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Appointment with Fear!

So after being inexplicably referred for what is termed an 'intervention' (though I gather all signing appointments anyway are considered such) and waiting extremely nervously for two weeks I get to attend said 'intervention', in place of my normal signing time. This all started because last time the, rather petulant, adviser decided that, because the jobs he called up on his screen were beyond my experience, I needed this intervention. Although it seemed beyond his ability to explain this rather than resort to passive aggressive behaviour, after ignoring tht I'd presented him with a jobsearch in full compliance with my JSAg.

The JCP do not work well when you 'buck' (as they would doubtless see it) their way of doing things. Conversely if you accede to those processes you can, like wu wei, do well - or at least better. Anywho the appointment was relatively painless, mainly for that reason. As a happy coincidence my next signing time coincides with the royal arranged marriage and so I have been 'excused'. Unfortunately I had (or so it felt - dealing with the DWP is like a constant bartering for your very soul) to agree to see their Disability Adviser, though not the same person (and certainly not as bad I hope). So now I have the stress of awaiting a phone call to book me in for yet another visit to the bloody jobcentre. I shall tell her I don't intend to come in before the 13th (my next signing date) and only when I sign.

I'm going to enjoy the next couple of bank holiday weekends and the time inbetween as a holiday and damn the consequences. I doubt she will like that - it goes back to what I said above. They won't understand why I would, in their eyes, be unwilling to receive their benison of help. Too bad, the weather's getting nice, it's Easter (and although not christian I find Easter a pleasingly introspective time), and at least baldie's wedding is another excuse to de-stress. A blessed month away from the bloody DWP is to be welcomed as a fortuitous gift and not squandered on more pointless attendance.

So the appointment didn't really cover much. The problem with the JCP is their inflexibility and their inability to see individual circumstances for what they are. Everyone's different, but they simply see a list of vacancies and assume that a) there are lots of jobs going and b) why aren't i applying for all of them. Well because not every vacancy is suitable - particularly if the employer sets standards I can't meet, such as a level of experience or knowledge (such as software I don't own, have never used and couldn't afford). Last time I asked about training (for the now-pointless ECDL) I was warned that attending would disqualify my claim for JSA. I agreed to apply for a job through an agency, which I don't want. A 6 week office job through an agency I know are a waste of time - like most of these agency jobs. 6 weeks of work I'm not interested in just to appease Gideon Osbourne, 6 weeks of experience for a career I don't want, probably followed by hassle restarting my claim. Not once is there a discussion of help to get a career I might want to do. Instead it's about making your CV look good, or getting 'experience'.

This system is just designed to fail.

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The test itself was a kind of Krypton Factor lite (sans exercise course): a mix of recall, pattern recognition, problem solving, and questionnaire. I was asked to arrange coloured blocks into a prescribed pattern, to spot what was missing from a series of pictures, to guess fr…