I’ve had a few days of being irritated by people. I’ve been insulted, clumsily manipulated, harassed and woken by early morning vacuuming. Not all of this took place at Jobcentre Plus. I decided to shut my front door, to ignore the human race for a while, which isn’t a luxury one has when working.
This got me thinking about the “up side” of unemployment. We all know the things we lose when we lose our jobs: a social life; ready access to heating and hot water; luxury food items; basic food items; a car; for some, a home; new clothes; buying anything frivolous at all; regular contact with other human beings; our self-respect whenever entering a Jobcentre Plus … I could go on.
But, in a desperate attempt to be optimistic and positive, I thought very hard and found ten relatively good things about being unemployed:
- Being able to lie-in most days
- Not having a nagging boss
- Not having to stand at bus stops in cold weather or sit in rush hour traffic
- Pets getting our company all day (although we should ask Chaplin his opinion of this)
- Not having to rush an over-priced sandwich and coffee for lunch
- Not having to be involved in office politics
- Afternoon naps don’t have to be taken in the toilet
- All day access to social networking
- Going to bed at any time because there’s no set time to get up
- You get better at handling rejection
As many more public and private sector jobs in journalism face the axe – with austerity measures enforced or companies seeking to make bigger profits – many more journalists will be joining me at Jobcentre Plus.
So, many more will be seeking the positives of having their livelihood taken away through no fault of their own.
While this is, of course, horrific it could make the British public realise the essential work journalists do in investigating corruption, in scrutinising local councils and other organisations, in holding the police to account, in reporting on injustice – because this is what has and will be lost with repeated savage cuts.
It could make us re-evaluate our roles, consider our relationship with the mainstream media, perhaps offering a chance to report on what we want rather than what we are told sells newspapers and magazines.
It could also bring us many opportunities to join picket lines, meeting fellow journalists from all walks of life.
Every cloud, eh?
Plans for today: To apply for financial assistance from my energy company to pay my gas meter debt, to write to all creditors telling them what’s what … and to try not be irritated by those who might steal Chaplin