Friday, February 25, 2011

critical employment benefits

Silence for a month, then three posts in three days.
"What is wrong with her," you may think?

Well, nothing much, apart from being human.
The box-ticking exercises commonly encountered on visa applications, and my parents' insistence (on a variety of issues) made me think:

What is critical to holding a proper job and being in employment?

Certain things come to mind:

1. Doing some 'work' and getting paid in return.
Example: I do 'abc' six days a week and get paid in return
Explanation: Been doing that for some years now, in various incarnations.
Comeuppance factor: parents still on my back, so it doesn't quite count.
Response: Fail.

2. Having an email address with your actual name in attached to a @domainname.type instead to something respectably generic, boring and accessible.
Example: m***** versus m*****
Explanation: It's like belonging to a club that pays you, with varying degrees of exclusivity and snobbery. Other variations on this theme would be the office business card, the office shirt, and so on. There is that "oh she works at xyz" factor, and if the workplace's website puts up your name alongside your official office photo, works wonders to proclaim to the world of your prodigious talents to be a company's kept [wo]man by a company. Seedy undertones there, but all employees are 'kept', so please stop prancing around in unsuitable undergarments.
Comeuppance factor: I can come up with that myself, email domain and business card and logo'ed shirts and all that jazz. A self-employed person can do the same too.
Response: I'm not so convinced. Let's, then, move on to...

3. Transfer the risk of uncertain earnings to an inanimate body
Example: work for M&S as lingerie designer for a five-figure sum
Explanation: Surrender your life and ideas to advance the progress of a plc/PT/Ltd, and get a steady stream of dosh in return. Your copyrights are effectively 'theirs' in the purchase deal. "That's what the money's for," is the corporate lawyer's first line of defense, should you decide to change your mind and try to claim what you think is yours.
Comeuppance factor: might be what my parents were looking for, what better to transfer their beloved daughter's savings-trashing tendencies than to let her trash a plc's instead? There's more in the current account to begin with...
Response: hire a good lawyer and/or rewrite employment and IP laws.

4. Ticking the 'employed' box
Example: describing oneself as 'employed' on Schengen visa forms.
Explanation: One is kept by the company, so consulate workers will happily think that certain amounts of money will turn up at the applicant's bank account on regular intervals. Regardless of how small the amount, or whether the employer is ready to cave in any day (OK, M&S is unlikely to cave in in the near future, but the old Woolworths is a good example.) Self-employment is frowned upon, because what can rich art dealers living in Green Park know about getting regular money out of someone else's pocket?
Comeuppance factor: some banks refuse to loan to high-net worth individuals because they lack "a steady stream of income". Yeeesh.
Response: bank with Coutts.

OK, I think that's that for now. More musings later! or when my brain/spare time can cope with it. I've exceeded my self-imposed computer usage allowance for the day.

Take care.

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