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Thoughts on Yesterday

I spent the rest of yesterday reeling. I couldn't really focus on anything else and went to bed pretty tired. It's like the colours changed; the rest of the day just seems different because of some fundamental change in the settings of reality. That's how my mind processed it, if that makes any sense.
I woke up this morning with issues still unresolved. I'm not sure what to do come Friday. In fact I'm not even sure the buses are going to be up to the job (and I don't want to spend Christmas in the jobcentre!) as the main road is closed for that day. I was and still am thinking of phoning in sick, but I bet saying this here and now makes that look even less credible. I told the psychologist this yesterday, she gave no response. However it's not entirely fake: I really really can't deal with that place at the moment. Perhaps being sick of the jobcentre is reason enough!
Thing is, in any normal workplace people would down tools if they had to deal with the system that the jobcentre foists on people just for being out of work. I could claim this as holiday time as apparently one is allowed two weeks, per year, on holiday. But that requires you fill in a form that demands, again apparently, a contact number. If I give my home number it's not going to look like much of a holiday and they'll think I could just as well attend (though I don't see what's so wrong with taking a holiday at home).
The system is just so monolithic, inflexible and bureaucratic that it just cannot help people - and that's assuming that's it's purpose. Certainly under the Tories it isn't. I have a telephone appointment with my GP this afternoon, hopefully he can help arrange for the psychologist to see me at the surgery and conduct her cognitive tests, as was agreed yesterday. Whether he will be sympathetic or whether he, like the populist view, regard me as a self pitying scrounger is 50/50. I iknow he won't be open to writing a 'fit' note, at least that's the safe assumption.
Even if he did, I'd then have the rigmarole of signing off and haviong to subsist on a fortnight's worth of JSA while the claim is being processed, and, by the time it's resolved, the claim will likely have ended. There's no way he'll write a note for a long period of time, longer than say a month. That's fair enough I suppose.
It just highlights the rigidity of the system: how it simply cannot address real people's issues. There's no legitimate way for someone to contact the JC and negotiate a simple break, even on health grounds, without some effort. Even if I do ring up Friday morning and say I'm unwell, it will be more form filling. My money is meant to go through tomorrow to clear next Wednesday (the normal date) and is there any guarantee they won't think, after I ring up, 'right, screw that' and cancel or recall the payment. I wouldn't put anything past these people.
What I'm saying is that the system is just so far from being fit for its purpose that some of us are just left with ridiculous choices to make. After all how many employers are going to be hiring at this time of the year (I'm sure there are some - just to appease the right wingers out there!)? But the lack of support - the TOTAL lack thereof - is staggering. I still don't even know why I was sent to see the psychologist yesterday. I suspect that what the adviser was thinking she would achieve is actually very different to what the psychologist herself agrees is her function or purpose. While I'm happy for any diagnosis she might be able to offer or even any proper help she can offer, I'm willing to bet, pounds to pence, that she can't really do anything. In which case, what's the point? There is just no help, whatsoever. Why else do I blog, dear reader?


  1. We the "Great unwashed", are discriminated against on a regular basis, we are told we are all dole scroungers, we all are criminals, we are all lazy.

    The people at the job centre don't understand what its like. I really wish all these people will lose their jobs and try to survive on the dole. The whole system is messed up beyond fixing, they add more things and more and more.. rather than start again. I have osteo arthritis of both ankles, constant pain, pain pills taken every day.. yet my doctor doesnt believe in people being "sick", Because of this the job centre doesnt "know" about the problems, so when i say i cant walk a mile they say theres no proof of it so you must be able to walk. I have shown them the pills the prescription, but apparently i must be lying. I dont want to be off sick i want to work, i need to work. But i am stuck between the healthy enough to work, and employers saying i am too ill to be hired. (but when i say that they say well we have a disabled person working here.. but they are there because they are disabled and they can be pointed out see we have a disabled person here thats the only reason i think).

  2. The sad reality is that the system relies on 'print' diagnoses and the official recognition of conditions. Then it criticises people for getting them for being lazy. Doctors don't understand the benefits system and, i believe, don't want to get involved. They think that signing someone off is condemning them to a life on benefits. But that's better than a life on nothing. They think that sanctioning a diagnosis is 'giving in' to your problems and that all you need is a bit of elbow grease and gumption. It's simplistic stiff upper lip bullshit partly inspired by the silly reality tv shows we have. It's also an excuse to just leave people with no support whatsoever, because support has become a dirty word.

  3. Ghost Whistler, you need to see a different GP. Is there another GP within the surgery you could see? Or even another practice local to you? Some practices have websites where they list the professional interests of each GP. Your current one sounds neglectful of any duty of care to you.


  4. I would hesitate to label him as neglectful, however GP's aren't really specialists and certainly not knowledgeable of the nature of life on the benefits system. They, perhaps understandably, don't get it and take a simplistic view along with the mainstream media, though perhaps somewhat less rabidly. He's hesitant to sign me off becuase he thinks that would consign me to a life of inadequacy. Unfortunately he doesn't see the alternative as either struggling with JSA and increasing likelihood of sanction (unless a job turns up of course) or destitution. I've had it said to me that 'of course they won't leave you penniless'. Naivete born of ignorance of the system. Sadly changing GP won't make much of a difference (and the local surgery is partnered with the nearest other so it's the same doctors), and in my experience they don't care for people chopping and changing; some think you are manipulating the experience to get the outcome you want.

  5. I think some GPs need educating as to the reality of how the benefits system affects an individual and in a ten minute appontment slot you are going to struggle. Any GP who spews out platitudes such as 'of course they won't leave you penniless' is clearly oblivious to the reality of the system and neglecting to listen to their patient. There's an advocacy service called 'Friend'. They might be worth contacting to ask for advice on how to get the help you need. There should be no undue weight given to seeing another GP within the surgery or partnership practice, plenty of people swap between GPs according to the interest of the GP. If you need help, you need help and should not be deterred from seeking help.


  6. The problem is that it's difficult to convince GP's once their minds are made up. The relationship isn't on equal footing. With such a small amount of time to have an appointment you just aren't given the opportunity to explain things properly and they make their minds up very quick.
    I know of Friend, but they are difficult to get to where I live and of course I would have to convince them enough for them to serve as advocates. I can't see that happening. Support for rural communities is non existent.


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