by Lynda Archard
©: Dec 2002
I started a new section of Lynda’s esoteric web in April after my husband Gary started a temporary part-time job. The job became the basis for Lynda’s London, an on-line journal of what we saw through the night while delivering sandwiches to various shops in London, Essex and Kent. I learned a lot about digital photography, especially taking night pictures, and realised that my expensive digital camera was now out of date. I did get a new one, which is more powerful, also takes small video clips and cost half the price. By the time I got the new camera my husband lost his job after Steve, his boss and long-standing friend, had arguments with the boss of the sandwich company. This petty argument was caused by David (boss of the sandwich company) paying Steve with cheques that bounced and caused hundreds of pounds for Steve in bank charges and delayed the paying of legitimate bills relating to Steve’s self-employed business. David refused to pay the bank charges and Steve had no choice but to go bankrupt and lose everything that he has worked for because Davis refused to pay his wages too. Over the passed twelve years or so Steve has often taken on work for David that no one else would do and helped him on numerous occasions going way beyond the normal employee status. I do believe that karmic law will catch up with David and Steve will have a much stronger business in the future after his bankruptcy has finished. We wish Steve all the luck in the world for the future.
As for us, we had a letter from the social security telling us that Gary could not get any help with our rent because he was working and not entitled to any benefits. Our rent is more than £70 per week and his wage was just over £80 per week for the few hours each night delivering sandwiches. We are now struggling to get out of debt and both looking for jobs after receiving a letter asking Gary to reclaim if he is no longer working and a bill for the amount of benefit we had received during the 6 months he was employed part-time. A letter telling him he can receive benefits if he works part-time followed the most recent claim. We will be visiting the law centre very soon to ask why the rule was only changed while Gary did work part-time.
Gary wants a non-driving job and various employers have told me that I am over-qualified, under experienced or similar insulting things. One interview I had last year was conducted over the telephone and the young woman was impressed with my qualifications in computers, programming and graphic skills and my experience of selling and promotional work and then she asked my age. I said “42” and she said “thank you, someone will get back to you soon.” I then got a letter within a few days saying “sorry we do not have a vacancy at this time….” The job was for a sales position on the shop floor of PC World! Judging by the amount of times I have given advice to customers who had not got satisfactory answers from their staff I do not understand why they employ 16-year-olds half of which do not own a PC.
Some people had jobs for Christmas who don’t really want them. Our postman now delivers all of our letters next door so he only has to walk to one door in every three. Our important letters are often two weeks late and today we had a visitor who had sent us a letter three weeks ago saying they are visiting. We are still waiting for that one. And no one has received Christmas cards that I sent two weeks ago. Our street is scattered with litter after the dustbin men left piles of it in the centre of the street and now passing cars are spreading it around for the road-sweeper to clear up. I hope he doesn’t mind doing their job as well as his own.
Anyway, we still live in one of the most caring societies in the world. Don’t we? The UK has a policy to 1, house the homeless, 2, feed the poor and 3, employ the employable. That is if you have 1, just come into this country, 2, do not make an effort to find work and 3, speak only broken English and threaten the employer with a visit to the race relations board for being prejudice if you don’t get the job. Yes the UK is the place to be in 2003!
© Lynda Archard