14 November 2013

the benefits of jobseeking

Perhaps I need to start widening my job-hunting criteria!

There has been much stress in my life over the last couple of weeks whilst I sorted out going from Income Support to Job Seekers Allowance (JSA). I was told all the steps I needed to take and *exactly* when to take them.

I did ask them whether I could apply for JSA early as a payment gap would be a big issue for madam and I. They assured me that if I applied when I was told to that there would be no issues. This was obviously one massive lie.

I have spent the last couple of weeks in a weird kind of limbo wherein I am being paid money, but not the quantity I was anticipating and at different times than I was planning on. I have at least been paid enough that I covered my rent payments, but it left me with nothing else. Almost literally.

My mum and dad lent me some cash just to tide me over and I thought it would be resolved on Tuesday this week when my next payment was due in. Again, I was wrong. The payment wasn’t there at which point I had a major freak out and considered making a formal complaint to the DWP.

I found the site to make complaints and it said I should check with my branch to see if they could help before instigated complaint procedures and I figured, as I was going to sign on, I would ask them in person. Having got to sit with my advisor and he ticked me off I then asked about my money.

The chap looked at me as if I was a bit of a wally and explained for JSA the signing on acts as a signal to release my money and then it would be paid a couple of working days after that. Why no-one could have told me that at any point before I got to meltdown level, I don’t know. The upside is that I am expecting a full payment on Friday and can then pay off all sorts of other things that have been on pause whilst I’ve been transitioning.

One of the things I am waiting to do is change my name by deed poll. This has been more of an issue than I thought it would. It’s my name after all and I *should* be able to call myself whatever I fancy. My dad has proved less keen than I was expecting. I have said for ages I would go back to my maiden name but then, I thought, why should I? I have spent years frustrated at people’s inability to pronounce or spell my name; I should go for something easier.

My mum’s maiden name is really nice and easy and my uncle didn’t have any kids so will die out with him. Well, their branch of it will at any rate, so why not change it to that then. One word: Dad. He was not keen on the idea at all and when my cousin jokingly said I should use it as a first name with my maiden name as a surname he got even more upset! I think it might have been in part as I agreed with said cousin and said it was cool. At no point would I ever have *actually* done that though. I do not wish to spend the rest of my life explaining why I am named after a woodland creature!

So then today I came up with a name that combined the two and I actually quite liked (I still am unlikely to actually use it) and this did at least raise a bit of a smile with my dad. But I think I will just go back to re-joining my lovely Scottish roots. I have always been proud of that part of myself; it’s always made me a little unique amongst my friends. And my middle name, which I loathed for years? Nope, gonna keep that too. Unique is good sometimes. I am nothing if not full of contradictions.

So, having spent a couple of weeks dithering and deciding I think I will just revert to maiden name as I had always planned to. But now I have made the decision I want to be able to do it instantly, the waiting for the official paperwork may be all just too much for me! I then just need to filter it out to everyone who knows me by my married name. Bank first, methinks…

Oh, and then I have to deal with my poor madam being upset she can't change her name too... I have been told the school might do it for her within that setting, but obviously not on anything official.

She had the day off school yesterday as she's having another viral wheeze episode with the rotten cold she has at the moment. We mainly sat about in our 'jamas and played around in the morning and then we went to my parents to annoy them for a bit! Madam introduced them to the Lorax which they both giggled at and I went to the jobcentre again for a meeting with a training advisor. The result of which is me being booked on a course to update my IT skills... 

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