Tuesday 20 February 2018

The dreaming spires give way to reality of being a 'menu pimp'

Students should not expect the gentle hand-holding to continue after they leave university, writes Eliza Preston

AS I stand in the windswept corridor which links Temple Bar's Fleet Street to Cecilia Street in Dublin, the words of Bob Dylan interrupt my thoughts . . . "20 years of schooling and they put you on the day job . . ." Having just graduated from Oxford University, I must admit that promoting early-bird menus to stag parties on the streets of Temple Bar was not exactly what I had imagined I would be doing when I finished university

This year, more than 8,000 graduates have stepped forth from university and entered the jobs market, confident that years of temporal and financial investment in their education would open doors to dream careers and coveted paycheques and even a glamourous lifestyle. Most will be disappointed.

Some have taken to the streets, demanding jobs. Others have given in with a shrug of their shoulders and joined the dole queue. There is public sympathy for us, no doubt. All that effort and no jobs. As with everything else, the Government is surely to blame. "Ah you poor thing, after all that work . . . isn't it shocking . . . the Government has a lot to answer for . . ." This well- meant universal grumble endorses a sense of alienation and grievance which they assume resides behind the forced smile of a 'friendly service'.

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