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Insistence is Futile

I must blog. I have just returned from my appointment with fear - I mean seeing the Work Psychologist. I'm not really sure I'm any the wiser about the point of it, though it wasn't totally without merit. Unfortunately I again lost my cool with the JC who managed, inexplicably in my opinion, to not refund my bus fare. This doesn't really help with my signing appointment on Friday (which I may not be able to attend anyway as there was signage along the way saying the road will close for three days starting Wednesday).

So i turn up in time for my appointment (and some meagre shopping in
Morrisons) only to find the psychologist is quarter of an hour late. Perhaps I should stop her benefits. Ok, fair enough, these things can happen. To be fair she seemed nice enough and not an ogre.

At first the meeting comes across as a glorified careers advisory session. I explain to her that I am interested in writing (can't thee tell?), I'm also interested in
music, but that's another story. She then asks me if Ive been published, if i have an agent, etc etc. She's taking it way too far. No, I just enjoy writing, as I have for many years. Dare I say it's something I have some measure of talent for. I point out that I'm not looking to become the next JK Rowling, but that, when I mentioned my interest upon starting my claim, I expected more of a response than 'pick something else, we can't help with that'. I figured that, if I can't make it as a millionaire author, then maybe that talent can be used in other areas. I point that out to her, explaining that the system of JSA and the atmosphere of the benefits system just doesn't allow me, I feel, to explore my talents, interests, capabilities, freely so that I can find something, like writing, and work towards that. Instead it's about 'get a job NOW! Only search within our preapproved categories, and receive no help doing so'. A very close minded and almost counter productive approach. Why shouldn't writing, for instance, be a valid choice for someone's career?

It's only when i mention that
I've been chasing the doctor for a year to get an Asperger diagnosis that things begin to move. I'd already explained that I HATE dealing with the DWP; I was almost not going to show up this morning and really can't face an encore on Friday. I think she got the message (hopefully). I'm at my limit dealing with them now. She mentioned I should get a fit note, though when I pointed out it was easier said than done she didn't go further. Well of course I'd like to sign off JSA, but that alone won't convince my GP to start issuing sick, sorry, fit, notes afresh. I wonder whether she will convey my utter contempt and 'cognitive dissonance' with the Jobcentre to my adviser and if so how that will come across since she's likely to think 'well too bad that's the system'.

I also pointed out the issue I have with a system, in respect o
fESA, that says you must be completely unwell to receive or, otherwise you are 100% ok (ie claim JSA). She seemed to get the point, though I didn't press the issue. As people reading this will know I can go on about this and the shitty nature of the welfare system ad bloody nauseum.

Curiously it turned out she can actually undertake a test for
aspergers herself - after a fashion. She has offered, with my GP's approval (as he's still in the mire of organising just such a test through the regular channels) to do some kind of IQ test that will show whether I have characteristics and tendencies of that kind, as well as other, similar conditions (she mentions Dispraxia, which I've never heard of), that may apply in lieu of Aspergers itself. Well that's good. I asked her how that grants me an official diagnosuis and she says it can be taken to the people that issue such things to force their hand. Impressive, I guess. The final point I make is that I do NOT want to undergo this test (or indeed anything) at the JC. She seems able to accommodate that, providing my rather disorganised GP surgery can provide somewhere instead.

The only real issue is that, when asked where this all leads, it doesn't seem that
getting any kind of official diagnosis or stamp of approval, if you like, makes much difference when dealing with this wretched welfare system. I'm still going to rely on them for an income, likely through JSA, and therefore the conditions, including turning up to that bloody place, will ultimately remain. Maybe it will make an ESA diagnosis that much easier - oh who am i kidding!
So all in all...I'm not sure! We will have to see what happens when I speak to my GP tomorrow as
I'm due a telephone appointment at teatime. Whether he'll write me a sick note I don't know, but anything to avoid Friday...

Speaking of which, my adviser, last time we
spoke, assured me that the travel refund issue would be taken care of in time for today. All i would have to do is sign the form and everything would be there waiting, all taken care of, by her. It wasn't. The form wasn't there, neither was the money. The psychologist gets the necessary form which I fill in and even though the adviser in question is actually present, I still have to wait for the money to be collected from, presumably, petty cash. This seems to cause an enormous problem: of all the people on deck today, including two security guards, and two people manning the reception desk (as well as sundry advisers in between clients and whatnot) only one of them has the requisite capability to actually process the form and issue me with a refund. The appointment finishes about half an hour before the bus is due and it takes about 15 minutes (including time needed to go to the nearby public toilet as by this point I'm walking bow legged) to get to the bus stop from the jobcentre.

After about 15 minutes of waiting for this person to appear, during which she seems to forget she's been
asked to do this and goes ahead with her next client (and cannot, it seems be interrupted). I protest the point and get exasperation for my trouble - as though I'm being inflexible (again!) and unreasonable. At this point one of the reception guys, the person I'm talking with at this point, gets his knickers in a twist: he does that thing where he questions what you say but really quickly, as if to dismiss you while simultaneously getting the last word in. This is red rag to me at this point:

"we've had this
conversation before haven't we sir," he utters quickly before, "I'll let her know that you need the money." No we haven't had this conversation before. Ever. And I need that money to get in on Friday.

My efforts are in vain and I have to leave without collecting my money. It will, apparently, be there to collect when I next come in. Problem is I don't ever want to set foot in that fucking place ever again. They are just hopeless. I of course look like the typical difficult customer. But I cannot understand why NONE of these people could simply get the money and hand it to me. the form was filled in. In fact it should all have been waiting as was agreed. Typical.


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Thursday today (unless time has confused me again!), the day between yesterday's appointment with The Psychologist, and signing on tomorrow. A brief oasis for me to discuss said appointment as it was a test for 'neurodiverse tendencies'. I think that's the best way of putting it; it's all a bit vague really. When I first saw The Psychologist I mentioned that I was in the process of trying to get a diagnosis for Aspergers to which she replied she could do a test that, while not an official diagnosis, could count towards one - or something. Something official anyway, though bizarrely after the test was completed (took a couple of hours) she said she wasn't trained for Aspergers specifically.

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…