Undercover Joanna
Job Search Diary | Application forms |Business Cards | Postcard
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 |
10 May 2006
    I don’t really feel like looking for work today. I’ve moved into my apartment, and it’s better than I had hoped for. My legs are still tired from all the walking I’ve done in the last 2 days.  I felt like just hanging out in it and reading, but I am committed to this. I need to find a way of looking for work that makes it more performative, therefore in a way distanced, for me. I decide to make business cards at the machine I saw in the Winter Gardens. I decide on having it say “Quality work at low wages,” along with my name and phone number. I decide that this will present some sort of advantage—and one of the reasons immigrants are hired—they work hard and aren’t as expensive. I also decide to think of it more as sales, to set targets and sell myself. After spending the afternoon looking, and asking at a total of 20 places, I realize this helps, but I need to be more aggressive, more chatty, to work harder at really selling myself and being more aggressive, which I am not. I think I present myself as quiet, polite. While at the stationary store buying a plastic wallet to keep receipts in, 2 young women ask casually about jobs, not how I always ask if there are job vacancies. I also liked the person at Scruffy Murphy’s. He told me that if I had come yesterday, there would have been a job. I think I may go back and try to volunteer. I also realize as I go into each place, I expect not to get a job, so I am not going about it in good faith.  I also went to the library and photocopied all the pages that list pubs, nightclubs, and hotels. I will apply at every one listed. As I walk to the Town Center, along Lytham street, there are workers everywhere doing construction and maintenance on shops—painting, building, renovating, getting ready for the season. Guesthouse owners are out chatting, one woman is planting a garden in the front of her guesthouse. It is very sunny. I make only 5 applications (one where there are no present jobs), and hand out 8 cards. I just sent a text to some number, based on a card I found that says earn 200-600 per month delivering and collecting catalogs, 8-12 hours spare time locally. 
  I am heading toward the Winter Garden to make my business cards. I pass by this store and see a sign saying staff wanted—2 8 hour positions and 1 12 hour position. I go in and ask the manager about it. He asks which one I am applying for, and I say the 12 hour position. I tll him I have worked in a supermarket before, he replies that I know how to run a till, then. He takes my name and number, and tells me he just hired someone for an 8 hour shift, and has some calls out.
  I walk into the Litten Tree and ask if there are any vacanies. The woman says yes, and gives me an application form. It is a form I have seen before, I think maybe it’s the same as the Yates, but I am not sure. I take the form and at first think to fill it out here, but then decide to just keep it. In part, I am not sure what I wrote when I filled this out before, and also I just want a copy of it.

The Counting House

I ask in here and am told there are no positions. I ask if I can leave my card, and do so.

  Across the street is the Clifton Hotel, which also has a nightcub. When I walk in, the woman at the desk is doing something under it, and I surprise her. She tells me they do have positions, in housekeeping and at the bar. She gets a from for me.  It is the same form as the Tussaud’s, and in fact covers the Tower & Circus, Central Pier, Llandudno Pier, Winter Gardens, South Pier, Eastbourne Pier, North Pier, Tussauds, Sout Parade Pier, and the Clifton Hotel. The company is Leisure Parcs [ I later read that Trevor Hemmings owns this, he is work 700 million, and is an ex-bricklayer and diesel grease-wiper]. I fill this out, but make up some jobs, so it will be different. I have now worked at Static Coffee Bar, in an office, at the Dark Horse Tavern, and for Roger Saxon Apartment managerment as a cleaner.


I ask in here, and the two men at the bar say they are fully staffed. They tell me that they saw a sign at a shoe store nearby, and point out where to go. I thank them and walk over to the store, which is called Pendle Shoes. They do have a sign, saying there is a full-time position. I decide not to apply, as I am looking for part time work.

  I ask at the Cedar Tavern, and they say they are fully staffed. I leave without giving them my card.
  I ask in Scruffy Murphy’s and the bar tender tells me if I had come in yesterday I would have had a job, but now they are fully staffed. He seems very personable.  I had walked by this place yesterday, so I’m a little upset with myself for not going in then. I ask if I can leave my card and do so.  The man says now he has my phone number. I tell him, jokingly, not to abuse it.
  I ask in Brannigans. The woman there says there are positions at the bar and as a glass collector, and if I am interested in both, to write both down. She  gives me a form, which is exactly like the Leisure Parcs form, except it is photocopied ( a few generations) and is for Herald Inns & Bars. There is a section where it asks about health problems, and I count 24 different conditions asked about, including asthma, epilepsy, anaemia, heart condition, jaundice and varicose vains.
  I walk into need to know, and its very trendy, minimal, sleek, classy, etc. The woman I ask tells me they are fully staffed, but then says that they are looking across the street for a part time person. She walks me over to the door to point out the place to me. It is the Rose & Crown, a place I had asked yesterday, but wouldn’t hire me because of my lack of permit. I thank the woman and go.
  I ask at the Mitre, as it is one of the pubs on the Blackpool Pub Crawl postcard. They are fully staffed. I leave a card.
  I ask here, in Cahoots, and the woman tells me to come back later in the season.
  The Castle is also on the pub crawl postcard. The women here told me there isn’t anything. I leave my card. She then tells me to try Cahoots, that they are always hiring, and also the Flagship at Coral Island. She offers this without me asking, as have many today.
  I ask at The King Edward VII. The man tells me they are no positions. I ask if I can leave me card, he says he’ll get an application for so it will be on file. I filled out a much photocopied form (front and back of one page) for Scottish & Newcastle Retail.
  I ask at the Stanley Arms. They are fully staffed now. I leae my card.

The Jaggy Thistle

I ask the only staff I see here, two young guys playing pool. They looked at me like I was an alien, and gave me a very unresponsive no.

  At fist I think this is the Washington from the pub crawl card, but then I see it is called Websters, which is also n the card. The women here told me there was nothing at the moment, but I left my card.
  About a block away, I ask at the Lifeboat Inn. The guy there tells me there isn’t anything there. I ask if I can leave my card, telling him I’ll take anything, part time, whatever. He takes my card. As I walk out, I turn back, and I notice he is showing the card to another guy. He seems amused, I think by my catchphrase on it.
  Next to the Lifeboat is the Princess. I ask a young woman at the bar, and she asks someone in the back office. Another woman comes out with a one page form, and I fill it out—she says just contact info is fine. She tells me they have nothing now, but they will probably need someone in a few weeks, as the season starts. She asks me how much time I want, I say part time, a few shifts. She asks if weekends are okay, and I say fine.
  I go into this place, The Crazy Scots Bar. It has a sign, one of many signs, that says that it was voted the best pub in 2001&2002. hmm. As I wait for the bartender, a woman, who must be drunk, says hello, introduced herself, asks my name, and shakes my hand. I ask the young guy at the bar about any positions, he says they don’t have anything, but takes my card.
  I am walking home, and go into the Old Bridge house Cabaret pub. It is busy here, a mix of regulars/locals, and families. There are framed photos of historical Blackpool on the wall. I ask the woman at the bar if there are any vacancies, she says no. I ask if there will be anything later, and ask if I can leave my card. She says they won’t be taking on any staff (or maybe said won’t take on foreign staff, I didn’t quite hear).
    I decide that tomorrow I will ask a fortune teller how I should look for a job. I also talked to a guy running a darts booth, and played a round, winning a little stuffed dog (57 points). He  has been here 23 years, but traveled to Mexico and India with a guy from Seattle. He told me if I keep asking around, I will find something.