Things that are making you crabbit! [5]

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon May 15, 2023 10:33 am

{ Yup, I'm not even sure I'll bother making a new one. }}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Feb 09, 2024 8:19 pm

{{ So I am a carer, I am my mother's full time carer these days (I have to do the nights in the hotel because the carers allowance is so pathetic, despite it requiring a minimum of 35 hours work per week to qualify for it's impossible to actually live on, and even with the hotel work it's still close to impossible, especially in winter when the hotel closes for 3 months and I am entirely reliant on the carers allowance, and that's crabbit inducing enough especially as if I wasn't taking care of her the council would need a care package for her at a cost of several thousands per month to the taxpayer where as they pay me a measly 845 a month for my 35 hr work or about 6.50 an hour, half the minimum wage about a third of the cost of an agency carer to do the same job, but that's not what's got me crabbit at the moment though its enough) now where my mum now lives, basically a sheltered housing style place, her own flat but every room has emergency cords and stuff and aids on the walls for movement and so on, it's a great place, but it's also about 3 miles or so away from my place. And it's on the shorefront and in a Scottish winter that can be a very unpleasant and even daunting walk if the winds whipping at 100mph gusts. There is a bus however, unfortunately that'll cost me 4 quid per day, which might not sound much, but it's over 100 a month of an already pathetic carers allowance that's a little over 800 (and that's for everything, rent, council tax, food, gas, electricity, internet, same day 845 goes in 600 goes back out and that's it till other end of the month).
So I wondered if there was some sort of travel expense I was entitled too, given I needed to travel to do the job, a job saving them the government thousands a month by me doing it, as it would at least recoop me 100 quid every month, and at the bottom end 100 is a hell of a difference. But I couldn't seem to find anything that fitted the bill. Closest I got was a carers travel pass, issued by the local council, but it only covers the carer whilst they are travelling with the person they are caring for, so it was no good.

So I did what you are supposed to do, I signed into my Universal Credit account and I sent a message to my government 'Work Coach' asking if there was any help I could get.
This was the response I received-

'We are not sure on this, I have looked on line to try and find out for you please copy the link below.'

And then she gave me the link to the same carers pass that doesn't apply I had already looked at. The best the official government benefits agency in charge of all the benefits could do when asked if a benefit was available, was to shrug their shoulders say 'I dunno' and then just do what I could, and already had done, myself, googled it. The sickener is that these clowns in these jobs in the benefits offices are probably on 25+ grand a year. Meanwhile I trudge through horrendous weather for mile after mile with wet feet (all the walking soles have worn through but new shoes are currently a luxury item) because the pathetic amount I get for caring is so bad I can't survive on it let alone use it for travel and the benefits office are so incompetent they don't even know if they have available benefits or not. And that is making me very crabbit indeed at the moment, it can be dark and dreary and bleak enough this part of the world I don't need this sort of depressive darkness descending on me too, making hard times impossibly hard. }}

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the crabbit will suffer neither sleight of hand nor half-truths. - Forest
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Post by halfwise Fri Feb 09, 2024 8:49 pm

I think they must have come up with that salary under the very outdated assumption that the carer would be living with the relative.  I'd think you'd need 50% more than that just to get by.  Suppose it's too much up and down for a bike?

Do you at least get lunch covered at the elder home?

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Feb 09, 2024 8:57 pm

{{ What really beats you down is the sense of being punished for trying to do the right thing. I care for my own mother, saving the government thousands every month in care costs, I work on top of that paying my taxes, which means on top of the caring I work 50 hours per week. And yet I struggle every single day to cover the very basics of living. Our whole system seems designed to punish those who try, to push you back down and keep you in poverty by design. }}

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the crabbit will suffer neither sleight of hand nor half-truths. - Forest
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Post by halfwise Fri Feb 09, 2024 9:39 pm

Yeah, my brother was on unemployment benefits for a bit, and had to do an average of two job interviews a day in order to keep it. That sounds like it may be a good idea, but when they are only giving you a barely adequate stipend it pushes you to take a job that may not be the right fit (it typically takes a month of searching to find a proper job) and then you lose your benefits so you are stuck. He ended up going back to the place he quit a few years earlier back when he thought it would be a good idea to go free lance.

Meanwhile he had no health insurance and got cancer....and Obama care came along in the nick of time to save his life.

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Post by Mrs Figg Fri Feb 09, 2024 11:07 pm

Bad weather does make things ten times worse. On the bright side, when the weather is good at least you live in a beautiful place. The year before I left England for good, I was living in Byker Grove in Newcastle, it was a council flat in a dirty shithole block of flats with a drug dealer living next door. The door was like cardboard, and I was scared to go to sleep in case someone got into my flat. There was pigeon crap on every surface, it was crawling, and I often woke up to find my car on bricks, not that I could afford petrol most of the time. I was on Jobseekers Allowance and doing a part time job cleaning the toilets of a factory and a bank. I had to sell most of my nice books to eat, I lived on boiled pasta and raisins. I remember one night toiling up a hill in the bitter freezing wind and rain to get to the cleaning job and feeling like I was doomed. I was so down I could hardly smile anymore. Once my ex-student friends invited me to meet up at one of their houses and they all decided to go for a meal, I didn't want to let them know that I had literally no money so didnt order any food. I remember sitting there very hungry watching them all eat, and nobody offered me as much as a slice of pizza, I went off to the loo and left without saying goodbye. I never saw them again. I decided on that humiliating night that that was it, I was done. I had applied to do lots of jobs all over the place and one day before my telephone line got cut off, I got a fateful phone call. I left England because when you are in need of help and support the powers that be like to rip your head off and shit down the hole, just for kicks. That experience marked me for life, and now I appreciate every small good thing.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Sat Feb 10, 2024 9:09 am

