I don’t usually hate Mondays (the lesser known Boomtown Rats song.)  In fact,  I’m one of those annoying ‘glass is half full’ type people and although I can’t say I look forward to Mondays particularly, Monday is just another day – not as much fun as Saturday, granted, but just another day.


Except today I’m not feeling much love towards Monday.


This might have something to do with the fact that I’m off to the Job Centre later to sign on.


I’ve claimed Jobseekers before so I know the drill.  I know the feeling of utter worthlessness you feel as you walk in.  A soul destroying feeling as you pass the young men standing outside drinking cheap cans of strong lager.  A sense that you don’t really belong there but your hands are tied and you have no other choice other than to sign on.   You leave your dignity at the door when you walk in, and pick it up on your way out.


I’ve always worked – I got that work ethic from both parents growing up, and I have never been afraid of hard graft.  Now I’m the sole provider for my children, the pressure has never been greater, but signing on just doesn’t feel right.  I appreciate the benefit system is there to help, but I just never thought it would apply to me.  Things have certainly changed.


Hopefully, this will be a very temporary situation and I’ll be a valuable member of society again soon!  Because that’s the thing when you’re unemployed, at least in my experience … I don’t feel valued, or important.  I’m just another number.  Another person on the dole.


Still, as a lone parent, you do what you have to do so I’ll just suck it up and get on with it, but I remain resolutely (and annoyingly) optimistic and I’m more convinced than ever that everything happens for a reason.


There’s something important waiting for me out there … it’s just a case of finding it.





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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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  1. I was on the dole for about a 6 months, a year or two before Edith was born and because I was under 25, they made me jump through fecking hoops to get benefits as part of some ‘New Deal’ balls. I had to do a week-long course with the local YMCA where they taught us how to write a CV (never mind that I’d been gainfully employed from the ages of 16-22, previously…) and even took us to some outdoor, giant adventure playground thing to do team-building. It was utter bobbins and I ended up being offered a job by the YMCA at the end of it, because I was the one teaching the other people on the course how to do things!

    In short (ha!) I know exactly how degrading it can feel to be on benefits, but you’re awesome and no dole book is ever going to change that.
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