You talk a load of drizzle, Jamie Oliver

Excuse me while I take off my pinny. I’ve been making artisan bread and some home-made pesto out of the leftover ice in my freezer.

Posh grub

Not affordable to a Sicilian street cleaner

You see, celebrity chef and once Labour school meals adviser Jamie Oliver has decided that British poverty isn’t as chic and exciting as, say, Sicilian poverty so I’m trying to change the way I approach the lack of food in the cupboard.

I won’t be angry at my job loss. I won’t be irritated by the stagnating economy. I won’t be frustrated at shrinking wages or the rising cost of living. No, I will internalise the problem and blame myself for not realising I can make a week’s food from a slice of stale bread and an egg. I’ll readily accept that all I need is cheaper olive oil to drizzle on an empty plate for a nutritious meal in front of my cinema-size plasma TV.

Jamie said, “You might remember that scene in Ministry Of Food, with the mum and the kid eating chips and cheese out of styrofoam containers, and behind them is a massive TV. It just didn’t weigh up.”

So Jamie immediately assumes people buy huge TVs instead of food rather than

Sit down and have an olive, love

Sit down and have an olive, love

recognising they might have bought it while in work, it might be a gift, it might be secondhand … and it’s impossible not to buy huge tellies anymore!

Jamie goes on: “I meet people who say, ‘You don’t understand what it’s like.’ I just want to hug them and teleport them to the Sicilian street cleaner who has 25 mussels, 10 cherry tomatoes, and a packet of spaghetti for 60 pence, and knocks out the most amazing pasta.”

Ignoring the fact that Jamie Oliver’s own brand spaghetti is £1.75 …

Well, I know what it’s like Jamie. It’s soul-destroying. It’s monotonous. It’s exhausting. And a jar of expensive pesto from your own brand range (£2.59!) isn’t going to change that.

Oh, and if you hug me I’ll punch you.

He goes on (he won’t stop!), “The flavour comes from a cheap cut of meat, or something that’s slow-cooked, or an amazing texture’s been made out of leftover stale bread.”

So us poor no longer need to worry about hormone-injected meat or animal welfare – phew! that trend has passed – and have a constant supply of energy to fuel a slow cooker and a seemingly endless supply of leftover bread. You think we’d eat the bread, at least?!Cheesy Chips

Anyway, I’ve no time to keep ranting. I’m going to imagine French cuisine and see if that doesn’t fill me up before I get some money.

PS I’ve never had cheesy chips … but I really fancy some now.


The Sun: Don’t take it personally …

Personal responsibility is apparently something we all have and we should think twice when making decisions – such as when we line up to buy food from supermarkets known to build on school playgrounds because they’re cheap; or when we give hard-earned money to utility companies who rip us off because we have to; and when we go to work for idiots because we’re not stinking rich.

I live in a world where I have to work to survive. I live in a country where newspapers are closing down almost weekly. I live in an economy that is failing and freelance contracts are as hard to find as Rupert Murdoch’s conscience. Somehow, though, I should take personal responsibility and refuse to work for a newspaper – any newspaper – with a right-wing agenda.

Personal responsibility, I’m told, means taking the moral high ground and turning down work for the greater good: being an NUJ activist wouldn’t be enough. Arguing with editors and coming up with creative alternatives to the knee-jerk right-wing news will not suffice. No, I have to go hungry, to refuse wages from a boss I don’t respect and a company I can’t stand.

Would you do the same? Do you work for a council making cuts? A company ripping off customers? A corporation taking advantage of others? A multi-billionaire who will survive no matter what you do?

Most of us do – and journalists are no different.

Calling for personal responsibility is in itself right wing: to blame workers – and demand a decision to starve rather than take a living wage – isn’t just romantic moralising, it isn’t just smug condemnation, it’s daft. It’s beyond ridiculous when journalists are compared to fascists.

Journalists are workers – some are also black, some gay, others are women, some are disabled, even those working on tabloids – and like all workers have to go where the work is and we too face discrimination when doing so.

This new rhetoric around personal responsibility simply shifts the blame from the powerful – from the owners of the work, the holders of the purse strings – to the workers.

We might be responsible for our own actions but we can only change things by taking responsibility as a whole – not by singling out individuals for condemnation: no matter how much better we feel about ourselves when doing so.

