Saturday, 29 January 2011

Getting On With It. Whatever IT Is.

I spend all morning ranting about The Boss, until Max snaps.

"For God's sake, Mol," he says. "You're starting to sound like one of the mad constituents you're always moaning about."

"That's because I am being driven mad," I say. "It must be contagious."

"Well, don't come too close, then. I don't want to catch it. I need all my wits about me."

In response to my raised eyebrow, he continues, rather portentously:

"Because I am going... into the loft."

Honestly, Michael MacIntyre's loft sketch couldn't be any more accurate. Max isn't getting away from me that easily, though. I follow him onto the landing, and stand underneath the ladder, kicking at the bottom rung for emphasis.

"I think I should try and get another job," I say. "Before I become completely certifiable. Or kill an elected official while the balance of my mind is disturbed."

"Geonwfttuten," says Max. Or words to that effect. What the hell is he doing up there?

"What did you say? I do wish you wouldn't mumble."

He sticks his head out of the loft, rolls his eyes at me and says:

"Get. On. With. It. Then. Before you drive me insane as well. And stop kicking the bloody ladder. You're making me nervous."

Get on with it, then - yes, thanks, Max. It's hardly a considered opinion, is it?

But I suppose he might be right - for once - so I get out my laptop, resist the temptation to chat to Connie on Facebook, and open a new document. Then I type: Molly Bennett - Curriculum Vitae at the top and stare blankly at the page for the next hour.

After a further two hours have passed, I've drafted what may qualify as the worst CV that anyone's ever seen and, to make matters worse, I haven't even finished writing about my current job yet. It's much more difficult describing what working for an MP involves than I expected it to be.

"Doing your CV, then, Mol?" says Max. "How's it going?"

He dumps several dust-covered boxes onto the table and completely buggers my concentration in the process. I put my head in my hands and groan in lieu of a reply.

"That bad, eh?" Max pats me on the back, and says, "I know you work for a politician, but you could always try just telling the truth for once."

Somehow I manage to avoid all mention of pots and kettles, and to stick to the point. God knows how. Sometimes I am a paragon of virtue.

 "I don't think saying that I deal with all the shit that happens in the Constituency Office - while pretending to be the MP - would go down too well," I say. "I'll have to ring Jen and ask for her advice. You're no help at all."

Max gives me a two-fingered salute and heads back upstairs in search of more boxes of Connie's junk. (Also known as Connie Bennett's important sentimental possessions - not to be thrown away.) I smoke a cigarette in a vain attempt to marshal my thoughts, and then dial Jen's number.

"Don't ask me," she says, as soon as I've finished explaining why I've called. "I still haven't got another job. Which makes it even harder not to punch people when they say that now they wish they'd voted Labour in the *GE."

"I know what you mean," I say. "That is annoying, isn't it? But you've had loads of interviews - so at least your CV must look good."

"Thanks," says Jen. "So the problem occurs when employers actually see me, you mean?"

Which rather goes to prove that it is definitely time for me to find another job. I have obviously lost the ability to assess the impact of an ill-chosen phrase.

"No," I say. "Sorry. I meant your CV impresses them enough to want to interview you. And you always look good anyway, Jen."

"It's irrelevant what I look like," she says. "They only ask to meet me because they want the inside track on what it's like to work for an MP, and to see what MPs staff are like in the flesh. Then - usually right at the end of the bloody interview when you think it's all gone really well - they mention the expenses scandal, and you can feel that you're buggered. Tainted by association."

Oh, God, I hadn't even thought of that. So not only is it no advantage to have worked for an MP, it's the bloody kiss of death.

I wonder if this is how George Osborne feels when people keep asking, "What's Plan B?"

*GE - General Election 2010. When some of you must have accidentally voted in some Tories and hardly any LibDems.


  1. I've said it before, you are wasting your talent working for your man. Give rein to your normally sublimated right wing tendencies and come south to work for a sensitive, appreciative coalition MP. You know I'm right.

  2. Right-wing tendencies? Moi? Ouch ;-) Have you been talking to The Boss? And who is this sensitive appreciative coalition MP? Do tell....