Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Dear Reader: My Shit Day

Dear reader, today I had an awful day. I wasn't sure whether or not to write about it but here goes nothing.

I recently lost my job. One of those real life crappy things that happen to everyone else but you, until it happens to you. Nothing bad, they just didn't think the 'fit' was right. Fair play. You can't help but blame everything on yourself though, analysing every single thing you did trying to find that exact moment you went so wrong. This was not why my day was bad today. Today I had to sign on.

I have been living in my over draft since I lost my job and really stupidly I had no buffer savings, therefore I am beyond poor. People don't like to talk this truthfully on blogs these days for fear that people will judge them, but in reality nobody can really judge us as much as we judge ourselves, hence why I am telling you all this.

What really took me aback about signing up for Jobseekers (or Universal Credit in my area) is that the whole process is so tarnished from all those who abused the system before you. By that I mean there are a lot of day to day restrictions and rules put in place.

You have to be job hunting for 40+ hours a week and documenting it as and when you do it, keep a spreadsheet of all you have done that day to make the effort to find a job. Finding a job is a full time job, apparently. You also have to be waiting by the phone, contactable 24/7, you cannot travel, even within the UK. The real true kicker of it all is that you are required to take any job offered to you, whether you want it or not, if you turn down the job offer they stop your Jobseekers.

The reason this is so bad is because if someone offers you a job thats minimum wage (around £13,000/year) and its commutable by 90 minutes, you are required to take it. You are entirely backed into a corner. This job could be in London (I live 50 minutes & £30 away) but I would still be required to take it.

I get that this is a process, tried and true to get people into work and the job centre is not a place for people who want careers. That being said, something has to change.

I asked my work coach (thats what they call the advisors) if it would be okay (like asking your parent or something) for me to go to on to a Marketing Course in London but was met with a No. This is because you are considered 'not available for work' during this time. Therefore you would not get your Jobseekers that month. I said to her how twisted this was, that you get punished for wanting to better yourself and improve your skill set to get you into to work. It's so bizarre to me that even wanting to gain more qualification is met with a firm no.

After mulling all this stuff over this evening I have decided against going on Universal Credit. I have worked my arse off for years, I've had a job when I can for as long as I can remember, part of me hates myself for having no money and bringing myself to this point, but the other part of me is just reminding me that so many others have to go through this process too. For this my love, strength and heart goes out to you as its a humiliating and soul sucking thing to go through. You feel like scum of the earth even though you are just a human trying to get by.

This is just my two cents, if anyone has been through this process I'd love to hear your thoughts below. This isn't the 'prettiest' of posts but its an important part of my life's narrative that I wanted to share, be kind.

Shiana xo

p.s sorry for the awful stock photo, its just hard to take an arty nice blog photo that represents such a subject!

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