Ricky Bynight and Kreg invited me to join this blog about a month ago as a female counterpart to Stroebz’ somewhat flagrant writing. Someone to balance it out a bit with all the testosterone up in this piece.
I do have to begin with an apology however.
I have let my fellow sister-readers down as I have, only now, been able to post on this blog of penile persuasion.
Because I am currently ‘between jobs’ as they say here in Cape Town and have since devoted all my time to finding one.
I am otherwise unemployed.
I am otherwise a non-contributive member of society.
I pay no income tax.
Basically the bum on the street and I have lank in common right now.
I’m trying to think of other more impactful ways of putting it because every time I say the word ‘unemployed’ here people seem to think I’m either stoned or joking. I think maybe it’s just the way I say it or maybe, just maybe, there’s this big secret here in the Cape about joblessness. You know, like the first rule of Fight Club.
Even the department of labour euphemistically refers to you on their UIF forms as a ‘job seeker’.
Doing some field research I began venturing out at night on a Tuesday, a night you would unordinarily see the employed drinking until 4am on, and low and behold there they were. Upon speaking to them I began to learn that the term ’employed’ had many a shade of grey to it. Some were albeit self-employed, others were freelancers and one girl even told me she was a CEO of a small fashion business.
She looked about twenty one years old so I was suitably impressed. Another dude said he made his own films. “Oh really, I used to work in film.” I said. “Are you hiring?” I asked eagerly.
-“Well I still have to finish my first one and then I need to find someone to buy it.”
-“Oh well.” I said. “We know how that goes – very impressed at your industriousness. How long have you been working on it?”
-“Three years.” He says.
Three years? Dude must be famous, or have Paramount sponsoring the shit out of him. Must be, cause he climbed into a brand new M3 upon leaving that night.
And that girl I met a bit earlier, she must have been the CEO of Prada ’cause I just saw her climb into her very own sports car (albeit the coupe’ version).
Where had I come short? Had I been wasting my time slaving my way up the corporate ladder? I asked my jewish friend who imports and sells pirated software, playstation games and ecstasy pills (one of the only successful twenty-something entrepreneurs I know) how it is possible that I, a hardworking girl with an education, completely missed the money-boat. I told him about Z3 Dude and Prada Girl and he smiled and laughed and then shook his head.
“Those are TFK’s Debi.”
-“Trust Fund Kids. Otherwise known as Trustifarians. Some of my best clients.”
Z3 Dude was the son of the dude who first brought Trellidor to South Africa and Prada Girl the daughter of Cape Town’s most famous divorce lawyer.
I needed to know more so I looked up the definition of Trust Fund Kid on Urban Dictionary (the source of all credible knowledge):
“trust fund kid”
“Spoiled young adult living an idle life on investments; the most envied creature on the planet and they know it. Usually very pretty in a childish way, with an air of pampered boredom. Maxed out on credit cards but doesn’t care as these are covered every month by the private banker.”
Suddenly it all made sense. All those people sitting having lunch at Beluga until 5pm. All those people on Clifton on a Wednesday. All those people, maxing out daddy’s credit card. Goddammit yes, Urban Dictionary, I do envy them.
For the rest of us, joblessness can be fun in two ways:
Registering for UIF isn’t all that bad. The Department of Labour provides really comfortable chairs for you while you wait in line so you get a chance to mingle with other job seekers and even have a glance at the job seekers notice board full of employment opportunity.
For the lucky few of us who get retrenched, we get to live like Prada Girl for a month or two without the Cooper S. When you tell people you get retrenched, most will respond with a ‘congratulations!’. Why? Because it’s amazing. Right until you start looking for another job.
Any TFK’s out there reading this, don’t feel guilty, feel happy. Out of all the cards you could have drawn in life – you got dealt a pretty sweet hand. So give a R2 every now and then to your local car guard and maybe even give me a job to relieve the karmic stress.
My CV is available on request.