and compassion spreads..

We often meet long and short term sanctioned at our cafe, everyone is always greatful for a sit down and a hot meal, served cafe style along with our other customers. We often hear “It’s nice to be treated like a normal human being here” “It’s made my day I feel good” etc. Being a Pay as you feel cafe means that sometimes people leave the pennies they can spare, or they wash up for a bit, some people help out regulary every week and become volunteers. Sometimes people dont contribute anything, that is ok too. Often we see people who have become used to being treated differently, thinking of themselves as ‘less than’ not even questioning it. Sometimes you see their humanity come back, they stop snatching food from the pay as you feel food boutique and order something to eat, take their time and chat to you, kiss you on the cheek 🙂

Gina and Pete took our food stall to our local job centre and Pete goes most monday mornings to hand out food and  leaflets.  This action was spurred when Tony Cox a lecturer at Dundee University was arrested for acting as an advocate in a job centre which you can read more about here  https://iwwscotland.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/advocacy-is-not-a-crime-solidarity-with-tony-cox-britain-wide-demo/

Gina wrote the following piece inspired by Mark Woods who was sanctioned and tragically starved to death. You can read more about Mark and his art here http://ecoartistmarkwood.org.uk/ ‘Mark, who died tragically in 2013 at the age of 44, was a prolific artist in many media: photography, poetry and short story-writing, painting, cartoon creation, and music composition. His theme was the wonder of nature and his passionate concern to prevent its destruction. He had a heightened awareness of the fragility of the earth and its web of life and sought to express this through his art. He was not a trained professional in any genre but his work manages to convey his deep sensibility.’ Like many doing our work we have our Mark, I dont know if he’s an artist or much about him except we missed him when he was ill with bronchitis from being briefly homeless recently. There are many Marks out there. Thankyou for allowing us to reproduce this here Gina.

Cartoons_02
One of Marks cartoons from the website

SANCTIONED

Dedicated to the 8000+ who have died and continue to die at the hands of the D.W.P.

Gina E.

Wednesday Afternoon

It is hard to take the long view when each day is its own challenge. It’s hard to get a job when even the corner shop is a dangerous mission. A pint of milk requires a certain frame of mind that you might not be blessed with today. There are too many people in your way and their faces have a thousand eyes that know exactly how long it took you to leave your duvet, the contents of your cupboards, the contents of your head, their faces make your palms sweat and your neck is cold and your breathing quickens and you have to focus on a packet of Lambert & Butlers just to the right of Mr. Dhillons head while you wait for him to give you your change to keep from meeting his eye, but today there isn’t any change because you’re 17p short but he sees you blush and bite your lip and tells you its allright you can pay me back later mate its only a few pennies innit Marky Boy?

And so you, Marky Boy, stammer a thanks and manage a smile, and it’s that smile that makes Mr. Dhillon soften his stare and tell you to take care now but you’re already halfway out the shop. There’s a black cat on the wall outside and the way it sits there in the sun blinking its eyes real slow with its head tilted towards the sky while its tail caresses the bricks beneath its fur calms you down like the fields on the outskirts of town do. You stop to stroke her, knowing she doesn’t care if you cant afford milk, and when you do buy milk it has to be exactly a certain type of milk and not within 3 days of its sell by date and the label cant be grubby and it has to be one at least a quarter of the way to the back of the shelf and if they don’t have any red-top you can’t have any milk at all because Mr. Dhillon isn’t in any other shop in Birchfield Park, or the rest of Doncaster. But even if this cat did know that, she wouldn’t care. She has beautiful eyes. She purrs. she warms your cold hand with her tongue and stretches out to rub her head against you. You could stay there for hours. Two children on trials bikes approach you, personally, it seems from the park and you jump and inhale quickly, pull your cap down further over your forehead and walk homewards with your hands in your jacket pockets before they have time to say something to you.

