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March 18, 2005


What has the Celtic Tiger done that you'd call a lad in the morning of the day after St. Paddy's Day to arrange an interview for a job?

I woke this morning at about ten o'clock to the 'phone ringing. I was skeptical [and] checked to see it was a 353 number[; I] didn't want to speak with Kim. It was a fellow from Moore Enterprises. I'd sent a c.v. to them, by dint of necessity through the gov't employment agency FAS, and now he calls me. Sorry for calling so early in the morning. Which is funny ten in the morning sorry so early. But now that he mentioned it, it would in fact stew in my head; not why ten o'clock but why the day after St. Paddy's day at any time, particularly in the morning. But that stewing would come later.

The dole. That's risky to write about. It's a risk I am pretty sure I'm going to take. It's simply too important a part of the story.

I went to the library after I had gone to meet the fellow about the job. He wasn't there on time and I [had] waited only five minutes before making a decision: I don't want a job. I want to read and write. I want to make a pact with reality, if I can work it. I don't want to get caught out declining a job; but the risk of being given full-time work was too daunting. Especially full-time work with an Irish person who'd call me the morning after St. Patrick's Day — a drinking holiday in a culture where drink is acceptable — and then show up late without calling me ahead of time.

On that day I made a decision. I'd stay on the dole for as long as I could, and use the time to my advantage.

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