Perhaps individual workers could also be blamed for low pay; for accidents in the workplace; for not having a pension; for not having a job at all.

Maybe if we all take personal responsibility and stop being fat, curb our alcohol intake and don’t have chronic diseases we won’t need the NHS either.

I think I’d enjoy being able to choose not to buy in the cheapest supermarket, not to give my money to a corrupt energy company and not to work for a boss who is powerful enough to spread nasty opinions globally, but it’s not a choice I’ve ever had.

When right-wingers condemn those on benefits as scroungers they often do so claiming people should take personal responsibility and not rely on the state. The rhetoric of personal responsibility is not far removed from that of responsible capitalism – and neither looks to make life better for workers.

Those condemning News International journalists aren’t demanding personal responsibility – they’re just looking for individuals to be held responsible.

Getting off benefits: the worst part of unemployment …

This morning I received another letter, in an envelope obviously from a government department. I put it on the coffee table and looked at it for a while, not wanting to know what was inside. Eventually, with a calming brew in hand, I opened it.

My Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit has been suspended.

As you know, my Jobseekers’ Allowance has already been suspended.

So, trying to stay calm, I immediately checked my bank account online to see how much money I have to survive on until my employers pay me my part-time wage or Jobcentre Plus reconsider my situation: I was hoping it would be enough to last till a get a giro next week when this mess is sorted.

Then I find £30 has been taken in unpaid direct debit fees from my benefits (for reasons beyond my understanding because everything has been paid on time).

I would’ve been better off staying on benefits.

If I were still on benefits I wouldn’t need to find bus fares to my part-time work. I could go hungry at home rather than while trying to give lectures. I could sit in front of the halogen heater and not have to venture out into the snow only to return to a permanently unheated flat.

Jobcentre Plus agreed to my working – I asked for permission before I signed any contracts – but still I’m penalised.

This is the reality of how workers are treated when they make concerted efforts to get off unemployment and to earn an income, albeit a part-time, temporary one. For trying not to rely on unemployment benefits, for trying to find work that could, perhaps, lead to getting off the dole completely, I now have literally no income.

I’m at a loss at what to do. I can’t begin to imagine what rabid Tories would suggest. I assume this would still be my fault: perhaps my entrepreneurial skills have failed me yet again; perhaps I chose the wrong two careers in journalism and academia; perhaps my qualifications aren’t the right type; perhaps I over-achieved; perhaps I under-achieved; perhaps living within my means doesn’t show enough gumption and I should invest my £67.50 per week into some money-spinning venture from which I’ll emerge richer than Mark Zuckerberg.

All I want is a job. I just want enough money to live on. I’m happy to forgo holidays, meals in fancy restaurants, new clothes, a car, a mobile phone and all the things I once took for granted. I can’t, though, not have money for rent, council tax, food, travel expenses to work.

I no longer know what I’m expected to do. I would’ve been better off staying on benefits.

Amount of money I have £21.62

Cost of travel to work: £11.50 per week

Days until I am paid: 40

Why Cameron and Miliband are both wrong about aspiration …

So Cameron and Miliband are having a catfight about aspiration with the PM saying “people working in offices and factories around the country need financial incentives too”.

He’s not wrong – but he’s talking codswallop. This idea that some jobs – those with qualifications and no need to clock on – mean a guaranteed life of luxury and as much houmous as you can eat could be destroyed with a moment of honesty.

As a trainee reporter I would go without lunch to enjoy a pint because I couldn’t afford both. While working on press agencies I would prioritise petrol over food – knowing I’d lose my job if I lost access to a car. Even when writing for a tabloid as “permanent freelance” – attending glitzy parties, interviewing celebrities, flying first class and getting black cabs to jobs – I wasn’t entitled to holiday pay or sick leave. If I was ill I’d drag myself into work and holidays came in the form of a night in a hotel having interviewed someone about their threesome, bizarre pet or wayward husband.

I was earning then what many people earn now – and the cost of living was much lower.

Now I stand in front of students and give lectures intended to help them prepare for the world of work: I wonder what they would think of career aspiration if they knew I have less than £30 to last me a fortnight. I bet it never crosses their mind that I have nothing for lunch. I doubt they even consider whether I had to boil the kettle to wash my hair. They don’t know their lecturer is now planning to sleep on the settee this week to be near the halogen heater rather than top up the gas meter.

