There's a good chance that soon my life will change dramatically. At first it's a change I was angered by. Actually when I found out about it I went through all the stages of grief. Well actually I didn't go through bargaining but denial, anger, depression and finally acceptance were all in there. As most of you know by now I am on social benefits designed to help give people money to take care of themselves as they try and get a job. That may give you some indication as to what might happen. Part of the social benefits scheme I'm on, as I'm long term unemployed, is something called A4E and the work programme. I can not, and nor will I ever say, a nice thing about those things. Especially not the work programme. It's essentially slave labour, but with more of a pittance. What happens is that you do a full time job while receiving your benefits. It's all well and good to say that people should work for their benefits, I don't really have a problem with that. But when you work out how much they're paid in benefits compared to how much they're working, people are earning a wage that is effectively very, very, very little. I think it would work out at less than £1 an hour.
Well anyway, I'm not here to rant and bitch about that. As much as I do love ranting and bitching. The time before last that I was in the dreaded offices of A4E they signed me up to a pre-screening process for work in a foam factory. By the way it turns out that you CAN incorrectly stuff a pillow. They like to give you the illusion of choice but really you have two choices, you can do what they say, or you can have your money cut. So I had to go. When I was at the pre-screening process they gave people the chance to walk out if they didn't want to do the job and I took them up on that offer, just to be coerced into taking them up on their offer instead of being allowed to just walk out.
Long story short, I have a one day work trial coming up soon (hopefully when I get back from holiday, more on that later) and if it goes well, then I shall be offered full time employment. The shift hours are atrocious, but hopefully the days will be good and so will the pay. At first I was in denial, because I was told I would be allowed to turn it down and I don't like accepting change. Next came anger as I realised I never had a choice in the first place and I was being forced to do something I didn't want to do. There was no bargaining. Then came depression at the thought of everything I would lose as a result of this.
But then, in the end, came acceptance. No matter what the change is, if you give me enough time I can see positives to it. I'd have some money for a start. I'd probably be able to go to America to see a friend. I'd be more secure and able to write. There are very few writers, especially ones starting out like myself, who can write exclusively. This also isn't something I'm going to be stuck in. All in all it could be good for me.
Plus there's always the chance the work trial will go badly.