Things will hopefully get better soon, I have an appointment for a Data Entry Clerk position soon, which pays a bit better. Only requirements are being able to type fast, and I've had plenty of practice at that.
Enough rambling, onto the stuff that really matters. In the limited time I've had to actually program I've completed what I consider a playable tetris clone. There is still some work to be done, but most of it is there now.
The most important thing I've learnt is that lots of bugs can be fixed easily if you put the code in the right order. Compiler != replacement for pen and paper for getting the logic down.