Tuesday, March 20, 2007


as you may or may not know, i'm officially classed as a "disabled" person. (a discussion of that term is a whole other story, so i won't get into that just now!). over the past eight months or so i had been having some health issues which meant i was signed off from work, which along with some other factors means that i have taken the decision to close down my small business. i'm ok with this decision - i think it was definitely the right thing to do.
i'm now unemployed.
& unfortunately, along with unemployment comes applying for jobseeker's allowance (the UK equivalent of welfare/unemployment benefit). in theory, i should be entitled to claim it, considering that i have faithfully paid my national insurance contributions throughout my self-employment & all previous employment. in reality, i'm still waiting (almost a month after making my application) to hear whether or not i'm going to get any money. & although i haven't received anything yet, i'm still required to attend various interviews & sessions at the local jobcentre at which i get repeatedly interrogated as to why i'm unemployed.
it's my own fault, really - i present as being an articulate & intelligent (albeit slightly odd) person, & compared with some of the folk i've seen at the jobcentre.... well, i'll let you imagine. scary stuff. but, & if you will permit me to rant a little, this is where having an "invisible disability" is a huge hindrance (& not, it would appear, something that the jobcentre staff have any experience with). although it's recorded in my computer file at the jobcentre that i have a "disability" & therefore have some restrictions on the kind of work i can do, the staff seem to be unable to match up what they're reading with the person sitting opposite them. & since seeing is believing, since they can't see anything "wrong" with me, then i must be fine. & they continue to pressure me to apply for jobs that simply aren't suitable (& which would probably cause me to have some kind of nervous breakdown after about a week, & then i'd be unemployed again! & also crazy! hooray!!).
i'm not unemployable - i'm smart, hardworking, and (mostly) reliable. but equally, there are some things that i just can't do. i don't define myself by the things i can't do, but i know my limitations. & after another session at the jobcentre this afternoon, i'm exhausted.
for the rest of the day i will mostly be watching "harry potter", & knitting a sleeve:

it's the first sleeve for the "seamless hybrid" sweater from "knitting without tears" (elizabeth zimmerman, of course!) done, as the body was, with a contrasting hem facing (that's the green bit in the picture - it's still to be turned). brainless & soothing knitting to calm the nerves.
& as a reward for those of you who made it through the rant, here's a very happy dog on the beach (finally, a sunny day!).


Midsummer night's knitter said...

Hope the knitting has done its job and that you will feel rested and calm by the end of the afternoon.

sarai said...

My sympathies on the (un)employment situation. Waiting on the government regarding money is tiresome at best. On top of that, constantly being your own disability-awareness advocate to those who don't sound willing to hear... no wonder you are tired. Good luck!

Flavaknits said...

You poor thing! Buroo's (unemployment Benefit Offices) are the WORST places ever - most people without disabilities need to lie down in a darkened room for three days after the experience. Hope the knitting and rest helped .
The colours of your sock yarns are just beautiful - might need to raid the piggy bank soon:0)