Monday, 23 June 2008

Running my mouth.

Did I run? I did not. Partly because I got a text at 5am from a bored friend trapped at Luton airport, thought ‘ah well… I’m awake now I might as well get up,’ and then promptly fell into a deep abyss of dreamless sleep and woke up only just in time to scramble over to the CAB offices to answer phone calls from distressed, depressed and occasionally extremely unpleasant folk in various stages of crises. Kind of lost the will to live after that.

Citizens Advice Bureau, having said that, is an incredible place.
And why?
You sir! Your wife leaves you for your brother-in-law and becomes your sister-in-law (once removed). What are your rights as to the house or your children?

You madam! Yes you with the lop sided leer. Say you are waitressing and on your shift the customers at table 8 do ‘a runner’. The restaurant manager says you have to pay their bill or work an extra shift? Is that legal?

And you two, just over from Poland and working in a drycleaners. But you ma’am find out you are pregnant and are worried about the chemicals. You want to leave until the baby comes but you are not sure if your job will be there when you need it. Do you have any rights?
Well do ya? Punk?

And you reading this. Think you wouldn’t need CAB eh? How about the fact that you, after a healthy trek in the Himalayas are struck down with lurgi, face 6 months of illness and can’t work. Can you claim benefits?
If you fall into debt after investing with some Nigerian internet firm, can someone advise you and advocate for you even if you cannot afford a solicitor?

Citizens Advice is there because none of us has a real clue to the constant changing torrent of legislation that affects every part of our lives. And yet, even though manned mostly by volunteers the CAB is constantly facing closure and disruption due to lack of funds. It is very strange and I suspect it is being badly managed at the highest level and I intend to find out why so few people know or understand or care about this remarkable charity. Knowledge is power and should be free for everyone after all.

All righty, Monday rant over. My neck is killing me from sitting all day at a computer and my eyes seem to have a thick paste of Vaseline and glitter over them. Pretty but not practical. Best turn ‘em off and turn on the radio for a break. More tomorrow!


Suzie said...


tinku said...

CAB sounds like a real life saver, it would be a shame if it were shut down. There are so many government services that people have no clue how to access.

I applaud your efforts to run, must do the same myself!