Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Tattle Day Tuesday - Wot's Rong Wiv Brittan?


"In the past ten years a chasm has opened up between the workaholics and the quaintly named 'work-shy'."

"As one man outside a Jobcentre Plus in Peterborough explained: 'I'd prefer to sign on than do that. I don't want to work in no cornfield for £25,000 a year'."

No cornfield could have kept me away for that kind of money if I'd applied for and been accepted for the job! The most I ever earned as a legal secretary was about £11,000. If I'd known there were vacancies out there where I could have a job working outside in the fresh air, doing a job which actually fed and benefited people, and benefiting me too through being outside and getting exercise, instead of being stuck in an office doing a stressful job to line the pockets of what, for the most part, were ruthless money-grabbers, I would have so gone for it! The perceived wisdom was that agricultural work was very low-paid - and I had a mortgage to pay... Maybe that was correct at the time and wages have improved since. Dunno.

I agree with most of this article, except the following:

The GOS says: I'd just like to add one little personal note. One Times reader, Katie from Frome, wrote in to say "Why are you suggesting that depressed people are workshy? Depression is a very serious and debilitating illness."

There's the nub of the problem, really, isn't it? We have come to accept that almost any ailment or unhappiness is someone else's fault, and that sufferers must be pitied, helped and treated as victims. Many years ago I was diagnosed with depression myself. I never missed a day's work, though, and with the help of the doctor's pills and some meditation classes I hauled myself through it eventually and never looked back. In my experience depression is as debilitating as you allow it to be.

I have been a lifelong depressive. To get jobs I've had to hide it. Lying (even by omission) goes against the grain, but there has always been a stigma attached to depression. It's got a little better in recent years but it hasn't really permeated into the "working world". The only jobs I've ever been turned down for, when I've got as far as an interview, are those where I was upfront about my depression! "Workshy"? I don't think so.

And was Katie from Frome claiming to be a "Victim"? Someone else's fault? It doesn't read that way. (Incidently, I went to school near Frome, but I don't know Katie!) Is 'flu someone else's fault? Maybe, if they sneeze over you, but how are they to know? Heart disease, someone else's fault? No, probably your own. Cancer... Who knows? Genetics probably plays a part in heart disease and cancer, for example, but are we going to blame our loving parents? I don't think so. I can't answer for the "stupid" people of whom the author speaks. I just wonder if they've ever applied for jobs and been turned down coz they're too "fat". I don't think so... I doubt if they have ever wanted a job...*

The stigma is so far entrenched that I even feel uneasy writing about it here, dear readers. The fear of rejection is, well, horrible...

I think the author of this article was either not seriously depressed or was in a job he really loved... That can make a difference you know?!

Read the whole article here. Not all Brits are spongers!

* coz they've prolly never applied for a job ever at all in their whole lives, lol!

:) xxx


Jennifer Rose said...

depression has a horrible stigma in this country! but I don't think the Chawners are depressed. I think they are like the other hundreds/thousands of lazy people that know how to work the system and do it all the time :/ From everything that they say they are the way they are because they are not willing to change. I'm overweight but I am trying to change it. Lay off the biscuits and chips! Even a 10 minute walk a day helps! Spend an hour on our street and half the people here are just like them :/ kinda sad :(

It pisses me off when I see people like them getting all kinds of benefits but people like me who can not get a job due to ill health have to jump through hoops to get any help at all :/ I have no problem at all with people that are on benefits that honestly need them, but when its just because you don't want to work or have a "back problem" (and have then been seen lifting heavy things) or you don't make enough money working compared to benefits I get really annoyed

It can be so hard to get help here for depression. You either get a Dr. who understands what is going on and tries to help you, or you get a Dr. who makes you feel like scum for feeling the way you do. The whole stiff upper lip thing gets taken way too far. People are afraid to ask for mental help because of what others might say :/

*little ranty, sorry delete if its too much :) *

Cheysuli and gemini said...

I think depression manifests differently for a lot of people. Some of them are really too tired to get up and do something--and if they have an illness such as fibromyalgia along with it, they are tired and in pain which sort of makes things very difficult.

Just because one person can work through their depression doesn't mean everyone can. That's like saying you survived cancer, so anyone who doesn't is a weakling.

Further, the medications are only about 40% effective (yes that is right). Only about 40% of people on any antidepressant are actually helped by them--now isn't that an interesting statistic when everyone thinks--oh you just need meds. Maybe--but what if you are one of the majority for whom they don't work?

Cheysuli and gemini said...

The Woman read the statistic in a book that came out recently about the pharmaceutical company. Of course she isn't clear enough to remember the name or the writer but it was an interesting statistic--isn't it?

Penny said...

This is an interesting post. I kind of think about this all the time, but I agree with the person above that people are different and cope differently with depression. I don't really understand myself, but the problem is that some people who genuinely can't work are labelled alongside those who just won't - and when there are benefits involved it is hard to draw the distinction between the two, which is why so many get away with never trying or even applying for a job.