?- go( [recession] ). <actors> envt stage mark_steel mr_bruce <weather> [good,sunny] <intro> UNEMPLOYMENT SOARS TO 8 MILLION <day 1> E:state=recession causes B:out=lay_off B:out=lay_off -> MS:in=lay_off MS:in=lay_off entails MS:job=unemp focus [in] stage! suggest S:mood=grim (intro_mood) suggest a/in/econ_setting/ (intro_setting) MS:econ_setting=explanation(recession) focus [in,econ_setting] suggest i/act/ MS:act=abuse_icing_gun focus [in,econ_setting,act] - Mr Bruce called me into his office this afternoon. "Don't bother coming in Monday", he said. [in] I was being sacked because the economy had collapsed, people were out of work and penniless or in work and hoarding every penny, the Chancellor was a cretin. [econ_setting] But I still had an hour to go on my shift before leaving. The rules were most particular about that, even on one's last day. I still wonder which unsuspecting shop assistant found themselves unpacking that batch of 48 triple-choc-chip muffins - and found 48 repetitions of "Fuck the Chancellor" staring up at them in bright red strawberry icing. [act] <day 2> MS:job=unemp causes MS:money=low MS:money=low causes MS:goal=get_money MS:goal=get_money causes MS:goal=get_job MS:goal=get_job causes MS:plan=[visit_dss] MS:plan=[visit_dss] causes MS:intended_act=visit_dss MS:intended_act=visit_dss causes MS:act=visit_dss MS:act=visit_dss causes E:out=dss_queue_dole(long) E:out=dss_queue_dole(long) -> MS:in=dss_queue_dole(long) focus [act,in] stage!t suggest b/act/see_traffic/ (illustrate_traffic) MS:see_traffic=low focus [see_traffic,act,in] - Cycling down to the dole office, I notice how safe are the roads. The exuberant traffic of recent years seems to have dissipated, the thundering TIRs and Eddie Stobarts now just a memory. [sees_traffic] The dole office is packed. I've been unemployed before, but <Year> unemployment is different. It seems that everyone is unemployed. People staring up at wall-mounted TV screens, huddled sharing cans in the yard, mumbling at officials through the protective windows. [act] My turn arrives. I am not surprised to hear that my dole will take at least a month to come through. [in] <day 3> stage! suggest i/emot/ (emote) MS:money=low causes MS:emot=frustration(money_low) focus [emot] - On the dole, you literally run out of money. I have had frustrating conversations about this, in which friends will shrug their shoulders and say it's a nuisance when you have no money. "But I don't mean no money until I get to the bank", I say, "I mean NO MONEY". In that situation, one of the most frustrating pieces of advice is to be told that X clothes shop had a sale of last season's trousers or Y record shop was doing a promotion on cut-price CDs. Because when you have NO MONEY, you go without. You might just as well announce that Swan Hunter have a sale on battleships: Iraq War seconds, only £80 million quid until the end of the month. [emot] <day 4> stage! suggest i/emot/ (illustrate_stress) MS:job=unemp causes MS:stress=high MS:stress=high causes MS:emot=stress(unemp) focus [emot] - The same daytime soap operas on the TV. Can't afford to take a bus, fed up with bunking the trains. Signing-on. Endless pots of tea. Churning in my stomach. [emot] <day 5> stage! suggest i/emot/ (illustrate_depression) MS:stress=high causes MS:depression=high MS:depression=high causes MS:emot=depression(unemp) focus [emot] - I have given up trains, buses, and beer; now I am giving up smiling, in preparation for all the other things I shall give up. Giving up getting up. [emot] <day 6> - [emot] <day 7> - [emot] <day 8> stage! suggest MS:in=cure(depression) (resolve_tension_and_close) focus [in] i/emot/ MS:in=cure(depression) causes MS:emot=relief(depression) focus [in,emot] close - Dry mouth, nausea, headache and a certain jerkiness of movement. But the Prozac worked. I jumped out of bed this morning, tore the curtains open to stare at the sun, and realised just how sick I had been. [in] It is such a relief to be in touch with the world once more. [emot] END
30 March 2003.
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