Redundancy is a life wasted. I am now nothing but a threat

 

‘Being ‘redundant’ I provide no function or meaning in the world because I do not perform a role for someone else.’ Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Redundant
1. No longer needed or useful – superfluous;
2. Able to be omitted without loss of meaning or function.

I have now lived through 683 days of redundancy, each one against my embattled will. Like 26 million people across the EU, I long, desperately, to fall asleep with the contentment and exhaustion of a full and productive day.

My time is spent writing application after application, repeating the same information in different words. A wearisome and unproductive task: it is rare to receive an acknowledgment, let alone an invite to interview.

I lead a life without achievement. In fact my life is quite the opposite: a life waiting to begin again – a waste.

Finding myself unemployed I am no longer immune to the aggressive and hateful propaganda that is pitched against people in my situation. Regardless of our employment histories and efforts to find work, we are labelled scroungers and treated with contempt. Many people treat me with an air of superiority while others, some friends and relatives included, doubt me.

The jobcentre and my Work Programme provider (WPP) have become significant in my life. Yet I only attend the former fortnightly and the latter monthly to prove, in both cases, that I am searching for work.

It hangs over me daily that if I make a mistake, I stand to lose the £111.45 a week that my partner and I rely on to survive. The prospect of one week without that money is terrifying; now consider the new maximum sanction, introduced last October, of 156 weeks without help. Of course this might only be used in extreme cases, but it still exists as a very real threat – the will is there to punish, and drastically.”

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