I recognise that tips on living in poverty might come in handy for journalism students – and details of how slowly employers pay would help all new freelances – but I don’t share them. I also don’t suggest that the journalists going through Alan Partridge’s bins might’ve been looking for slung out cashmere jumpers or the scrapings of a pot of couscous. Perhaps I should.

I write now not to moan – although, to be frank, I am weary and in the mood for a whinge – but to point out the fallacy that is “aspiration” not just while we loom in the shadow of a double-dip recession but always when employers take advantage of workers: perhaps more advantage of those desperate not to be seen in a dreaded blue collar.

I’m enjoying working: I like to be challenged, to be tired when I fall into bed (or onto the settee), to be reminded of my abilities and to feel valued – by students if not those paying my wage – but I work to earn. Losing at least £20 a week on unemployment benefit to get to a part-time job seems completely ridiculous to me. I feel like I’m working to make a point, to get my foot in the door, to seem keen and not too demanding: I should expect to be paid what I’m worth.

But too many workers try to pretend that they’re among the elite staff, try to pretend they have qualified, experienced and well-read their way out of being labelled “a worker”. They might even call themselves a part of the “squeezed middle” to try to appear somehow different, above the norm.

We’re all workers: all selling our labour to someone else who decides how much we get and when we get it. This, in my experience, never changes.

I’d suggest we talk more about our employment situation and – rather than pretending we’re aspiring and deferring gratification – admit we’re low-paid and working long hours.

We should tell each other how much we earn; share our frustrations at the hours we work; explain the difficulties we have with childcare and its costs; ask colleagues if they get holiday and sick pay; talk about our shared conditions in the workplace; find out who else is struggling to pay utilities bills; ask how much debt people are in; ask if they too fear redundancy; make sure everyone has something to eat at lunchtime; find out if our workmates are being forced into retirement or paid a trainee wage while doing a senior job.

We should talk to each other. Imagine how much we’d realise we have in common if we just stopped pretending otherwise.

How much money I have: £46 to last a fortnight which is really £26 if I want heating and hot water

How many more hours I will have worked: 24

As bankers grab bonuses …

I’ve knocked ten minutes off my walk to the bus stop. I celebrated this minor achievement with the same arrogance, machismo and energy of Daley Thompson winning a second gold Olympic medal in 1984, except I didn’t flash my bum at Princess Anne

It might not seem much of an achievement to you but after nine months spent on a lumpy settee, followed by a few weeks of backache, this return to a natural, pain-free walking position is hard-earned.

More importantly on arrival at a dreaded destination, Job Centre Plus seems less threatening; the building doesn’t loom large as I walk down the street as if in some green and yellow nightmare. Once inside I don’t become a subservient mess desperately trying to look like I’m not a benefit cheat but instead another victim of mass unemployment.

I visited today. I arrived early thanks to beating my personal best in bus stop walking and had to wait in the haemorrhoid-coloured room, on a stained chair, reading the “psychological wellbeing” poster which seemed less significant, then the debt advice information which seemed less immediate: I remembered being overwhelmed by the offers of advice and little practical help.

I listened in to a man in his 20s who seemed new to the signing on experience.

“You’re not making the effort,” the adviser told him, a faint squeak in her voice which suggested frustration or nervousness.

He remained silent as I’ve found most do. He watched, waiting for her next comment, knowing it was entirely up to her to lead this conversation: signing on does not feel like a two-way street but an opportunity to be told what to do and prove you’ve done it.

“You’ve not provided a CV,” she squeaked on. “You’ve not completed your Looking for Work booklet.” When she didn’t receive a response she said: “No CV, no job search, no benefits.”

While I didn’t think this was much of a Jobcentre catchphrase, it did get the man squirming in his seat. “I’ve been ill,” he finally said. “When I was better I went to Job Club.”

“You went on the days I told you to go?”


“But they should help you with a CV. Then you bring that CV to me. Did they not help you?”

“When I went they told me it was the wrong day so I’m going next week.”

“I gave you the correct days. Wait, let me phone them and see what is going on.”

The man waited, calling her bluff then, just moments before she lifted the receiver, said: “Right, I might as well tell you. I didn’t go.”

I had to stifle a laugh. The adviser had to stifle a scream. The man shifted in his seat some more as if to leave.