Carr House Road is full of the noise of constant cars going to the racecourse, the dome, the town centre, coaches roar past on their way to Scunthorpe, Sheffield, buses take shoppers back to Rossington, Bessecarr, teenagers run across the crossing at the last minute laughing with wild voices holding blue plastic bags of red stripe and kingsize rizlas. The shouts

of the under II’s football team practicing in the park drift onto the pavement mingling with the voices of a rowing couple in the bus shelter. YOU FUCKING DID WHAT YOU LITTLE SLAG? Hey Jimmy! Hey jimmy! Over here! Oi, Jimmy, to me, Jimmy! DON’T YOU EVER COME NEAR ME AGAIN! Shoot Jimmy, go fer it! Go on my son! Go on lad! I’LL FUCKIN DO YA! I’LL FUCKIN DO YA! He scooooooooores!

It is almost too much for you, Marky Boy.

It’s not far to Theodore Road, but five minutes become five hours when your throat is tight and your teeth are clenched from trying to block out the sounds of people that make you feel smaller than you already do. You Mark, are a beetle. A greenfly. A nit, a louse, an ant. Everything is bigger than you, better than you, bigger in mind, bigger in body, bigger in words, actions, eyes, faces, meaning, living, doing, eating, breathing, they are PREDATOR. They are CARNIVORE, they are FIT TO LIVE. They are fit to love.

You could ponder what you are fit for but the carnivores have already decided that for you. They told you in a letter that arrived a month ago, and they have been trying to remind you ever since. You have placed the letter on the shelf above the boiler and closed the door on it. But you can’t close the door on the ones that keep coming. If you weren’t so scared of what the carnivores would do to you, you would block the letterbox up with the junk newspapers you never throw out, the ones in date order that live under the kitchen sink that cannot be put in the recycling box because you have this unexplainable deep feeling that one day they might just be very useful.

27 Theodore Road is a two up two down with a garden, a tree, a breaking shed, a peeling red gate and ivy claimed walls. As you put your key in the front door you notice the ivy has claimed just a little bit more and you smile your Marky Boy smile and silently thank the plant for its welcome decoration that for you, doubles up as protection. It must be protective, because there are no letters on the doormat from the carnivores today.

Before you put the milk in the fridge you make a Red Bush , and look out of the kitchen window staring at the wind damaged shed and promise yourself as you always do that one of these days you are going to properly fix it. The roofing is partly hanging off and the little window is broken. Next doors cat sits on top of it, so you open the door and put half of the last tin of tuna in a saucer and place it on the patio. Drinking your

Red Bush on the bench, the distant sounds of Donny Rovers playing Rotherham United enter the garden and the cheering crowd, impersonal, not individual, but collective noise of collective enjoyment is a human sound that does not put you on edge.

It is July and your garden is home to roses, giant daisies, a variety of mints (mints you cannot utilise – you do not trust the polluted earth) and other flowers grown from seeds your mum gave you when the council allotted you the house some years age when Mark’s Life was having a lucky patch. It wasn’t so easy to lose your housing benefit then. The flowers, the lawnmower, the patio chairs, the cat munching by the door, the curtains you picked out yourself when your mum took you to Dunelm Mill when you moved in all for a while made this place Home. Home, Base, Safety, centre of Marks universe. It is not extravagantly decorated, nor full of belongings or items or too much evidence of being loved and lived in, but it has enough of the necessities for it to be a place where an individual man can live as content as it is possible for Mark Foot to be.

You have finished your tea and bite your fingernails and think about the letter. In your minds eye you can still see it sitting there above the boiler. It is July, and a beautiful day, but out the corner of your eye you are positive you can see dark smoke from factories, your skin imagines it can feel the polluted particles of Hatfield Colliery settling into your flesh. From thinking of the letter the damage of industry has entered the garden and so now you must wash your hands until convinced you have done your best to quell the damage. When was it, Marky Boy, that this phobia started?

