I’ve been giving serious thought to whether I should write this or not but have decided it would be doing other people in my position a disservice not to do it.
I have been struggling with employment recently having been in full time work for the last 6 years. I had worked solidly for 14 months prior to that as well so have not been out of work for almost 8 years.
I made the recent decision on the advice of my therapist to start to claim job seekers allowance. It has not been an easy decision to make and I have wrestled with it for over a fortnight. It does not make me feel good. In the past 2 months I have applied for over 60 jobs and had 4 interviews.
Before I continue I just wanted to talk a little bit about welfare in this country and abroad. I know it’s a hard thing for some people to come to terms with but the reality is that sometimes people like myself need support. I have not been in a good way mentally for the last few months and try as I might I can’t seem to just “pull myself together”. I am actively seeking work however in an area that has high unemployment.
It is easy to point the finger at people and suggest they are scrounging or lazy. When we have never known poverty or hardship then sitting there and discussing these people as though they are beneath us or not one of us is so simplistic. The reality is that at some point in a person life for no reason or fault of their own doing some people need support.
Over the next few weeks and (hopefully not) months I will share my experiences of dealing with the DWP. So far it has been truly shocking and I would defy people who sit in judgement to not be disturbed by some of what is going on in our names.
We have gone from a caring society to one of distrust and threats. We have put politics into the civil service, a place that usually should remain politically neutral. Worst of all though it has made someone like me, who genuinely wants to work, cry in an office of government with uncaring questions and endless forms of even more pointless questions.
Being unemployed in the UK today is not easy and someone has to bring that message to the attention of the general public.