Thursday, June 04, 2009

Luck and the World Cup

I was offered a job the other day in a 'hot' country. A few years ago I would have jumped at the chance but as I already live in a foreign country and have no desire to leave here, I turned it down.

The main reason was the person I am with has a job here which they enjoy and it is refreshing not to hear somebody moan every evening about their job. I sometimes don't think they realise how lucky they are to be happy in work because my experience in the last twenty years is of work not being great.

I really have had some shit jobs in my 'career' - cleaner, barman, temping, betting shop manager. The list is long and varied. Most of the time, it was looking forward to a beer and a laugh at the end of the day they kept me going.....there was little reward in actually working...apart from the money - which was generally low if I didn't do overtime.

After quitting my betting shop manager job before getting fired, I got a lucky break after being given an opportunity to work on the horse racing desk of a sports news website. I only got the job through an old friend and not through any talent. The first few weeks I just intelligently kept my head down and looked keen and eager.

I knew I was safe in that job when they started hiring people with less knowledge than me...you know who you are Anne Marie McTigeague! - she was actually a lovely girl and probably doing well for herself.

Anyhow, I luckily managed to get out of the hose racing desk work to work in a horse racing spin off department that the company had just bought.

The boss there gave me so much confidence in myself -despite not being the best worker - it was unreal and I can't thank him enough. We are still friends now and although he will hate me for it I see him as a bit of a father figure.

He ended up buying back the company he had sold to the sports news website and I was out of a job. I wasn't that bothered as I got some redundancy money and ended up working freelance for the horse racing desk for a year or so.

Fast forward a year and I'm skint again and have no work. I end up going back to working as a betting shop manager for a terrible independent company. Commuting an hour a day and working 12 hour shifts. It was not much fun.

After my ringtone website started interesting the search engines, I gave up that job and lived on the proceeds for a while (six months) until I had to look for work.

Luckily, I was able to get some shifts writing about horse racing but various reasons meant I was always struggling for money...and shifts.

I bit the bullet (probably never became a great writer due to overusing and wrongly using cliches) and worked for 500 quid a month on a World Cup website. It failed when England went out to Portugal (fucking Ronaldo) and actually made a loss.

I trundled along with the horse racing writing and picked up some poker and casino writing along the way as well other bits and pieces but I was always struggling for money and struggling for money is shit.

By 2008, I was surviving/struggling on 360 quid a month when the horse racing writing stopped until another lucky break and I ended up (after a bleak probationary period) on a half decent wage.

Moral of the story....it's all luck.

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