You were nine, in council street primary school. You didn’t mean to inconvenience your mother. Really. But everyday you’d be the last kid left in the canteen without fail. Stuck to your little blue plastic chair under the command of Miss Bentley. This dinner lady was the first carnivore to make you realise there wasn’t something right about Mark Foot. Of course, the other kids had known that for years, but it was the constant embarrassment of being late to literacy every day without fail, the constant sinking feeling of knowing you’d never get the chance to spend the lunch hour kicking spongeballs around like the others, the embarrassment of your inability to explain WHY you did this to yourself every day- that was the first indicator that you had been born into a world that you could

not understand. At nine, you couldn’t realise that it was this world that could not understand you.

Just hurry up ‘n’ eat ‘em Mark fer chrissake lad, two seconds ‘n’ yer can run ‘n’ play with all the other boys, don’t yer want to play with ‘em is tha’ it? You like spending your lunch hour cooped up ‘ere or summats?

You could only give her silence.

It’s me job to make you eat your greens Mark! Every child must finish their dinner! Monday you couldn’t eat your potatoes, Tuesday it was the fish, Wednesday it was the carrots and now SPAGHETTI ‘OOPS! What kinda child dunt like spaghetti ‘oops I ask you? You think yer too good fer ‘em, is tha’ it? Well I say you ain’t too good fer ‘em Mark Foot an ah’ll be watching you eat every last one o’ ‘em you hear?

You heard, without really listening. As usual you stared at your plate, face hot and red, bottom lip trembling. The hoops swam in their sauce, taunting you. You imagined them laughing, an orgy in tomato sauce, the colour of it sickly and the hoops like fleshy maggots. It was unnatural that you should eat this. Where had it come from? What allotment, what field, what patch in the garden had produced this? It was alien, and your body could not accept it. Miss Bentley could not accept it.

Speak to me Mark! Starin’ at your food won’t make it disappear. Honestly, I don’t know. You’re a good lad, but I cant work out what to do with you. Your mam told Mrs. Jackson specifically to make sure Mark eats his dinner, and if yer mam wants you to eat proper then you got to eat proper or she’ll be having words with the headmaster again won’t she? Won’t she?

She would. And she’d tell you that she was very disappointed in you. She’d lean over and do a half smile, half sigh and make her eyes go soft and calculating at the same time. You’d smell her Yardley Lavender as she placed her hands on your shoulders as she said we just cant go on like this Marky, you’re a big boy now.

The big boy got moved from the canteen to the classroom on your mothers instruction. Now you got a whole room of your own to not eat your food in. Miss Bentley was instructed just to watch over you, not talk to you, but let you get on with it in your own time. If the child didn’t want to eat his broccoli because it looked like parts of the model brain Mr. Lawton had shown them in science last week, then it was his own bloody fault he’d never grow up big and strong.

You can still hear Miss Bentley’s voice sometimes even now, when you are arranging your kitchen cupboards the way you like them. When you are searching labels in the supermarket for where it’s come from, who made it, the freshness and purity of ingredients. Miss Bentley can sneak up

behind you and ask You think you’re too good for the rest of us, Marky Boy?

How could you possibly explain you are scared of

pesticides

pollution

chemicals

genetically modified tomatoes

sell by dates

air miles

factory farms

full fat milk

full fat anything

you only drink tapwater because you usually have forty pounds a week to live on and when you spent it on bottled you had to go without electric which meant you couldn’t listen to the radio or boil the kettle and so it wasn’t so easy to forget that there is no money for the rent because because because

The letter on the shelf above the boiler.

Wednesday Evening

It’s early summer evening and the smell of other peoples barbecues are drifting into your garden, directing your thoughts away from the Department of Work and Pensions and back to the dull ache in the pit of your stomach. In your kitchen cupboards there is little left to help that. You know your gas and electric will last until the end of the week (today is a Wednesday) but you’re not quite sure what you’ll do after that. Come on Marko, you tell yourself, chin up lad there’s tealights in a drawer somewhere, no doubt they’ll come in handy… as for now you finish the last tin of tuna that you would have had in sandwich format but the last of the bread has developed green spots and your philosophy of waste not want not has compelled you to throw them to the birds that are eating and drinking more healthily than you are right now. These birds that have not been sanctioned, these birds that pay no rent for spaces on shared branches, these birds that are always fit for work but these birds that don’t have to collect at the very least 40 twigs a week to be paid in enough worms to see them through. A starling found its way into the jobcentre once and created enough kerfuffle amongst the staff and enough calming influence upon your own mind to get you through your 20 minute appointment without the usual sweaty palms, stammer, darting

