Sunday, November 11, 2012

Start The Week

It’s an unusual feeling to start a week knowing that I had a job to go to. Obviously I worked for most of my time in prison, but there are vast differences! This was a “proper” job, with someone willing to pay me real money for my efforts.

It was logistically complicated. In my prior existence getting to work was a matter of stumbling a few hundred metres whilst persuading screws to unlock some gates. Getting from base to the Howard League in deepest Islington was a matter of more substantive planning and expense.

Probation have agreed that I can spend two nights in London staying with friends; commuting each day would be impossible on any level. Even so, it means carrying a bag of kit across the country twice a week and I so wish I didn’t have to!

For my first week I arrived in London on Tuesday evening. Early evening. And promptly got lost in the nightmare that is Waterloo station. I’m more of a Paddington man. I finally arrived in wet and windy Brockley after 10 pm and surprised my host by revealing to him that he does actually have WiFi! This gave me a good rest to start my first day as “consultant policy advisor” at the Howard League, Wednesday morning sharp.

 The trip from my London base into work was short and largely sweet – except getting used to crowded trains. And I mean crowded to the extent I had to get off in order to be able to reach my mobile. Rarely have I been in such intimate contact with so many strangers. There were moments when the contact was close that I thought I’d have to declare new relationships to my Probation Officer!

At the door to the office I paused, coffee in hand, to gasp one last fag before hitting the buzzer. I was now officially “a worker”.


  1. Hope it continues to go well for you and hope you get the bank a/c. How's the NI number?

  2. Naahh, you're officially a worker when you've grafted your gingers to the bone from the age of 15 to 65, paid tax, paid insurance, raised a family, fought for your country and contributed something to society.

    Spending 30 years in jail sat on your arse moaning about how unfair life is then getting out and getting some office job with a load of liberal leftish dreamers doesn't make you a worker.... Especially when you've only done a few days at it.....

    1. And what do you do for a job Anonymous (3:51)? care to tell us or perhaps you have a blog where you are open and honest about your endeavours and invite other people to comment. Come on now don't be shy tell us who you are.


    2. you must be a sad individual Anonymous to keep commenting on Ben's Blogg the way you, why waste your time. we don't want to read your comments etc, so why don't you just do one!!!!!!! You seem soooo bitter and twisted!!!!!

    3. Don't feed the trolls!

  3. At least Ben does not have to fear the probation officer telephoning his new employer to explain that he is an inadequately tested lunatic at large in society, often the cause of a lost job.

  4. I wonder if it crossed the mind of Anonymous above to offer help and encouragement to an ex-prisoner attempting to get on with his life and contribute to society? It is people like this particular Anonymous who drive offenders back to offending and a life that is not positive in any way - get a life Anonymous - I hope you don't work or live where anybody needs help and understanding. It really is a good job there are only a limited number of such ignorant folk and the that the vast majority of people are pleased to see Ben making such an effort and also educating us about some of the difficulties of re-adjustment and rehabilitation.

    Keep going Ben (and Editor) and stay strong.

  5. Remarkable achievements that are jealously castigated by the likes of the cretin
    above....are still remarkable achievements.


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