Posts Tagged ‘unemployment’

The financial (and environmental!) blessings of looming unemployment.

March 15, 2011

It’s not all bad. We are making changes and doing things the way we probably should have been doing them all along. Things we will continue even when TMD secures a new job. Small, simple changes that are more friendly on the pocket…and the earth.

1. No more paper towel/kitchen roll. We have a jillion washcloths. Blue ones are now kept folded in the bathroom for bathroom cleaning – stuff I do every morning (!). Washing shower walls, the sink, the toilet, etc. A bigger tub of all the other colours is kept in the kitchen – wiping the table after meals, counters, doing dishes, cleaning appliances, and anything else.

The only time I use disposable products is when wiping moisture and gunk from the bottom of the windows, as I want to get rid of that and not spread it around.

2. Cloth nappies! The babies are both in cloth nappies for the first time this morning…and I keep hearing the opening lines to ‘big booty bitches’ in my head. Every time we use a cloth nappy we save .15. We get through a lot of nappies and have no doubt spent thousands on disposables since they were born.

We got these nappies for free from freecycle (score!!) so even bigger savings. They are very preloved and some may just need to be pitched. We also discovered that roughly half the nappies are too small, so we’ll pass those on to another local family interested in cloth.

3. My mooncup. I’ve been meaning to write a post (or two or three) about the wonders of reuseable menstrual cups. I LOVE IT. It costs about the same as 6 months worth of disposable products, but should last for years and years. (I will write more about cups in another post. Look forward to it!) And shout out to @violetsouffle for this wonder in my life.

4. Pulling our fingers out and applying for money we are entitled to. Again, we have lost thousands and thousands in unclaimed money since the birth of the babies. Yesterday we sent off for our tax credits. Today I started applying for disability benefits. Even were she to find the perfect job tomorrow, these are still things we are entitled to!

I’m now considering making (or buying cheap ones on ebay!) fleece wipes. What other things could we be thinking about? Small, easy changes that will make a big difference over a month, year, or lifetime?


Venting. It’s not just for heating systems.

March 9, 2011

Just a quick vent. I need to get it out, but by no means do you need to read it. But I’ve spent today feeling like I’m loosely held together by tape, and the tape is losing its stickiness. Part of it is my period, but most of it’s this job. Kinda like drinking – you might fancy someone, but once you’re drunk? Kiss city.

We have a ‘helper’ come over once a week. She’s from a charity who helps support families – we got her because of my disability and the fact that I have multiples. She’s the reason we started being able to get out of the house. Her manager just popped over unexpectedly – she had me in her diary as an appointment, I did not.

We spent much of the time talking about applying for benefits/welfare.  Now, we have been entitled to benefits for the children since birth – and disability benefits for me could have been applied for, too. We never bothered with either. Now it seems like something definitely worth doing, and we actually got one of the forms, but TMD is having trouble working it out.

After the lady left, I started crying in the kitchen.

I texted TMD to ask her to leave work 30 minutes early – and let’s face it, what does she owe them at this point? While waiting for her reply, I noticed a text from Aussie. A picker upper text. A really nice text.

As is my wont, I burst into tears and felt sad and angry. Nice things often make me more in touch with my sad place than other sorts of things. I value her support. I value your support. Knowing people are thinking of us is nice.

But when – tell me when – I became someone who needed help applying for benefits? When did I become someone who needed benefits?

And what happens if we don’t have enough money for me to continue Bowen Therapy?? For the first time in years I am feeling a bit better, and the thing that is helping me recover is going to be stopped?!

I’m crying now. I feel out of control. If I was still working, we’d still have my income. As it stands, I’m limited in terms of what I can help control. So I am cleaning; I’m making sure dinner is ready for TMD and all the dishes are done so she has the evenings to do job stuff. Job Stuff. Job. Stuff.

And I am largely holding it together.

But today, I’m not.

Opportunity throws you out on your ass.

November 18, 2010

So. The calmer version of yesterday’s post: the government has made some pretty horrific slashes to public services. So the people who need the most help and support are the ones getting fucked over, and the people who have jobs helping those who need the most support are also fucked. TMD has one of these jobs, working with extremely vulnerable young people. Specifically, she manages the people who work with these young people.

No one knows for certain what is going to happen. But the slashes to her service are huge. No one knows what new objectives or targets the new set up will have. So if the focus switches away from helping vulnerable young people, things don’t look good.

After my initial freak out last night, I skipped nanowrimo (dear jesus am I falling behind!) and did some job hunting.

Now, the entire 4.5 years I was at Day Job, I job hunted. For myself, because it was such a colossally shit job – and also because it was what we all did. The new jobs went into the paper on a Wednesday, and I swear to god every single employee was either online or running out to buy the paper.

My friend Epilady actually called me one Wednesday shortly after I qualified as a counsellor, to tell me about the ad for Operation Fingerpaint. (And thank god she did, because I did love that job…though wasn’t there long before I got knocked up!)

The other thing I did a lot of in that job was job hunt for other people – specially young people with a criminal record, or mental health issues, or learning disabilities, or – you know – all three and more. So not exactly the sort of job hunting TMD requires, but shit. I got skillz.

I wasn’t too hopeful. We have been on/off looking for things for her for awhile, and no organizations working with young people are hiring because, let’s face it, they are all too busy getting ready to fire their current employees.

(Fuck this government. There. I said it.)

But last night I found four jobs. Of those, one closing date already zoomed by – a shame as she would have got this job. One is on the other side of the country, and she’s not too keen on the job. The remaining two?

One is so funky and quirky you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Assuming she has the time and energy, she plans to apply for this job.

The other one is similar to what she does now, but it would probably require odd hours – evenings and weekends, etc etc etc. And it’s in a part of the city where you get stabbed if you blink too many times. She may apply for this one, just for kicks.

So, it begins. My new job is helping TMD find a new job. And I want to help her find a job she will love, not a job she takes out of desperation. She is sacrificing a lot – she desperately wants to be the stay at home mum, but she slogs off to work every day (and does a pretty fantastic job!!) to earn the money that keeps us in nappies and cheerios. She deserves a job that will help her grow, that she enjoys, that is a positive step forward.

Thank you all for your support and love you sent to us in the comments of the last entry. It made me feel less alone, like I’ve got a fabulous support system – even if I may never meet half of you.

The sticky icky business of building a new life begins. And we’re not adverse to moving to a new part of the country – though ideally, no moves would happen until TMD’s adoption of Snort and Coconut was finalized.

The number of times other Buddhists have pointed out that the Chinese symbol for ‘crisis’ literally holds two words within it: danger, and opportunity.

I opt for opportunity. But it’s still scary, you know?