Above: The latest episode of ELECTROCHEMY TV
If you have been following me, Al McDonald, and my project, ELECTROCHEMY TV you will understand that I have had some personal issues (that I won’t go too deeply into) which have affected the video production therefore episodes were sporadic to say the least. The beginning proved to be very, very rocky indeed!
Lately? 2015, I was getting back into the groove so to speak... I managed to produce a couple of episodes and from there I wanted to up my game some more! Around September 2015 I invested more time, my own money and money from a sponsor to make everything better! The website had an overhaul and come October I was getting ready to drop another episode when I got a notification from the Tax Credits Office to say that I had been getting money under false pretences. In other words I had committed fraud! WHAT!!!??? I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I called the Tax Credits Office to find out what the hell they were on about... When I managed to get through – it’s an automated voice activated service that requires certain phrases – it is a bitch – I could not make head or tail as to what was being said to me. The Tax Credits Office representative seemed amused at my distress; obviously, I could not see her face but I got the feeling that the woman did not give a shit about what I was going through.
I was told that I would have to give back the money that I had received in Working Tax Credit and I was told in a way that felt like it was a personal attack – albeit a sly one! Once again I was in shock from what I was hearing over the phone. I was told a whole bunch of nonsense including the total fabrication that I was working for another company. WHAT!!!??? Nothing that was said to me made any sense and I went down in a spiral of shock and disbelief. When I came off the phone I was shell-shocked! I kept saying, “Why now?” over and over again. After about 20 minutes I pulled myself together and I started to investigate this so-called company that I was said to be working for and I couldn’t find out anything. I then called up the main Tax Office to find out more and they had an accurate record of my employment history. I was relieved but I know this fucked up system in that they are all interlinked but each department are separate entities and essentially what that means is that the Tax Credits Office was not going to lift a finger to find out whether what they were telling me had any foundation; I kept refuting all the allegations against me but it did not matter to them as they kept repeating the allegations all the more as if they were true.
I had little option but to fight against these allegations myself. I had no legal representative so that meant that I had to research everything I could in order to defend myself. I tried going to an organization called Citizens Advice Bureau but nobody there could offer any solid help. In fact the CAB volunteers get 99.9% of their information over the Internet and, sadly, the interpretation of the information is not always understood and therefore cannot be applied effectively. I had to do and I am still doing everything on my own. I was so angry and frustrated that I had to shelve my plans for video meant for October 2015 and for the Winter Holidays. I guess I went through a mini depression feeling that I had once again let all the people down who were looking forward to the next ELECTROCHEMY TV episode. Not only was my audience growing I had also managed to regain the confidence of companies that give me stuff to review. I hate feeling that I let people down. I hate what had happened to me as I had put so much effort into it. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time.
Well, I say today but the whole picture is that I was sent into another bit of depression to learn that David Bowie had passed on. One minute I was listening to the music of his latest album, Blackstar, the next I could at least wish the Music Icon a Happy Birthday – despite all the shit I was going through and come the 10th of January 2016 I woke up to the alarming news of Bowies death. I was seriously depressed for about a week. In an odd way the Tax Credits Office crap that I was going through helped me to get over Bowie’s death in a more constructive way. Needless to say that Bowie felt like a family member as he gave me a soundtrack for just about every important era of my life. I felt like I taught myself to sing by singing along to Bowie’s albums. When I was recording my own Electronic music album all the studio engineers and I would talk about was the ‘Low’ album – such a great influence.
TODAY, FEBRUARY 2016
Anyway, my fight against the Tax Credits Office continues. If I didn’t know better I would say that what I am going through is a personal attack. Everything that has happened just does not make any sense at all. I have a strong sense of right and wrong and I have to continue to fight these ridiculous allegations.
My position has stabilized somewhat but I am still far from being on solid ground. Still, I managed to finish off the episode that is currently online! My battle to find out what is behind this deluge of nonsense from the Tax Credits Office is ongoing; I do hope that I can get to the bottom of it quickly as I do not want to spend unnecessary time on it. I want to get back to making more episodes very soon! I want regularity. I want to put out ELECTROCHEMY TV episodes on a regular basis like clockwork! This will happen soon!
If you are a viewer and beloved subscriber I thank you for your patience and I want you to know that I am working hard on a release schedule!
If you are one of the many companies sending me products to review I thank you for your patience and I ask you to continue working with me. My audience like my nontechnical reviews because they get to the heart of the matter: the essence of your product. If it works we recommend it and if it doesn’t ELECTROCHEMY TV will let you know too! ELECTROCHEMY TV has a key part to play in product reviews.
Thank you so much for sticking with me, Al McDonald and ELECTROCHEMY TV! Here’s to a great 2016!
Director / Producer of ELECTROCHEMY TV
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