Friday, 22 May 2009

Life And Other Battles...

Well I have almost caught up with all the Quincey episodes I missed owing to being only five or so when they were first screened, but apart from that, unemployment is a tough old game.

If you are not applying for jobs, you are looking for openings, sending speculative applications to possible openings, trying to keep up to speed with various knowledge and training in your field and signing on at agencies, the whole caboodle - aware of the growing competition all the time for each post as more and more people come onto the jobs market.

Then there are all the annoying side-issues to deal with such as battling the council and DSS just to prove you are who you say you are and entitled to the entitlements you have paid your taxes to receive (the council have now had two copies of my bank statements and two copies of my rent book/documentation, yet are still finding excuses to delay my claim).

And yes, I have considered becoming an MP for an easier life, free of having to justify myself all the time! I found it most interesting to read that Mr Brown amended the 2003 Income Tax (Earnings & Pensions) Act to exempt MP's expenses and allowances from tax! Nice work if you can get it indeed, though hopefully things are set to change for the more honourable following the current scandal.

Another battle is with my mobile phone company who are refusing to let me out of my 18 month contract after 6 months without massive penalties, despite having such a pants signal that I am scarcely able to use it and many complaints to their Indian call centre since I've had it, the staff of whom are perfectly polite and helpful within their strictly limited scripts, but evidently living in terror at losing their jobs by 'allowing' me to cancel my contract, even with the penalty they insist I would have to pay. Apparently the poor b*****ds are all on 7 week contracts! Finally at their request I returned my handset to the Glasgow repair centre to be checked, which I did via the Oxford 3 shop rather than risk it in the post. Two days later the repair centre e-mailed me with a picture of a broken screen saying that my contract did not cover repairs! So someone has either accidentally or deliberately damaged my handset. Luckily it was personally checked by the Manager of the 3 shop for physical damage and forms signed on both sides before they sent it away, so I doubt they have a leg to stand on in claiming I sent it in that state.

Separately to this I ordered an item from a printing company some 4 months ago which never arrived, despite the company insisting they dispatched it twice. Now they are asking me to send me their bank details by e-mail??!! I don't think so.

It is said that life is sent to try us. I have often joked that if ever I pen an autobiography it will be entitled; 'If Things Don't Get Any Better In Six Months, Then, I'll Kill Myself', the joke of it being that it's a rolling six months, and by the time I got round to killing myself, I'd be 95 anyway!

But I realise there are people worse off than me, and that if I stand on one leg with my neck craned at 45 degrees in a certain room of my house I actually get a perfect signal on my mobile and it only cuts out occasionally!


Nota Bene said...

Oh dear. Makes me think of that Michael Douglas film...or mr Kafka. Hope you can chill with friends over the weekend.


Steve said...

Re: the above comment - Falling Down is a fine film and if ever yu needed justification to threaten fastfood staff with a handgun the film supplies it. I think it would work on mobile phone sales assistants too. I mean they could always call for help... if they can get signal reception, right?

Steerforth said...

Yes, I've been through the multiple bank statements ordeal. Have you begun to receive letters on the same day that completely contradict each other?

On the plus side, after a few months they stop bothering you and then you start to get awarded random increases for no apparent reason. I ended up with an income that wasn't much lower than my salary. Bingo!

Don't bother asking anyone in the Job Centre - I never found anyone that understood the system.

TROLL Y2K said...

Very well-written. You wove a lot of stuff into it. Been too long since I visited here.

Wisewebwoman said...

Your week sounds like mine Laura, my battle with cell phone hell was over a humungous charge for a local call forward with subsequent calls not billed as per my agreement of free evenings and weekends. I was banging my head off the virtual Indian desk at the other end of the phone.
And then I was running around to different bureacracies trying to register my car in this province. I was close to weeping. Hell and a handbasket. a whole waste of a day.
I've read about becoming totally unplugged from all of this shite and it does have a huge appeal!
No bank accounts
no phones
no internet.

Dan said...

Short of living in a tipi, as currently unwise web woman seems to be suggesting (no offence!), we've all been there, and it really is a most depressing experience.

The inability to reason with anyone is, of course, the thing that will drive anyone insane. In your case, you can just go into the store with this material, make a joke of it all, and almost certainly emerge sane, if you have spoken to the manager.

I suggest you do this as soon as possible....

The Sagittarian said...

Good grief, cellphones are sent to try us and no mistake!!
Good luck with the job hunting, you could always sign on for a 7 weeker with the phone company. Am sure you could create havoc enough in that time to make it rewarding!!

Dan said...

Is no area of life free of sleaze and smears?

I expect you have already seen this?!

Tessa said...

I guess the silver lining to this particular cloud is that at least you have time to do this runaround. Imagine having to tackle all this crap and work eight hours a day too? (Yes, I know that none of it would be necessary if you were not redundant, but really I'm working here to try and find some bright aspect!)

I have no patience with bureaucracy and always end up yelling down the phone, so I'm not allowed to handle these crises any more. Suits me.

teeni said...

Goodness! As if you needed to be battling with every organization under the sun right now. I am so glad you had someone check the handset before you sent it. They should not be able to hold you to that at least. I really do detest that they companies use such long contract times - 18 months to two years is way too long these days. I loved the movie, Falling Down which a couple of your commenters mentioned. Sometimes you actually CAN understand when someone loses it. LOL. Hang in there - the good news is things always change!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Sorry if I gave the impression there is nothing good in my life Nota Bene. Thankfully there is, not least of all, good friends. I think one just gets in a fug sometimes about all that is wrong!

Steve thanks for the recommendation. I shall watch Falling Down next time I need cheering up!

Steerforth, no I have not experienced that, but I certainly look forward to the multiple cheques through the post! As it is thanks to a few hours of temporary work last week I have been signed off the dole (I thought they would just dock one week, but no they have signed me off the system altogether - argh!) Never mind that the assignment was a one-off and I have no idea where my next is coming from.

Thank you Troll. I will be over to visit yours too forthwith, though must confess I got a little confused by all your quizzes, not being mightily talented in that respect.

WWW - a fellow cellphone hell inmate. Wow, sounds like your week really has been as bad as mine. Not that the technology seems to be to blame as much as the p*ss-poor customer service and refusal to admit when a company is wrong and make amends. Though there is plenty of stupid beaurocracy around to cause us to lose the will to live too. By deliberate design I suspect, precisely so that we do go away and leave them alone.

Dan I am not setting foot in that store until I get my proper mobile back and in one piece with no penalty to myself, or preferably the contract cancelled entirely and my PAC number to transfer elswhere as I do not want to risk being left with no working mobile at all. Re technology, please see my reply to WWW above.

Sagittarian, are you suggesting I'm a troublemaker? ;-) Well if that were the case I think I'd find a worthier cause than a malfunctioning mobile to make an issue of. Life's too short for frivolous battles when there's enough real ones heading our way.

Dan, as you will see, my forthcoming posting is all about this.

I guess you're right Tessa - at least warring with a phone company fills my empty days ;-) Actually on balance, I'd rather have a job.

Teeni, thanks for your lovely message. I have heard it said that change can be thrilling as well as terrible. I am looking forward to experiencing the thrilling bit...

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