Suitcase. Hall. You know the drill.

Well, I’ve moved again. This time to Liverpool. Unplanned, unexpected and unprepared for. It’s been a strange few weeks.

Amazon finished June 19th. It was always going to. My contract with Transline was a 9 month contract, the idea being that you either get laid off before the end, or you get taken on. People completing the 9 month contract doesn’t really happen. In truth, I’m amazed I survived it. Sheer bloodymindedness and the presence of a couple of people in the warehouse were the only reason I walked away after my 9 months sane. After that, you’re obliged to take 8 weeks off before you can go back with the agency, which was pretty much my plan.

“So how come if you lasted the 9 months, did you not get taken on?” I hear you cry. Well, that’s pretty simple. I was due to be taken on, assured it was not going to be a problem by the managers. Then Glenda died. I had a call at stupid o’clock in the morning from someone in New Zealand telling me that she’d died, and then had a half hour conversation with Jack, and from then on stayed up researching what happens next. regarding my being dad and sorting custody. I went in to work that day to tell them that I was unable to work because I needed to see solicitors etc etc and thought no more of it.  Transline saw fit to give me a mark against my attendance because of this, a point which lasted for 3 months. Now, the last conversion date from agency staff to Amazon staff was at the end of March, and thus, this point meant that from the day it was given, both Amazon and Transline knew that I could not be converted within my 9 month time frame. However, they neglected to mention that to me and persisted in telling me that, I would be converted and not to worry. I only found out the truth by accident after having a random drugs test in the HR department where I asked about when my conversion would be, and they said “There are no more conversions for a few months”.

I believe the word is apoplectic. In trying to do what was right for my son in New Zealand, I’d been punished to the point that cost me my permanent job, while still not securing custody. How I didn’t walk out that day when I found out I’ll never know. 

Anyway, I’ve digressed. So, 8 weeks off. I decided to not bother to claim anything, and treat it as a holiday. There’s a certain stigma which hangs over claiming things, and it’s not nice. However, it became obvious that the 8 weeks would in point of fact turn into 10 while working my week in hand, and the unfortunate alignment of days meant that incorporated 3 months rent, amounting to £1050. That’s quite a hit for my savings, and so I thought for the last month, I’ll claim. So I did, and spent accordingly, trusting the system to sort everything out. I’d given my claim in on the 12th July ready for a rent payment August 19th. Seemed a reasonable amount of time. Housing claim went in with the JobSeeker thing, which came through happily, and at a meeting with them I passed on my documents for the housing claim… and thought no more about it until the Monday before the rent was due. In the meantime I’d secured both the chance of a new job, and the chance to return to Amazon again on the 19th, and also had a bust up at home resulting in a huge amount of stress. Deciding “better the devil you know” i knocked the new job on the head and decided, leave Bilston upon starting back at Amazon and grab a new place, and begin again. Use the money from last month’s rent (it’s paid in arrears) to fund a deposit elsewhere, and plough into Amazon again.

Sounded like a plan, but with one small hitch. Just to make sure I knew how much money I’d get for my rent reimbursed I called the office on Monday. “Sorry Mr Wiseman, we’ve no record of the claim”. Only course of action, submit another claim, and wait, which left me stuffed fiscally. No money for a deposit and even if I’d’ve chosen to stay where I was, I couldn’t’ve paid my rent anyway. All because I trusted the system and chose to claim what I was (and still am) entitled to.  With nowhere to stay, I was unable to start back at Amazon and faced landing on the streets. Fortunately my niece Heidi-Rose has stuck her neck out and said I can have her sofa for a while. 

So what now? Good question. I need accommodation, not least because, I’ve actually secured a job at the new Amazon depo in Manchester Airport, and it’s not agency. It’s actually Amazon. Mildly amused that I got my blue badge after all, especially as they rang me 4 times to get me to go over there, but… how the hell do I get to there in a morning? I don’t know. It’s a conundrum. For now it’s a case of surviving, and waiting for a start date confirmation which is late September/early October. If I can grab some work in the meantime… marvellous. If not… I’m going to struggle. 

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