It's a while since I last blogged but I've been experiencing a period of rapid change. I was made redundant last week and started my new job this week.
I hate to get too excited too soon but it appears to be going rather well,in that I have been given a free rein to organise my job as I see fit. In my last job I was micro-managed according to a secret and ever changing set of rules. In this one I could set fire to the office and they'd understand. It's like self-employment with the security of employment. In other words -a dream.
The gist of my role is ensuring folk who've returned to work or taken their first job after six months plus on benefits are getting in work benefits and are managing their finances. The aim of which is to help them stay in work. In other words helping folk make the best of themselves rather than claiming their way into a stupor.
As ever I'm baffled by the benefit system's hostility to independance. You'd think a government that wanted people off benefits and into work might do something to make the transition much easier. To be fair there is help available but as far as I can gather if people go and find work themselves and decline to take up the time of DWP staff looking for work they've had it.
I met a very pleasant lady this week who'd been a heroin addict for twenty years and in receipt of Incapacity Benefit who took a job she'd found herself eighteen months ago. Naturally she was verbally refused a benefit run on and job grant because she didn't tell Jobcentre staff she was looking for work. This has left her with rent arrears, council tax arrears and a fair bit of debt. The situation was made worse by her ostrich like refusal to deal with the situation until it got critical. It isn't helped by the government taxing her meagre income either. Still I'm hopeful I can do something for her. Plan A involves negotiation and begging. Plan B involves bankruptcy.
I don't deny her situation is self-inflicted but kicking a woman when she's down is bad enough, kicking her while she's trying to get back on her feet is wicked. This government is fond of slogans so here's one for them how about Tough to Claim, Easy to Work. Then again that bunch of congenital liars would only fail to live up to it.
Finally I must inform you all of a culinary treat lurking in the Govanhill area. For the love of God get yourself along to Delicious Corner (232 Allison Street, Glasgow,G42 8RT). It's Greggs for Muslims in that it offers a small selection of pastry delights filled with halal meat. Happily for the vegetarians their are vegetable samosas which are the food of the Gods. Delicious moist but not greasy flaky pastry, huge in size and plesantly spiced they slip down like a dream and may well be as addictive as crack cocaine. Only 50p a pop. I'm not often tempted by meat but they do spicy chicken balls the size of a man's fist for about 70p a go and I must admit to contemplating chicken murder as I gazed upon them. They do all the usual fare like sausage rolls, pasties and the like as well which my accomplice assures me are very tasty. All I can tell you is that they are unusually large.
All lovers of Asian food must tell everyone they know -the last thing we want is Delicious Corner going the way of the wonderous and much missed Pakistani Cafe.