eyes and scattered thoughts. You watch one now, ferrying the pieces of bread back to its nest in next doors tree to its chicks and back again, you locate a biro and your notebook ready for inspiration – oh man! Not now! Now, now, now? Unbloodybelievable, oh Jesus oh Christ are you kidding me, today, right now, on top of everything? Just Mark’s luck that’s’ right… makes sense that it’d happen to you after all. There is no more ink in your biro and somehow, somehow you know it is the carnivores fault. The heating will not last forever. Time to take a calming bath. Wash off the shit of today. Tomorrow will be better. You’re a big boy now, and you must have the courage to sort out your finances (or lack of). Tomorrow you will be as efficient and functioning as the birds in the garden. Who will throw me some more bread? Who? Who?

Fall asleep in the bath, wake up cold and hungry. It’s dark. Streetlight still not fixed. Clamber into bed. Sleep again. Tomorrow will be better.

Wake up thinking of the letter on the shelf above the boiler.

Thursday Morning

How long will this tinny recording of Four Seasons go on for? Why is it perpetually Spring? What would Vivaldi say? Would Vivaldi have this problem? Would they dare sanction Vivaldi? Probably. Ok Marko you’ve been on hold for five minutes and when you rang you had £4.73 in credit. Now? Who knows, probably a quid.

Hello this is Jobcentre Plus, Kelly speaking how can I help you?

H-hello yes I’d like to apply for a hardship loan please

Ok if you’re a claimant I’m going to need your national insurance number and your date of birth

JZ360199D

And your date of birth?

30th June 1981

And could your confirm what day of the week you usually sign on please?

It was a Friday.

Ok did you say hardship loan because we don’t do those anymore love

No I m-mean the loan you get when you’re sanctioned

Oh right yeah hardship payment! I was thinking of crisis loans sorry! Yeah what you’ll need to do is you’ll need to go into your local jobcentre and fill in the form JSA-10 or if you’re on ESA you’ll need to fill in the-

BEEP BEEP BEEP

Well, you could have had to fill in a hot dog for all the good the last of your credit did you.

You have skipped breakfast many a time so not having a morning meal is not bothering you yet. It is bothering your stomach, your muscles, your breath but not yet your mind. You are not expending too much energy sat in the big green armchair with a red bush. There are no meals that can be made solely out of milk. But you know you must make a meal of the day. Time is running out. It is half past 10 already.

Walk to the jobcentre?

Borrow a biro off Nick next door?

Perhaps you should have rung mum first you feckin eedjit! Instead of the useless dole, you tell yourself.

You smell her Yardley Lavender and disappointment.

Perhaps not.

Thursday Afternoon

Have you got any identification on you Sir?

Feckin’ G4S security wankers. Calm down Marko you’re not usually the sweary type. Not even in your head. You hand the man your signing on book. Passport? Ha. Like anybody would let Mark travel even if this eco-warrior wanted to. Can’t even feed himself. No point leaving the UK anyway, only have to return to the same old doom and gloom, after leaving vapour trails staining the sky. But still, Imagine what I’d be like abroad! With that thought memory has been jogged and you remember Mr. and Mrs. Foot are in the Bahamas at the moment. They wouldn’t have been able to answer the phone anyway. Some small relief, the thought that they won’t have to be bothered now. Or worse; worried, about their son in the jobcentre, struggling.

Would you like to take a seat sir?

