This blog is a cop-out, I’m sorry to have to do this to you but I have been I’ll since Friday night and today is the first time I have actually felt well enough to concentrate on putting together a blog. So instead of a normal blog please except my apologies and some unconnected random thoughts.
1. I am fed up with being ill: I’m normally an upbeat person, but almost 2 years of (what they know know are) Gall Stones issues is starting to get me down. And for an added bonus on Friday night I had an attack (which for those that don’t know is intense pain caused by the stones shifting position) at the same time as some kind stomach bug I picked up. almost 48 hours of vomiting meant that for the next few days I felt like I had been run over by a truck. This has given me the added bonus of completely loosing my appetite, I literally have to force myself to eat at the moment.
Ah well guess all that weight I need to loose will come off real quick.
2. Job Centers: Being out of work means I have to legally “sign on” which means going down to the Job Center in town and prove I am looking for a job, remember the bar in Mos Isley? Thats a Job Center. A huge cess-pool of people who look like they have no intention of ever working again with maybe one or two people who are genuine cases sat in the corner wanting to get the whole thing over as soon as possible so they can get back to looking for work.
The process of proving you are looking for work is retarded. For example you can’t miss an appointment at the job center for anything not being I’ll (they will delay the payment until you come in) or even bizarrely a job interview. I kid you not I actually had to re arrange an interview yesterday so I could sign on, now that is just dumb right there.
But the the really dumb thing is the way you prove you are looking for work.
To prove you are entitled to Job seekers allowance (you own money by the way I’ll explain this in a second) you have to investigated 3 jobs in 2 weeks. Thats not even apply for them just have looked at three possible jobs you might want to do. Now I turned up for my first interview with a printout of my job hunting and applications on a spreadsheet. This was broken down into a daily list complete with the outcome of application I had made, which it turns out was overkill. And then we hit another problem, the Job Center staff don’t actually know what to do for someone who is actually looking for work, all they seem to be able to do is follow up on those that are just not bothering, basically the place is useless to me because I am already doing a hell of a lot more than I am legally required to and more than they are trained to offer me.
Which brings me to my second point.
I am entitled to something called Contributory allowance. Which (as I understand it) means that as my wife is working and I’m not medically unable to work all I receive is a percentage of the contributions I have paid to the government via National Insurance* over my working life. This is only valid until the money runs out which according to the letter in Jan 2011. So basically, like the name implies I have been paying into an insurance scheme for the last 12 years which will now cover me while I am out of work. This scheme give me a whopping £67 a week to live on, so a quick bit of maths tells me thats a total of £1072 of my own money I am going to get back.
Here is the thing, why not just give it all to me at once, it would save a hell of a lot of time and money on the governments part. Think about it, they give you a lump sum of your own money when you first apply, tell you thats all you are getting and leave you to it. It would cut down on admin, time and expenditure saving the tax payers millions. It would also mean I wouldn’t have to waste my time sitting in that office listing to idiots trying to tell me I should apply for a job as a cleaner.**
OK I know everyone’s case is different but I am willing to bet there is a bunch of people like me who don’t want to be out of work for long and just want to be left alone to get on with the business of finding a job. We are the people that are going to find a job sooner rather than later and we are the people you are not going to have to spend time cajoling into finding work. So just let us get on with it.
Anyway enough of my ramblings, I have work to find.
* we pay tax an NI on each pay slip we get in this country, it how they fund things like the heath service and jobless bums like me. It’s not cheap mind, I’ll give you an example, my last pay check shows I paid £101 that month in NI contribution, plus the Tax I also paid on my wages.
**That’s not to say I wouldn’t be a cleaner. If the situation got desperate enough I would take any job. But It was a retarded thing to suggest to someone who had his last pay packet less than a month ago and is not in a position to have to lower his expectations on the job front just yet.