Victoria B on 18 March 2021

So upset with my universal credit coach. He's not a bad chap, he's professionally friendly and respectful but he's so unaware of his own privilege it's galling. Its less and issue of him as a person, more and issue of him as part of a system of modern day oppression. Today, during our fortnightly phone call, he booked my next phone meeting with him in two weeks, I mentioned the date he picked as "ah, the day after I get paid, I'll be in a much better spirits that day" and he said something like "yeah, everyone likes payday" to which I casually replied with "well that's the thing with universal credit, it's a monthly feel good around payday then hungry and depressed the rest of the month, until happy again next payday" to which he laughed (not laughing at me, more the casual friendly banter laugh to prelude ones own statement in polite conversation but still, ouch) and replied "oh I don't notice such things, my wife handles all that, paydays not that important to me." To which he seemed to notice his own words being insensitive by following with "I know I sometimes end up in overdraft on my card, cos I spend without thinking, but my wife sorts the statements out so it works out" like wow. So I replied "you're very fortunate."

Now I don't for a second think my universal credit coach is sitting at home rolling around in piles of cash all Scrooge McDuck style, I'm well aware that he's most likely to be on a comfortable lower middle class income, by the sounds of it probably a dual income, presumably around the 40-60k mark, as a household. But wow, what it must feel like to go shopping and not need to think about if you have money in the bank or not before you spend, not have to count as you go or worry about brands or dates or if the kids have had enough proteins for healthy development this month, just to spend and know you'll have money seems so wild to me.

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