Category Archives: benefits recipient

To Hell With Your Experience Cut Off

Originally Posted on “Rages and Random Thoughts” (my personal blog on that site) on Quora.

Well, blast, bugger, damn and as many expletives as you can think of or muster.

I’ve mentioned, somewhere, that I’m a member of the UK Green Party – it’s the only political party I’m a member of – and while there are some policies that personally I think should be revisited on the grounds of “lets actually use information on technology used in this decade and not 40 years ago – because being informed is never a bad thing”- I’m still rather dedicated to a good deal of it’s policies.

I’m also staring Job Seekers in the face when my son turns 5 next year and I am DREADING it – I’m truly, to the centre of my soul and heart – terrified. I have to be able to have some energy for taking care of my son, and doing all the normal things you have to do in a day takes up quite a lot of “spoons” for me (sapped out of me by my autism and depression). I have been to work before – I worked in a dry cleaners and what happened was that I would come home, every evening, and be so exhausted I just fell asleep (generally on the sofa) and couldn’t move until waking up in the early hours of the morning so I could do it all over again. There was literally not a scrap of extra energy for anything at all like house work in me. Some days there wasn’t even enough for getting food.

The thought of having to try and do that while I have a child to take care of stresses my mind beyond all reason. It keeps me up at night- it causes me to break down in tears at random, I’ve even had the shakes (convulsive panic attacks that I had a good deal as a teen) brought on from it.

What is even worse than that is going to the job centre every two weeks, sitting in a crowded building, (while having to wait while standing up which hurts my legs because I have intermittent issues with my knees), sitting across from an “adviser” (who proceeds to type one finger at a time in a fashion that just makes my touch-typing fingers itch uncomfortably), having to fill in a diary and show it to them proving I’m looking for work…

Work that either I WON’T be suitable for (physically, mentally, emotionally – or without putting myself and my son at risk; which I’m not allowed to apply for), or doesn’t exist – or isn’t for someone with my lack of experience/qualifications (which again I’m not allowed to apply for – as it invalidates the process and can get me sanctioned).

I specifically – if I’m going to manage at all – need a job working from home. I’ve tried an environment where I’m around people closely or requires some sort of day-to-day, face-to-face interaction, as well as a walk/commute – and I cannot balance it and my REQUIRED home life (of house work and doing all those things with Kai that I need to do to make sure he’s happy, well rounded and fed).

I know this. I’m not talking out of my ass. I’m not work shy. I WANT to work – I DESPERATELY want to work and have a decent job or non-benefit income. I spend my life feeling utterly and inexcusably pathetic, stupid and worthless for being on benefits. Stressing week to week about how I can juggle everything to afford all my bills and what little pieces of life require money but make life even vaguely tolerable. There’s not a week or even two days that pass by without me reading, seeing or hearing about how awful, terrible and worthless scum I and others like me are for being on benefits – these drains on the poor tax payers.

There have been some points, within the past 4 years, when this stress, fear and feelings from being on benefits and the utter hopeless feeling of trying to get a job I can actually do in this job market – has brought me to the brink where the only thing stopping me from slitting my wrists is the fact that I don’t want to do that to my son and mother.

Excuse me a minute I need to stop crying so I can see the screen properly.

I will do anything – ANYTHING – that I can, and will get me in a job from home that will pay all my bills, rent, council tax and allow my son and I to be truly independent from the state.

Recently in the Green Party Newsletter they had an opening for an admin assistant. One that could be done from home, and even advertised that it would either be from London OR if possible – from home.

Admin Assistant – That’s PERFECT for me. It plays to all my skills that I’ve built up over the years. What skills are necessary that I have not refindly polished entirely my grandmother and mother are both trained in and COULD help me/teach me to a high standard.

I did the work experience in school as an admin assistant at a small consultancy firm when I was 13. I got all A’s on my sheet, I was the FIRST assistant they had who had done the filing they gave me both properly, without supervision AND taken OUT the personal files that were just the boss’ and not the company’s and thus shouldn’t have been in those papers – and I walked away from my two weeks… with two job offers from them (unfortunately there was an issue with one of their other employees not being able to get a background check to work with a minor long term – so those fell through).

But when I saw it – I couldn’t believe it.

3 days a week, from home, my DREAM “I’m-fully-capable-of-doing-this-I-am-the-shit-at-this!” job for £20-25,000 a year…

And it requires 5 years of experience in this role, experience in Green Party local or regional functions, experience of managing volunteers – and they desire quite strongly a university degree.

I was shattered. Angry, upset, broken and it just made me break down into tears all over again as if I was right there -staring at a Job Seekers adviser and having to explain why I will continue to be worthless scum for yet another two weeks, praying to all the gods and goddesses that will listen that they don’t sanction my benefits and leave me and my son starving.

It was like I was back to being a teenager when I would get an application form for a shop assistant job and discover the form stating that I absolutely MUST be in work already and under no circumstances would they accept applicants who were out of work. Desperately scrabbling to get some sort of experience under my belt, anything – anything at all – that would get me into the job market.

If I’d of had ice cream in my apartment this afternoon and not been in such desperate need of a grocery shop – it would have been all gone by the morning after this.

Unlike my not-partner Link, I’m just not comfortable applying for this job on the “it doesn’t hurt” basis. I know that they will reject my application out of hand. I know that I don’t have two referees to point people to (since the company I last worked for as any sort of long term employee – bit the dust 5 years ago). I also know that employers are often MORE firm about their requirements when they say “the successful applicant WILL have” – and will not be swayed by my sob story. It’s a given that there are people out there in the Green Party who have all  – if not a massive majority over me – the skills that they are looking for to fulfill this position who are jumping at the opportunity.

So – if you don’t mind -I’m just going to sit here, cry, feel shattered and worthless and get more and more pissed off at my phone company for having a bad net connection they’ve not fixed on my line which means I can’t entertain myself with Netflix.



Filed under benefits recipient, human, jobs, personal, politics