I started writing this column almost a year ago, when the country was in elevated throes of recession mania. It may have only been a matter of months, a year even, but the gleam of novelty on the word 'recessionista' has now faded to a rusty patina that would cast worried glances on the faces of even the most impassive Cash 4 Gold franchise owners. The word 'recession' has gone the way of your unwanted, broken gold.
It needs to be conveniently melted down - out of sight, out of mind (which is fine if it concerns said gold, but not so fine if you're the captain of The Titanic steering towards an inconspicuous-looking lump of ice).
We're being told from all angles that the recession is over. The main statistic to support this supposed fact is the marked slowdown of job losses. Less people are losing their jobs; therefore the country is in a state of recovery. QED? I think not.
Even the least observant child can tell you that the following is a load of old copswallop: The ball is red. A fire engine is red. Therefore a ball is also a fire engine. Right? Wrong. Can we see what's wrong with this chain of thought?
Some people have said it, but it bears saying again - does anyone think that the reason that there are less job losses is because there are no more jobs to lose? Just because the economy has stopped shrinking doesn't mean that it is automatically growing again, nor does it mean that it will grow to the extent that it did during the boom years.
Here's a personal anecdote. Recently I sent out thirty-five CVs to different places over the city. So far I haven't heard a word from anyone with the exception of one lonely rejection text (a text! I ask you...). Tomorrow will be my third day in a row at the dole office handing in sundry forms and rattling at hatch windows like Bubbles reunited with LaToya Jackson.
Today I was directed to an interview room. I was stopped from going in by an angry Slovakian woman. "What do you think you're doing?", she said. "I've been waiting here for two hours!" The office had only been open for an hour and a half at this point, but her face was like Popeye's the split second after a nice can of spinach, so I kept mute and let her go ahead.
I've been waiting for nearly a year. I suppose I can wait a bit longer.