{{ Yeah it's soul zapping Figg. I can't even go elsewhere, who would care for my mother if I did. So I'm stuck in a trap, I can't even do more work to get out of it as my carers allowance is tied to my hotel wages, more I earn in hotel more they take from my carers, so even when I am working a full 50 hour week I'm not getting paid for all those hours. The government takes 55 pence out of every 1 pound I earn at the hotel and deducts it from the carers allowance (but I still have to do the 35 hours work to qualify for it). And if I go over the limit of working 16 hours, the maximum I am allowed to work and get carers, even by 1 hour I automatically lose that months allowance altogether. So if I work for an extra 12 quid I lose hundreds at the other end. This has meant, being on night shift, I've been in the position of having to cover for someone who hasn't come into work in the morning until they can get permanent cover, but I have had to do it for free as if they paid me for it, it'd cost me far more than the little extra in the wage. So you are screwed no matter what you do, work more lose money, don't work, lose money, try to live on just the allowance? It's not possible. There is no way out.
It can feel at times like there is just a massive invisible force bearing down on you, smothering you and crushing you, and there's not a damned thing you can do to stop it.
No wonder male suicide in this country is so high, they take away your dignity and your sense of purpose and being and turn all your efforts into dust and throw it back in your face. }}

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the crabbit will suffer neither sleight of hand nor half-truths. - Forest
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Post by Mrs Figg Sat Feb 10, 2024 11:03 am

yep, I know that sense of catch22. When I did the cleaning job I wasn't allowed to do more than 15 hours, because if heaven forbid I did 20 hours of work in order to actually eat properly they would get me into the DWP offices and reprimand me and tell me I was in trouble. I remember asking the bloke why I wasn't allowed to earn more money by working and he didn't have an answer. He just looked at me as if to say, 'these are the crazy rules, it's not my job to question'. I was not allowed to earn more than a pittance. No wonder people turn to the black market and invent ways to survive. And this was more than 20 years ago when people were not sanctioned as much and the DWP was less like the Stasi police.
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Post by Lancebloke Sun Feb 11, 2024 5:55 pm

And it also doesn't help that the government did a stealth tax increase (despite them saying they were doing the biggest tax cuts in the known universe) by not increase the tax thresholds in line with inflation. They didn't tell anyone that though.
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Post by Mrs Figg Sat Mar 23, 2024 10:30 am

Those social media swines have made Kate's life a misery for weeks with their idiot conspiracy theories about photoshop, all the while the poor kid has cancer. I hate what society has become. Nasty, prurient, bullying, emotionally immature, constantly offended over trivia and unable to tolerate anything out of their literal safe spaces. A society that is infantilized to the levels of an outraged toddler. It's appalling and it's a good job our great grandparent's, God bless em, will never know how low we have sunk. I know the Bulldog Spirit is a trope and a stereotype, but fuq me, where has it gone.
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Post by halfwise Sat Mar 23, 2024 3:31 pm

I'm sure she doesn't pay attention to any of the non-serious journalism. But yeah, she's too young for any cancer except melanoma, and she's not the sunbathing type. She'll have better care than most of us might get, though I do have to give credit to the medical establishment in most countries for often going above and beyond to save young people who don't have the advantages she has.

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Post by halfwise Mon Apr 08, 2024 5:52 pm

We're supposed to have a 90% solar eclipse in a couple hours, and the sky is filling with cirrus. Mad

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Post by halfwise Mon Apr 08, 2024 9:03 pm

the cirrus turns out to not mess things up so much; the sunlight blasts right through.  But trying to take pictures doesn't work, even through eclipse glasses.

Funny, we had 90% of the sun's light gone, plus blockage from clouds, and it didn't feel anywhere near missing 90% of the light. More like half. Our eyes are truly nonlinear and not to be trusted as physical observers.

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Post by Lancebloke Mon Apr 08, 2024 9:07 pm

Don't think I have paid attention to an eclipse before... how was it?
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Apr 08, 2024 9:08 pm

{{ Though technically a partial eclipse may have been just about visible from where I am right before sunset, unfortunately this is Scotland, sunset happens way down behind a hill! And besides after a blue sky day it turned to wall to wall cloud and rain. Never noticed a thing, not even a change in lighting. }}

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Post by halfwise Mon Apr 08, 2024 9:20 pm

Because the darkening is no more than what you'd get from a think cloud across the sun, if you have clouds, the effect is not much.  A completely clear sky would have more effect, since otherwise you only notice it by looking at the sun through eclipse glasses.

But it was fun seeing all the students perched about to watch it.

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Post by Lancebloke Tue Apr 09, 2024 9:19 am

We don't have many hills here but we did have the thick blanket of grey, drizzly cloud so nothing to see here either.

I think I heard the next total solar eclipse here is 2090 or something like that!
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Post by Mrs Figg Tue Apr 09, 2024 9:56 am

I remember the only eclipse that I saw and it was about 20 years ago, it was spooky.
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Post by Forest Shepherd Thu May 02, 2024 10:51 pm

Lancebloke wrote:We don't have many hills here but we did have the thick blanket of grey, drizzly cloud so nothing to see here either.

I think I heard the next total solar eclipse here is 2090 or something like that!
That's funny, my next total solar eclipse is around 2090 too.

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