A man who wishes to be known only as The Graduate reminds us there is life on the other side.


First semester is underway and, unlike you students, I am a free man. I completed my UTS Communication degree last year with an HD average, and I’ve had plenty of relevant employment experience. If that wasn’t enough, my superannuation fund recently sent me a plastic biro, resplendent in a grey metallic finish, to thank me for ten years of membership. Nothing can stop 2013 from being my year.

Except the world.

You see I’ve been trying to find a job. And despite the unanimous indifference with which the general public regards my arts degree, I still hope to find gainful employment.  My prospects, however, remain bleak.

Just this morning I conducted a job search that left me bilious with trepidation—  horrors lurk in my immediate future. For example, one job notice sought “a dynamic and enthusiastic individual with a ‘can-do’ attitude, to lead the largest fundraising events portfolio in the Southern Hemisphere and take our events to the next level.” But the only thing I want to take to the next level is my personal best in Alex Kidd in Miracle World. Besides, my attitude tends to be one of ‘might-do’.

An ad for the position of “editor/writer,” claimed to be looking for a, “web-savvy, ambitious self-starter who thrives in a busy environment of tight briefs.” That’s definitely not me. While I’m by no means partial to the reckless practice of freeballing, I find nothing more uncomfortable than a pair of tight briefs.  Furthermore, having a workplace policy on knickers seems a bit off to me.

Another ad was after a “creative creative” and the description merely stated that, “You’ll be passionate about all things digital.” Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not at all plugged into contemporary culture; the only pulse to which I have my finger pressed is that of my own sinking heart. But I can’t help doubting that these people actually exist. Is anyone really passionate about all things digital? I have digits: five on each hand. And they’re fine, I guess. But I wouldn’t say that I’m passionate about them. That’s just weird.

It wasn’t always like this, you know. Before I completed my studies I was actually excited to finish university. I looked forward to the prospect of getting a job. And an alarm clock. But it’s now dawning on me that I haven’t got the fortitude to participate in the harrowing world of ‘career’. It’s not that I’m a brat; it’s just that I’ve become institutionalised. The world outside seems thoroughly frightening to me, as it does for Morgan Freeman’s character in The Shawshank Redemption. I long for the safety of the UTS undergraduate routine, where study loads are prescribed, assignments are manageable (except the group ones, which are insufferable), those lunchtime pides give change from a fiver, and the most obnoxious thing you’ll encounter is the smugness of articles that appear in Vertigo, which can be easily avoided.

So then why do I toil over this commentary, virtuous as it may be? After all, my stilted prose must surely by now have led you to determine that, like an apprehensive mother using a breast-pump for the very first time, I find it hard to express myself. And just as if I were an AIDS-infected syringe buried in a haystack, it’s not only difficult to locate my point, but also regrettable when you finally do. In spite of these adversities, however, I must forge on with my writings. I have seen the wastelands of UTS alumni and, knowing how truly grim they are, I must relate to you their enormity so that I might reduce your trauma when you too arrive here.

I hereby undertake to write these articles regularly and submit them to Vertigo to be published for the benefit of its esteemed readership. Your obligation in return is simply to read them, and upon reflection of my correspondence, savour your present position. For the world from whence I write is a harsh and unforgiving one, where impertinence yields to impotence, where blowjobs are replaced by desk jobs, where the only celebrated artists are bullshit artists, where hairlines and youth recede at an alarming rate, and where waistlines spread more rapidly than chlamydia infections on campus.

I wish you the best of luck this semester, my beauties. And as I take my leave now to chronicle the tribulations that inevitably lay before you, I urge you once more to follow this column, for unlike the days of my life, the best is yet to come.