Nothing is ever as it seems to be.
If I have learnt nothing else over the last five or six years, it’s that.
I’m a well educated, intelligent human being whose skills tend to flow towards the creative. I’m driven, determined to reaching my self-set goals. For the last year I have run a small media support/ writing business in my adopted hometown. I haven’t run it successfully. Let’s be honest about that. When I started it, I truly believed that I would succeed, but I forgot that people prefer not to have to pay an external business for professional services like mine if they do not have to. And if they do, they are really quite indignant about the cost, believing that they alone need to find the money to pay for things. Heavens forfend I provide a professional service and expect to be properly compensated so I can meet my living costs.
In just over a month, or possibly just under, I will be removed from the NEIS program to be placed once again in the Jobseeking one. And I am dreading it.
Once again I will have to place my direct future into the hands of those who won’t support all my career goals, only those that can help them get money. Once again I will have to submit to government-sanctioned-slave labour that hides under the ambiguous term of ‘work experience’ because to refuse to do so equals punishment. I will lose my self-worth and self-esteem, if I ever had those to begin with. I will truly believe that I am worthless, that I have nothing to offer the world because I have chosen a career path that includes writing instead of something simple and straight-forward. In moments of my first meeting, my resume will be attacked so that it fits in with their form, eliminating any individuality or personality from the pages. What I’ve done will be minimised or hidden so that I appear ‘employable’. When I refuse to fit in with their world view, when I point out that it is my future, that I should have some say/control over where it goes, I am ridiculed. I am reminded that these people know what is best for me, that they are only trying to help me. They don’t try very hard.
I have been in the system for about six years. I’ve been through two job networks who shredded my self-belief so much that I thought that there was nothing good about myself. I have had countless case managers, all believing that they will be the one to break my record of unemployment. They will try to recommend self-help courses to help me with the anger issues I may display, not realising that they have no actual qualification to do so. Nor do they realise that it is the environment that I am placed in that causes my behaviour shifts. Hell, I probably have a higher understanding than most of them on psychological issues, simply being that I am a writer and need to constantly research these issues.
I will leave meetings in tears, angry and resentful at those people who, in their belief that they are trying to help me, have failed to see that they are merely just stripping my life from me, making it something that I borrow, not live. Not mine, just something that I rent at the extremely high cost of my sanity.
I would try to publish this piece elsewhere, but no one would print it. Simply put, because no one wants to tell the truth, especially not the big one. Unemployment isn’t a big laugh. Most unemployed people do not lie, for fear of getting caught and punished. Most unemployed people are looking for something long term, but want it to be a job that they can be happy in. That isn’t something that agencies are really concerned about. I’ve been told that directly from one pompous ass who thought that I should trust him with my future, even though he accused me directly of being a liar because he got fed ‘bullshit stories all the time’ from other clients so why wouldn’t I be the same. [If I could have proved this little discrimination through the use of stereotyping I would have]
I blog because I have nowhere else to express these words. I find it hard to verbalise my feelings at the best of times, even to those I am close to. I find it extremely difficult to ask for help because these agencies have shown through verbal and non-verbal communication that I am not worth helping, simply because I refuse to conform.
To the unobservant it appears that we live in a world where very little care is taken to help people who need it. Our world is one where self-esteem, self-worth and anything resembling dignity is pulled away from us, out of reach until we are deemed worthy by someone else, a person that claims to play the role of a ‘devil’s advocate’ but uses that role to bully and belittle others who do not have the power to fight back.
Is it any wonder I’m depressed at the thought of my imminent future?