You can’t be a member until you provide your membership details…

My good Blend Jasc suggested I should write about my attempts to go self-employed.

Frankly they are mostly not interesting, involving spending so long on hold that Vivaldi’s Four Seasons has bored a hole into my brain and made my eyes start to bleed! Or filling out my name and address eight-thousand times until I’m waking up at night from dreams of turning into a house, screaming my postcode… I am not a number… I’m a f… Oh crap, I am a number…

Names have been changed to protect the innocent... although I can't prove that!
Names have been changed to protect the innocent… although I can’t prove that!

But there have been some priceless moments I thought worth sharing, such as the time my bank sent me a warning about my arrears. Complete with advice on contacting debt agencies and threats of potential legal action, the statement clearly showed I was in debt to the sum of 0.00 pounds. It really did. I was refused a business account because of the flag this debt created.

In fairness the bank were suitably shame-faced when I took the letter in.

It's good to see banks don't take risks with our money... or at least only with billion dollar amounts.
It’s good to see banks don’t take risks with our money… or at least only with billion dollar amounts.

Each of these cartoons is a genuine moment, a real conversation I have had. I wasn’t going to do this post, however, until I read today about the governments change in immigration law.

Previously, if someone gained citizenship and had a relative abroad who depended upon their care, they could bring them over to look after them. Then the rules were changed. Now, if a person is able to travel to this country they are deemed well enough not to need care, so can’t come! Brilliant!

This was so similar a paradox to some of my experiences I thought what the hell, and here we are.

Oh lucky you!

It's true! And the best bit? See below...
It’s true! And the best bit? See below…

The best bit about this tax return? I didn’t need to file one. It was for last year – when I wasn’t self-employed. But because HMRC decided I was (who knows why), I had to file a return. “Once it’s in the computer…” The only way to prove I wasn’t self employed was to file a return!

So I was actually late because I didn’t know until the warning came, and then life hit the skids and I had other worries.

And there's more below...
That is one exclusive scheme…

So it seems the tax man is making money by fining surprised people for not filing unnecessary returns. The benefit office is saving money using quixotic eligibility requirements. The bank is reducing its loan commitment by refusing loans to people who need them based on the assumption that anyone who needs a loan is a credit risk.

I have to wonder. Is the world like a stage set? Behind all the scurrying around, nothing is really happening. Every bank and club is secretly just a collection of impossible conditions, so that they never really do anything.

Then I remember. Of course this is what the world is like! We pursue money in order to… um… hold jobs, to, er, get money, to buy things we don’t need so that other people get the money we, um, chased… and then we have to work more to get more money to spend on things we don’t need so that other people make money…………um………


26 thoughts on “You can’t be a member until you provide your membership details…

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  1. Ah yes. TRUE STORY: We went to take out a line of credit against our house in 2004 (this was well before 50% of our banking industry collapsed in 2008 from giving out mortgage credit too easily to poor risks). They didn’t want to give it to us because we had TOO LITTLE DEBT. Because we didn’t owe much money and had plenty of income, the computer kicked our application out as needing special scrutiny. It’s dangerous and untrustworthy not to be saddled with enormous debt in the U.S.

    We finally got the loan after proving we were not criminally insane to have jobs with incomes that more than covered our expenses. We closed it again soon afterwards. It felt too freaky.

    Looking back at this makes me wonder if the mortgage loan collapse was orchestrated. But that would make me sound suspicious or downright paranoid.

    All the best. Keep writing.

  2. We live in a flood and wind storm high risk area. The government under writes the windstorm insurance. We had a hassle changing agents and gov wanted to know why the first story of our house was .9 inches taller than the second. We had no answer

    1. You don’t fool me – trying to scam free insurance on that .9 inches!!
      If you can tear away from it all for long enough to see the scale of the universe – when you look back we appear insane!
      Thanks for visiting John

  3. It’s like trying to join Equity. You can’t join unless you’re an actor, but you can’t be an actor unless you’re a member of Equity.
    Been through these experiences, or similar, myself.

    1. Yet it didn’t stop Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Pamela Anderson, David Hasselhoff…… what’s the point of such impossible rules if we still get these idiots!!

  4. Funny and true – and apparently has happened to a lot of us… I’l bet it has even happened to the people who work at all those places doing the denying… Even they don’t know how to fix the system!

  5. Priceless and so true. DVLA fined me for not renewing my tax disc on time. While I was waiting on the new one arriving, the police also issued a fine for failing to display a valid tax disc. I argued that they were trying to fine me for what in essence was the same offence i.e. if I didn’t have a valid tax disc (which I accepted) how the hell could I display it?
    Somehow there is so much more freedom in this beautiful conservative Islamic state where I now live!

  6. Forgive me but I am a little lost with your last paragraph …I don’t know if I dare hit post comment, as far as the Tax man is concerned…well he’s not concerned, neither are government departments..we are all but a number, there are no faces, no human interaction. We do and play the game…that is life and I do not think it will change. Welcome back though Mr. P …but the system as we know it shall never change 😦

  7. It;s like compulsory membership of your own Groucho Club – the one you would never join if they would have you as a member

  8. Ah, so many Catch-22’s in life, generally, and when one tries to start a business. I think we can all relate to the frustration. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you Milky. I get little time so may not ‘pay it forward’, but I appreciate the gesture. 😀
      (I used to be very mean about awards – see ‘best loved posts’. I’m mellowing with age!

      1. I did read that post and I loved it haha. Dig your blog and am excited to read more.

    1. Hmm, that’s a euphemism I haven’t heard before! Tying us up in red tape is a whole industry unto itself these days. Thanks for checking my random dribblings Cimmie. It may take me a while to reciprocate with the 149 visitors to C4C!! It was good!!

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