Being a transatlantic traveler has its perks. It’s arguably the best way to live: you get the vibrancy and freedom of America, whilst also utilizing the NHS whenever you head back across the pond.
Having both lived and worked in the United Kingdom and the United States, I’ve noticed some differences in the way each country’s Underemployed have to deal with the quirks and realities of their underemployed jobs. In this article I will take you on a wild journey between the two superpowers. We will run away together through the crazy, exciting, Breakfast Club inspired, Arrested Development farce, shitstorm that is the British VS American Underemployment.
Who will win the title of Best Country To be Underemployed In?
Our journey will culminate in a knock-out decider. Strap up, you’re in for a ride…
Only joking, I’m British. This will be swearily civilized.
UK: In the UK, your boss is probably a cunt. I know that almost all of mine were. Only in my first proper job at an opticians was my boss not a cunt. However, as my colleague said on my first day, “you’ll never find anywhere to work like this.” She was right. All my other bosses were moany, miserable, morose, motherfuckers. It was the standard. I mean, who actually likes spending that much time with people, day-in day-out, the same faces showing up, taking your money and wasting your time. I’d be a miserable boss in the UK too. It’s always raining, and the people are mostly ambitious so are always expecting to achieve. Whatever. Boring. Cunts.
USA: I have only officially worked two proper jobs in the USA, as most of my work is freelance. I must say though that in both of those jobs the bosses were first class fools. I don’t know whether it’s my superior British intellect, or super intelligence from ghost writing PhDs, but both of the gentlemen I worked for in the US were fucking stupid. It wasn’t just basic stupidity either, like not knowing the difference between “they’re” and “their,” but that deep-rooted, special sort of stupid, wherein there is a total lack of ability to appreciate how bad they are at running their business. It was embarrassing, yes. Mostly, it has allowed me to appreciate my own poverty, as it is significantly better than having to deal with such stupid, boring, inept bosses.
UK: Passive aggressive does not even come close to the attitudes of middle management in British society. Psychotic would be closer, but still not definitive. They’re a crazy sort of scary, wherein you know that they dream of killing you in the most insane methods known to man. Maybe they want to wear your skin,or perhaps it’s more of a slow drowning in the staff toilets. Whatever their preferred method, middle management always want you dead. The only remedy to this sickness is to act like you have zero fucks to give about your current employment.
For example, one of my last jobs in the U.K. was working for Debenhams department store. It’s essentially the Brit version of Nordstroms. My boss there, we’ll call her Seth (Beth, her name is Beth), was a failed artist and married to young. She was also plain. A real Plain Jane.
In walks part time model, part time student, Me, looking for a basic weekend gig that I could earn money from, and that’s about it. Beth, sorry, Seth, took it upon herself to pick at every little thing I did in that damn shop. She was a sinister bitch, asking me inane questions and not inviting me to staff parties. She even asked me if I needed help hanging up clothes. No, bitch, I need you to back off.
After two months, I was over it. I had a two month holiday ahead of me, which I had not informed her of, and I was mentally done with the work. Instead of hanging up clothes, I would wipe my bogies on them. I would frequently burst into revolting coughing fits whenever Seth was around, then blame it on her perfume. My mum eventually made her cry, which was incredible and something that puts me in debt to my mother forever.
USA: In harsh juxtaposition, American middle management are arguably the coolest people in the world. They know how cunty the boss is. They make an effort to remember how shit it is being at the bottom. They laugh at your jokes, text you on weekends to catch up, always buy the shots, and give a shit about your feelings. We love you American middle management.
UK: What is this strange word? Does it have something to do with the kitchen, because if it’s not beige, I’m not eating it. What is creativity?
In the U.K., creativity holds synonyms with scary, daft, dangerous, foolish, waste of time, and NO! It’s not a proper job, and it certainly isn’t needed in your day job. It is frowned upon, viewed as the ugly sister of reality, and definitely isn’t a way to make a living. Your boss doesn’t care about your ideas. Your parents think your art course is a waste of time. Just do what it says on the tin and be done. There’s no point in trying to be creative. No one wants it and no one respects it.
USA: Did we make money?
Good, then keep doing it.
This is the singular perk to the bottom line in the land of the free. If you have an idea, and your boss trusts you, then as long as you’re making your company some cash, then keep fucking doing it. When your concepts work, and they allow you to express your mind and the color within your soul, then you’re onto a winner. Americans love new ideas. They embrace change. This is the country of chance, and you’re allowed to have several. However, if your idea doesn’t make money, and it flounders and drowns, then bye-bye. You’re done. You’re an idiot. A fool.
Also, if your boss is the only person in charge, and that all important element of middle management is gone, then you’re catastrophically fucked. Anything that might divert from the norm is not just unwarranted, but it’s DEEPLY CONCERNING. What the actual fuck? Leave it out, it’s not concerning unless someone dies. Did anyone die from my one little idea, or mistake, or creative concept? No, so chill the fuck out.
Money: America wins.
Healthcare: GB all the way.
Colleagues: USA! USA!
Perks: Also goes to America…
After work drinks: Britain
Holiday time: UK
Time off for the Six Nations: WAAAAAAAALLLLEEESSSSSSS!!!!!!!
Winner: UNITED STATES OF TRUMP LAND.
I would rather be underemployed in America than Britain. The main reason why? Well, I live in California, so it’s probably the weather.
Kay Smythe, The British Bitch in America.
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