It's a bit of a different one today, a bit more of a personal one. One that right now, I'm not even sure I will publish, but one I feel I want to write.
Now as far as I can tell the BBC had a program about benefits on last night, and where as I didn't see the actual program, I did see the hashtags flying around on Twitter, and stupidly thought I'd have a look. Some tweets were much nicer than expected, others were exactly what I expected. Vile & dripping with hate.
Hate, that even though is aimed at no one particular, I feel is aimed at me. Because ladies, I am currently unemployed.
Unemployed, what a dirty sounding word that one is. A word that is bounded around by magazines & newspapers as a term for those who just don't feel like working. Those who don't fancy it.
Everyone has read a story about how someone, somewhere, who has 5 billion children, lives in a mansion, has a horse, has 10 cars, goes on a hundred holidays a year and still has money left over to kit themselves out in the latest clothes. But personally, having worked in social housing previously, have never met nor heard anyone I know that knows someone like that. These people, are beyond a minority, less than half a percent. The average person claiming job seekers will receive around £50 a week, or £7.14 a day, for food, clothes, but mainly bills.
If the average person on benefits is also receiving housing benefits, this figure will be higher, but this is not walking around money, it is to pay rent, and having worked in this setting before I know all to well that often the amount of money received in housing benefits will not cover the entire of their rent, and even if its by as little as a few pounds, it will have to come out of the aforementioned jobseekers allowance, or JSA. Leaving not all too much for food, necessities, and bills.
Every single person I know, including myself, spouts the same 5 words over and over again, "I Just Want A Job" and that isn't some catch phrase. It's the truth. No little girl or boy has ever uttered "When I grow up I want to be on the dole!" because being unemployed, is no ones dream. The realities for people struggling to find work are a hundred miles away from any far fetched, one off story.
I can tell you my whole day from start to finish. I wake up, I sit in my front room, I eat some lunch, , I check what jobs have come up over night, I eat some dinner, I go to bed & lie awake worrying about money. It's funny that magazines never print this sort of story. If your really interested in the specifics of my situation, I currently do not receive JSA, I get a small amount of housing benefits as my boyfriend has a student loan & a part time job. I can promise you I don't even have a horse or a mansion, not even one.
But what I fail to understand is the lack of compassion. Scrolling through the hashtags on twitter, the most vile, most hateful tweets seemed to come for girls of around the 16 mark, which is hardly surprising, but at the same time I found it slightly amusing that someone who has never paid tax has such high strung opinions.
I wouldn't wish being unemployed on my worst enemy, but in these fragile times its not always possible to know if or when jobs might be lost. A few years a go I had a job I loved, in a team I loved, doing something I loved, all for crap money but that didn't matter. I worked my socks off, and even though I was on a 6 month probation period, I had every confidence that I would be offered permanent employment. Days before I was due to be made permanent, the new government was elected, the budget was instantly slashed, and I was not offered employment. The following Monday the entire team, all 13 of them, were told that they were being let go, and by Friday they were packing up their desks. Some of them not far off retirement, most had worked their more than 10 years, and one had worked their for over 30 years. No one saw it coming. But that is just how quickly it can change. Secure one weekend, unemployed the next. So if that was to happen to you, would you not be happy that we live in a country that offers a security net, should things not work out?
I was someone who always worked, and at the tender age of 13 had a job, and when I was bored of that job I went and got another. I loved having my own money, even if I had to work some particularly crap jobs, like working in McDonalds even though I'm a vegetarian!
Being unemployed is a particularly soul crushing time. Job rejection after rejection, spending hours applying for a job only to never hear back, it can be hard to keep your head above water. Myself & someone else I know who is currently seeking employment were recently talking, and during a 10 minute conversation we must of said "When I have a job" or "When I've got some work" at least 20 times. It all comes back to wanting to work, and I'd go even further than that to say desperate to work. I'd do any job, any hours, any amount of money to feel like I could finally hold my head high, look someone square in the eye when I'm asked the "So what do you do?" question & say I do X, rather than squirming around trying to nicely word "I'm unemployed, broke and feel worthless".
Don't get me wrong here, this isn't meant as a rant, just me sharing my thoughts on what can be a highly controversial subject. It's a hard one to fully understand unless you've been their yourself, and I'll fully admit that until I had dealt with it myself. But I still maintain that I have no idea who these magical people are who live a champagne lifestyle on benefits, as currently, Lambrini would be a stretch. I know eventually I will find a job, and if your in a similar situation you will too, but I know how hard it is to stay optimistic.
So that's all I have to say ladies, I promise I will be back to my usual beauty blogging self very soon, and I don't think this will offend anyone, but if it does, sorry.