Immigrant Jobs


Dear Agnes

You know the drill! You’ve been round the circuit a few times! You could advise me!

I am new to Northern Ireland. But in my country I had the best education and won high qualifications. Still I cannot find a decent job here. Sometimes I cannot even understand what is the job! 

Is there a different form of English just for jobs in the paper? 

What does it take to get a good job here? 

Yours in desperation

Mustapha Jobnai



Dear Mustapha,

You cheeky pup and ungrateful wretch! 

‘Round the circuit a few times’, indeed!! Youth isn’t everything, you know!! 

What right have you, coming over here scrounging and stealing our children’s jobs? 

And STILL they’re not good enough for you! Who are YOU to turn up your nose at US ?

Why don’t you crawl back under the lorry that smuggled you over here in the first place?


P.S. If you’re lost for something to do, you could redd out our potting shed, which is filthy! If you find a smelly, unshaven mess in a corner, dump it too, with the other rubbish!!



Dear Mustapha,

Please ignore my last communication. I suffer from acid in the stomach which sometimes spews out through my word-processor!

I have great sympathy with your plight.

Indeed it’s just the attitude that my husband (who’s still in the potting shed – recently cleaned up, along with himself, I’m pleased to say!) suffered when first he immigrated here from Mexico. 

I cannot offer much practical help, but here’s a few rough-and-ready indications.

1. If the job offers wages above the National Minimum, it’s probably given away before the advertisement appears. They’re just keeping themselves right, in the eyes of the law.

2. Qualifications can often be a handicap. No one likes a smart Alec. If they employ you, you will be a threat or seen as one, for one must NEVER appear smarter than the boss! Their excuse is that ‘you are over-qualified’.

3. it’s WHO you know, not WHAT you know. 

4. If it’s a public sector job, the ‘job description’ will be composed by a bureaucrat of long standing, who years ago parted company with plain English. If it sounds like Mumbo-Jumbo, that’s exactly what is required of the successful candidate. If it seems like a saint from heaven could not possibly fulfil the required qualifications, that’s because the job’s going to an intellectually-challenged technophobe… 

5. whom the job’s already promised; she’s the CEO’s PA’s cousin, who is to be promoted from the typing pool. 

6. Start you own business! That’s the only way you’ll have a boss worthy of you. 

7. Otherwise, pick mushrooms, like the rest of your fellow-countrymen!

Yours truly




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