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Rant on a (rather large) postcard!

There are two problems with being away from this place (my parents house):
- 1st is that I don't have very good internet access, so I don't do email retrieval in my normal offline mail client (Outlook Express cos it handles HTTP mail for my hotmail), I just read everything online... that's 2 hotmail accounts (one reasonably busy) and a POP3 account that gets a fair bit of stuff sent to it... Then there's all the IMAP mail accounts that I've got on the charity and the business... those I don't even tend to get into... alright, most of it's just junk and the rest is notifications from CRON about things running, but it builds up... I now have over a thousand email to download...
- 2nd is that I get used to not being here... and it *sux* coming back... I can't *stand* this place... and my parents aren't even *here* at the moment... I'm back for two weeks and they're away for those same two weeks... after that, I go back down South and they come back here...

So, what have I been up to for a month?



Well, i've been down staying with Anne'n'Chris. It's that time of year when the bristol and glastonbury Children's Festivals happen, so I've been helping out with those.. putting up inflatables, with some quite yukky weather around.. and some rather nummy sunshine too... very hard work... tired my out far too much... last year was *nowhere* like this hard, and I was doing more last year... we didn't have so much up this year for two reasons, the sites being busier with stalls and the weather... we don't put much up in gusty winds... these things are basically big kites, so they can really take off with the wind behind them... and it took it out of me *so* badly... really made me aware of how much being laid up in the spring has affected me physically.... two months of limited ability to do very much, which I *thought* I was over, turns out to have screwed me up far more than I thought...

I've also been working on websites for both the charity and the business... Air Creations has basically changed course entirely... the whole focus of the business has shifted at about right-angles... which means the kinda child-like website with the cartoony clouds and so-on is now really not upto the market we are targetting... so I get to start over, pretty much from scratch, trying to design a new look, right down to the logo... and from there, a new site... and I don't have the luxury of a lot of time either... The charity side, I now need to put up the Coral Reef website... which I'm almost certainly gonna build in Flash... 'course, I've never used Flash before, so this is a learning process... and I gotta learn *fast*... the launch of the charity is now set for the beginning of September... Oh, and we're going as Air Creations, with the charity having a stand in our area... so both sites need to be up for that time... *eeek*!!!!

And just to make life even better, when I got back on sunday night, I found out that I am apparently not ill enough to be able to get income support... atleast accoring to the DWP's doctor.... apparently not sleeping until ridiculously late (6am or so) then not being able to wake up until lunchtime doesn't qualify me for sleep affecting my ability to function.... and a few other rather wonderful things... so i now have no money coming in at all... i mean, why do I even bother trying to sort my head out? it seems entirely pointless if i get so far and then get thrown straight back into the mess that fucked me up again the last time around... cos, yep, they want me to go back onto JobSeekers Allowance... which means I'll go back to that wonderfully destructive environment that got me signed off sick the last time around...

I mean, yes, I can concentrate... *sometimes*. Yes, I can get up in the morning.. *sometimes*. Yes, I can be civil to people... *sometimes*. And so on

But there's the flipside of it to... I can't manage to get myself out of bed for more than four days in a row.. I *know* cos I tried... I did four children's festivals and then I was screwed for three days... not five and screwed for two, oh no, nothing a weekend could fix... I can only concentrate for short periods of time... I can manage an hour before I have to stop and have ten minutes off. Apparently that's enough... I only get a mark on the DWP's point system if I can't concentrate to read a magazine article. So if you can read a magazine article through, you can write code, design websites or manage systems? I don't *think* so... That's like saying that if you can read a Dennis The Menace cartoon strip, you can concentrate to drive a car....

Oh, and while we're at it, I don't dare do that for more than an hour at a go because I start to loose the plot... hell, this time last year I would drive 5 hours straight without thinking about it... now I'm screwing myself up so tight to concentrate and not make a mistake and end up in another accident that it's *exhausting*... damnit, I used to *enjoy* driving... now it's something I do out of necessity.

Yes, I am doing stuff that you would expect of someone in a job... the difficulty in seeing *only* that, is that you miss the fact that I'm doing it in a way that is not consistent with anyone's idea of a working pattern.... I might write code for a few hours, with breaks, in the afternoons, then I'll watch TV for a couple of hours or read or just sit and stare into space... then I'll pull my head back together and write a bit more... There is no employer out there who is gonna be happy with me working for three hours, with a 15 minute break happening after an hour, then let me sod off somewhere to pull myself back together for two or three hours, to then come back and do the same... and even then, I don't think I'd've done a full working day...

I can't guarantee my mood... so a public-facing role is *not* a good idea... can you imagine a sales assistant turning around and telling you to fuck right off because you'd like to try the smaller size please? *hardly*... but it's quite likely to happen if *i* were the sale assistant... even with the medication, i still have mood swings... my emotions may not be as extreme, but they are still volatile... i just keep to myself and people don't tend to *see* them...

And I *know* myself well enough to know I'm not upto handling the stress... I can absolutely *guarantee* i'm not up to handling stress because i got totally derailled by trying to...

