The short-term temp work trap

By Jay

I don’t want to write. I feel a deep sorrow and fearful emptiness about the future. I want to displace this feeling and my reality by watching videos online and entering into alternate realities, voices and thoughts. I will watch desultory short ‘junk’ video clips on Youtube, from sport, news, entertainment and so on, well into the night and I will forget but will not enjoy it, as the future will be hovering and these short clips will offer me no real intellectual or emotional pleasure.

I recently accepted a three month temporary job role, to start next week. I feel a sense of deep dread and reluctance for the role. It is a manual labour type role, assisting with setting up training sessions at a university. This is as much as I know and I have a fear that my anxiety and difficulties communicating will make me ineffective and, as a result, disrespected and, also, socially isolated. I am emotionally very vulnerable currently.

Unskilled temporary roles can be a type of junk means of sustenance, I believe, like junk food or entertainment shows. As a means to entering into more stable or secure work, they can serve as a means to an end. For those with alternate forms of income, they can offer ancillary income to sustain their lifestyle. For those who are desperate, they can be a safety net.

However, for a young person, temporary jobs can become, I think, a damaging addiction or trap. They can be easier to attain than longer-term roles, as the criteria for selection is generally relatively low and the application process simplified. Hirers are not concerned about gaps in employment or overly focused on grades or references. Once you get a “gig” through an agency, you gain a credibility making it, possibly, easier to get the next one.

There is an allure of the temporary job for those who are lost about their future and finding their place, including those suffering mental health difficulties. There is the promise of limited commitment and, sometimes, the hourly pay can be attractive, though, such roles do not generally offer the benefits of sick pay or pensions. You can, apparently, defer making any big decisions by taking on temp work. If it doesn’t work out, quitting is, theoretically, simpler.

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Trying to find a path to financial sustenance and survival

By Jay

It’s sometimes said that if you don’t get selected after an interview that it probably means the job wasn’t right for you anyway. Invariably, this will be said of those who, due to some perceived vulnerability, struggle to compete in the job market. In other words, the market is generally right and it’s probably for the best – and, you’ll find your rightful place eventually. Like other generalisations about the efficacy of market situations, it will be accurate about some but ignores the impact that the whole set-up and process has on vulnerable individuals. Repeated rejection and isolation will take its toll on some people, whilst others will have the resilience and support to absorb set backs. Many people will never find their ‘rightful’ place.

For someone with social anxiety symptoms and feelings of hopelessness, for example, career options and ambitions may be narrow and difficult to navigate. An interview can feel like a form of humiliation, exposing one’s confusions and vulnerabilities or, even, disabilities, in a situation of judgement. Interview rejections are an added pain upon that experience. Attaining roles that only offer routine work, without support for progression or poor work conditions can contribute to worsening health.

Decisions by interviewers may often be well-founded, intentioned and, perhaps, often correct Placing someone in a role beyond their capacity would likely be harmful, as well as counter-productive for the organisation. However, implicit in the logic of our economy and the sustenance market that provides its labour is that wealth and control is, generally, for the ‘able’ or ‘most productive’ and the rest is for the less able or vulnerable.

Fortunately, in an economically privileged country like the UK, there are opportunities and there are legal protection against discrimination and, also, some affirmative action schemes for disabled individuals. The publicly funded sector, I have found, can be somewhat easier to find and maintain roles in, due to less of a pressure on output – though, in the UK, the public sector is under attack from government through defunding, creating fewer opportunities and more difficult working conditions.

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IHOP(e) – reflections on homelessness and kindness

By Leyland:

It has been a very long time since I have been on a Breakfast Date. A lot went on this morning: I had an appointment with a General Nurse Practitioner. It was something important I had to do. And my medications are important, but, deep down, there is that kid in me that HATES doing things like going to the dentist. Anything concerning the closest resemblance to a Medical Procedure, I despise.

Then again, what type of person LIKES such things

Maybe it has to do with the being an “adult” part I despise so much in such affairs. You SHOULD go to the dentist. A person SHOULD go & get checked-out to get their medication… but, in the primal-part of a Hunter-Gatherer Society, is it necessary?

I suffer from Social Anxiety, along with other psychological maladies that make it awkward (sometimes, down-right frightening) to perform the grown-up role of keeping up with my health.


And I’m an all-out coward!

I had to be in the Practitioner’s Office at 8:45 a.m. It started off as a good morning. And it turned into a great day & night. But there was something strange & fun about me this morning. For example: while drinking my morning coffee, while reading-over my messages, during my time in the bathroom, brushing my teeth (starting the day) I was listening to Ghetto Sex Rap, sung by some very provocative Ebony Music Artists.

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The November Diaries (TND) – Day 7 – seasonal and other triggers for depression symptoms

By Bel;

Though this post is labeled as Day 7 of TND, today is actually Thursday, November 18, 2021. I completely fell off the momentum of TND and skipped nearly two weeks of blogging! For shame, Bel! Lots to catch you up on, so I won’t even try, for this post. But there have been many recent developments in my life that I’m excited to share at a later date.

Anyway, it’s 10:16pm right now and approaching my bedtime. Aiming for before 11pm, these days… I know, you can call me Grandma Bel. So gonna keep this post short, sweet, and real.

Today and yesterday were both meh, mood-wise. I think this recent dip in mental state might be attributed to winter weather, shorter days, less sunlight. Seasonal depression is the technical term, and I’m beginning to think I have it (like many others). Another potential cause of my low moods is that I was triggered after watching the sports documentary, Over the Limit, yesterday. The film follows Russian rhythmic gymnast, Margarita Mamun, in the months leading up to the 2016 Olympic Games, which she ended up winning. It’s a film about Rita’s journey, and what stands out is the abuse she faces– verbal, emotional, psychological– at the hands of her coaches. Watching what she was subjected to brought me back to my own gymnastics days; my 10 years in the sport left me emotionally and psychologically traumatized. Nearly a decade after retirement, I’m still dealing with the fallout of my gymnastics days, battling what I call my “gymnastics demons”, and working through these demons with extensive therapy and journaling and meditation. Some days are better than others, and the past couple days were mere low points in the never-ending up-down cycle of my mental states.

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