I’ve found a clear correlation between my money worries and my hatred for my noisy neighbour.
Yesterday money owed to me was paid into an account I no longer use: I can’t use it because the overdraft is higher than Greece’s national debt. I then found that fees were charged for unpaid direct debits: so effectively punished for not having money to pay a direct debit by being charged another £30. When you consider that I get £67.50 per week to live on you might see how a £30 bank charge would floor me.
I’ve just checked and I can’t afford to go bankrupt. It costs £700 to declare you’re brassic.
People will, of course, say I should get freelance work or find some other job, any other job.
I have two degrees and much experience and I’m applying for many jobs every week: jobs are few and far between.
Competition is tough, travel to interviews costs money I don’t have and there is literally only so much one can do. Job Centre Plus is satisfied with my attempts to find work and they’re not easy to please, I tell you. They also recognise that there are many jobs for which I am completely over-qualified.
Also, a lot of time is also spent writing to creditors. As Willem de Kooning said, “The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time”.
The unemployed are not lazy, we don’t lack intelligence or resourcefulness – we lack access to paid jobs, using the skills we have. The unemployed are not ill-equipped, lacking in experience or qualifications – we’re anyone who loses their job and struggles to find another. With the credit crisis continuing – we are many they are few.
Upshot: I’ve less than £18 to last me ten days and I hate my neighbour. I had thought I was ok this giro. I’d even planned on a take away. Imagine! The glamour would probably be more than I could stand, anyway, so I’ll stick to my staple sardine curry. Don’t grimace – it’s actually quite nice.
I’m not sure I’d noticed for a day or two, despite her high-pitched, high-volume squeal and an accent that veers between Geordie and Irish. Now her voice is grating on my nerves: not so much nails down a blackboard as teeth scraping against a polystyrene cup. I find myself lying on the settee listening to her conversations which centre on Facebook, weddings and random squeals.
“Go away! Yah! Go away! I’m trying to check me Facebook. It’s Gina’s wedding pictures. Look. LOOK! Haaaa! Look at you. Look at me. Look at that.”
She screams this at who I think is her boyfriend: he has an annoying habit of tapping. I don’t know if it’s his foot or something against the wall but it tap, tap, taps until I tap back. I say “tap back”, I broke my remote slamming it against the wall but he stopped tapping. Then I heard the familiar squeals of what seem to be sexual delight … mind you, I probably sounded similar when I had that Choux bun the other day.
I worry I’m losing the fight: becoming the sort of neighbour who moans about doors closing or guests arriving too late or music playing too loudly. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be irritated by the slightest thing because I have constant calculations going on in my head about how much food I can eat, if I have bus fare to go to sign on, if Chaplin is running out of cat biscuits (I tell you, it’s like dealing with a crack addict if we run out).
It’s not my neighbour’s fault that I am unemployed or that she has an irritating inability to control the volume of her own mouth.
Amount of money I have in my purse: 88p
Amount of money I have in total: £17.88
Amount I thought I had: £47.88