts’. Or a reminder of the ‘Greatest Mother’s this century’; this shit is pathetic, which applies to father’s day and the aforementioned other cancerous dates. It really needs to stop; all this self-congratulatory, pat-self-on-back business.

It, is, nothing, special.

The only thing that these mass-marketed, over-advertised, money saturated twenty-four-hour periods have ever achieved is create expectancy, entitlement and standards of which the minimum must be met or, be prepared to suffer the consequences.
Things like this should not have a day set aside for them, if you love your mother love her every day, treat her whenever you can, no?

Much like if you love your romantic partner, love them every single day and when YOU decide to do something special, go ahead and do it. Because making your own date in the calendar is surely, far more admirable than joining the queue with the rest of the lot, stampeding in to the Card Factory and then Waitrose for some chocolates with a bow around them.
There is nothing less thoughtful than using a national holiday as an excuse to get the romance for your partner, or admiration for a parent out of the way so it can be done with for the rest of the year.

Was it really special to take her out and sit in a restaurant with a hundred other families and their mothers?
Was it really?
Or was it a lacklustre attempt to smooth over an already cobbled family union, prevent tears or rid oneself of guilt?
Well, whatever you did. It most likely was not special. It was what was expected of you to do, just to keep the peace, just to fit in.

The truth is out there.

We may find that in the current day, we circle a maelstrom, aboard our little computer rafts as the swell of the ‘mainstream’ media vortex swirls and grows as it infinitely consumes and distributes of information . It’s an odd fact that despite our ‘woke’ minds; our conspiracy laden tin hat wearing brains, we still believe in the mainstream media enough for it to manipulate the truth and thus our perceptions of the truth.

Even stranger, we live in a post-truth world.

Who would have thought? After 9/11, there was a surge of memorable, believable and outright crude conspiracy theories. Most notably ‘LOOSE CHANGE’ and ‘ZEITGEIST’.  Regardless of whether you or I think it was an inside job or not, we can thank the internet and the mainstream media’s considerably long and eventful history of deceptions, foul play and out right lying for catalysing a means for greater awareness.

Now everything is viewed under the powerful magnascope that is the World Wide Web. Any reported, captured or hypothesised eventuality can come under the critical scrutiny of anyone with a computer. And so everyone conspired, to unravel the conspiracies. And once all the truths had been examined and processed, a wash of strange stances and conclusions appear from truths bound not in logic, and reason. But Alternative facts, truths, clad in emotion and feeling. The post-truth reaction; is perhaps the most divisive of all sources for those who seek truth in conspiracy.

Conspiracies are very addictive and powerful. Not only do they dissect and surgically, construct a mathematical formula eventually leading to their equations conclusion using logic and ‘facts’ shall we say. But they also appeal to emotion.

If you completely disagree to a conspiracy you’re most likely in a frustrated, angry, ‘how could anyone believe this?’ mentality.

If you agree then you’re also likely to be in a frustrated, angry, ’how could anyone do this?’ mentality.

There are of course varying degrees for either response. But if you are like me, you find yourself taking every minutiae of information, with fists full of salt; even those that provide you with that gooey feeling of superiority when confirmation bias reassures you that you are indeed right.

Yes, ‘confirmation bias’.

A term I learned recently from Scott Adams, creator of the syndicated comic strip Dilbert who also happens to be a professional speaker, trained hypnotist amongst other brilliantly stacked traits. ‘Confirmation bias’ is the compulsion or tendency to search out and recall information that supports, defends and backs up our pre-existing beliefs.

Which news channel do you tune in to, which do you watch the most? And which channel do you not tune in to?  When you hear a breaking story on your go to channel, head to the one you hate the most. What you’ll see is a stark difference in reporting of the truth and the flow of the debate.

One says everything you think you already know and it confirms your bias.

“Well of course Obama didn’t found ISIS, he’s been bombing them and leading the war against them, that wouldn’t make any sense. It’s just radical propagandist people who spout such beliefs”.

For another person it can go differently.

“Of course Obama founded ISIS, he’s a Kenyan born Muslim who is seeking to destroy America from the inside. It’s just radical brainwashed idiots who can’t see the truth”.

For myself and others, it’s more a complicated inconclusive mess like this.

“Well Obama is fighting them and is acting against them as they are considered a threat, on the other hand there are his questionable drone strikes and aggressive military action that he and his predecessor, George Bush, conducted and successfully continued to screw the Middle East into dust. The problem is we’ll probably never know the truth and by the time we do, it won’t matter”.

The above statements are just examples so try not to take it personally if any of these sound like you or whatever; try to remember not to engage emotion as much as possible when digesting information, it get completely in the way of rational thought, a key to making up your own mind.

So you’ll watch those channels that contribute positively to your confirmation bias and pursue the narrative they provide as your own.  Well it’s time to stop as clearly, supposedly, there are no truths left to be found in the world.

And that is not meant as in, there is no truth. It’s that the truth is next to impossible to find and even if it were found, and shown to every single person on this planet, there would still be the naysayers and deniers, who will actively seek a counter argument, usually based off of something they’ve already seen or heard.

