07 juin 2005

Status symbol

That's it. I'm now officially unemployed. I'm not sure though that I have really fattened the ranks of jobseekers, considering the sorry state of our economy right now (oh, by the way, have you heard that argument according to which companies would hire more if they could fire more easily? Call me thick, but I don't really get it).
Anyway. I arrived at the Assedic office (where you go to register as jobless) not a minute too soon this morning. Had I got there ten minutes later, the queue would have been two or three folds deep. Unreal. As it was, there were only 6 people ahead of me.
So I waited with my fellow parasites of society.
I have to say right now, it went extremely pleasantly. Quelle déception...! I was hoping for drama, shouts, tears, brain-dead and/or smug civil servants: that would have been proper, bloggable material.
Well, none of that. The staff was even pleasant AND helpful (unheard of!). Of course there was your usual queue dodger, who today chose my rank in the line (she can thank the fact that I was taking notes and couldn't afford violence to destroy my reputation as a moderate, even-tempered, sweet person. Plus, come on, one flick and she would have been down. Too easy). No, really, everybody was rather subdued, and if it wasn't for the standing, it was all very reminiscent of a doctor's waiting lounge, to which it is very close, I suppose: some waiting to be reassured, others expecting bad news, people coming in for a routine check of things, and everybody knowing full well that whatever the outcome, there's not much they'll be able to do
alone to change it.
And what a mixed bag of people it was. From the immigrant with a poor grasp of the language, to the "executive" (who, by the way, seemed to be the only people, yours truly included, who didn't know how to work the door), from the older guy (I feel for him), who senses that his working life has probably just passed away, to the student barely out of school, from those who bring a book (or a notebook) for the wait to the mother of two very cranky toddlers... Jobless of the world, unite.