Life Testimony:

A Former carer and current job-seeker

F*** job satisfaction, f*** charities. You know, if that’s the way they treat their workers, I’m better off in the private sector.

Past experience: as a carer of the terminally ill

Purely by accident! I used to be a carer for the terminally ill for 15 years. That was a long process, because my first ever job was working for [unnamed], which I thoroughly enjoyed. I don’t know how it happened, but I ended up getting a job as a doctor’s receptionist, part time, so it was 3 till 6.30, which was great fun, but that wasn’t really what I wanted to do.

I knew I wanted to work with the elderly, because when I was younger, there was and old lady who lived across the road from us and my mum used to send me over to do shopping, if she needed shopping and she was just full of really great stories and was a really lovely person and I was just really intrigued by it all, so I just thought ‘Yup, ok’, it was kind of a process of keeping my ears open, learning as much as I can while being a receptionist…I was actually seeing a doctor as well, so that helped!

When I changed over into terminally ill, that was quite…depressing It was good, don’t get me wrong, and they always say don’t get involved with the people you’re working with, but it’s very hard not to, because you have a relationship with them everyday, when you come in and see them, and I used to do night work with them as well, so it meant I’d turn up at 6 and wouldn’t leave until 8 the next day.

So, it was good, it was very rewarding, I like job satisfaction and I enjoyed the people, but of course you knew what was going to happen at the end, so that gets very difficult to deal with. You know, it begins to affect your own mental health.

Next job

I started working for [unnamed], part time. The training was every day, so that was ok and then my hours was Monday, Wednesday Thursday and Friday and that was 1-half past six. But the [unnamed] clinic has different hours, so that would have been 12 till half-past-five the [unnamed] one, before that closed down. So it all seemed to be going alright, you know, everyone seemed to be lovely and things like that, so…

[Unnamed] is a charity for young people aged 11-24 for sexual health, for male and female. [Unnamed] as a clinic has a male-only clinic on Tuesdays… And that’s what made [unnamed] different, they had an on-site counsellor. Not a lot of clinics do that.

And then they got in a NEW head manager, who seemed to know what she was doing, seems to be on the ball. And she looked at the numbers, she did the number crunching and she said that that everything has to change. Everything. So, all the receptionists had to reapply. They trained us, and then we all had to reapply, which was stupid. Waste of money. Total waste.

Future steps

I kind of feel like I like doing good work and I like non-profiting organisations and believe me, when I did the care work and the night work yes it was VERY, very good money, but it was job satisfaction. Now, I just think f*** job satisfaction, f*** charities. You know, if that’s the way they treat their workers, I’m better off in the private sector. You know, I get my money and go and don’t give a toss, but that’s not ME. I DO give a toss, but I AM thinking about going back into the private sector.

I’m with [Unnamed job agency], [Unnamed job agency], I’m with quite a few actually but they’re blocking up my email. Not actual jobs, just nonsense. It’s so demoralising and depressing quite frankly. I just feel so used and spat out after all I’ve tried to do my whole life is help other people. Now I’m at my wits end and there is no-one to help me. At the moment, I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t’ really want to go back into the care work, because it is quite demanding and I don’t want to think I’ve got the energy and the patience and the heart. You really do need the patience and I just don’t have the patience anymore. But when push comes to shove, and depending what type of care work they want doing, then yeah, I’ll have to go and do it.