Friday, 9 October 2009

A Hopeful Day and a Wasteful Day

As I am sure anyone suffering from M.E knows, new research has discovered a possible cause/common factor in those suffering from the disease. I won't go into this too much as more information than I can provide can be found online and in other M.E websites. It is promising news though, that break-through's may finally be being made, and excellent to see that this has become national and international news. The findings were on the front page of today's Independent. I will put one link for anyone reading this who wants to know more - The Whittemore Peterson Institute who conducted the research have a useful Q and A section on their website all about the XMRV virus which is a possible cause of M.E/Chronic fatigue syndrome. You can also donate straight to them to continue their important work.

I would get tested right now if I could (if only out of curiosity).

Other news of my M.E life, aside from the above excitement, is that I've had a typically frustrating and exhausting week of dealing with the incompetence of the Jobcentre. I requested information a long time ago as to whether there were any training courses available that perhaps I could attend whilst biding my time as an unemployed person. I have two degrees so was only looking for a basic computer/Microsoft office course or something to make it easier to get an office admin job. I was met with a non-commital answer which led me to the eventual conclusion that despite all the government spiel about a "new deal" to get people back to work, and to offer lots of exciting new options for the unemployed it was just more empty words. Once again any support on offer seemed irrelevant to my case/situation. However I was told that once I had been unemployed for more than 6 months I could contact a local college, based in the nearest large town, to get some free "work focused training." I was given a phone number for the college and told to call them.

Pathetically hopeful about this, partly for the chance to meet some people and get out the house, I rang the college to make an appointment to arrange said training. After several confused phone calls involving being hung-up on by accident, and met with confusion over who to refer me to within the college,
I was also told that I should not have been calling them direct as it should have been the jobcentre arranging it. I did finally manage to arrange an actual appointment to "discuss options." As anyone with M.E knows, making an hour long journey to keep an appointment is in itself tiring at best, and exhausting at worst. I am still recovering from a recent cold so I was already having a rough day. Despite this, I arrived at the college and met the person who was to discuss the "work focused training" with me. However (and I am not making this up!), he literally sat me down for a minute or so and asked me about myself etc, he then 'ummed and 'ahhed and told me that basically, the college were no longer running subsidised courses through the Jobcentre. Those few that were still running were all full! I didn't even get to look at courses or discuss attending any. He did have the grace to apologise for this and admitted that my being there was a complete waste of time.

Once again the Jobcentre/powers that be have completely let me down and failed to take into account my individual needs. Why was I sent on an hour long journey to a college that had absolutely nothing to offer me?! Why could the college not have told me over the phone what they told me in person? Why did the Jobcentre refer me to a college that was no longer supplying any Jobcentre related courses? When I asked why I wasn't told over the phone of the problems/lack of courses running the college representative replied that it was the Jobcentre's responsibility. Talk about a lack of communication in the system! All this sadly resulting in a waste of my precious energy, not to mention leaving me once more feeling depressed and hopeless. The whole tiring day resulted in nothing productive whatsoever, I am so annoyed I may write a formal letter of complaint to the Jobcentre regarding this most recent incident. As usual there just seems to be nowhere for me to go for a little help.

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