The software i was writing, the one that had the short deadline (i *think* i posted about that...) got cancelled about a week before Live Day.... I had worked my self into the ground to get it ready... still was doing when i got told not to bother... getting hit with that news threw me for about 3 weeks... and i mean *really* throw me. I did pretty much *nothing* for that time... I just watched mindless stuff on tv... stuff that doesn't require any concentration... and played Doom (again, not really a lot of braincells required to run around and shoot stuff)... i'd lie there at night for hours and hours trying to work out how i could've been so *stupid* as to trust this guy... and by morning i'd still be awake... then i'd spark out for a few hours at around 7 or 8am... then wake back up at 12, turn on tv and go into hypno-veggie mode for a few hours... maybe eat, maybe not... i didn't do anything really productive for quite a while...

And it's cos I got stressed over getting this thing written in time, then got hit with a lump of bad news... which stressed me even further and screwed me up... But even if he'd have wanted the code and it'd gone well, there is no way I could've come off the back of that and not been utterly screwed up... i was already in a mess when I got that news... it was only the deadline that i was focussing on to keep me going... after that, i hadn't got any focus... so it'd've been -poof!- deadline's done, software is installed, GAME OVER... *splat*!

while we're on stress... i'm not actually sure how i'm gonna get all this webby stuff done in time, and i'm starting to stress over it now... i didn't do anything yesterday after getting the benefits news... i've watched Doris Day on TV today and done very little else... I *somehow* have to work myself into working on this stuff... when i can't see any reason to bother with anything.

I'm *tired* of trying to fight myself... i'm tired of getting so far into sorting things out then getting kicked... and this time i'm being kicked because i'm trying to sort myself out... apparently the System doesn't want people to be happy, content, etc... they'd rather have them doped up on anti-depressents or banged up in hospital wards (which they don't have enough of as it *is*..)... surely it would be better to let someone sort themselves out so that they are happy enough with themselves that they'll be content in work, rather than pushing someone who's really *not* happy into the situation that made them unhappy and took them out of the jobsearching game in the first place?

And hell, atleast this way I wouldn't be on the unemployment register... which'd be one less number to worry about....

Mindyou, i seem to remember that the DWP's attitude is that an extra one or two on the annual number of suicides is better than one or two extra people claiming benefit...

Now, this little bit could get me into trouble... so this is just in case you decide to read it quickly, don't jump to the wrong conclusions about this statement... i'm not saying immigration is bad or asylum seekers or any such thing, i'm saying that the bias of the system is unfair...

Oh, and i was told this by someone who works in a benefits office, so it should be atleast *reasonably* accurate.

The benefits system is so afraid of bad press that certain immigrants and asylum seekers can basically have any and all benefits that are *conceivably* due to them... this basically happens if that immigrant or asylum seeker is from a country which is featuring in the press... other asylum seekers and immigrants (those not currently 'in fashion' so-to-speak) are tightly controlled (ie, they get checked on and the standard rules are followed). UK citizens are always in that second category... so this means that if you come from the right place, you can get a home, car, clothes, mobile phone, etc straight from the State... if you are *not* from those places, then you can expect to be quite tightly monitored.. since they've somehow gotta pay for all thos nice goodies they're giving out...

Course, there are other groups that aren't focussed on so tightly... i'm just using one group as an example of how media-oriented the Benefit system is...

I don't believe asylum seekers or immigrants to this country have any less of a right to State help than me... it just really *pisses* me off that there seems to be two sets of rules... and I'm getting squashed by them because I'm trying to fix myself.

Oh, and remember, atleast on paper, I'm an university-educated twenty-somethink white male from a reasonable background. I'm not from a poverty-struck location, my parents aren't exactly loaded, but they're doing ok, i have worked in the UK in the past and so I should be capable of doing so again...

Over 10 years of recurring depression and numerous attempts on my own life don't seem to count for much.

Oh, and to keep things simple, I decided not to make an issue of the whole transgender thing. Because I didn't want people to think I was playing that as a get-out card or something. I didn't want to muddy the waters.

Damnit, if your honest within this system, you get kicked. If you don't try to over-exagerate your case, you get kicked. And yet there are all these cases of Benefit Fraud that the government go on about that are costing however many millions of pounds and these people who are lying through their high-teeth to get anything and everything they *can* are still getting away with it. I can't even get 55.50gbp a week to live on.

That's all I want, 55.50... the basic benefit and a bit of time to sort myself out so that i don't go doodlally and try to kill myself again.

Is that unreasonable?

Oh, and before you assume that I am trying to commit fraud and am complaining out-of-hand, the software I was writing was being written on-spec... I did not have a contract, I did not get paid, I got fucked over.

If I had have been paid, then I would have declared the earnings and paid the NI on them... if I'd been paid *enough* (over about 1350 pounds (you don't pay tax on the first 4300-ish of your income and benefit is classed as taxable income, so you have to add up the potential total benefit for a year, knock that off the 4300 allowance and the remainder is about 1350quid)) then I would also have paid income tax on the earnings above that amount, as per the income tax system. When we come down to it, I'm not a dishonest person... which makes it all the more galling that I get so little back in return for being a good little citizen and not lying about my situation.

-sigh-

To summarise, I'm not a happy puppy atm... indeed, i'm a very *unhappy* puppy with not money, and not a lot of food either...............................................

Here Endeth The Rant!

Comments

( 1 Morsel — Spin A Cobweb )
(Anonymous)
23rd Sep, 2004 18:00 (UTC)
Life still as in the old days?
Hey J.

This is rather intresting to read cause I havent heared or read from you in a while.

Well "chear up" would be easy to say but for once I need to quote you. "Life SUCKS!"

TUC
( 1 Morsel — Spin A Cobweb )