I`ve been claiming benefits for a couple of years now, i dont feel good about it but there it is. I trudge my way to the local
interigation jobcentre building once a fortnight and sign on the not so dotted line.
i have signed on before, a few times actually, but this is the longest i`ve been without a job for a while. i am what is commonly known as a worker. in the last 30 years i`ve been a window cleaner, a taxi driver, a barman, a bin-man, a quality control geezer, a computer technician, a white van man, afield service engineer, an audio/visual specialist, a gardener and general all round you-name-it-i-can-do-it. i`ve spent time as a dj, a promoter, a graphic designer and councilor. i`ve taught myself plumbing, carpentry, gardening, surface mount electronics, firmware modification, music production and stuff i probable shouldnt go into...
is any of this relevent when you claim benifits ? , no. no it isnt. I`m asked everytime : " what work have you been looking for ? ". My routine answer of "anything" does not cut the mustard with these people,
.....step away from the rant and get to the point.
so, - after twelve months you get put on what i like to call a " youve-been-on-the-dole-far-too-long " scheme. this was introduced when the DWP was called to order on how they were structuring themselves and = - gosh = they were supposed to help people back into work and so blatantly were doing no such thing.
i can see you are getting bored now. so here`s a picture of my employment adviser when i asked about training.
the once a fortnight review sessions with < name removed for fear of reprisals > was upped to 2 sessions a fortnight as well as signing on. , never one for keeping my mouth shut when it comes to details - i did a bit of research in preperation for last weeks review.
this is what happened, i kid you not. -
Reviewer : Hi Al, everything ok ?
Me : Not so bad thanks.
Reviewer : What have you done to look for work since i last saw you.?
Me : the usual - internet every day, asking friends, checking e-mails, getting in touch with previous ....etc etc etc.
Reviewer : Did you come in to use the computers here ?
Me : i did, but you had far too many people in a small room, i`m sure health and safety wouldnt be too pleased about that,, especially as there was no supervision.....
Reviewer..... ...... erm, ...ok. < pauses >
Reviewer : anything else you are not happy with ?
Me : well, as it happens yes, i`ve just read that the last scheme i was on has been done for fraud on a massive scale.
Reviewer : .... < pause >,, mmmm, < checks watch >
Me : its all over the papers, you not seen it ?
Reviewer : no mr crow, no i havent.
Me : do you ever see the directors of < name removed for fear of reprisal > ? do they ever come down here ? ( i named them )
Reviewer : no actually, they dont. why do you ask ?
Me : i just wondered , i thought you may have met the < family name removed etc.. >, especially as OFSTED havent been down here for two years.
at this point, my reviewer went pale, paperwork got shuffled, the previously noisy office went quiet.
Reviewer : i`ll tell you what, there is no need for you to come in to the office anymore, we can do this over the phone.
feel free to draw your own conclusions.
thanks for reading, i`m off to make some soap.