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Sense of future – Unilever Saga 20 years on

Michael Tyler


Owner and main contributor to the blog.

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I found these evidence in my draw looking for receipts.
These events took place some time ago, but they still impact on my life today.

12th January 2007- Webb & Son’s

Sent me a letter inviting me to discuss their Internet requirements addressed by their Sales Director – Frank Dubberly
After receiving the letter, Webb & son’s refused to meet claiming they had meetings on and couldn’t find the time.
I caught up with Frank Dubbery at the London book fayre and his face was worried. Apparently Unilever had already payed a signing fee to Office Angels, set up an expense account and arranged a party.
Staff in the office had been told it was a matter of days before I would start work.
Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, months into years.

10 Years on

I’ve done various jobs, working in London around the midlands, usually only lasting just beyond the probationary period.
Although I have no evidence, I’ve been prevented working other jobs: Future Publishing in Bath as one example that comes to mind.
As a result, I learned to program HTML, that combined with the skills I learnt at A-level and University has been enough for me to survive without any outside help.

10 years on, I have no life, no career, no hope of a future, I haven’t had a girlfriend since I left University and I have no friends.

Unilever. I can’t speak for. I know they’ve spent a lot of money trying to get to do what they think I should do.

I’ve never signed a contract with them, exclusive or otherwise.

They have wrecked my life.


15 Years on

  • My website has been destroyed: Lonely Planet was bought by the BBC. My website experienced a sudden and dramatic decrease in traffic.
  • My house was stolen: The property I had purchased in Hungary had money stolen from my notary in Hungary. I lost more the £50,000, ‘stolen’ from escrow.
  • Made homeless: The earnings from my website dried up entirely. I was unable to support myself and didn’t know what to do. Homeless.

After this, I spent 2 years on the dole. When I really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, the DSS sent me to a ‘jobclub’, where it was ‘guaranteed’ to me ‘you will find a job’.

I believed this guarantee, and went along to the jobclub in Cannock. Like a good boy, I did everything I was asked.
A job did not materialise, at least not directly.

Time in jobclub

I met some new people, one an engineer, one a shopgirl and one an economist.

Each day we would come in and assess each others performance in key tasks and suggest ways of improving each others’ performance.

I suggested to the economist, that he was not ‘selling’ himself enough. With his skills and experience, which was Director of Macroeconomic Forecasting for JCB, he really ought to be more confident.

Not only that, he might learn ways to improve, ‘pitch’ himself at potential employers, rather than show his CV and hope they employ him.

More aggressive. Market driven. Proper sales. To prove he was back on the horse, so to speak….

On the computers

One of my fellow attendees, pointed out some of the teaching scams whilst we were looking at the jobs on the computer.

He had a Chinese girlfriend, he and his rugby playing friends used to go over there to watch and play rugby.

He’d met her, she worked in a shop at the hotel, and they were a load of English people in the bar. He suggested the teaching was in demand over there, and there were lot’s of opportunities.

I applied for one of the ‘schools’, on one of the jobsites… It turned out to be a scam

But it turned me on to the idea. I decided to do a TEFL course with an internship for 6 months.

Working as a teacher

I worked in Sichuan as a middle school teacher. Nice work. Kids were fun. Enjoyed it immensely.

Worked in Georgia for the government.

Worked near to Shanghai teaching adults.

Worked near to Hangzhou teaching lower/middle school.

Now, my new career as a teacher is being destroyed as well.

After 3 years of teaching English, I’m now finding it difficult, if not impossible to find work. Even though, I’ve 2 years plus experience. I can’t find anything.

I have good references.

Maybe this career will go the way of the previous ones in Publishing and Web-design, and just evaporate after years on the dole.

20 Years on

Yep, the teaching job went. Just as I said, I had good references. Everything going for me. Work evaporated.

What a surprise.

Now, I live on a narrowboat. It’s impossible to settle in one place. It’s kind of like Bruce Banner being harassed and harangued from place to place.

Luckily, I working for a large research company, almost as large as Unilever, so manage to pay my bills.

Without that, life would be pretty bleak.

I see that Google are now censoring my website, no doubt due to this post and others like it.

I still blame my predicament on Unilever, Alan Raleigh and the Masonic structure of the UK. It’s not somewhere I can live.

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