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It's That Time of the Year

Shops are advertising Christmas vacancies still. The jobcentre of course obliges. This post is to discuss whether it's worth it. Waterstones have a couple of 4 week jobs advertised, but I don't think I'm going to bother. No doubt that's the wrong attitude, but I don't care. I'm done in with all this nonsense. The Jobcentre just doesn't understand these things.
Working for a month will involve signing off for that period and, inevitably, signing back on right afterwards. You'll have a few quid spending money in your pocket for Christmas; that isn't an issue for me. You can't claim if you're working full time, but you will still need to find the money to meet your expenses (including bus fares which are exorbitant). The problem with this is something the JC has never been able to properly address. I've started work after signing off before where I've been promised financial support to help tide me over until you get paid only to be told that then wasn't going to be forthcoming and that I will just have to manage because, and I quote, 'other people manage'. Even a month's work like this you won't be paid weekly. So you will need to support yourself to even do the job, as well as meet your daily needs (food, etc) for that period. Of course when you get paid, the job ends.
Then you have the fun and games of restarting your claim. Rapid reclaims (according to my JC, at least, I can't confirm this) have been relegated to history and so that means another period of insecurity. So you won't be treating yourself to anything nice over the festive season because you'll need your money to tide you over until you can claim again.
Now people might argue that it's good experience. Well if that's what you want then fine. I don't think a month's work means fuck all personally, especially when there are so many people out of work with all kinds of superior levels of experience anyway. This is where we get into the competitive aspect of looking for work. People shouldn't have to be competing against their fellow citizens to find paid work to live, it's a crazy way of living. But we ameliorate that by putting down the people that lose out. I also don't want a career in retail (which is not the same thing as saying I won't ever work in a shop) so that experience means nothing to me. I don't buy into this argument that 'it all looks good on the cv'. I think it's more important to make choices that are right for you than it is to appease these transient social conventions, and if it means hobbling yourself when dealing with the byzantine benefits system later on then it just isn't worth it.
Some might argue that it can lead to a full time job. Well, it could, but that's highly unlikely. If they wanted permanent full time staff - they'd advertise for them. This really is just an urban myth used to scare the scroungers, the same with most things (like the above 'experience' notion).
No, all of this ignores the real issues: the inflexible system that, if you fall foul of, can land you in real hardship, and the lack of real opportunities and support that isn't based on 4 weeks work. Maybe then it's best we all reject these jobs, as full time jobseekers, and leave such positions to those they are intended for (students, for example). Putting these jobs in the same category as career opportunities or long term good paid work is disingenuous and counter productive.


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