Monday 12 September 2016

Zero hours contract

I have a zero hours contract with the local council. It's not ideal, as, along with a team of other workers, we are offered very little work. However, it has been so good for me. I got the contract on completion of a course with the council on promoting healthy eating. It meant that I was able to earn money for the first time in seven years - breaking my stay-at-home status. It raised my confidence which was so low after being out of work for so long. I could choose which courses I wanted to do, picking ones that were within school hours. It enabled me to meet people in my community and to find out a lot more about the challenges the country faces in tackling obesity. 
I was lucky, I didn't fully rely on the contract and most importantly it was non-exclusive - I was able to work at other jobs too. 
I loathe the zero hours, exclusive contracts that treat people as a commodity and hope that the government will do something about them. But as with all things currently, I have very little faith that the government will do anything about it.

Wednesday 7 September 2016

5 words I hate just now

Where are you working now?

Hated because I am not working. Hated because I don't feel I'm a full member of society. Hated because I'm not earning money which makes me feel more independent.

Hated because I've been waiting for a qualification to be updated so I can continue on learning. Hoping this will lead to a new job but reading regularly how those over 50 have some of the highest rates of unemployment in the country.

It's making me antsy. It's boring being out of work especially when the kiddo is at school.  But I'm thankful that I got to spend time with her this summer since the last two have been a manic juggling act of clubs, reliance on granny and Mr P.M. taking time off at a different time to me.
I've been thankful that I was able to spend some time in London with my dad / take some pressure off my brothers albeit for a very short time.

Feeling depressed and telling Mr P.M. that "I've not had a good day" - but getting no help. He can't help - he's working, he's happy, he thinks life is just dandy.

Feeling depressed as the gin looks rather appealing now. But with alcoholism in the family, that's not a route I'm going down.

Feeling utterly disgusted with myself as I had a job but I blew it. Was not the right job but I should have just sucked it up.

I know I will work again. I had a few days work over summer teaching in a kids' camp which was absolutely brilliant. And I'm studying again (yippee for books).

I am not working now.

Please don't ask me again as you can tell, it's affecting my mental well being but really you aren't allowed to talk about that in case a potential employer sees.

Friday 22 April 2016

Nothing compares to you.

Death has been very much on my mind of late. Partly due to the calls I get from Social Services in London about Dad (they are idiots who have been told time and time again that I live over 500 miles away and should, in the first instance, contact my brothers). Partly as I am getting close to the age my Mum was when she died. It's an odd sensation every time I look at her picture where she never ages, whereas my reflection in the mirror is lined and grayer.

Partly because a dear old colleague recently told us that he has pancreatic cancer and is unlikely to last the year. That was a shocker out of the blue.

And then there are the celebrities who are dying. This year has been relentless and we are only into April. Now I didn't know them personally. Their deaths have not hit me in the same way as that of a family member or friend. But the grief is still real because it is grief for what was and can never be again. Some of the ones that have passed this year formed the backdrop to my life growing up - they were the soundtrack to my lifelong love of music and comedy. I defy anyone to claim that The Ballad of Barry and Freda is not some of the finest songwriting there is. Or that hearing the latest Bowie release was not thrilling. We won't get that again.

And as they pass, I find myself increasingly in a world that is just memories. The artists of today cannot measure up to these.

In 1988 I was very lucky to go to Wembley stadium to see Michael Jackson perform. It was a great concert. But a month later I saw Prince at Wembley Arena and I was blown away. I've been wearing purple ever since.