Some days are better than others and that’s okay.
Bit stressed today as it’s been a total dole scum, should be in “Shameless”, type of day.
I went to sign on and was asked how my job search was going, to which I replied, “well you know it’s all a bit of a game because you know I’m starting my new job in September, so who’d employ me now?” 
I did add, just incase they decided not to pay me, that I had applied for a variety of roles but as they were all teaching roles they’d start at the same time as the one I’d already got.
It’s just a bureaucratic dance that I have to negotiate with my consultant, or as I like to call her, my agent. She knows it’s a pointless exercise as much as I do, although she hasn’t said it. 
So, I grin and bear it. It’s only temporary, after all. Still, it does make me so unnecessarily anxious. I understand why that is but I don’t know how to remain calm. 
Deep breaths, and remember it is only a small part of the day. 
Seems mad to me that I have to pretend to be actively seeking work when I have a job to go to. I do look at jobs on the off chance that a stupidly well-paid one screams out to me and I’m powerless to resist but that hasn’t happened yet.
Surely there’s room to differentiate and perhaps appreciate that people are in different circumstances.
I then realised that I would be in Scotland for my next dole date, so

I had to complete a form to say where I would be and for how long. There was even a question about who I would be in contact with when away! I left it blank.
How ridiculous the whole system is. I hate this required degretation, just for a few pounds a week. Much as I need a break after a very challenging year, I can’t wait to start back to work and earn money without feeling lke a beggar. 
It’s been so stressful that I stopped off for a beer. 
I may well have another before facing the Housing Benefit people who are yet to make contact. Rent is going out of my account tomorrow and I haven’t had any indication that they are processing my claim.
I emailed on Monday and the automated reply said to give it 14 days before following up!
This temporary situation has really made me reflect a lot upon my identity.
Isn’t it interesting how people will judge or make assumptions about who we are? I find this especially interesting because I could be labelled in so many different ways, especially in the past year; head of “outstanding” department, head of department in failing school, agency worker, teacher of music in struggling school, unemployed, writer, teacher, award winner, dole scum…add your own labels if you like…you

know what I mean. I’m sure you feel the same.
I wear a suit and people in the street assume I have money and ask for “spare” change, cigarettes, a light, a Ferrari. I wear regular casual clothes and people are almost offering me spare change. Funny how we judge a book. 
UPDATE: A second beer was needed and I couldn’t face the Housing people today; it wouldn’t have made any difference if I had gone. I’ll do that on Monday when I won’t be smelling of alcohol. 
I’m not that shameless.


About neverblendin

David Watters, a graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh, Trinity College of Music, London and the Institute of Education, University of London, has worked internationally within education and Educational Management for more than 20 years. He has taught extensively within many socially and culturally diverse settings; most recently as a Head of Performing Arts within Further Education. He is a personal and professional development associate with The Pacific Institute (, personal coach, freelance writer and founding member of NBI Associates. He is a writer on social equality issues, is a key player in the Equal Love Campaign UK and author of the forthcoming book, NEVER BLEND IN which features key voices from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and which aims to inspire and encourage those who may lack self-esteem or who question their validity. David is currently promoting a youtube campaign"Give 'em Hope"and is asking individuals, couples and groups to make and share videos telling about the benefits of living with personal authenticity. He has shared a platform with Stuart Milk and Peter Tatchell and is a supporter of 17-24-30, The Trevor Project, Schools Out, The Terrence Higgins Trust, The Albert Kennedy Trust and numerous others. His background in arts and education, combined with a solid understanding of Cognitive Behavioural Strategies, and his passion for Equality Advocacy drive every aspect of his work as a personal development facilitator, motivational speaker and writer. View all posts by neverblendin

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