Fahckmylife's Blog
Crap adult, OK human.

So you’re working class now? – How to deal with suddenly being poor in Dublin.



I am working class and from Finglas.  I may have moved around the country a lot (probably about 8 different houses before the age of 9) before we settled in Dublin in the early 90’s but I consider Finglas my home.  However, I was kind of in a weird situation, because I was never really considered middle-class or working class in any proper sense of the word.  At various stages I was considered ‘posh’ as a disadvantage, was picked on in my area and in school and found it difficult to make friends in my area because my parents, who thought they were protecting me, wouldn’t let me associate with people from my area.  However, despite their best efforts and what-not I was still considered ‘common’ and likewise people weren’t allowed to hang around with me.  Also, I feel that the ‘working class’ label has worked to my disadvantage in college and lead to people severely underestimating me.  So essentially I don’t know what the fuck I am, although once I say Finglas with my glorious accent the decision is taken out of my hands.  But I kinda dislike poshos anyway so I guess it doesn’t matter.

Class is still a thing.  There is elitism and there are still prevailing patronising attitudes towards people based on their ‘class’, which is now more complicated than ever to quantify, as if acquiring an education and being working class were a fucking oxymoron.  I remember asking students during a tutorial whether they thought class was an issue and most of them replied that they didn’t think that this was the case.  They were all, however, at least middle-class so it probably is harder to see other people’s difficulties when you’re immersed in your own little bubble.

But even being middle-class is a precarious position now, as rent in Dublin has become a nightmare.  If class is to be measured purely on occupation and income, as opposed to any other factors, there are more people who were possibly middle class falling closer towards the working class tier than ever before.  Sure, there might be jobs now, specifically in Dublin but rent is insane and capitalism is bullshit if you’re not in the top 30%.  For what has always been a struggle for some is now becoming more of a struggle for many people who had little understanding or compassion for those ‘beneath them’ on the food chain.

So here are my top tips on how to survive suddenly becoming working class:


Drink high percentage alcohol –the cheapest for the largest amount.  You’re poor so you’re not allowed drink or have any fun, (see comments made by Senator David Norris the big posho) but without a temporary escape or whatever you’ve got fuck all to keep you in your downtrodden position.


If you’re employed in a minimum wage job just be grateful that you even have one, even if you spent years in college studying things that are in no way related to what you are doing now.  It’s your own fault.  Perhaps you were always born to be working class and no amount of denying it will help.  The bluebloods say being poor is in the genes.


Get used to people telling you that the cost of living is way less in other locations in the country, despite the fact that Dublin is your home, and although rent is Dublin is a black hole and completely overpriced, they will completely overlook the long commute to a new job, or relocating your family, for what is essentially a catch 22 situation.


Don’t have sex.  Especially if you’re a woman.  Completely repress all needs and desires because if you get pregnant people will say that you only did it to get a house or a ‘free ride’ (pun intended) or if you have an accident and want to get it ‘sorted’ your options as a woman in Ireland are either extremely expensive or illegal.  Remember don’t have sex if you can’t fully afford a child.  Don’t think that those affordable LIDL condoms will protect you.

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Get used to the fact that it is property owners and the government in collusion with each other that could potentially make you homeless at any point and there is little recourse for you to follow up.  Settle for squalor, damp and rats, landlords that follow their own rules and sewage leaking into your sitting room – because that actually happened to me before.  (Seriously though leave refugees out of it.  We have enough resources to look after everyone but the government and the media are adept at refocussing frustration on those with even less of a voice.)


Expect a lot of humour punching down at you but just accept it ‘because it’s just a joke’.


Learn to combine beans with everything for sustenance.


Expect when you try to better yourself for people in many universities to patronise you and find you impolite because your language is coarser and blunter, or because of your new found social status.  Don’t change that though – it reminds people that they are better than you.  Working class, education and intelligence are not mutually exclusive, although if you keep hitting that 6% cider it might prove difficult.


Get used to everyone from outside of Dublin saying it’s a shithole, but if you say anything negative about a town or village outside of Dublin, you’ll be accused of being Dublin-centric. Maybe not in so many words, but if you have a strong Dublin accent, even if you aren’t a loud and annoying Dub, you’ll feel the need to defend your home.


Get used to people judging your accent, which usually starts changing 4-5 weeks after the other symptoms of turning working class begin, before they listen to what you say.  You’ll be spoken over.  Constantly.  Especially if you’re a woman.


If you get a medical card or rent allowance, you should consider yourself lucky.  Seriously, taxi drivers will talk to you about this shit all the time.  So never tell anyone you have either of these things.


If you have mental health issues and are on a shoe string budget, just go for a walk.  Seriously you can’t afford anything else.


Get used to the expectation in your minimum wage job that you are a ‘yes’ person and always take up the offer of extra work, even if it is your kid’s birthday.


If you do have children be prepared for nothing you do to be good enough.  Having a pint?  You should be at home.  Having a smoke?  You should be at home. You shouldn’t be working that minimum wage job; you belong at home.  Why didn’t you keep your legs closed until you could afford it?


Expect to be left behind.  Your friends with ‘good’ jobs who did everything sensibly will move on, go on holidays and do all the cool things you wish you could be doing.  Some of them will travel poor countries and ‘find themselves’.  This is a reality for you now though, although perhaps not as extreme.  Unfortunately, 70% of your income goes on rent and you don’t particularly have any sellable skills so you won’t be able to keep up with them and as they become more and more middle class you will fade into obscurity.  You would be better off with leprosy than being working class.


Consider sex work as an extra income but then factor in the stigma of being found out and the safety and then go back to eating dry crackers.


If you are made homeless expect people to judge you, want your kids taken off you and comment with statements such as ‘why can’t you stay with family?’  People will know your situation better with minimal details than you know yourself.  Being vulnerable automatically means you’re a bad person or stupid.


Around the two-month mark of being diagnosed with working-classism you will start to get followed around shops because the symptoms become visible to others.


Expect unsolicited advice on all fronts about how to deal with landlords, how you should spend your money, how you should be saving and watch, just watch, when people judge you for treating yourself to a takeaway.  Expect people to speak on your behalf because they expect you to be vulnerable and naïve.  Even when you quote big sections from the PRTB to your landlord to get your deposit back.


Walk away from house viewings if there are more than 10 people in the queue.  Unless, you’ve an amazing job you probably won’t get it.  Don’t even try if you’re getting rent allowance.


Learn to adapt to fuck all sleep.  Be it a combination of stress, poor diet due to fuck all time and money, or just having to do crazy things – you’ve asked for this.


If you have any allergies, fake or not, forget about them.  You’re poor now so you can’t afford soy products or gluten free bollox.


You will also need to put your clarinet on Ebay and start making your own hummus.


If you like my writing and all that jazz, you can buy a book of my musings here:  https://www.createspace.com/6970024 or here: https://www.amazon.com/Fahckmylife-Little-Book-Fahck/dp/1544185367.  Not only will you get to read more of my drunken thoughts but also wallow in the delight of some fancy-assed diagrams, drinking games and ideas on how to live your life.

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