Why it's shitty to be poor and undereducated:
I don't consider myself to be uneducated, I do have a BA after all, but I kind of blew it in college, most likely due to disinterest, social phobias, all the shit in me that's always been broken and the way I coped around it so people think I'm a normal and capable human being. Other than that, I'm (supposedly) pretty intelligent. Anyway, I've been underemployed and coasting close to empty for a long time. Instead of climbing the ladder to a well-paying soul-crushing job, I got my soul crushed on the bottom rung of a lot of different ladders. I'm trying trying trying to find my niche. Trying trying trying to resist the urge not to take my medicine here.
Anyway, I thought I would try education. I thought about it a lot of times and always gave myself excuses I didn't want to do it that just don't make as much sense as doing it for all the really good reasons that it frequently comes to mind. Because it's a government position, requiring licensure even for substitutes (you know, I thought maybe I should see if it's a good fit), and even providing financial incentives from public and private sectors to train, I am all by myself and overwhelmed with paperwork, reading, options, programs, requirements and deadlines. I can't even find the first thing I need to do. I need a license or pass a test first. I think. There are fees, but I wonder if I can waive or defer those fees. When is the test? Can I take it online? I don't have the attention span to follow instructions unless they're all written out on the same page and not these 24 tabs I have open.
What I do have is food stamps, SSDI, and a therapist who is mediocre. I tell her I need a "practical" kind of person, she's ok, but I need an additional counselor (more like a guidance counselor) to weed this shit out with me. For free. The business with the safety net is that when you need something, nobody knows anything but their own job and their own specific business with you, so you're all alone to figure out what else you can do, where to get it. How is anyone supposed to counsel their way out if they don't know what programs are available to them? It took a long time and a lot of effort I'm way too tired for just to get what I do have. Besides for me, just anyone who wants to change careers and doesn't know how to go about it (besides getting a Phoenix degree), at least I'm hooked up in the system, but I don't want to take, I don't want to maintain, it's not that glamorous as you may have heard. They want you to transition back to work if you're out of work, but they don't make it very easy if you really try to do exactly that.
Outside of that, I'm left with the prospect of just applying for jobs I did before because that's all I really know how to do, and probably can't get since "the gap," and really don't want to get on that merry-go-round anyway since it leads to re-debilitation. Outside of that, I need training and a counselor to guide me over the steps, or some wealthy old guy who thinks I'm 29.
So, anyway, my experience within government programs is they sort of do what they do, and it would cost more to do more, so I can understand people thinking they don't work so cut them, but they could use a lot of improvement and could be made more efficient. I hate to hear the ways people on the street or even politicians (who are likely unfamiliar with what being on the system is actually like) propose to fix things. #1. A way to talk to someone when you call the food stamp office, someone. Last time I called, the receptionist told me my worker (whom I'd left 4 messages for already) didn't work there anymore and transferred the call to someone who just left for vacation. I had to call back 6 times to talk to another person. In the first place, I had to look online and not at the top of my letter for the general phone number and ultimately had to drive all the way over there to get any service. #2. Someone at the clinic who is like the paperwork guidance counselor. My therapist "looks into it" after I describe and request what I need and the next week she finds one thing I might try but I have to put myself on a 4-month waiting list. I'd rather make an appointment there with someone whose job it is to be familiar with the programs. It's like they don't want people to get off dependence, and the needy get blamed for not taking advantage of programs that exist to help people work again.