Undercover Joanna
Job Search Diary | Application forms |Business Cards | Postcard
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 |
11 May 2006
  I started my day my getting my fortune. I chose the first fortune teller I saw; Gypsy Lavinia, who is a block or two south on the Prom from where I am staying. I recorded it on audio, and wasn’t very good in asking questions. I mentioned I was looking for work, but didn’t ask directly what I should do. So this felt more like a practice run. I learned I will live until I’m 80, I’m going to pass some exam that’s coming up, May, June and July will be good months, the last three years have sucked but the next three will be good.


I decide I will try to get my fortune each day before I go out to get work, or at least a few times a week.


I head towards Waterloo Road; at the Job Centre I had seen 2 jobs at the Waterloo Hotel, but no address was given and they aren’t listed in the phone directory, so this was my best guess. On the way I see the Bond Hotel on Bond Street at Withell.  It seems to cater to the disabled, but it says the able-bodies are welcome as well. I fill out a 2 page application, and it asks if I have any dependents.

  I stop in The Last Orders Inn at Bond and Randcliff. A woman with a buzz cut gives me the number for Louis, the manager, and tells me to call him. ( I forget to do this toady but will tomorrow)

I’m on Waterloo Road, and stop in at The Bull. The bartender is very nice, he tells me they don’t have anything here, but to try the Royal Oak up the road. His accent is a very thick Northern one, so I have a little trouble understanding him, but as I go up the road and see the Royal Oak, I understand what he said.

  The Royal Oak is on a busy intersection. I ask the guy at the bar if there are any vacancies. He opens a cupboard and sorts through a bunch of filled out applications to find a blank one, which he gives to me. It is early afternoon, and in all the pubs so far is what seems to be a local crowd, mostly older men. I fill out the form and return it. style="mso-spacerun: yes">  After my conversation with Steve, I know put down that I have worked at the Dispensary in Liverpool, and that Mr. Johnson was my supervisor.

I go into the Dog ad Partridge, which I think is on the pub crawl card (it is). The guy at the bar looks for an application form, can’t find any and goes to call his boss. He is on the phone for a while at the other end of the bar. I watch another man come and empty out the tapes connected to casks. The first guy comes back and takes out a pad and paper. His first question to me is do I have a work permit. I say no. He then suggests the Brigadier to me, and asks the other man the name of the street it’s on, and draws me a map.

  I head over to the Brigadier Gerard. It is on a side street, and on my way I pass tow woman asking a tattoed man (older tattoes, blending into blue, all over arms and face) abut doing some tattoo from a picture. The Brigadier looks a little run down from the outside. I go inside and tell the man at the bar I am looking for part time work. He tells me they have nothing now, it’s slow. I leave my card.

I head back down Waterloo Road, and walk by the Apollo Bingo Club. I go inside and ask about jobs. The woman tells me they just took on two people, one full time and one part time. I peek into the bingo room and its large, with a big LED bingo board in front, and many pensioners sitting in booths playing. I want to come back here to play.


The rest of Waterloo Road seems residential, after a bridge. I decide the Waterloo Hotel isn’t here and turn around.


I pass The Albert on Lytham Road, also on the pub crawl card. The woman tells me it is quiet at the moment, so no vacancies, but I should check back at the end of the month. I leave my card. I wish I had talked with her more.


I go to the Promenade and take a short break. Then I catch the tram up to the North Pier. It s very different up here, no amusements to flashy lights, just pastel hotels and clean walking spaces.

  I head to the Imperial. If you are going to work at a hotel, this is the place—this is where Charles Dickens, prime ministers, and Bill Clinton have stayed. It does seem classy. I ask at the reception desk about job vacancies, and the man there (in uniform blazer, very professional), gives me an elegant form to fill out for the Paramount Group. In addition to the now very familiar questions, this one asks about membership in professional associations, and asks Why do you want to join the Paramount Group? What personal qualities make you suitable to work here? I made up something about wanting a career in the hospitality and that this was the most respected establishment in Blackpool.
  I decide to work my way south from the Imperial. Next to it is the Park House hotel. When I walk in the door, two teenage men are sitting there filling out forms. I ask at the reception desk, and get my own form, and I go into the bar and fill it out. The woman tells me that there is nothing at the moment. This form also asks about the number of dependents I have. I wonder if it helps or hurts to have dependents. This also says that on the first day of employment, I have to show a P45, National Insurance Number, and bank details. 
  Next to the Park House is the Bedford. Despite it looking large, it seems to be run by a fairly small staff (or a family). The reception desk was closed, so I headed down to its bar in the basement. I man was sitting at a booth smoking a cigarette, and I think I surprised him. I told him I was looking for part time work, he said they had nothing. I left my card.  
  I walked by a few hotels which seemed small. I went into Tiffany’s which is pink. The interior is even better, high 1980s fashion, black shag carpet, fake waterfall glass, pink accents. I ask the receptionist about jobs. She told me there was nothing at the moment, but gave me a form to fill out.
  I head back towards town. I notice this place, The Alabama and Liberty Hotel, just at the end of the North prom section of hotels, and off a side street. The woman tells me they just took on someone at the bar, and so there isn’t anything now. I gave her my card. I thought of using some silly line about this place needing an American in it—a human-sized Statue of Liberty greets you as you walk in the door—but don’t.

I see some other places I should apply to. I notice I am out of cards, or at least don’t have any more with me. For some reason this discourages me. Also, my left calf is on the verge of cramping, my legs are tired, and I feel worn out. I decide it would be better if I looked and felt a little fresher when asking for work. I do write down the names and locations of some places to go back to.


I am 2 short of my goal of 50 enquiries this week. I have to make myself meet my quota tomorrow.  On a recount, I do have 50.


I buy the Gazette to see the listings for the 300 jobs inside. Not much I can apply for. But, I learned a little about the sex trade, as well as a hotel a lot of hen parties go to.