Letters - The human cost of job hunting, Take precautions with gas in your home.
2018-02-01 16:05:00 -
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The human cost of job hunting

As Ireland’s unemployment rate continues on a downward trajectory, one could be forgiven that the jobs market is offering meaningful and fulfilling roles providing financial and emotional ballast to a person’s well-being. Not so.

 

Welcome to Ireland’s jobs phantasmagoria, where fantasy drowns reality in a vat of vacuous jobs titles like ‘customer success guru’ or ‘people manager’, vague job descriptions and a wage unlikely to give your bank account indigestion.

 

If you wish to apply for these important sounding work titles with their fantastic list of interfacing duties, employers seek flexibility, which is double-speak for ‘you will be employed to do one role but not always end up doing this role but another equally fantastic role’ or ‘you have to be available when we want you and however long we want, but you still are a valuable full-time member of our team.’

 

Employers are even applying a Tinder-like process to interview seekers. Offer an interview to those who meet one or all of these criteria: an age profile that laps upon the shores of the twenties, born within an favourable postal district, or can be employed using the Community Employment Scheme, in other words the State-sponsored people farming out to positions that offer a short-term future and all the long-term employment prospects of a one-handed juggler. Fall outside these criteria and applications face a left swipe.

 

Looking for employment in Ireland is soul-destroying, devoid of fairness and the recognition that no matter how hard you try your effort is wasted. The era of employers offering genuine sustainable jobs, with a defined role and a working week allowing you to commit long-term to your employer’s business, appear to be over.

 

Ireland may achieve technical full employment by the end of 2018, but behind the number lies a constituency of employment seekers of all ages, skill sets and nationalities that are being rejected by employers motivated by the sheen of a balance sheet rather than the application of human capital.

John Tierney

Fews-Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford



Take precautions with gas in your home

Carbon monoxide is a major cause or death, but it is also a cause of sickness. You do not need to die to suffer the effects of a highly poisonous gas.

 

This silent killer is predominately associated with gas appliances and other closed environments where fumes are a factor. Forty people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year in Ireland, but many others may be suffering the ill effects falling short of actual death.

 

The gas builds up in the blood and starves the body of oxygen. It not only kills quickly but can cause chronic health problems such as organ damage. Symptoms include severe breathing difficulties, sudden collapses, disorientation and dizziness, and flu-like symptoms including nausea and vomiting.

 

Gas cookers give off small amounts of gas before jets are ignited. This has the potential to build up significantly and reach a dangerous levels not properly ventilated, as can other gas appliances — serviced or not. It is always advisable to open a window to let a premises air out during and after the use of gas appliances.

 

Unknown leaks can also be a factor and difficult to locate without specialist equipment. Old pipes and appliances, defective valves and inadequate ventilation can make any home or premises into a death trap.

 

Gas and its lethal byproduct carbon monoxide should be treated with great caution. We need to take it a lot more seriously than we have been doing. It represents a very serious risk to our lives and well-being.

Maurice Fitzgerald

Shanbally, Co Cork

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