“I’m not finished with you yet,” the adviser snapped, not the faintest squeak in her voice, and he sat still. “Do you warrant your benefits?”

Silence. I listened as the threats to stop his money continued and wondered why someone would fail to do the bare minimum. I’m told I no longer have to complete my Looking for Work booklet because I’m in part-time, temporary employment. I am, though, acutely aware that I have a Jobseekers’ Agreement which I’ve to commit to every time I sign on. I wouldn’t stop doing this no matter what a well-intended – or potentially dodgy – adviser told me.

This man, I overheard, had what were described as “basic skills issues” but the threat to a benefit ban continued. Jobcentre Plus makes you see life in all its miserable forms: people who can’t find work for lack of qualifications; the mentally-ill; those with learning difficulties; the marginalized; the excluded; the angry; the depressed. All signs of life under Tory rule are here.

Just listening to it is depressing – but to feel that sense of being herded, judged, written-off, to see boxes ticked and papers stamped as you sign on among others fed up of going through the motions is demoralising.

I look forward to the day when my employers pay me and I can sign off – albeit it temporarily. I also look forward to being paid so I can buy some food – my food money is now being spent on bus fares and topping up the gas meter so I can wash my work clothes.

I wait to be paid as the RBS boss considers his £963,000 bonus in shares and wonder what positive use that money could be put to as the UK teeters on the brink of double-dip recession.

I read that up to 400 workers could lose their jobs at a Kent steelworks with the recession taking 706,300 jobs across UK manufacturing: 119,000 in the West Midlands, 108,000 in the  South East and 97,000 in the North West at 97,000.

I see that almost 23% of Spanish workers face unemployment as they too struggle in a global economic crisis brought about by the banks. Indeed, among the Eurozone member states the second highest unemployment rate is Greece (18.8 % in September 2011) followed by Lithuania (15.3 % in the third quarter of 2011). Eurostat estimates that 23.674 million men and women in the EU, of whom 16.372 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in November 2011.

I read this – mass unemployment and greedy bankers offered ridiculous pay-outs – and decide that the man not taking an interest when attending Jobcentre Plus is hard to condemn.

Food I have in until giro day: half a loaf; half a tin of beans; tins of chickpeas, hoummous, carrots and sweetcorn;  a jar of sundried tomatoes; the remnants of a bag of oven chips; dregs at the bottom of a jam jar.

Hours I’ve worked in the past two weeks: 20

Revealed: Why Tories lack compassion …

It staggers me that I can still be dismissed as lazy, that those facing the brunt of mass unemployment globally can still be dismissed as lazy. With 2.64 million unemployed in the UK alone  – the highest level since 1994, according to official figures – this reaction, and the short-sightedness and cruelty of it, is beyond my understanding.

Perhaps it’s because most Tories – certainly Tory leaders – don’t worry about such trivial things as low-pay, gas meters, the threat of homelessness with repossessions and rent too high for benefits, redundancy, over-priced train fares, losing their Disability Allowance or other benefits …

And perhaps it’s also as a fascinating recent study from UC Berkeley suggests – that individuals in the upper middle and upper classes are “less able to detect and respond to the distress signals of others” while “people in the lower socio-economic classes are more physiologically attuned to suffering, and quicker to express compassion than their more affluent counterparts”.

Social psychologist Jennifer Stellar, lead author of the study, says the upper classes “may just not be as adept at recognizing the cues and signals of suffering because they haven’t had to deal with as many obstacles in their lives”.

According to the latest statistics, as reported by the BBC, the numbers claiming benefits rose by 3,000 to 1.6 million in November last year and the total number of employees fell by 63,000 to 29.11m, mostly due to job losses in the public sector.

I blogged about how I’m going to take up a job offer – despite the fact I’ll have less money, despite the fact it will cost me to work, despite the fact it is not permanent or even full-time – I am going to work. I’m doing so because it might lead to more work, but I recognise it might not. The chances are I will be unemployed again in a few months and I have no control over that.

This somehow met with abuse. It would seem we – the unemployed – can’t do anything to satisfy the rabid Tories. Not even while their party leader admits that unemployment is a problem. Not even when it’s obvious that unemployment is a global problem.

