What I Hated the Least Today 80/365: Employments

At the unemployment agency
At the unemployment agency

My social visit to the government institution I frequent and hate the most, the employment agency, neither started nor ended well, as I, being a nihilist to the core, naturally anticipated. Appointments at impossibly early small hours of the morning, which is always the time allocated, are not my thing, so I made my appearance in the afternoon—three days in advance.

I know, right. I act like the rules and ways of ordinary humankind don’t apply to me only because I’m me. You might be pleased to hear though that for my presumptuousness, I was duly punished. On my defence, I wish to add that I couldn’t keep my scheduled appointment because it collided with my new job. In case you missed it, that was the post in which I revealed the employment agency’s statement that a job is not allowed to conflict with my attendance duties towards the agency.

While I expected that the agency would have a lunch break when I arrive, I thought that meanwhile I’d sit down and catch a good position in the queue. The building was however locked. I half-expected to see a NO UNEMPLOYED BEYOND THIS POINT sign, but there was nothing. That is, there was a landline phone with a USE THE PHONE OUTSIDE OF OFFICE HOURS sign, and some naive unemployed actually tried to use it, but there was no answer. Obviously.

As I was in front of the door fifty minutes before the opening hours, I chose the best spot in the small corridor, which soon became packed with nervous job seekers. Five minutes before opening, a guy in overalls approached the glass door from the inside and stuck a CLOSED sign on it. This rose some amount of confusion and anger among the crowd. However, trained in institutional dealings as we are, we went on waiting threateningly.


My following interactions with several clerks were uneventful. I didn’t even get down to pull the doctor card—that’s what I do when I run out of arguments and resort to yelling BUT I’M A DOCTOR!! I leave the sentence unfinished with an implied SO YOU CAN YOU KNOW WHAT, letting everyone’s fantasy to fill in as appropriate.

My clerk was deeply upset that I found myself a temp job. Neither was she happy to learn that I’m taking steps to become officially self-employed alongside. She refused to cross me out from the unemployment database for the time being. *shrug* I guess it doesn’t make any difference.

I left the agency with a list of todos and todelivers. They are huge fans of paper collecting, these institutions, and they always coach a person into bringing in more. I might need to start collecting old paper for them to satisfy their hoarding needs. But then, it would be a job, which the employment agency wouldn’t approve of. You know, logic.


The next stop was the office for the control and harassment of aspiring and current self-employed persons. I did my homework and arrived equipped with two forms filled in. I know, right. Only two. I was positive there must be more to it when one asks to have a licence granted for employing oneself. And guess what. Turns out you need to fill in zero forms. The clerk takes your dictation.

My clerk was not particularly chatty. I don’t even think she hated me, though I believe that everyone hates me by default. She was perfectly indifferent. Like in WE ARE THE BORG indifferent. I paid her for her five-minute service so much that a luxury gentleman’s companion would be in awe of the amount. Here are our brief dealings dramatised in an one-act play.

(Enter Mara.)
MARA (tentatively): Hi.
CLERK (without looking up): What do I get you?
MARA (questioningly): A licence?
CLERK: What kind?
MARA: Free profession.
CLERK: ID card. (Clerk typing.)
CLERK (looks up): Which professions?
MARA (dictates): Numbers 24, 36, 64, 65, 66 and 79.
CLERK: That’s CZK 1000,-. Sign this.
MARA signs and receives a stamped paper. CLERK stays quiet.
MARA (confused): Well?
CLERK: What?
MARA: What next?
CLERK: That’s it.
MARA: So how long until my licence is valid?
CLERK: It’s valid now.
MARA (eyes falling out of sockets): !ӣ$%^&*()_+ (Playing it cool.) Alright.
(Exit Mara.)

I think it’s mildly discomforting how much easier it is to become self-employed than to be unemployed. But again, there is surely a government logic to it that I’m missing. My bad. The point is, I’m officially announcing now that I’m officially self-employed. Don’t ask me what that means exactly. I wasn’t told. I guess I’ll just Google.

17 thoughts on “What I Hated the Least Today 80/365: Employments

    1. I know, my post is kafkaesque and doesn’t excel in clarity 😉 But to put it short, I can now legitimately earn my own living in any of the professions that I ticked – including proofreading, copywriting, IT etc. – I don’t need an employer to do that anymore. So I’m now a freelancer.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Wow, that last part was surprising! I’m always trying to think what it would be like in Sweden, when I read this type of stuff. That would be complicated … you’d have to start a small business, and that costs lots of money, for starters … not to mention all the paper work. I’ve never done it, but I know others that have.

    So … they wouldn’t strike you out from the unemployment list?! One would think they’d be eager to do that. Boy, am I ever happy I don’t have to deal with all that stuff.

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    1. I was shocked how easy it was to become a self-employed freelancer here. Of course, getting a licence is the first and the least – there’s lot of paperwork connected with paying your insurances and with doing your taxes.

      I will write my least favourite clerk from the employment agency another email – since I had so much success with my last one – to inform her that now that I’m self-employed, she MUST part with me, though it’s clearly breaking her heart.

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      1. *ROFL* @ breaking her heart!!! But anyway … so you don’t have to register a company of any kind? That’s a good thing. But I guess you have to pay all your social insurance stuff yourself … will be a lot of paperwork!

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        1. It’s easy to start here. No need to set up an actual company or even a shop or something, no need to even do any business – what it mostly means is huge expenses with insurance payments and the fact that I can freelance legally now. And, most important, I can’t wait to be rid of my regular appointments with the employment office.

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          1. Heh [about the employment office]! But what happens if you don’t make enough from free-lancing so that you can pay into your insurance ‘n stuff?

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          2. Well, if I don’t earn enough to pay my living expenses and/or my insurance, that’s my problem. On the other hand, if I were employed in a job like most jobs, which wouldn’t cover my elementary living expenses either, it would be my problem as well. As I like to say, if I’m bound to starve, it’s better to do so as a self-employed person working from home than a happy employee at a supermarket.

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          3. Yes, there is some social security net, but it’s of use mostly to families with children. I’ve learned by experience that I’m not really the target group for government assistance. Let’s not get too depressed though, I’m lucky to have some earnings, so I’m not currently facing dire poverty, but I’ll need to contrive to support myself somehow.

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          4. That’s good … relieving … 🙂 Heh! Having grown up, lulled into ‘security’ by the social net, you easily get the feeling that nothing can happen no matter what you do — there will always be someone there to take care of you. Now, the stitches are getting wider all the time, and people fall through the mesh.

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    1. Yes, congratulations, I think, are in place 🙂 Hopefully. Now that I got the licence to freelance in very much any profession I like, I need to figure out how it’s done. I was hoping, naively, that I would get some basic info when getting my licence. Thankfully, there is always Google.

      Liked by 1 person

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