Next to death of a close family member or finding out your mum is your sister as well as the person you’ve been Chat-Rouletting with every Wednesday evening unemployment is hardly the land of E-Z Credit TV’s and a clown cars worth of kids that tabloids and those with their heads buried firmly in Brown Town would have one believe.
Being able to live the life of a lord on the government hand-out has always been the sticking point right wing newspapers in the Land Of Bowler Hats drags up and splashes across its front pages every time a celebrity hasn’t died or there’s a break in the drizzle, and if that isn’t enough to make you take to the land of orderly North Korea – wherein the living is brutally controlled and the news if full of lies and propaganda but at least they have unicorns now – television suddenly becomes the bastion of the broke and budget-burdened in a slew of docu-soap style factumentarys pertaining to be a fly-on-the-wall of the wage less and worrisome, but is nothing more than a glorifying of the very thing they claim to be decrying in their mind-blowing insight into the ignominious jobless.
So with the up-turn in the economic state of the world really a loop-the-loop straight back into the shitter and the energy suppliers clawing even more money from your chilblained pinkies each time the temperature drops another degree, here are five of the most horrifying things about being without gainful employment in this wonderful World Of Tomorrow…
Ever the thing for which we strive to attain, without that regular weekly or monthly wedge your finances suddenly become the start, middle, and end of everything else within your world. ‘No duh’, you may scoff,’ such an obvious statement as to be undeserving the notion of consideration for discourse.’
To which I would say, thank you for a comeback so eloquently, and eruditely, put. Before smacking you upside the head for being so quick to let your facetiousness mask your ignorant self. Since choosing to trade promises on cotton instead of livestock for such luxuries as tampons and bread it is almost impossible to live if born in the Western world without some access to a steady stream of cash.
Rent, fill-belly, and clothing to disguise your hideous nudity clearly rank as the top-most three financial imperatives all grown-ups place before iPods or lollies. Losing a wage but gaining the dole requires a simple sideways shift in your approach to all three; there is help for those with landlords who insist they pay rent, and any number of supermarkets offering own branded versions of the daily basket rattlers. Charity shops or markets supply the coverage of your shame, but when employed and suddenly presented with an unexpected bill it is an annoyance of your time more so than your pocket. Finding five minutes to pay the damn debt is your main concern as you check to see if you can do it online or have to sacrifice the best part of tomorrows lunch-break for an unjolly wait in the labyrinthine rats-maze leading up to an unhurried bank tellers window.
At the very most it is a juggling act between payments and dates, with those regular debits and payments being shuffled about a bit to accommodate this sudden unaccounted for expenditure. When riding the government gravy train it’s like a disaster has befallen your house, the sudden loss of a chunk of cash seriously limiting every other aspect of your life until you get another slice of state subsistence or somehow magic yourself up some reddies.
Everything becomes a choice between what you absolutely cannot live without and how long you can go living without it until medically necessary. A sudden splurge of a few quid is a luxury now gone, as each penny becomes just as important as the pounds; the high denominations of notes are a memory best left behind, as is the prospect of being able to hang onto one should you unexpectedly find a forgotten fiver in your pocket.
Your future and finances now so inexorably linked that, come seasonal obligation gift-giving times, the pressure to provide as well as persevere leaves many looking to loan-sharks and billion percent interest rate Licensed Loan-Sharkery. And this doesn’t always have to be because parents are unable to make Timmy understand Santa can’t quite afford those laser-eating ponycorns this year, so will a shuffle-board and some twice chewed gum do instead; living off what the state deems sufficient for you to continue waking through poverty each day means there is hardly ever anything remotely approaching ‘spare cash’ at the end of each week. Savings are squandered on making up the short-fall and eventually you become the Mother of L. Ron herself, sans Scientology and food in the cupboard. Frugality and a spot of spelunking down the dented tins section at the supermarket are just two of the skills you will need to brush up on if you intend seeing the week out with something more than tears filling your plates.
And speaking of tears…
- Consumer Confidence index falls after release of unemployment data (lexingtonlaw.com)
- What Fox News probably isn’t telling you about the economy (pwtenny.newsvine.com)