Green, green, green, green, yellow, yellow, yellow, green. The jobcentre colour scheme never fails to make you feel at least a little nauseous. Honestly, who in the civil service thought green and yellow was a healthy match? YES YOU CAN GET A JOB screams the bold text on the wall opposite the green seating. YES YOU CAN GET A JOB. Yes, you can get a job. A job gardening would suit you. Perhaps the job of writing the little poems in greetings cards, too. You never see those vacancies on universal jobmatch though. YES YOU CAN GET A JOB. Maybe if I don’t starve to death first eh, hahaha, eh Marko! Oh God. Pull yourself together, man.

Mark Foot, please?

His name badge says Andy Denney. Very clean super white shirt and a tie with budgies on. Bald, far too happy. Swings on his chair when he sits down.

Ooh I’m starving matey! Went to that new posh sarnie shop down Waterdale for lunch, you been there? Ah don’t bother mate, didn’t fill me up! Anyhoo, Mark is it? What can I do for you today?

I’d like the hardship payment form please.

Ah. Sanctioned? Bad luck matey, won’t happen to you next time- you’ll know better now. Are you on JSA or ESA?

ESA, b-but it’s been stopped.

yes, sanctioning’ll do that to a fella!

I was told I was fit for work too. Please, I.. I just need that form. I’ve got no, no nothing.

Andy Denney gets the form. You fill it in on another green bench and hand it to Andy when you’re done, pocketing the biro slyly after. It’s not like you, but needs must. Wait another 20 minutes on the bench. Watch the army hand out leaflets to claimants. Watch the clock. Watch the staff stare at their nails idly. Watch two fat security men swing on chairs, joking together. Palms sweat. Are they laughing at you? Andy Denney comes back from somewhere and invites you over again.

Right then Mark you’ll have 80 pounds in your bank account in roughly 2 weeks. When you start getting regular payments again this hardship payment will be paid back in installments ok?

O…..

K.?

Stomach gives off an intrusively loud obnoxious rumble. No energy to argue, to defend yourself. Two weeks. Stammer a Thankyou.

Two weeks it will have to be.

The carnivores said so.

And the carnivores always win.

Thursday Evening

The Dole Have Got Me Like Prometheus

Every Day, Vultures At My Liver

The DWP the Rock, The Chains

This Faceless Zeus

No Longer Faceless

Wears a Budgerigar Tie and Calls You Mate

Here Comes The Beak

For Another Two Weeks.

It feels good to write in your notebook in their biro.

Snooze in the green armchair. There’s still some milk, lad.

There’s still some milk.

Friday Morning

Next door’s cat has found her way in. She looks at Marky Boy fading in and out of sleep in the green armchair. Wake up, human! Wake up! I’m hungry too! I’m sorry cat. No can do. Nevertheless, she has a saucer of milk. Crazy cat Boy just can’t help it. Never could. On the walls of this room are a collection of watercolours, modestly framed in charity shop finds. One is of a black and white cat peeping out the empty window pane of a falling apart shed, eyes focused on a group of birds hiding in overgrown grass. Another is of the view from the artificial hill that was once Armthorpe pit. A good walk, that. There is comfort in natures ability to heal itself once again, plaster over the human cracks with more fervor and beauty than before. There is hope in this painting. Not so in the one above the gas fire, entitled ‘Poisoned Badlands’. This time it is a view perhaps from atop the highest tier of the Trades Club, or the Frenchgate Centre, a view in which the landscape consists of crumbling buildings and bombsites. Smoke, destruction, the city nearly floored completely. The sky a poisonous radioactive purple and green. No birds, no cats, no overgrown grass. Just broken buildings, emptiness.

Hope I can stick around long enough to help save us, huh cat?

Friday Afternoon

Living without television, radio and internet often forces one to be quite creative in methods of passing time alone. Walking, reading, painting, writing, making music and just plain being. There is a lot of just plain being to be done now. You find you have the energy to do little else but just be. Enough milk for one more cup of tea. Save it for before bed. Mark’s temperature is dropping, as the earths temperature rises. Equilibrium, huh. What am I, a martyr? Bloody hell. At least now I can’t afford to read the news. Come, Armageddon, Come.

Friday Evening

The electric has gone but there’s still some gas. No kettle, no problem. We’ll just boil some water on the stove. Lights? Pah! It’s summer!