It’s an odd condition of the present era. With so much information available, so many sources and such touchy matters being at the forefront of social and political discourse; it’s no wonder everyone feels so tense, or they are too afraid to just speak their mind honestly. Since 9/11 there has been an undeniable build in social awareness; political deviance and the monstrous evolution of how information is used, abused and convulsed through its dissemination has created a society that even questions the truth.

We have all bore witness to the truth, we have all seen how much it can hurt, but it’s also a means to progress and lift ourselves upward.

Honesty, as things stand, is now such a highly sought trait, that men like Trump (love him or hate him) have been able to go so far off script and speak from the heart in order to achieve the highest available seat in the Western world. And now after his off the cuff and raw campaign, he can create and mould his own truths.

Alternative-facts, the perfect supplement for the post truth world.

He isn’t the first or last man to do it, but it’s evidence enough that things are going a little further sideways then they should be no?

There may be a solution to this all. To stop the infighting amongst us mere civilians and stop those at the top of the social food chain from taking advantage.

Those at the top would be:

  • Hollywood, the most self-righteous, pat-self-on-back community of all.
  • The 24 hour news networks, the lazy, lying, bias ridden streams of fear.
  • The politicians, who, whilst in it for themselves, have to ruin societies before they can achieve their goals.
  • And the internet / social media.  The loudest, most obnoxious and arrogant source of them all, where the conversation is taken too seriously, too lightly and never ends.

There are enemies to truth, whether they have reported the truth or not. They are all responsible for lying and twisting some truth somewhere to provoke your emotions. That emotional response is the ultimate fuel for their fire. All they need to do is enrage enough people in to protest, in to saying something crazy online and breed a new scandal or story, regurgitating narratives and talking points in order to keep that cycle of doom and gloom revolving.

See if for yourselves, look at this all through the cynical lenses of scrutiny and disbelief, rely on your logic not your emotions to look for the truth.

It’s not your fault that the honest voice has been buried so deep beneath hateful and emotional agendas. If you find yourself unable to make any sense of it, and the truth is nowhere to be found, unless it is your job or worth it, then leave it alone. You’ll only anger yourself and perhaps even distort the truth yourself just to make sense of this ridiculous world.

 

 

 

SLUMPED – New Year resolution(s)

1: Spend 90% less time on Facebook (including facebook chat)

We all know that Facebook is time consuming, annoying, upsetting, misery laden and full of cunts we don’t like for whatever reason. Nothing really super productive ever goes down on this website other than self-publicity, over-reactions, memes and organising birthdays.
Whilst we will still maintain a presence on Facebook, myself and Alex both agree that going facebook neutral, at least for a while, is good. It’s very good actually. I deleted mine for two weeks and it was pretty bloody relieving. A weight off my mind.
I returned to promote SLUMPED and now I’m back stuck in the fucking thing. So, through power of will, I will attempt to have a Facebook profile whilst simultaneously pretending I don’t.

That blue cancer can fuck off.

2: Put out more content – Laziness is bliss, but so is working on this

Yes we know, this post shouldn’t even be considered as content. It is a filler; it’s lazy and it has only come to me as I sit on my sofa, polishing off a tube of Pringles. Since our Launch at the end of October, we had a received a warm reception and even in our posting absence, we still do. What happened was classic SLUMPED. We fucked it all off for the winter goodness and set aside our love for the craft (of talking shit) to indulge in the craft of Christmas time (Eating, drinking, watching TV).

So, after a month of barely anything – we promise, to ourselves that there will be regular content, more attention paid to the site and to your privates.
‘It’s early days’ you know? There are plenty of other sayings to justify this laziness, but this one will have to do for now. Until it’s later days – By then there’ll far more shame weighing in on top of another guilt-ridden post.

3: Get better at Podcasting – It’s not hard; it’s just not easy.

Podcasting requires a little more organisation than you think. Regularly meeting, recording and putting out the Podcast may seem easy. But for two guys (remember two-guys?) on completely separate and inconsistent schedules, it’s not been the easiest thing. We also ran out of SoundCloud minutes so a bit of funding is due. But we are considering moving to Podbean; but again, we will see.

New Layout – Same Slumped

So with the lack of content and giving a fuck.
I did some tinkering with the website and its layout using one of the many free themes and then customising it to whatever degree I could manage to do so.

So as you can see, everything changed pretty much. I think it is a more sexy but the colours demand revisiting. It also doesn’t list the blog posts on the main portion of the page as I would like them to, perhaps a grid section would be good.
If anyone knows how to do this please, let me know. either @slumpedmag @thispleb or slumpeddie@gmail.com

All help is appreciated!

The next goal would obviously be to make this a far more palatable for
the vast majority of you who will probably be reading this on your smart devices.
I think an App is the solution in all honesty, but that could be a little while away as something like that would be multi-purpose, something functional for those bigger ideas.

Well, you know, it’s all dreams and plans.
Content coming soon, no Podcast this week by the looks of things too.

We’re terrible, we know.

Lots of love,

Eddie of SLUMPED : @thispleb