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The Noose Tightens...

Week 12, now the fun begins.
After waiting the extra 15 mins (for no reason it seems) having had my sign time needlessly changed I go through the motions once again. A list of jobs is paraded before me most of which are unsuitable for reasons of experience (or the lack thereof), transport and location. These factors seem to be something the JC just cannot process. Of course I'm just seen as refusing work, but if I don't have knowledge of the building trade or the only means of public transport doesn't get me there on time. What can I do when it's pointed out that I can get in at 9am (as is evident that I can by virtue of my presence at the jobcentre right now) therefore it must follow that I can get in any time.
Then my next time is booked. Again this seems to require some change in the process. Out comes the green appointment card, indicative of the seriousness of this next appointment. I'm booked on the 10th (hoo-fucking-ray) at the incongruous and inexplicable time of 2.20pm even though my signing time is 9-15am. Why? Who knows, even asking seems to indicate an unacceptable level of curiosity. Apparently the advisor that awaits my pleasure is only available at that time. The wheels move slowly as I try to explain that I might not be able to get in at that time. I can't say for sure as I don't have the timetable to hand and neither does the jobcentre who subtly point out that others come from where I live so, again, what's the problem. I have no idea who else local to me travels to the JC in question, but it's quite likely they have alternative methods of transport.
Then the fun begins: the advisor then offers me a time next Wednesday and my stress/anxiety kicks in. I find myself shrinking inside my own mind watching as anxiety autopilot takes over. I flat refuse that appointment, quite politely and calmly, but I just refuse refuse refuse. It's now quite clear to the advisor that something ain't right with this boy. She seems genuinely concerned, but the system is the system and not much can be done anymore than I can just switch off my anxiety (that's why it's anxiety) and do whatever whenever it's required. She inputs some data onto the system for the advisor and the original appointment is left as is, even though I've no idea how I'm going to get in if the buses aren't running, but rules is rules.
Why is there no discussion of what might constitute a suitable appointment? They get snippy when you say that travelling in on a limited bus service is difficult; as if you are inconveniencing them. It's ridiculous: they don't consider keeping the regular appointment that I clearly can manage but insist on seeing someone that's only available at a certain time. Then, when you have a problem with that (and you aren't given any advance warning or asked what time would be suitable), the system falters like a broken train. Ridiculous. Again.


  1. Hello,

    I am unemployed myself and have been for nearly a year now. I am not registered as sick but I have dyspraxia and chronic migraine which makes it very difficult for me to find suitable employment. To be honest you will find that most employers will not really be interested in you if you have any kind of disability or chronic health problem especially at times like this when each and every job is massively over subscribed.

    I say this as your visits to the job centre seem to be causing you a lot of stress, I don't think anybody likes it but if you can just learn to play the game there is really nothing they can do and you don't need to take a job that isn't right for you.

    Apply for the jobs you want and make a good job of the applications but if it's something you are just applying for to fill out your looking for work diary apply for jobs you know you won't be considered for, jobs that you could do but are bound to be rejected for. It is a bit tricky you need to apply for jobs via agencies and put forward a CV that is just OK, nothing eye catching that way if the job centre check up (and they don't seem to on your own job search) you will be telling the truth.

    As for the jobs they show you at your appointment, they do check up on them. Look at the jcp website before you go in online, check out the jobs on your agreement. This gives you more time to see what is suitable or not and you won't be as panicked when you go into the job centre. If you are looking to avoid work for the moment then you can scope out the jobs that are available on your jobseekers agreement but that are a bit beyond your experiance and apply for them. Mostly the job centre staff just want a hassle free time when you go in so as long as you are going through the motions, doing a little preperation and being pleasent to them they are unlikely to give you too much hassle.

    That said I am not sure what will happen when the work programme starts. I imagine the best thing is just to go along with it. It's going to be a total waste of time anyway.

    Good luck and please try not to stress so much!

  2. Thanks for the advice. That's sort of what I've been trying to do. Unfortunately last week I ended up agreeing to apply for a couple of jobs that, while I can't see myself ever doing, I felt obliged to agree to.
    One is a manager for Holland & Barrett. Lord knows why I agreed to that as I've no desire to do that at all, and it's highly unlikley i'd get picked. The second is an office job that's similarly liklely out of my league; I did email them actually to find out more (every job i've been given thus far has been incorrectly advertised), but I haven't heard anything.

    It is difficult when the adviser brings up the list of jobs because you really are under the spotlight. For the sake of convenience i jsut feel aobliged to agree to something. One of the advisers, a jobsworth for sure, got the hump when i pointed out, correctly, that all the jobs he was showing me required experience I didn't have. I had to go through a special adviser review next time i signed on (which was, tbf, less hassle than dealing with him). But it's such hassle, every bloody time.

  3. It is a hassle to apply for these jobs but as you say it is unlikely you will get called for interview so just apply and wait for your rejection letter. It is sad that this is not the way the job centre should be, it should be about finding people suitable and sustainable work which takes into account a persons training, experiance as well as any health problems, disabilities they may have.

    I have been giving jobs to apply for at the job centre and when I have called to apply the same day I am told the vacancy is now closed, on calling the job centre they told me I must apply (send my CV) anyway as if I didn't I would be sanctioned, so I applied for a job I knew was already taken. It's crazy but that is how it is JCP is just a series of hoops you have to jump through, most people when they do find work find it themselves with no help from the jobcentre!

  4. Most people that find help do so in spite of the jobcentre.


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