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Surprise! Appointment!

Signed on this morning. Had to see the woman I saw last time, I'm not sure what's happened to the person I normally see, but I have an appointment with her on Monday apparently. Nice of them to tell me this now and to have booked an appointment at a time I can't make due to transport. The signing itself went smoothly enough; they had given me a job to apply for below my agreed hours (20, the job was 16 which alone becomes difficult when you factor in bus costs at £7.50 a day) which I couldn't apply for. The job was with Asda (ugh - supermarkets are not conducive to my sanity) and the application process was online, only their site requires a compulsory mobile phone number entry. I don't have a mobile and even if I did I wouldn't feel comfortable letting them have it. Couldn't put a landline in as that was already input. Stupid.
Fortunately the JC weren't bothered. Too bad if they were, it's nothing I can do about it. I even emailed Asda and just got the standard corporate spiel, which is about the same as their advert anyway. That had no information on where or when you'd be working. In the end I agreed to apply for a job I can't do just because it's easier to deal with it through the application than get the JC looking at me like a confused puppy when I explain to them I have no experience in the position as it's something I've had to pick because of how their system works (pick 3 categories of work).
So now I get informed of an appointment at 2pm on Monday with my normal advisor who has reappeared out of the woodwork. I've already had it out with them before about the limited buis service that runs to the JC, but again they've chosen to ignore this. I shall have to ring back alter and probably make things worse. I suppose if I have to go in it would be better sooner rather than later. But such things as convenience and expediency and efficiency seem wasted on the Jobcentre. Why couldn't this appointment, to go through my Jobseeker Agreement (again - pointless as nothing is going to change), be done on my next signing time (which wasn't booked so presumably this will be done on Monday or whenever).
What annoys me more is that I cannot cope with having things sprung on me like this. It probably sounds like a lame trivial point to most people, but it's issues like this that are the root of my emotional/mental issues, and is what prompted me to ask for an Aspergers diagnosis (a year ago, still waiting).
Even then, I have conceded to my GP that it may well not be Aspergers. I'm not an expert, but I need to get to the bottom of the issues that cause me problems. Unfortunately between the GP and the DWP nothing changes. These are real problems for me (others may disagree, but we are all different - some of us have problems others do not) and I have been trying to get them addressed for years, but as time passes they are regarded less and less. It feels like a vicious circle at times.
The worst part is, the DWP know this. I've discussed this with the advisor before. She knows this, and it's all recorded on my file. It's why I was claiming ESA previously. The problems, as I've told her and the GP, do not go away and aren't going to just magically disappear through the cleansing power of some quasi religious work ethic. That's an attitude that's just deeply dismissive and keeps me down. So the JC know that having this sprung on me is a problem and is something I react very very badly to. But do they listen?
I will have to ring them later and maybe persuade them that this be changed to my next signing appointment and have ti all done them. Doing so would also save them refunding my bus fare. If they don't then I'm going to turn up 40 minutes late and that will be that. Honestly, to some this might sound rather pathetic, but that's just the way ti is. This level of trivial inflexibility and inefficiency is by its nature something I cannot deal with. I struggle with this and the JC are supposed to be helpful and understanding, but beneath their veneer it's the same old behemoth.

EDIT: Thanks to poorly advertised local bus diversions I missed my bus home so I went back and asked to have the appointment changed. Not surprisingly this produced the usual JC confusion as the person ignored my explaining which bus service I have to use or the times that it runs. I've been through this with them before to the point they have a photocopy of the local timetable in my little signing dossier. She didn't bother to look at this. Instead asking me why I don't sign at the other jobcentre (a few miles more distant but more friendly to buses), I explained that was because it's as rough as fuck. Not that it should even be an issue anyway if these people just listened and didn't waste my time springing surprise appointments on me without warning, discussion or planning. I can't deal with the JC. They operate in a fashion that is just beyond my ability to process healthily and I'm getting zero support for this. I'm still waiting to hear back from the people that promised some help a month ago at a community health and wellbeing outreach day where I live.
So now I have to go in 9am on Tuesday. This is now playing on my mind, as happens in my head, and will continue to do so until then. After which I will start fixating on my next signing time. These are the problems I have and there is no apparent help for this. The JC do not understand these things and speak only their language: attend or else. No negotiation, discussion or support. I also anticipate the inevitable referral to the local WP. Something else I shall no doubt fret over. Anxiety is great.

Comments

  1. I'm already on the work programme, and the staff there tend to be friendlier than at the JCP, although I suppose it just depends on who you get. I was anxious about the wp before I was referred to it a few months ago, but it's no big deal really.

    By the way, I sometimes think I may have Aspergers (clumsy and difficulty relating to people?), but I've survived this long and I'm not going to throw myself on the mercy of some GP...

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  2. If the WP is helping you then that's great. It doesn't, if anecdotes are worth anything, seem that is the norm.
    I'm mindful of those individuals that say they are being helped. Life is never black and white and the shades of grey are the problem - the system can't deal with this.
    At this rate I won't get to even have a diagnosis, whether or not I'm actually Aspergers. And yes it probably won't make much difference having lived this far. However IME to get help and support you need to tick boxes and that's the point of such a diagnosis. Plus these things can help make sense out of your life. If you don't think it's worth pursuing for you then fair enough.

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  3. I didn't say the wp was *helping* me (there are no jobs and I'm long-term unemployed). Just that the wp staff are *friendlier*. However, this friendly attitude could change if I don't get an interview soon. Toodle pip :)

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