Summer, and Marky Boy is very cold. Wrapped up in duvet waiting for the dark to help you drift off you know you must think of a plan. Instead you end up in front of the mirror trying to rid yourself of every new and old blackhead for the next hour until your legs give in.

Anxiety? Yes, at the very thought of asking Nick-Next-Door to borrow you half a loaf of bread. Foraging, perhaps? On walks haven’t you sometimes come across eastern European men and women picking edible mushrooms? Yes, it was not so long ago you found them. Near Sandall Beat. There was comfrey too. Walking in woodland eases social anxiety, for what other wanderer or rambler could pose a threat? Hello, hello! Many a hello and hallo and jen dobre had passed between the foragers and you that afternoon, before the inevitable Marko Blush, averted eyes and smile that stayed for the duration of the walk back out of the nature reserve.

How lovely it had been that these people had known something of the Earth.

Saturday? Sunday? Afternoon, Possibly

Raining. Who cares. Cat can get wet if it likes. Daisies are drooping underneath the droplets. Nick-Next-Door’s dog is howling. OWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW. It’s neither silly nor inappropriate at this present time to join in, soulfully.

Was that one of Andy Denney’s budgies in the garden?

owowowowowowow.

Not much more than a whisper this time.

Bugger off budgies, I’m trying to nap at the kitchen table.

Definitely Monday.

Post has come. Everyday, vultures at my liver. The rock, the chain, Zeus…

How did they know where Prometheus lives? Guess it’s pretty obvious.

Too apathetic to open letter. Place it on top of the others on the shelf above the boiler. Cold boiler. No longer boiling.

Chin up Mark, it’s summer.

Sometime in the Past?

Do you recall how long you have had this compulsion, Mark?

Do you remember when you first started to feel, in your own words, like there is a faceless man somewhere behind your right shoulder holding an immovable gun home to ceaseless bullets labeled This Is For Those Who Fight Us With Music and Love?

As a child, did you feel then too that the earth was dying?

Mrs. Foot, do you remember when he first developed this interest in the news?

How is the CBT going? Still wearing that same old hat I see!

Take this to the pharmacy, lad, we’ll see you soon.

Take Care Now.

Hahahaha. Fool of a Took! Fool of a quack! They are not exempt from nuclear war, military campaigns, or the collapse of an eco-system that they cannot feel happening inside them on a daily basis.

Present

Tired of tapwater. Council Pop. Mental Suppression. Is this the cause of dizziness? Muscle ache?

Cat doesn’t come anymore, cheeky buggers given up holding out for a scrap. Might as well call it Mark. Me too, Kitty, But I wish I had fur.

Further on In the Present, Nighttime.

There are yellow budgies ramming their heads against the metal confines of a rusted cage. The cage is on the kitchen table, with the little metal door fastened with a padlock. The kitchen table is covered in birdseed. Why won’t it open! Open it! I want to open it! It falls off the table with a resonating crash.

Wake up with cold sweats in the night, Andy Denney’s laughing face burned to the inside of your eyelids.

I’m starving Matey! I’m starving!

On the bedside table underneath a pair of reading glasses is a pile of curriculum vitaes. In the work-related-activity group the disabled must

prove they are actively seeking employment and improving their chances of getting it. The jobcentre did not have any printing facilities. It cost £2.50 to print them off at the library, and a bus ticket on top. The librarian had to give a demonstration as to how to do it in front of a teenage couple sharing a nearby computer.

Johnny check out that nervous looking guy with the hat. Hey Johnny, do you see?

What is it Becca? The hat with all the badges on? Yeah that fruit used to deliver Betterware for me mam!

Has it been two weeks yet?

Am I awake? Can’t be long now surely. Nearest cash point is only 10 minutes walk. I’ll make it, when it’s time.

Is it time? What is the time? Still in bed, curtains closed, dimmer switch down. Could be day or night. Reach for reading glasses, arms look thin.

