I have been fired and I have fired myself so many times in my life that losing a job is a big deal no more for me.
But the issue here is that I got fired along with other 200 people and none of us did anything wrong.
We were all working for this London-based media intelligence company in the capacity of freelance media analysts.
A media analyst is somebody reading and analysing thousands of multilingual cuttings per week from the clients’ press coverage, in order to measure the effectiveness of their PR campaigns.
So you’ve got to have an excellent eye for detail, a genuine love for reading, a perfect knowledge of at least two – four in my case – languages.
And you need to be prepared to gain a terrific specific knowledge of all things related to your clients’ industries.
In my case, I became an expert in hair curlers, drones, dog shelters, the Channel Islands, American hospitals, the Czech Republic, and diamond mines in Nigeria.
The job itself wasn’t super well-paid, but if you did work enough, you could bring home something vaguely similar to an entry-level, full-time salary. You could choose how much, when and where to work, payments were always made on time and you were constantly in contact with your manager.
At the time, the company’s business model relied totally on freelancers, and things were working quite well for everybody. Even if you worked remotely, they were doing their best to make you feel part of the business, there was a nice monthly newsletter dedicated to freelancers with a section where managers would thank us for completing some particular last-minute or additional work. I was listed there twice, and when I changed home, my remote boss even provided me with a reference letter for the new landlord. You couldn’t really ask for more.
But when this UK company was acquired by a larger US corporation, things started to crash. They kept losing accounts and clients, they didn’t hire anyone new, the best managers left and weren’t replaced.
In a matter of months, they fired over 200 people including me, and the whole of our tasks were sub-contracted to random and phantom companies based in nice little places such as Hong Kong and India. But such people lacked industry experience and know-how and didn’t have the slightest idea about the job. They didn’t even have employees qualified to carry out media analysis.
In my opinion, the most shameful thing was not even the phantom companies offering us to do the same job for half of the pay: the worst part is actually that so many of my former colleagues accepted.
There is this nice South American girl who, four years later, is still working for sub-contractors and cannot stop repeating mantras such like they’re all fucking bastards, aren’t they?
Probably, but this is not the point nor the answer.
This is not even the question.
The point is to be searched among all the clothes you paid £3 for.
The answer lies within that kitchen blender that will get broken perfectly on time, i.e. just hours after the 2-year warranty period is over.
As for the question itself, it was gone on its own and beyond any reasonable doubt in November 1991, when we suddenly decided that we didn’t like walls anymore and that we preferred this broad, custom-free and hypocrite open-space.
It’s weird what Capitalism does to our brains: whether we believe in it or not, Capitalism is the only thing that is constantly letting us down and down and down but that we continue and continue and continue aiming for.
The only other thing apart from love.