I bang my head, but I feel no pain

by davebarclay1954

Well here we are again, dear reader, Wednesday and the work week is half way through. Oh to have a job, something to do besides sit and listen to music, watch netflix, drink, eat and feel wonderfully free. If only my pension could cover all the basics and leave me enough to live off then I would be able to just chill.

My two chosen fields, IT and accounts, are recruiting at the moment but not for full time permanent staff, just temporary staff to cover maternity leave or holiday time, or in the case of IT, to upgrade their systems and ensure they are bug free. This isn’t the first time I’ve been without a job, but it is the first time I’ve not had anyone telling me that I should be doing more to find something or risk having my benefit stopped. I actually did get sanctioned once because I was less interested in a part time job than keeping a roof over my head.

I received a letter telling me that my benefit was going to be reduced to 25% of my entitlement because I should have applied for the job at Argos they told me about, when the day after they told me about this I received a letter from the council in Basingstoke telling me I had 2 weeks to either vacate or they would evict “sometime” following this deadline. By the way that wasn’t an error they told me I would lose 75% of my pittance which would not leave me enough to feed my family on even if I stopped eating, drinking and living. My wife at this time was pregnant so I appealed against this decision and given that I had moved from Basingstoke to Sunderland and then to Newcastle the appeal was successful.

People were told that those on benefits were going on foreign holidays two or three times every year (the minority fiddling the system were but not the majority) so people were put out about this and wanted a cap put on benefits because no one should be better off out of work than working. I understand this, it was never a long term solution for me to be out of work (although I did have a few longer term periods of at least 12 months after being made redundant during a depression). I would just like to add that for me, at any rate, being on benefits was to keep me ticking over until I could get another job.

As with so many others, however, interviews were not my strongest suit, I therefore had to work on my nerves by getting friends to mock interview me for jobs. With the advent of the internet I discovered that I could look up information about the company so could have one or two questions ready to ask before the end of the interview. I was always stuck as to what to ask because salary has to be a no go area until you get the job, as is holidays. The only time I ever mentioned holidays at an interview was the one time I had two weeks in LA booked and asked if I could start following my return to the UK.

Any road up, as the actress said to the bishop, enough of my problems. I wish I could fly away to my favourite city and stay there listening to the jazz and the blues. Sleeping by the banks of the mighty Mississippi rocked to sleep by the river moving under the boat and not a care in the world. If only Covid19 hadn’t been sent to wipe us out because of the way we are destroying this planet. To quote Agent Smith from the Matrix “The problem with the human race is that they are the virus destroying the planet!”

If we were all to try and make the post-Covid19 world the best it can be then maybe we could save those creatures threatened with extinction, the planet and also ourselves. However, those in power in the 3 most influential Western (non-) democracies (the USA, the UK and Australia) have no interest in doing anything other than protecting those hastening the climate crisis by relying on gas and oil to power machinery and generate electricity. Why? Because that’s where the bulk of their personal wealth comes from.