Nothing new there Mark, never been able to put on weight have you. Metabolism regular as clockwork. Ah dear, not any more.

Here’s to regular bowel movements of the past!

Outside next doors cat is shrieking.

The calendar says there is 4 more days.

Let’s hope that cat gets the budgies still flapping round my head.

The Next Day

Simon Duffy has worked for the council most of his life. Well, technically not the council anymore. His department has now been privatized and he now works for Ongo housing partnership. He pulls up at 27 Theodore Road in his new Ongo van. One of their residents has not paid rent for a good month, and it’s come to light that his housing benefit has been cut off. The man, Mark Foot, has not been answering his telephone calls so on his round Simon Duffy has come to see what the problem is and to gently explain that he cannot continue to live there if he is not in receipt of housing benefit or able to pay by other means. Not another bloody scrounger hiding out in Birchfield Park as usual. I pay my bloody rent on time. He’d much rather not have to deal with this confrontation but after some digging he discovered the key worker Mark used to have is no longer his key worker as the organization has run out of money and funding. He gets out the van and knocks loudly on the front and back doors three times each. No answer. All lights off. Peers through kitchen

window, junk mail on the floor tiles. On a whim, he tries the door handle. Simon is an incredulously nosy man who enjoys seeing how the other half live not just by watching ‘Benefits Street’ on channel 4 but also in his real life work pursuits. Whoever lives here must be quite absent minded. Unlocked. Hello?! This is Simon, from Ongo. I’ve come about the rent! Still no reply. The kitchen looks as if it has hardly been used. None of the light switches work. Simon stands in the living room taking in his surroundings. The painting above the fireplace fills him with a creeping sense of doom and his heartbeat quickens. AH shit! You little fucker! A black and white cat has quickstepped past his ankles and is stood motionless by the open door to the staircase and watches him intently for a good minute. What has gone on in this house? Is this some junkie smackden? Nah, can’t be. Junkies don’t paint. The cat appears to roll its eyes before darting upstairs. Hesitantly, out of pure nosiness, Simon Duffy follows.

Promptly, Simon Duffy wishes he had not. All over he is cold. Simon is not a man of strong character. He retches, terrified. Simon Duffy is staring death in the face. It’s face is a his face. This is Mark Foot’s face. The cat gives him a look of disdain from the corner of the room. Death is still wearing his reading glasses. The humanity of this is too much for the Ongo representative. This is not in the job description! Goddammit! What do I do! There is a pile of documents next to the body, and in a moment of practical thinking Simon decides to pick them up to make sure this man is the man who has not paid his rent on time.

The documents, forged out of the will of the desperate, are the last testament left to prove to the living that the deceased was not a

bloody scrounger:

Curriculum Vitae

Mark Foot

27 Theodore Road

Birchfield Park

Doncaster

077134578924

Polite, respectful man looking for work in conservation, gardening and work of an outdoor nature.

Work Experience

Spring 1999 to Winter 2001 – Volunteered in local nature reserve maintaining the woodland area. In this time I learnt how to work as part of a team, how to identify various fungal tree infections and rot and how to treat them. I swept leaves, maintained the appearance of the children’s play area and answered to a volunteer supervisor.

2002 – 2006 – I worked as cleaner for Hallgate Sixth Form. In this role I was responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the corridors and classrooms and often had to interact with the children and staff, improving my people skills. I worked under a cleaning supervisor.

February 2007 – May 2007 – I delivered Betterware catalogues in Birchfield Park, Doncaster.

My gaps in employment can be explained thus: I suffer from an anxiety disorder, OCD and have undergone therapy for my mental health at different times in my life which has made it difficult for me to become employed. Nevertheless, I am determined that I can play a useful part in society and have a big desire to contribute.

Education

Hallgate Sixth Form Class of 1997:

English – B

Maths – C

History – C

Geography – B

Science – C

Personal Profile

I am a resourceful, determined individual with empathy and understanding when it comes to people and the planet. I really do have a desire to help and know I can work hard when I can.

Thankyou for reading and hope to hear from you soon.

Mark.

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