Saturday, October 19, 2013
Looking at the new unemployment figures I am shocked by the high numbers. There has been a reduction according to government statistics but we all know that statistics can be manipulated to say almost anything. Things have been tight with businesses closing down, banks rejecting applications for loans and overdraft facilities, budgets becoming more difficult to manage due to price increases particularly gas and electricity and now more local authority unemployment and service cuts. Life is tough for everyone.
But it is worse for some than others depending on your personal circumstances and where you live. It also depends on your attitude and resilience.
So here's the nub. For twelve months now I have been running courses for unemployed people on an ad hoc basis. And during that time I have seen a range of attitudes and effort towards getting a job. In general there are certain steps that you can take that will shorten the odds in getting a job. And that's what I lay out in my forthcoming e-book that you'll be able to download shortly. That together with this blog and the opportunity you have to participate by asking questions and telling us about your experiences by commenting on any posts that I write.
In addition I have just started a new business in the last couple of months: a sandwich bar and café. A small café with seating for only 9 people but one that is now getting busier each week and will soon be breaking even. And I have worked for myself for over 30 years apart from a couple of very short periods so I have been in the deep end.
I strongly believe that there is work out there for you. It's just a question of finding the opportunities and exploiting them. Things have changed in our world. Technology changes daily and it would be hard for someone who had been asleep or cut off from the world for even 15 years to begin living in our society, they wouldn't recognise some of the ways we live. But for all that we, as humans, haven't really changed. We still bleed when we cut ourselves. We still feel anger, happiness, frustration and sadness. And that is how we can shorten the odds in getting a job.
So I'm calling this the 42 Day Challenge and challenging you to take this up through my book. Stay with me and follow theses posts over the next few weeks whilst I finish my e-book and publish it on-line. That will be the beginning of the 42 Day Challenge.
Am I becoming obsessive with food? Probably yes since opening up Dagwoods Sandwich Bar and Café a couple of months ago. It's one of the smallest cafés in Swansea with just two standard tables and two high ones. But we are now picking up custom from local residents, business people and students. One of my customers very kindly drew this cartoon of me holding a baguette and sharp knive. I'm getting an A3 size copy framed on the wall, hoping it doesn't become a target for darts or knives!!!
We have found that many customers from the original Dagwoods are coming in and then coming back so we must be doing something right. Our meatball baguette is a full 11ins long and full of spicy meatballs covered in a cheese melt with a selection from the salad bar and choice of sauces (although the hot chillies sauce is favourite). The price is less than it was a year ago and there are more meatballs so this is a winner. I was fortunate enough to pick up the original recipe and so the tradition goes on. Many customers are now picking them up on their way to work or back home whilst others like to eat in and have a coffee. We serve filter coffee in individual cafetieres, latte, cappuccino or espresso and find they are all equally popular. I can remember when you had coffee black or white and usually instant. How things have changed. Are we becoming more sophisticated or is this a marketing ploy by coffee houses, or am I getting old?
The original Dagwood was a cartoon character from around 100 years ago who was in the habit of creeping downstairs and making a sandwich from whatever was available in the fridge. A "Dagwood" is still recognised as an enormous sandwich. Whether that is where the café name originated from or not I don't know but it started back in about 1985 so I'm guessing. Anyway it is a talking point. More on this later.
And later will include my views on social, community and other issues that are bugging me right now. Am I turning into a Grumpy Old Man!!