I also got myself some temporary work, by accident. If you've never worked in the health and social care sector, it might be unsettling to learn how easy it is to get a job working with vulnerable people. Last week I bit the proverbial bullet and still accepted I've some way to go before I can live the money-free life I want, and registered on some job search websites. Less than a day later I got an email from a manager asking if I wanted some work. She has a small organisation that cares for 16-18 year olds in supported accommodation, would I be interested in working in one of them? Well, not really, but it's something worth doing and something I have some relevant experience with, so whatever. Do I have a current DBS? Yes, I do. One five minute "interview" later, in which I did probably about 10% of the talking, and I'm on the rota. It's more or less minimum wage stuff, but it'll pay the (soon to be considerably lower) bills.
A "DBS", by the way is a certificate from the national "Disclosure and Barring Service" that verifies any criminal convictions, reprimands or warnings you may have, if any. I have none, and my DBS proves it. It's required for anyone working in the care sector in just about any capacity, for pretty obvious reasons. One thing it doesn't prove of course, is whether you're any good at caring for vulnerable people. This is why it's probably a good idea for care organisations to have a more rigorous recruitment process. However, many of them don't, and as far as I can tell there seems to be no legal requirement for them to do so. The joys of a semi-privatised social care system and a crumbling National Health Service, I suppose. (Vote Corbyn). What this means is that anyone with no actual experience of caring for and supporting others can more or less walk straight into a job doing exactly that, provided they haven't been caught breaking the law yet. It's a fairly low standard to hold the people who help some of the most vulnerable in our society to, I think you'll agree. I happen to have ten years experience in this area, so know one or two things about it, but has my employment history even been checked? Have I been asked for references? No. I may be biased, but I've always had the inclination that the paid carers in our society deserve a little more than minimum wage for doing what they do. In contrast with, say, the people who are paid hundreds of thousands a week for kicking a football around or lip syncing to ABBA songs on television. So it goes.
My first shift is next week. I'll have to see how few I can get by on in order to make ends meet, which may take a month or so of experimentation. Still, it's a positive step and I'm feeling quite good about it. The new flat doesn't look too shabby, either.