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Up For Hire final day, final word

So tonight’s show is basically ‘how to run a big company and be successful’. Okey dokey. To that end, and ignoring the pointless presence of radio 1 dj’s, James Khan is on hand to tell us all how great it is being filthy rich. He recommends the fine art of blagging, which is perfectly reasonable. But the bottom line is the bottom line: money. Can’t start a business without it and that’s the one thing no one can provide a surefire answer for. Not even existing small businesses can guarantee funding these days, despite the banking bailout.

Now the students are off to run large companies. Why? Fuck knows. They are going to spend a few days replacing the companies’ actual MD’s, because of course that’s what people get to do when they apply for jobs.

Oh I’m tired. I don’t care what Sara Cox’s work ethic is (just for money). Who cares. It’s not relevant to me because her experience isn’t.

And it gets better: the MD of fucking Gregg’s has appeared to offer 3 month contracts to 5 lucky people. You could probably do better looking on their own website (these jobs are advertised on the show site) and applying. Who the fuck wants to work in that greasy sweatshop; their food is dire. Oh wait; it’s a job, better than sitting on your arse…blah blah blah. Is it better? There’s no guarantee that at the end of this three month period you are actually going to be employed full time, and is it really the best that we can do to offer graduates work feeding slobs their greasy crap? The minute you walk into their ovens – I mean shops – you come out in a greasy sweat, like a Japanese POW. Still a job is a job, so they tell me. Well of course it is. Most things are what they are by their very nature. Stock cliches like this are what this show has been full of. All in all, a nice bit of PR for Greggs and every other company – funny how they couldn’t offer these positions on their recruitment/career websites or through the jobcentre, so how did these jobs come to exist? The unemployed are routinely dismissed as scroungers on the basis of being too lazy to apply for all the jobs the right wing media constantly assumes to exist. Now this contrived tv experience tacitly confirms that.

These are easy platitudes that people can trot out as a means of avoiding the issue and dismissing the discussion; that’s what we do these days.

Ok, this is fake. Now the students are dealing with people in their imaginary MD position. This includes interviewing potential management staff! Yes, of course that’s believable. Would you be happy to proceed with an important job interview if the employer was using a tv reality show contestant to interview you? I bloody well wouldn’t be.

So the show takes a break for half an hour and when we return we are treated to the ‘what happened next’ segment of the adventures of the four students. Surprise surprise, and to cut a long story short, they have all come out on top. Each of the MD’s of the companies they’ve just worked for have offered them a job, though I’m sure the lad that ended up working in Pizza Hut wishes he’d been assigned the task of running AOL (do they even still exist) as the girl who did that job got offered a far more secure sounding and up market job! Them’s the breaks kids.

Really, we are meant to believe this shit? This whole thing has conformed to a typical reality tv narrative in exactly the same way as Fairy Jobmother, only with the added dimension of a studio audience and some superficial discussion elements. None of the four didn’t get offered a job, they all seemed to do very well – and all from the bigwig MD characters they worked for in the final sequence. The manager of the holiday park from episode one didn’t employ them, nor did the wedding planner from last night, nor the managers of the shops they ran on the other episode. Funny that.

This show has angered me: although it focused on youth unemployment, it didn’t represent any reality that I can relate to. To have an audience full of pretty faces that all seem to be successful entrepreneurs just bewilders me and to talk about ‘going for your dreams’ as though it was as simple as going for a haircut I find extraordinary. Not one comment on the nightmare of dealing with the JC, JSA and using their crummy website, of the shitty provider pimps and programmes such as the Work Programme, or the scandal of paying these racketeers the kinds of money that the likes of Emma Harrison have made. All in all a shallow reality tv effort.


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