I’m told “get a job, you lazy bum”: The Telegraph (Torygraph) reported that there are at least 23 people chasing every job adding, “over the past year, the number of applications for each job vacancy has jumped by more than 50 per cent for customer service, secretarial and retail roles. An average of 46 candidates apply for each customer service job, 45 for each secretarial job and 42 for each retail job.”

I’ve been secured interviews, indeed I’ve been congratulated at interviews having being picked among almost 100 to make it to the shortlist. Sadly, there was one job available and I didn’t get it.

Still, my inability to get a job – despite applying for many for which I am over-qualified, many for which I’m under-qualified and thinking as laterally as Dali on LSD – is, to Tories, my fault.

I’m told “start up a business”: I don’t have enough money to start up my central heating so where I’m going to get funds to launch a business is beyond me. One would have to lead an odd life to think anyone, anywhere can start up a business. The romantic notion of having a market stall that turns into a chain of supermarkets is celebrated because it is remarkable.

Still, my inability to do so – despite volunteering to join the government-funded New Enterprise Scheme and having a business plan for a social enterprise – is, to Tories, my fault.

I’m told “a stint in Tesco’s/M&S/McDonalds would show you some humility”: I’m not able to get a job at McDonald’s or the other places. I fail to understand why people think just anyone can get these jobs. It’s not snobbery on my part but recognition from employers that I have zero experience in retail: it would be extraordinarily arrogant of me to assume I can just walk in and do these jobs. Employers also know I won’t stay working there for a moment longer than I have to because I want to earn more and do the work for which I qualified.

Still, despite working hard to gain qualifications which I was assured would secure me work for life, my current failure to don either a McDonald’s uniform or a Ronald McDonald suit is, to Tories, my fault.

I don’t mention my qualifications to appear superior but because I have them, I worked hard for them, and I still can’t find work. The change in education and our understanding of it as workers is discussed in an excellent video which states: “We were kept at school with a story that if you worked hard and did well and got a college degree you would have a job. Our kids don’t believe that and they’re right not to.” All workers are in this mess of mass unemployment together – whatever qualifications we do or don’t have.

I agree wholeheartedly with Owen Jones who says, “Mass unemployment is not an individual fault; it is not the product of millions of people ‘choosing’ to go on benefits out of a ‘lifestyle choice’; it is not the consequence of people failing to look hard enough for work. It exists because – to repeat myself – there is simply not enough work to go around.”

I saw – and still see – many jobs cuts in journalism and I became freelance. I worked in schools, wrote articles and taught at university where I was lucky enough to have my department pay for me to qualify as a lecturer. Then the axe fell in higher education and I struggled for a while – a good friend even paying my rent one month – until I had no choice but to sign on. I still haven’t been able to pay my friend the money I owe.

I rest assured that I’ve done all I can to find work, that I’m still doing all I can and will continue to do all I can. I now hope the coalition government will do something, anything to create jobs. No one chooses to live on £67.50 per week if there is an alternative.

Still the Tories – with a sociopathic lack of compassion – want us to blame ourselves for the state of the economy. They think we can’t recognise that we’re not responsible for a global economic crisis.

Instead they want to reform welfare cutting benefits and forcing people off the dole in search of jobs which don’t exist. Instead they stop Disability Allowance and force even more people – those unfit to work – to search for jobs which don’t exist. You can read more about this here. Instead they plan to stop Legal Aid for those challenging benefit decisions: intending to change the rules so it can’t be used to help people challenge mistakes despite the fact that inaccurate decisions push people into poverty. You can sign a petition to stop this here.

I can’t see how forcing people off benefits by arguing they can find work can make any sense to anyone during a global economic crisis, a national recession, when unemployment is at its highest in 17 years and when dozens of people are chasing each and every limited vacancy.

The Tories know that what they are spouting is economically and politically untrue. The Tories want to create a nasty narrative of hatred towards the unemployed, to blame individuals for their situation, despite global economic problems, and to divide and rule workers. This is easier than creating jobs and helps justify the vile decisions they’re taking which plunge individuals and families into abject poverty.

Wanting to leave people with no state help at all in such economic circumstance is, again, a lack of compassion beyond my understanding: I simply don’t hate and dismiss my fellow human beings in this way. To me, calling anyone a lazy bum for being unemployed in the current circumstances shows a lack of understanding of economics, political history – and a severe lack of empathy.

While we’re talking about the psychology of Tories, I also think their constant suggestion that we’re lazy bums, snobby and avoiding work is a massive psychological projection on their part.

