Hayley is a Ghost

my existence is crap

Posted on: May 9, 2010

I had dreams, but when I left school I was a bit disullusioned with what I wanted to do and I was talked into enrolling onto a college course that wasn’t suited to me, but rather, was a course that a particular relative would like to have done and because they couldn’t I was, in their mind, the suitable replacement.

The year after I quit college I enrolled on a business course because that left me with loads of options, however, my life decided to be a bitch and gave me a huge tumor in my ear that was threatening my life. After surgery and recovery I was so far behind with my work that my tutor kindly suggested I try again next year.

A year later and I was nineteen and my mother had only what was best in mind when she told me that going back to college was probably impossible because of our financial situation. She didn’t know about adult learning grants and I, being naive, didn’t bother to find out about them. So I went into full time work and I did an NVQ in the bakery that I was working in.

That’s the extent of my qualifications. A handful of GCSE’s and an NVQ in bakery retail and service.

I have tried several courses since. Home study, full time placement, online part time etc. however after a rather nasty two year bullying campaign that I had to deal with when I worked for Sainsburys my mental health was sort of fucked up. I was diagnosed with severe social anxiety and panic disorder all because my line manager couldn’t be bothered to sort the problem with the bully out because he ‘didn’t know how’. Spineless bastard.

It meant that my negative thoughts overtook  my common sense and I sabotaged every opportunity that was handed to me. It was like being trapped inside of yourself, watching as you destroy things but not being able to do anything about it, or to stop yourself.

Now, all this time later and I have recovered and I want to achieve something with my life and now I have no chances. Nobody will give me the chance to do something to get a step up to somewhere.

I am unemployed, my job seekers people keep screwing me over with my money, nearly every job I apply for tells me I have too much experience (because of previous retail management training) or not enough experience, or I have experience of the wrong sort.

My goal was to finish off the open university degree that I started two years ago and couldn’t afford to continue because of the social anxiety, however, I can’t afford to even consider paying £650 for the first part of the course because I don’t even have £6.50 let alone £650.

I have applied for a course at college but to get onto it I will need to take out an ‘adult learning grant’ but I still owe them money from a previous course I took, and I can’t afford to pay them, so it’s unlikely I’ll be able to get onto that course even if I’m accepted by the college.

It really annoys me because I want to achieve something and people wont let me. I get tarred with the same brush as people who are on job seekers allowance and don’t want to do anything. I’m not like that and not everyone who gets job seekers allowance is like that. It’s a vile generalisation that people make and it angers me.

Every two weeks I have to go to the job centre to sign on and it is humiliating. Every two weeks I  get enough money to pay my mum some rent and then have enough in my purse left over in case I need to travel to interviews (which is very rarely.)

Gordon Brown was right when he recently said there isn’t a life on Job seekers allowance because there isn’t. This life that I live right now, it’s not an existence.

It’s a life full of ‘hang in there’, ‘you’re CV is great’, ‘something will give’, ‘there’s a job out there for you’, ”you’re applying for jobs in the right way’, ‘something will turn up’, and ‘don’t let it get you down.’ It’s disappointing. It’s annoying. It’s undignifying. I hate it.

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9 Responses to "my existence is crap"

Hey Hayley, drop me a line later. I have no money but if you were accepoted on an OU course why not do a degree? What do you want to study? I know a good amount about FE/HE options, and while I don’t even get JSA so can’t help with the financing, I can certainly help you find the cash. However I appreciate there are health issues etc, but let’s talk. You should be doing something as clearly you are unhappy you missed out on your educational opportunities through no fault of your own. Yiu can call me if you like, you have my number I think but I’ll send you it if not?

cj x

I won’t lie, you’re in a pretty challenging situation. But you can get out of it.

First, do not over-obsess with job hunting. Yes, it would be really good if you had more money, but that won’t fix the whole situation of not achieving your dreams with a 9 to 5 job.

I am a big fan of the idea that anyone can make money out of their hobbies. What do you enjoy? Is it cooking? Reading? Writing? Whatever you enjoy, you can write about on this blog. And there are tons of ways to monetize a blog. I recommend you read this article for more information: http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/05/how-to-make-money-from-your-blog/

Best of all? Starting a blog costs zero to ten dollars, and you have already done it!

If you do not know what your passion is, then I recommend you read this article I wrote yesterday on the subject about how I found out: http://thedailyadventurer.wordpress.com/2010/05/08/how-to-choose-a-career/

I really want to help you, dear stranger, so if you need ideas or motivation contact me at nadina.cardillo@gmail.com

A little motivation: the guy who wrote the article on making money from a blog, who is at the moment quite rich, started his path from a jail situation. You really think you can’t achieve your dreams? 😉

When I was sacked from my previous job, I endured the misery of signing on for over a year and a half. It’s soul destroying and humiliating. It saps away all of your self worth. I didn’t technically find a job at all and I’m well aware I’ve only delayed things by being accepted into Art School (at least I’ll be able to make a nifty hat out of the paper my degree is printed.)

