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unemployment. 01/03/2013-02/03/2013

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Posted 2nd March 2013 at 05:54 PM by keirarts

So far unemployment is dull, I'm applying for jobs, two a day minimum though some days its pretty tough as theres not a great deal about.
I think one of the main problems is if/when I get something it'll have nothing to do with films, the tedium of a regular days work waiting to get home. It dosent help that i'm painfully single right now as well. This wasnt an issue so much when I was working, I had a lot on my plate and plenty of friends so the few evenings I had to myself usually involved watching films and it never seemed to bother me. Now however I'm sat at home and endlessly watching films actually gets pretty tiring so I've found myself wandering, taking pictures and hoping to god someone will hire me.
This friday my mum needed taking all the way to lancaster for a hospital appointment, its an hours journey so I went with her, and while the docs were poking and prodding I hopped a train for a much shorter journey to morcambe.

For those who have never encountered morcambe, its seaside town thats connected to lancaster by a series of housing estates.

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Once upon a time it used to be a fairly major tourist destination, the promanade had several piers, a theme park and an art deco hotel that once featured in an episode of Poirot. Its biggest claim to fame is it was the place Eric morcambe of morcambe and wise first made his career. Its clear to see its considered the place is pushing this to attract visitors, theres a statue, tea rooms and a weatherspoons all named after the funnyman. As a kid I used to haunt the frontierland theme park regularly and it was a popular destination for me every birthday and it had some great christmas lights as well.
These days I mainly come for the junk shops and charity shops (of which there are many) hunting rare and cult movies for my collection and amazon. Its fairly sad walking round morcambe these days, the promanade has had some cash spent on it, but the rest of the twon, especially the west end looks pretty run down with plenty of boarded up shops. Its a good run for film hunting, theres a few places there where i've found a few good items and the town is full of good memories. Today though frontierland is no longer, the only thing left is a sign, part of a polo tower and a wild west themed bar that does a good trade from the drunks.

Heading back to get the train back to lancaster I decided to stop by the local blockbuster, the 2nd hand bins usually have one or two interesting things and occasionally they even get a few great blu-rays so its worth checking and its right next to the train station so no detour either. Unfortunately it seems to be another closure store, signs in the window say all stock must go so I walked in to have a look.

It was pretty empty and bleak, whats left of the stock is displayed around the walls with 20% off signs and I recognise the expression on the managers face from waking up each morning and looking in the mirror. I tell her its sad shes losing her job, that i've been there with the barrow store. I wanted to tell her there were plenty of jobs but then that would be a lie. Morcambe has an unemployment problem almost as chronic as barrow and everything advertised usually has several hundred applicants chasing each job.

Feeling a bit low I head back to Lancaster to meet my mum and have some dinner, the phone rings on the train and I look hoping its someone inviting me to an interview, but its my mate adam filling me in on his buying trip to manchester. Adams doing the whole amazon trading thing full time, he's done the whole job hunting thing and got sick of it. Retail can be pretty awful, employers know they have the upper hand and they can take advantage. Adam had found himself on occassion working places that refused to tell him when his shift ended, or tried every trick in the book to get free hours out of him, no one argues this because being out of work is far worse. So instead adam runs a little business on marketplace, during the days he heads out to places like i'm doing with his mobile phone hunting rare movies and listing them for sale.
It turns out the main reason for his call is that bee.com is going out of business and the manchester store is shutting.

"jesus christ" I say, "whats going on in this country"

Another retailer hitting the dust and more jobs going. Bee.com was always a good place to go for rarities, the collector or seller could spend a fair few quid beefing up their stock in there and adam went there regularly.

Perhaps the pysical media is really dying, I love COLLECTING films but I seem to be in an increasing minority these days, and the retail sector for films is looking decimated.

Speaking of which, In lancaster I stop by HMV and check them out. Another store closing it has all the same stock liquidation signs in the window. The shelves are a mess and the place looks barren. For me its even sadder than Blocky in morcambe, over the last ten years, before the october before last, every saturday or sunday I got off from work I would head to lancaster and morcambe with my mum and dad and I have lots of memories of hunting through HMV with my dad who was very keen on cult TV and didn't like to leave without buying something.

I meet my mum and we share some memories of the place, the doctors need to do more tests and might have found something but I don't want to think about that right now. We have a meal in yates and then a wander round Lancaster before heading home. Thats entertainment still seems healthy, fingers crossed. Its cheap enough to still draw people in, I sent a spec letter to them back in january asking if they were opening any stores in barrow or even kendal but got no response. The irony is the place would do well in barrow, theres a lot of people with very little money and the 3 for 5 quid dvds would be very tempting indeed. Hell I'd run the place, plays some good music and would be happy in the job, but if their not expanding the business I can't blame them in the current climate.

Back home I do another job search, watch a few things on youtube then head to my mate drews to play settlers of catan.

Poor drew used to have a great job with the local council tax offices, he saved a lot of money and about 6 years ago quit to go backpacking and ended up living in japan for a while. His life had turned out pretty good until one day he went to get some cash and found he no longer had a bank account. He phoned them (one of the majors) up and tried to find out what was going on only to be told he didn't have an account! So he took the next plain home and began dealing with it face to face, with no luck whatsoever. four thousand pounds is now gone for good, and unable to get a plane back to japan to where his girlfriend and a possible job was waiting he had to get a job locally to save up once more. Unfortunatley things didnt quite work out that way and ever since he's been unemployed (and briefly homeless) with the one position he managed to get as a kitchen porter getting rid of him in order to hire two students (who cost a lot less).

We have a couple of good games and discuss things then I headed home to get some rest. Decided to get up early the next day and
head north this time to pay a visit to workington and whitehaven.

Its a two hour journey up north, the train line is a lot more primitive and the carriges are older, but the views are phenomenal. One day I may bring my camera and just use the day return to head up and down the track taking pictures, the only blight is sellafield nuclear power plant which an eyesore on an otherwise amazing part of the world.

Workington always seems cold, its a smallish industrial town that like barrow has fallen on hard times, its blockbusters is still resolutley open however, the rent is dirt cheap because its not on an out of town business park so its still profitable. Unfortunately its HMV is going, though how a tiny place like workington got a HMV and barrow didnt is an eternal mystery to me!

I do Workington pretty quickly, theres not a great deal there and I didnt really find much of note, plenty of charity shops and busses heading into the lakes, a big source of employment for places like this.

I get the next train south, back to barrow and stop at whitehaven.

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An old and one time popular port town its blockbusters seems pretty safe as well, and theres lots more charity shops about as well. Find a few interesting things and ecounter NICK GRIFFEN of the BNP on the campaign trail, I resist the urge to lamp him one and head to whitehaven market. Apparently the market at one point used to be huge but know its down to a handfull of stalls. There a bloke who runs a dvd stall in kendal who set up here on saturdays and I buy a couple of things, someone has sold him a bunch of steelbooks but checking the discs they seem to have put dvds inside instead so I leave them be.

And then home time, I posted TWO CV's and covering letters, one to each home bargains store for my two a day application. That seems to be the future for the high street. Bargain shops, pound shops, pawnbrokers and charity shops.
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