Work fair …

I keep being offered bits of work. It’s not enough to live on but could, potentially, lead to more work. It’s also a way to keep me engaged, active, employable, away from Twitter.

I’m now trying my maths skills (not always wise) to see if I can accept this work. It’s not enough to pay rent and bills and it seems I’d be a few pound better off on the dole – but it’s an opportunity. If I keep turning down work I’m unlikely to be the first choice in the future.

I’ve been told – repeatedly, threateningly – that I’m not allowed to do any work while signing on. Now I hear I can sign on up until my first pay packet, potentially, or can still claim housing benefit for one month and get a £100 job grant.

Of course, none of this will stop me struggling on a low income due to having just a few hours work – but it is helpful. It took me almost nine months of being unemployed to find this out. My understanding is that it is of no value to anyone who has been unemployed for less than six months.

Previously I’ve been told, “we’re not good at helping people in part-time work” or “if it’s less than 16 hours we can’t help you”. I’ve felt desperate and fed up as former employers and contacts have been in touch with various opportunities I’ve had to turn down because the Jobcentre computer says “no”.

The Jobcentre sees work as: full time work of 16 hours or more, part-time work of 16 hours or less and, if claiming with a partner, work of less than 24 hours per week. I’m child-free (Chaplin doesn’t count, apparently) so not entitled to In Work Credit. I’ve not been unemployed due to illness or disability so I am not entitled to Return to Work Credit. This is if you actually get these benefits when you apply anyway – I imagine it’s as difficult as claiming on insurance.

I have to do something to make a change. I sit home in my jogging bottoms, watching mind-rot afternoon telly, swearing at the screen, spilling tea down my front. Chaplin is in and out all day, once again happy and healthy, looking at me as if to say, “Have you been outside? Do you think you should go outside? You smell a bit.”

I keep in touch with people by computer. While I’ve written two PhD proposals (yes, two) that might lead to something, I’ve also not worked my way through the reading list as planned. I have, instead, watched more rubbish films than Mark Kermode but with a far less articulate response, shouting at the screen as butty sprays everywhere. This is usually the point when Chaplin thinks sitting outside in the rain is preferable.

I have no routine, now waking up late morning, sometimes as late as 2pm on occasion. This might sound luxurious but it is oddly depressing after a while. I’m also awake till the early hours or not sleeping through the night, getting up to watch the news then going back to bed. This is probably because I fall asleep during the day, exhausted by the banality of television’s offerings. I don’t want to live in a world where employment dictates our body clock but I miss having a routine.

So I think I’ll take the work. It’d be better than being sent back to entrepreneurial training scheme that will lead to … no work. I’ve had my fill of walk-on parts in League of Gentleman. I’ll take the risk because, while I’m scared of getting behind on my rent and bills (not credit cards, etc, they can wait), I’m more scared of being on the dole permanently. I’m now existing rather than living.

I came across an interesting website today which outlines the amount of unemployment benefit available to jobless workers across Europe.

In the UK we’re spongers, yes? We sit on our backsides, living off the backs of hard-earning taxpayers, right? We don’t want to work because benefits keeps us in the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed?

I know many readers don’t think like this but if you know someone who does, show them these figures for European unemployment benefits in 2007 for a single person with no dependents. In Euros.

The amount paid in the UK remains roughly the same today.

Country                       Wages     Benefits

Luxembourg                €32,604 – €21,346
Denmark                     €32,564 – €18,302
Netherlands                 €32,363 – €15,758
France                         €32,540 – €15,605
Portugal                       €32,288 – €14,323
Belgium                       €32,636 – €12,415
Finland                        €32,577 – €12,339
Austria                        €32,499 – €12,212
Sweden                       €32,643 – €11,924
Germany                     €32,631 – €11,821
Italy                             €32,529 – €11,179
Spain                           €32,625 – €10,522
Ireland                         €32,747 – €9,662
Greece                         €32,731 – €4,407
UK                              €32,381  – €3,631

My ultimate fear is if I don’t get some work for which I’m qualified and experienced and which I might actually enjoy then I’ll end up working anyway as the Tories bring in Workfare which will see me working full time for benefits in a job I don’t want to do.

So wish me luck and I’ll keep blogging … I’m still an unemployedhack, after all.