But your existence is far from crap. The inspiring and wonderful work you do with this website and with the podcast really does make a difference. It’s all well and good me saying that, as it doesn’t pay the bills at the end of the day. What you do takes balls and above all, integrity.
And that’s something they’ll never chip away.

Thank you. That means a lot 🙂

We agree with Dinacardillo. If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to do, look to your hobbies and interests. I know there’s the mentality of applying for anything and everything on the Job Seekers website (Have been there) but if you’re not going to enjoy your job, why bother?

A surprising ammount of people are in situations similar to yourself. My Fiance was in a similar situation last year. She’d qualified as a hair dresser and moved with me to Manchester, hopeful of finding a job away from the proverbial home nest. However, the reality for her was a year of joblessness and lonelyness, with pressure from myself and other financial responsibilities mounting. Joblessness is really, really depressing – it wrecks your self worth and confidence, which makes it even harder to perform at interviews. It becomes a downward spiral. I’m not going to insult you by saying we know how you feel, but we’ve both been there ourselves, and thankfully we’re are (hopefully) past that point in our lives.

It depends on what you’re aiming for, but I can say that employment agencies, although a bit shifty, can offer an important step in getting where you want to be. If you are applying to employment agencies, the golden rule is BE PERSISTANT. When you apply to be a temp, make sure you get the email address/tel no of who handles sending people to companies, then phone/email them at least 3 times per week, asking if they have anything. If you keep your name fresh in their memory you’re more likely to be selected for something than if you were just an entry in a database. Plus if you bug them enough they’ll find you something to get rid of you. 😉

If you’re aiming for a career in a specific industry/sector, I suggest looking through the Yellow Pages to find companies in that industry/sector, and emailing them a coverletter and CV regardless of if they’re advertising for a job. In your cover letter, emphasize that you’re passionate about and ask them to contact you if they have anything or if anything opens up in the future. Taking the initiative to contact them directly speaks volumes about your character.

Also, get involved in special interest groups surrounding your chosen industry/sector. The company where I’ve been working part time for the last year contacted me after I posted an email to a Linux Users Group mailing list, and offered me a job based on what I’d mentioned in my introduction.

Make use of free advertising like Craigslist and social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and FB. The 6 degrees of seperation principle states that you are at most 6 ‘steps’ away from every person on earth. (One of your friends knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows Barak Obama) which means that by promoting yourself using social media you can reach a vast majority of people. One of those people might know someone who can help you.

Make a part of your blog an online coverletter and CV, then link to it from your blogposts and social media posts. Yes it’s spammy, but done tactfully you can get the message across without alienating anyone.

I wish you the best of luck, and I hope my limited advice can be of assistance!

James & Kherris (@jim_harg on Twitter)

Gazzmatazz has written a lot of sense and CJ has been very kind. Being unemployed is a tough hole to be in. Just don’t dig it deeper by doing why I did and staying up to all hours and burning the candle at both ends. It made me ill and mental state really suffered as a consequence.

I had no idea what I wanted to do before I stumbled into education by sheer chance. I have been in situations where I have been unemployed for lengthy periods of time and it is so difficult to get a job when you don’t already have one. I can empathise with the hassle of going to sign on as unemployed and seeking work. The way you get asked for identification, even though the buggers know who you are because they’ve seen you at least every fortnight for the past six months.

Things will fall into place, just that you may not yet know where it is you’re headed. Like CJ I think that a return to education is something you could get great benefit from. Chin up fish-head and vent your frustration by giving me some abuse on Wednesday!

In response to your blog’s subtitle: skepticism is by its very nature too scary to many people. It questions. Questions “received truths” of all kinds. Most people don’t like to think too much, and they don’t like to have their illusions shattered, and they don’t like to come to a point where they feel they have to buck any of their “received truths.”

Very well said. I experienced this when I came to realise that my beliefs about ghosts and the afterlife were wrong. It’s scary because it leaves a HUGE hole in your life but I summaried that it wasn’t so bad because there was so much new knowledge waiting to fill that hole up, so to speak.

I was equally thrown, but the other way, when I was forced to abandon my materialist position and to adopt “pro-ghost” and “mildly impressed by the evidence for survival” beliefs. I actually when young did not even believe people had “ghost experiences” — I was a pretty resolute materialist. A single experience made me realise that I was wrong, and after that I was utterly confused for a very long time, “radically agnostic” on all questions — my paradigm was shattered. I guess learning philosophy and throwing myself full scale in tot eh research literature helped me achieve some snese of balance.

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Hayley is a ghost

Hayley Stevens is an advocate for science-based research into seemingly paranormal experiences and occurrences. With a background in the pseudo-scientific research into ghosts, Hayley offers a unique insight into the strange world of ghost hunting through her experience.

She describes herself as 'a ghost hunter who doesn't hunt for ghosts' and this is her personal blog where she writes about ghosts, people, and other interesting things. Read more here.

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