In which I work, and work at finding work, and fail miserably at the latter.

For the past thirteen weeks I’ve been spending my weekdays with an organisation known as A4e (Action for Employment). They’re a for-profit company that has a contract from the UK government to help people who’ve been unemployed for eighteen months or more find work, or work placements with an eye to gaining enough experience to be employable.

I was somewhat unusual amongst the clients there in that I have worked a fair bit in my life thus far (though admittedly not much very recently), and am eager to do so again. As it turns out, they decided to take me on for a work placement actually at A4e, as they had need of someone with my modest word-processing skills, so I have spent the last ten week writing the CVs for all the new intake, and helping them find work, with varying degrees of success. During this time I have also, of course, been expected to constantly look for work myself. While you might expect me to be unhappy by this state of affairs, I’ve actually enjoyed it. It was good to be back in the workplace, proving that I can do whatever tasks are put before me. It also did me the world of good to have to get out of bed at 7:30 am every morning, and my confidence and concentration have been greatly improved by the experience.

Today, my thirteen weeks have come to an end, and as things stand, I am still out of work. While I, and (at least some of) my co-workers at A4e, would have very much liked me to have been able to carry on there, at this time there is not a suitable opening.

What I have discovered, and indeed been told to my face (well, over the phone) by recruitment companies, is that no-one is interested in hiring somebody with my exciting collection of health issues. It’s illegal to discriminate, but everybody does anyway. It is rather depressing, but my cold fury has brought me to the realisation that if I can’t persuade somebody to give me a job to which I am suited, I shall have to create such a job for myself. In any case, if my legs keep getting worse I’m not going to much feel like leaving the house anyway, and most employers don’t appreciate you raising your feet above your head.

For now, my time is my own again, and you can expect to see more regular posting here and elsewhere, while I try to navigate the art of making a living wage from home.

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