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Thursday, 12 December 2013

A Conversation

Are you drunk?

No, I'm not drunk

You seem like you've been drinking a bit

I haven't had a drink

You smell a little bit like you've had a drink

I haven't. I need help. I need help

...

I'm not drunk

Ok. How can I help?

I'm in a bad situation

How so?

I'm trying to find a job. But it's too hard for me because of my hand

What happened to your hand?

It's injured. I injured it

How did you injure it? What happened?

That's not important

Ok

...

So, what is it you need me to help you with?

I have troubles

Ok. Talk me through what it is you need me to help you with

I have a son. And I need to find a job so that I can see him. So that he can stay with me. His mother doesn't want him to stay with me unless I have a job

And you've been looking?

Yes

And you haven't found anything?

No

Ok

...

Is anyone helping you?

The Job Centre. I have a person at the Job Centre

And what advice have you been given by this person?

Just that I need to keep trying

Ok

...

But the problem is with my hand, really

How so?

I go for trials. I've had lots of trial days at lots of different jobs but they don't ask me back because of things I can't do because of my hand

And what does your adviser at the Job Centre say about that?

That I have to keep trying

...

Do you feel like you're well enough to work?

Yes. I can work

Ok. But what about your hand?

I can do most things. I can work. My hand slows me down at some things but I can work

Ok. And what does your doctor say?

My doctor says I can work. Look: she wrote a letter

...

Ok. So, your doctor says you're fit for work

Yes. My doctor says that. But the people at the jobs think I can't do things because of my hand

Yes

To them, I am ill. To my doctor, I am well. I am ill, I am well, I am ill, I am well

Do you have any other health problems?

No

None?

No

How are you feeling? In general? About stuff in general?

You mean, am I depressed?

Yes. Do you think you might be?

Of course I'm depressed

...

But I want to work. I just want to find work. I want to work hard

And how often do you drink?

I'm not drunk

Ok, I'm just trying to get a picture of how things are for you. How much do you think you drink on an average day or during an average week?

I'm not drunk

Ok

...

...

What can I do? I want to see my son

Well, if you're telling me that you feel like you're fit for work, it seems like your problem is more about you not being able to find the right job than you not being well enough to work. Yes?

Yes

Ok. So, it seems like your adviser at the Job Centre needs to put you forward for things that are better suited to your needs. Have you spoken to each other about that?

I don't know

You should

But there are no jobs for me. What can I do? I go for trials and then nothing. Every time. What can I do?

You need to ask your adviser at the Job Centre to give you more nuanced advice and put you forward for jobs that you have a chance of keeping

But people take one look at me and decide about me straight away. Every time. Every time

...

What can I do?

...

What can I do? Please. What can I do?

I don't know. I don't have an answer. I'm sorry

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