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Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Importance of 'The Little Guy'

I'm currently stuck in the mire of endless job applications. I'm the classic university graduate desperate for dollar, and struggling to balance my wilting ego with regular rejections for positions that I'm actually over-qualified for. Londis may not want me, but so help me God, I will be employed soon, even if I do just have to beg old Michael next door to let me water his plants for him. By now I can knock him up a cracking CV that painstakingly emphasises why the three years I spent studying books makes me perfect for the job (honest...).

So, it's tough times right now. I'm broke, you're broke, all our mates are broke. The ones who aren't nod pityingly when we relate our money woes, sliding their full, not-overdrawn-in-the-slightest bank cards a little further into their purses/wallets, silently wishing that you'd shut-the-hell-up or that someone else will dive in and rescue the situation with a change of topic. They were smart enough not to bother with going to uni. They have amazing memories and awesome photos of the time they spent trekking through the Himalayas, backpacking across Asia and swimming with elephants, and three years' more work experience than you. You, like me, seem to have ended up being the chump in this situation. Why did we bother?

I have yet to figure out whether the slog (and fun, and debt...) of uni will ever pay off, or if I should have stuck to my guns and joined them on that friendly, wise old elephant out in Thailand, the memory of the last full moon party already fading, my parent's pocket money fresh in my pocket and the promise of a job back in the UK to tide me over until the next adventure comforting and warm in my chest like the wintry fires of an evening back in the Cotswolds. I will never know, and all of this is of course just stereotypical generalisation.

But in my education-induced poverty I have an ever-more enthused love for 'the little guy'. Me and him, we're bros. We exchange nods of understanding at the bar in Oxford when two drinks costs you £12 instead of £2. The searing heartache of trying to get your student discount only to discover that your NUS card has, finally - like all your dreams of post-uni-employment - expired. When naps in the afternoon sunshine turn from a luxury into a boring, monotonous requirement just to make the mid-week day end, because all your friends are still studying, or have jobs (HOW?!) or are abroad.

I'm exaggerating. Mostly.

By the 'little guy' I mean the independent business, the lone ranger, the guy who's going out and making his way in the world by himself. For himself. I am so pro that guy right now, mostly because I wish that I was him. I have always hated that feeling of showing up somewhere in the same clothes as someone else (it burns), so I've always been a fan of the individual piece, but now that my money is ever more valuable to me, I loathe to waste it on a Primark item that twenty other people I know will either be wearing or have in their closet. Also, we have a common bond. The 'little guy' doesn't have big promo and banners and advertisements telling everyone how great they are - just like me. I can only stress how perfect I am for a job properly in person, and three-quarters of the time you aren't given that opportunity because you won't be invited to interview. You're left with a CV which is pretty much the same as everyone else's, and a Cover Letter, to beg for some pity from the Big Guy, the Man, to get them to hire you...and half the time they'll just pick the internal candidate instead. Debra makes a mean cup of tea and is never late for work, while you're just a nobody on a page. I sound bitter...I am.

The 'little guy' is that awesome little gem that you find on your travels, be it tucked away in a side alley or in a corner of the internet that no one seems to really have stumbled into yet. If for nothing else, I feel that the 'little guy' should be gone to for jewellry above everything else. You get such amazing pieces that are bound to be complimented, and hopefully none of that shitty green stainage on your finger or around your neck. And those compliments? That's your chance to return the favour, and big up that 'little guy' and be his promo to everyone you know. That's also the beauty of the blogosphere, because it allows you to do that to more than just your close circle of friends and your mum.

My favourite ever piece of jewellry is a silver ring in a leaf design that I got for my 21st birthday. It's from a local art gallery. It is slightly bendable so that I can adjust it according to how hot/puffy I am, and likewise, in the winter, do the reverse. It is beautiful and simple and goes with everything I own and it's a product of 'the little guy'. Just someone's mum who has a dream and makes pretty things in her spare time. I think that's so neat. (Yes, neat.)

This post is a weird mixture of ranting soap-boxery and gushing. My main point is...isn't my ring pretty?



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