Health & Wellbeing  (at Wood Green job centre)

wood green

So, open your mind
Picture the scene
Health and Wellbeing Workshop
In sunny Wood Green

Fat ones, thin ones
Clever ones, thick ones
Black ones, white ones
Some looking shite ones
Some light green ones
Some in between ones
Some looking nice ones
Some dead mean ones
Shadows in the system
In among the black bins
Protestants and Muslims
Atheists and pilgrims
Not a pot to piss inn
Not about to give in
Don’t think of us as victims

(Social Worker)

God, I don’t want to be
Another doubting Thomas
But from where I’m standing
There’s not a lot of promise
You, yes you sir, you over there
Lazing about
In that rusty wheelchair
What’s preventing
Your enjoyment
Of gainful paid employment

(Jobseeker 1)

You mean well I can see
But my legs don’t work
I’ve got hepatitis B
And Hepatitis C
And if it existed
I’d have hepatitis D
Had some dirty habits
A few years back
I’ve never been the same
Since my feet turned black
For my new new co-workers
Tongues might wag
If I had to ask politely
If they’d help me change my bag
Lot to ask of someone
Who might be here tomorrow
I realise I’m sliding
Down a slippery slope
But you get used to living
With very little hope


Just an everyday scene
In the Health and Well Being Workshop
In sunny Wood Green

(Social worker)

And yes you, Madam over there
With the very heavy make up
And dyed red hair
You wouldn’t be quite such a useless slob
If you got yourself a decent job
In fact you could be all the rage
With a zero hour contract
On the minimum wage

(Job seeker 2)

Well, Maaam, the reason
I’ve no work
Is not much of a mystery
Got no teeth, can’t read,
And a criminal history
Can’t cook, can’t count
Can’t sit on a tractor
All my hopes are pinned
On me winning X factor
Got a steady boyfriend
He’s from Soweto
Says I got a brain
Like mashed potato.
When I start thinking
About my bills
I just watch daytime telly
With my collection of pills


Just an everyday scene
In the Health and Well Being Workshop
In sunny Wood Green

(Social worker)

And you sir over there
You look rather cool
Can’t have been that long ago
That you were in school
Imagine if you were
Employed and active
I’m sure that all the ladies
Would consider you attractive

(Jobseeker 3)

Well I couldn’t hack a job
If you gave it on a plate
Largely on account of
My fragile mental state
On a good day its neurosis
On a bad day
Its psychosis
With Hypnosis, cirrhosis
And even deep Brain thrombosis
I mustn’t forget to mention
I get blackout dog depression
And it’s a relevant fact
I’m on a fairly heavy section
Of the mental health act
Rather unfortunately
It has to be said
Got fired from my last job
When I punched my old boss
In the gob
It had something to do
With the changing of the seasons
Bad day for us both
But for very different reasons

(Social worker)

And young lady over there
With your head between your knees
In that pink plastic chair
Please tell your friend Bob
Being a toilet roll
Is not a real job
I can see you’ve got food
Down the front
Of your sweater
But with a zero hour Contract
Your life would be better

(Jobseeker 4)

I hope you don’t mind me saying
That I find you kind of crude
But I’m feeling pretty shit
And I got issues with food
Well, I did zero hours
And I had zero power
Shite job today
And no job tomorrow
It kills me from inside
All my hope just died
So I just stumble through
Hour by hour
Never set foot
In no ivory tower
With my kind of life
You’re in two minds
When you pick up a knife
My mums gone off again
With her prescription medication
And her tattooed fascination
Does fulfillment really lurk
In the world of low paid
Workers, shirkers
Two small gurkas
Lost ones, found ones
Some unsound ones
Some quite hateful,
Some dead grateful
One postnatal
One gone rotten
One Dot Dotton
One implosion
Going through the motions


So we all move on
It’s another day gone
And this what we’ve seen
On life’s trampoline
At the Health and wellbeing workshop
At her majesty’s job centre
In sunny Wood Green


Jack Jones

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