Encouragement or punishment? Unemployment.

by sharongooner

I am angry about lots of stuff at the moment, but I’m mostly angry about unemployment and the utter hypocrisy of the rules and regulations surrounding “Job Seekers Allowance”. So I will talk about that.

I am a month into being officially unemployed. I am grateful for any help I can get, I am fully up to date with all the assistance that is available, and search and apply for jobs rigorously all week, day and night. If the circumstances were different and I had not made myself unemployed I would have a leg to stand on, but I haven’t. I resigned for my health, for personal reasons, and I don’t regret it. I hate what happened to me and I hate that it put an end to a 21 year long career that I actually enjoyed, but that’s in the past and there is nothing I can do about it now.

My advisor at the job centre has been fantastic, she has given me some good pointers, and information, and is satisfied with the proof that I have shown her of what I have been doing to find employment. As much as I would love an office job again one day, I have applied to clean ambulances for £12,000 a year, a car park attendant for £6.08 an hour, and if you follow me on twitter you will know that I applied for McDonald’s and DID NOT GET THE JOB.

Demoralising, yes. Surprising, no. I am old and to be honest it’s quite what I have come to expect after these last few weeks. People don’t even acknowledge that they have received your CV, you don’t even know if it gets read. If I at least get an interview out of any of this I will be amazed. It’s as if you do all the work and NOTHING HAPPENS. If after so many weeks I am still unemployed, I may be forced to do certain forfeits government initiative based schemes, like work for nothing other than the £67 a week JSA. That’s fine, as long as I have input into what I am expected to do, and I’m not being used to boost companies profits for nothing. See this article from November. Young people working 30+ hours a week for Tesco, Poundland, and then threatened that if they leave their benefits will be removed.



It is far from perfect. It’s fucking crap. Today a friend of mine, a young girl who should be wide-eyed  and optimistic about her future in the world, used her initiative and found herself an internship with a company that SHE chose to work for free, because it would be beneficial to her and them, and give her something to do.

The job centre have told her she may lose her benefits if she does it. Their reasons? Because she is not available to seek work/or work whilst she does the internship. Now when I put two and two together, how is that any different to the people in that article above? They are no more available/unavailable than my friend.

I get the feeling that as the company she has expressed a wish to work for are not Tesco, and not in the governments pockets, there is nothing in it for them, so nobody really gives a shit.

She was so excited when she had the interview and was offered the position, even if it meant only getting her JSA, she felt like she was finally entering the world of employment and doing something worthwhile. Today she is upset and confused as to why she is being penalised for trying to better herself.  A whole generation are going to grow up wondering why they should bother doing anything.


What it is, is not bloody fair.