Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Call waiting

So, Pickfords have dropped David Cameron's bike-rack off at Number 10, Nick Clegg's in the shower wondering why the stains won't come off, and the whole country is waiting expectantly for a miracle to occur. They could be in for a long wait.

The much promised economic recovery is still as distant as Paris Hilton's facial expression, and we're all under pressure to make ends meet. The wolf's at the door, and he's got a Betterware catalogue in his paw.

During the election campaign, jobs were a major issue for the electorate, with faceless swathes of 'immigrants' being blamed for taking all the jobs. It didn't seem to matter that in many instances, those jobs that were advertised received no applications from British workers.

As a story in today's Daily Mail shows, there's work out there, but no-one wants to do it. Jobcentre Plus offices in Birmingham, Warwickshire and Shropshire are currently recruiting for a company called Faceclick which offers a rather specialist form of interpersonal consultancy. OK, basically they're looking for people to work on the phone sex lines.

You know the type - "Naughty housewife can't find her crevice nozzle", "Sexy schoolgirl needs help with Pythagorus theorum" - they usually conjure up images of a call centre full of chain-smoking Pat Butchers, all talking dirty whilst pretending to be nineteen year-old nymphomaniacs.

The conversational topics to be covered include fetishes, role-play and domination, which, let's be honest, has to be more fun that encouraging the person on the end of the line to switch their gas and electricity supplier.

Perhaps concerned about the Trades Descriptions Act, Faceclick are also keen to make their hot, sexy operatives visible by offering a webcam service. But that will depend upon their new recruits being willing to perform 'nude or semi-nude' online.

As for the filming, that all sounds pretty low impact too. According to the Mail's article, applicants are encouraged to perform "activities that you feel comfortable with" - which might mean flicking through TV Quick and devouring half a pack of chocolate HobNobs.

Still, these saucy shenanigans came as a bit of a shock to the jobseekers of Nuneaton who were looking for light clerical work. One 19-year old applicant said "I am absolutely desperate for work. But I'm not desperate that I'm prepared to perform disgusting acts on an internet sex line."

The ads are offering up to £100 per day for "a job with a difference", but specify that they're looking for people who are bubbly, confident and have their own internet connection. It doesn't sound as though dongles will be provided, at least not by the Faceclick management.

Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood has also weighed in on the issue, demanding an enquiry and commenting "I am absolutely flabbergasted... To now discover job centres are encouraging unemployed people to get into this is almost beyond belief."

Unfortunately, subjective morality is more important to some people than making an honest living. There aren't too many well paying jobs out there that allow you to work from home and require no training or investment to get you up and running.

It's just a shame that the people behind this outcry are so short-sighted. And you know what causes that condition, boys and girls...

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