My landlord is raising my rent in November (legally they cannot raise it any sooner). The cost of rent and food is so high, I’m thinking about selling my car in the summer and using an e-scooter to get around. I estimate that I’d need to work 4 days a week just to pay for rent and food alone, never-mind owning a car, using a laundromat when the washing machine breaks down, or paying my phone bill.
How does a person study a degree, even a part-time programme, while working 4 days a week?
Also it’s nearly impossible to save any money.
When I go to job interviews for forklift and trucking work they say to me “wow you only pay ______ per week”. Then I have to explain to them that I share a house where there are 10 tenants and only one kitchen. Yesterday at 7.30am the smoke alarm went off because a tenant burned his breakfast in the kitchen downstairs. Then I began to get frustrated, because a family who recently arrived from overseas has a 5 year old daughter who keeps running up and down the hallway, screaming and crying every morning and every night. Then later that day they tried to shower her and she was screaming even more because I think she isn’t used to the shower.
The noise of children is so loud that I have to increase my volume to hear any tutorial videos that I’m watching. The only way to get cheaper rent would be to move my PC and my guitars and everything I own to my mum’s house, and live in a student flat with 17 year olds. Except I’m 32 years old so I’d never do that.
I always wanted to become a programmer but I was depressed in high school. In my twenties I ended up bouncing jobs as a forklift driver, working unbearable jobs under intense pressure for multiple different companies, and doing odd jobs for temping agencies. I haven’t saved any money to pay for tuition, I have only enough money in the bank to pay the next two weeks rent and I guess I’ll never own a house either.
When I bring this up, people just attack me and blame me for this situation. It’s not my fault that rent is so expensive. Landlords and residents associations have successfully lobbied the council to only permit 1-2 storey houses, so there’s no apartments even though the region here has 400,000 population.
The need to pay my bills is a permanent distraction from being able to focus on anything. I have to attend job interviews and search for jobs, because I’m on the unemployment benefit. So I spend time driving out to job interviews only to get rejected because my work history is scattered. I have gaps on my CV between jobs and I don’t have any “perfect” references. I never worked for the same role for more than 10 months because the forklift and distribution centre work is stressful. The expectations are so high and if I make the smallest mistake or get a customer complaint, I end up in the manager’s office and I lose sleep. It’s not even worth it.
This theme has been repeating for 10 years now and I can’t find a way out. I have to keep looking for work, else I have to ask my parents for money, which I don’t like doing because I’m an adult now. If the economy ever improves, I hope I can get cheaper rent and a decent job, then move to another country.
In the past week I’ve looked for more jobs as a forklift driver. Most of these jobs require a drugs test. So I drink black coffee and water and sit around awkwardly for 2-3 hours after the job interview just to urinate. It’s so uncomfortable, I usually just leave and forget about whatever job I was applying for. Last week I had an interview with an agency, I had filled out nearly all the forms and suddenly they said I had to pass a urine test. I had just gone to the toilet before the interview. I asked them if I could do a blood test, but they said they aren’t qualified as nurses, so it has to be a urine test. I said I can visit a clinic and have my blood taken and sent to another place at my own expense, but they kept on repeating themselves “oh we can’t do that because we aren’t nurses”. even though I said I’d use a 3rd party that has qualified staff.
I don’t think I’ll learn much at the rate I’m going. Everything is stressful and I keep worrying about money, and what kind of stupid job I’ll end up working next. My “best” job was working for 5 months in a hardware store, selling and cutting timber for tradesmen. I had this psycho customer who complained that I took too long to cut his timber. I took about 40 or 50 minutes for this one task, but it’s not fair because we were short staffed and I had to move very heavy timber on my own, which is exhausting and time-consuming. The company does nothing because the owner is like 70 years old and he just doesn’t think that anything we say matters.
Despite all this I’m quite proud of my blue-collar record. Most people though that because I’m slightly autistic, I would be a genius programmer, but instead I spent all my twenties hauling freight and biffing timber onto 4WD/utes/trucks (whatever your dialect is ) I also have a pretty awesome sense of humour despite nearly being crushed to death after falling 1 metre on a forklift and landing at JUST the right angle to not lose my arm.
Stuck in a boarding house with screaming children and noise from other tenants, can’t even cook my own food half of the time, can’t move out because the rental market is too tight and jobs don’t pay enough to get me my own flat. Would love to focus but the struggle with money and the social welfare agency is never ending, I have to attend interviews, update my cv, pretend to be interested in jobs that I know I’m not going to get. The economy is dog’s crap and obviously, I was born in the wrong year.
People who live in luxurious suburbs and have a family, multiple cars and 2 dogs tell me “society owes you nothing”. I’m pretty sure it’s a veiled-insult.
Anyway, shout out to all of you who are surviving in this garbage economy! The daily struggle is real. I know heaps of guys my age are stuck with few prospects in life. One day millennials will start to manage companies, and finally we’ll get managers who understand us.