I just had the undignified experience of going to the Job Centre for the first time in nearly 10 years. What I got out of it is that they treat every single person that goes in there the same whether they are career claimants or career people who’ve just been unlucky enough to have their face not fit with the manager’s ideal at their last place of work. The people I spoke with were nice enough, if you are okay with being treated like a career criminal who doesn’t mind being talked down to.
The whole process is pretty depressing and bloody nosy – I was surprised they didn’t ask me for my bra size when they started getting into the whole income and expenditure check portion. Seriously I am already on a monitored budget courtesy of the IVA I have been on for the last year, and before that the DMP I was on for seven years. I know exactly how much everything I buy costs, I keep such a tight grip on my money that last month – when I was incredibly worried about going broke I managed to somehow save nearly £600 of my salary – I obviously did a lot of stuff that cost next to nothing!
I have to log every single thing I do to find a job and they expect you to spend 35 hours a week looking for work – not quite sure where I am meant to be looking that takes that long as I can scan through the 12 websites I check daily in just over 2 hours (and that’s twice a day)…They also expect you to apply for jobs that are up to 90 minutes’ commute from where you live – that’s fine, but are they going to also pay the extortionate commuter rates that come with that sort of job? I am restricting myself to jobs that are within a 60 minute bus ride because I a) cannot afford the cost of travel going that far and b) do not want to be getting up at stupid o’clock to go to a job that means I am not getting home until even more stupid o’clock in the evening. It is not my fault that I am out of work, it is the fault of the stupid bitch manager who has wanted rid of me since the day she started at my work place (though she made me redundant rather than firing me – because there was no case to fire someone who worked above and beyond and constantly did everything and anything to help (my old manager’s words about me, not mine).
Oh well, in a fortnight I have to come back again and show them what I have been doing to find a job – and as Dory always says “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” I am doing everything I can to find a job, and with any luck one of the applications I have put out there will eventually come to something. I just need to keep thinking positive 🙂 and I can do that – I have managed so far.
Hope everyone else is keeping well.