Work Ethic Minority

Home sales are on the rise again in the USA which means that the economy has stabilized and the stimulus package has stimulated parts that other packages could not reach. Meanwhile, Ireland's Celtic Tiger has given its last gasp and has now become a Celtic Earthworm. Did you know that Ireland recently ran out of money to pay people dole? (I heard that from the horse's mouth, my husband's 21 year old brother wasn't paid dole for six months. "Sorry we've run out" they said, and then just recently they handed him a big wad of cash in back payment. Sweet.) In the UK 35,000 shops are to close and things are generally going down the toilet.

How do they do it? How in the name of God do those Americans do it? How have they stabilized the economy in a year? Hats of to them is all I can say. I've come over all patriotic all of a sudden. It's enough to make me want to straddle a US nuclear warhead and call myself Mrs Bush.

I do remember the recession of 1992 in the UK when jobs were scarce and everyone was going on that there were no jobs. There were jobs. There are always jobs, they're just shit ones. At that time I remember getting a job in a German law firm which was boring as buggery, but what I mean is if people really want a job surely there are jobs they are just not the jobs they want - that's all. The tip of the iceberg is the student (American obviously) who is suing her college for $90,000 because she has spent three months looking for a job and has not found one. The girl says, "It doesn't make any sense: We went to school for four years, and then we come out working at McDonald's and Payless. That's not what we planned." It would be funny if she won the lawsuit though. In the meantime, why doesn't she just grow up. Funny that she thinks the world 'owes' her a graduate job.

I am pretty sure that I am missing the gene that is marked 'work ethic.' I remember once going for a job at a publishing company and they said, "What is your ideal job?" and I said, "Oh, I would love not to work at all, have a big garden, kids running around, picnics al fresco on a long wooden table, lots of wine, you know?" For some reason I didn't get that job! Well now I have that lifestyle so I can't complain. But in one respect I do work hard and that is in that I love to write and work bloody hard at it. You can read most of my hilarious real life slacking off exploits at work in my novel Confessions of a Cake Addict which is out now.

I would have been much better off having been working in the seventies. My mother claims the London economy was so red hot then that you just got any job you applied for. In fact when she was 25 she got a job at a prestigious conservation/art restoration studio in London's Bond Street. She said they just asked her to mix a few colors at the interview and that was it. She was totally unqualified. These days you have to do a conservation course for seven years in which you study mindblowingly boring stuff like chemistry to get a job like that but in those days it was "What does blue and yellow make?" "Green." "You're hired." I wonder if we'll ever see those days again in my lifetime?

And now for a heartfelt plea. You know I am a talented genius. But frankly it's time the world knew too. My Scottish blogging pal Gillian Martin and I have been slaving away writing a side splitting book about parenting called Cocktails at Naptime. An extract from the book is up here. We are looking to interest a UK publisher in it and are about to send it out in its final version but would muchly appreciate you having a look at it and leaving your comments. The more comments we get the better for us. NB if you don't like it please do not leave negative comments (that means you fingers!) So ta very much. Also could we all get together today at 12 midnight EST and hold hands (virtually) and think positive thoughts so we get this book published? Join me tonight, drinks welcome, clothing optional. Thanks so much sweeties.

And what about you, are you feeling the effects of your country's stimulation package? Or were you, like me, born without a Work Ethic and thus part of the Work Ethic Minority?