Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Being unemployed can be a strange experience for somebody who isn't used to it for many reasons. The task of job searching is difficult enough, but what about the things people don't hear about?

Firstly, there is suddenly all this time you have with no real way of filling it. You'll find that little tasks take longer, just to pad out some of the extra time. When making a to do list you'll put things on it like 'eat lunch', 'take tablets', or 'make a to do list', just so you can tick more things off your list and feel like you have achieved so much more than you actually have. There's also the horror that is day time television. Perhaps the Jobcentre should starting giving out advice leaflets on how to avoid The Jeremy Kyle Show or repeats of Friends.

Secondly, you'll feel like you've lost some of your identity. People often ask questions such as 'what do you do?' and there is always a slight embarrassment that comes with the answer 'nothing'. Of course, the answer 'nothing' isn't enough. You then feel like you have to explain this answer by telling them you entire work history for the last two years, and the reason you have for not currently working. To be honest, this social necessity can be pretty exhausting for the unemployed (although when you don't work you're not used to doing much anyway).

Thirdly there's the Jobcentre. The place where souls go to die. There you will be nothing but a number and be treated like some alcoholic, drug taking loser. They don't listen to your circumstances and they don't treat you like a real person either. Not only that, they rarely help you find a job. I'm not really sure what the point of them is.

So maybe you should show a little sympathy for the unemployed. Not all of them of course. Some people don't want to work. I should change it to 'maybe you should show a little sympathy for the unemployed people who want to work and are willing to get off their backsides and to do their part to earn a living'.

It's not always easy for us.

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