Ever since that first meal when I left the restaurant without paying, I’ve been using Tommy’s contacts to exchange my gold for money. Sadly, I ran out a few weeks ago so I had to find a job. I applied for a lot of different positions related to the social sciences, all of which I was highly qualified for, and got quite a few interviews. It was horrible though. I’d arrive for the interview, they’d take one look at me and explain, slowly, that they didn’t recognise my qualifications even though they’d accepted my application. In the two interviews I did have, I described my relevant experience and in one I even talked about what I’d bring to the company, but neither of them were interested.
After a few days of this I sat down with Tommy to discuss my predicament. ‘It’s weird. It’s as if they’re deliberately misunderstanding what I’m capable of,’ I said.
‘Does that surprise you?’
‘Of course. Doesn’t it surprise you?’
‘Not really. You’ve a lot to learn about prejudice.’
‘You’re obviously not from around here. And, you won’t appear in their legal tick lists so there’s no compulsion for them to treat you fairly.’
‘Cos I’m purple?’
‘Mostly. Why don’t you look for a job that doesn’t require qualifications? There’s a train company that’s recruiting. Why not try them?’
I was desperate so I applied and got the job. Now I travel up and down the country pushing a trolley up and down the train. Still, at least I get to meet a wide range of people and I get to see other parts of England.
Not surprisingly, having a job has prompted me to try and understand the concept of money better. It’s weird. As far as I can work out it’s a way of using something with no intrinsic value as a proxy for something with actual value, such as gold. There’s only a few places around the world that are allowed to produce it and they decide what it’s worth; apparently it goes up and down in value due to circumstances that only a select few understand. There’s loads of places you can keep it and some give you back more than you gave them and some give you less. Bizarrely, most of them won’t tell you whether it’s going to be more or less before you invest – you have to gamble on their gambling. This seems to cause a lot of problems and on top of that someone else is having fun with your money! In England there’s a bank that sets the rate at which money increases in value – the interest rate. That’s what you get back if you give it to one of their friends but it’s worth less than when you gave it them.
It’s as if they want to make sure you can’t opt out of the system, making sure you’re constantly working and dependent on the elite. The sensible ones who seem to have opted out and don’t enter into this saving and investment trap are pushed to the edges of society. They live one day at a time not knowing if they’ll have enough money to obtain the food they need. It seems to me that if you opt out you’re despised for taking the easy option even though your stress is more real and more immediate.
I’m not sure if I’ve understood this monetary system correctly, because it seems like complete madness to me.