Category: Unemployment

Finding a job in IT

I left university back in 1992 with an honours degree, perhaps not the best degree ever issued, but it was a degree in computing, and added to my A and O levels, I thought it’d stand me well for a lifetime career. I had used computers at home as a hobby, and enjoyed writing code and getting the various peripherals communicating. I’d started the degree knowing that there was a lot of money in IT. My job was going to be fun, and it would pay well too. Or so I thought. (more…)

My first Christmas present of 2013

This Friday, I got a brown envelope in the post. I saw it while I was on the way out (shopping I think but I don’t remember) and so I didn’t get to open it until I got home. It was from the DWP† regarding my benefits, and said roughly that they were stopping all my payments because I hadn’t returned a form they “sent me” fast enough, and that I would not be permitted to appeal this decision. Now, it goes without saying that no such form was sent to me. (more…)

Coffee and coding

There is always something truly special about that first coffee of the morning, and one of the few – and they are few – benefits of unemployment is to be able to enjoy it from my bed. It doesn’t quite make up for a day without work (or, if I am to be completely truthful, without pay – the work is just a means to an end), but it does mean at least that the day starts more pleasantly. Today is no different and I get to sign on at lunchtime.
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Tuesday Blues

It’s signing on day today, which means that I have to set aside my search for employment in order to spend the morning documenting what I’ve been doing to find work. This will then be followed by a bus journey of 30-40 minutes each way, a queue in the job centre of maybe another 15-20 minutes, in order to wave some paper in front of the adviser, sign and date a form and leave. (more…)

Catching up…

It’s been a while since I wrote anything here so I suppose an update is well overdue. I had meant to write a few things last week, but for one reason or another, things started to get on top of me and blogging drifted slowly to the bottom of the list. Never a good thing really. Even so, it’s no excuse for absence. (more…)

Well, wasn’t that fun?

I was up with the lark this morning, or possibly even before it since Louise woke me, so that I’d be ready for this training course that Reed had organised. I got up, made coffee, showered, dressed and made-up by about 8:00. I looked good too, I think, and was out of the door by 8:30 to catch the 253 northbound. As I reached the bus stop, I notices the “Stop not in use” sign, and turned to go to the next nearest stop, to see the bus drift slowly past me. At least it wasn’t raining. (more…)

A not-so-great depression

So it was quite a low weekend, which was nobody’s fault. I think Louise spent more effort on trying to cheer me up and keep me entertained than she has in a long time, but without I am afraid, a lot of success. Such it is when depression hits me. Motivation was on holiday or something; nothing was entertaining enough, I was bored, was sick of everything and couldn’t find anything that I wanted to do. Neither movies nor games helped, nor even the nice lunch we had on Sunday. (more…)

Thanks for the upgrade!

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Screenshot

Tonight, while out at an Ingress event, I finally made Level 8! I wasn’t certain I’d do it, to be blunt. Recently, getting a GPS lock has been a real chore, with the scanner showing me moving while still and locked solidly in place while moving.  Added to this were the fact that I have spent about a fortnight with no in-game weapons and the inability to get more was making it look tough. And then, a most kind-hearted smurf called zedalphus blew up one of our portals not 40 metres from where I stood shivering in a bus shelter, allowing me to re-capture it and get my new level. Since this is about my most public channel, I’d like to thank zedalphus publicly here for his sterling work on behalf of the Enlightened. He (or she) has a truly green heart and should be granted Honorary Enlightened status.

As an aside, Agent GeekyLou was also able to get a new level and is (I believe), our newest level 7 agent at this time.

A fun evening was had by all, including at the Pizza Express where the food was wonderful, though not as spicy as I was hoping for, and the service was entertaining to say the least. (more…)

Life as a benefit scrounger…

So this weekend I got a letter in the post from Reed. It’s one of those “invitations” one sometimes gets when on the Work Programme – a laughable description, to make one more employable. In any case, I am invited to attend at 10:00 on Tuesday (tomorrow) for an induction, and by the way it’s mandatory and if I don’t attend then I can be sanctioned and lose benefits. Of course, what’s not said is that since I have to sign-on tomorrow morning at 11:40 which is also mandatory, then I cannot possibly attend both and can be sanctioned anyway. That said, I only get £67 a week to live on, so once I pay to get to their mandatory interviews, there’s not a lot left – I used to have savings from when I worked. (more…)