NaPoWriMo Day 21 – I am the hammer

Today is the first day I’ve gone without a prompt. Essentially it’s because a great development opportunity is available but it’s also one that would potentially fuck my shit up in terms of going beyond what is deemed permitted work.

This development opportunity is designed around providing a ladder up for those with disabilities and from lower socio-economic brackets.

However I have made it known that current DWP rules essentially great an aspiration premium whereby opportunities for advancement act as an aspiration premium.

This isn’t new to me. In 2008 after getting into Manchester University for my 1st attempt at a university education (which was plagued with mental health struggles) I went 3 months between signing up for uni to starting at uni without money because I was classed as student… completely ignorant of the fact I at that time had an insecure tenancy due to it’s infancy after spending the prior year homeless and on top of that having no money to in benefits to live off. This also meant no housing benefit either which meant I’d start university with 3 months of rent arrears.

This new opportunity years later after a year out of work as a chef due to Covid would double what’s deemed as permitted work. I believe opportunities designed to support the most vulnerable in society should also acknowledge the systemic barriers that mean the support offered to such people shouldn’t fuck their shit up. Be creative. Give half as a salary and half as a grant. Split one offer between two people in the same boat with the permitted work situation… £6500 of £13,000 is sure as hell better than £0 which is what I’ve had as a chef for the last year.

For years I was embarrassed of being on ESA, of my disability, and of my mental health struggles.

But now I offer a fuck you to the system and society that made me feel that way… I, am the hammer!

Apply for this grant,

get your dream job.

Stay in your lane,

you dumb benefits slob.

Volunteering isn’t work.

Domestic labour isn’t work.

Experience and exposure isn’t work.

This system,

doesn’t… work.

We’re expected to do better,

we’re expected to be better.

We’re expected to act as if

the aspiration premium of bureaucracy

isn’t a ceiling tinted with rose coloured glass.

But I, am the hammer!

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