It's zero hour. I have been referred to the Work Programme. The dreaded Work Programme. The great Jobcentre referral process tombola has sent me to Jobfit whom I have never heard of (but then why would I). The venue is the Salvation Army building directly over the road. Does that sound relatively benign? Who knows, but I'm not a Christian and don't plan to be.
According to Jobfit's website, they work in partnership with (which I take to mean they subcontract to) Salvation Army Employment Plus. So now the good old Sally Army has gotten a seat aboard the Unemployment Gravy Train. I can't say that inspires me, but I can't be sure how all this works, nor do I understand why all these companies subcontract to and from each other. I suppose the obvious answer has the queen's face on it.
I'm not sure how I feel right now. That funk of anxiety blunts everything. The world seems at once too bright in terms of sensory stimuli and yet too dull. My thoughts are engrossing and encompass too much of my consciousness. Perhaps I should try meditation again. I'm on my own with this, I have to wait for the call from the relevant provider to compel me into action. I do not like waiting for phone calls, and I could hear from them anytime. That isn't something that's positive for me either. I'm dreading this for sure, so I suppose that's how I feel. If the venue were nearer that would, perhaps inexplicably, make all the difference. That however isn't going to happen and I don't know of any Salvation Army facility closer to home. I used to quite enjoy travelling around on buses and even trains, there's something uniquely comforting about the train, it's its own thing and doesn't have to use the roads with all the traffic, but now I feel more anxious about it.
My signing arrangements have also now changed. I have a different signing time; the JC is too prone to tinkering. Every time I go in they've changed the parameters of their diary system. Now it seems certain morning slots are not available at all. Yet they know, and even my Adviser understands, that I need this routine. As a consequence of the WP the process of signing is supposed to be more straightforward as the WP provider shoulders the jobsearch burden, even though I still have to bring my jobsearch. I'm willing to bet pounds to pence that the process isn't simplified and that the adviser I see will, at the very least, waste mine, and thus all the other people's, time as well. Signing appointments regardless are supposed to only take ten minutes, but the tinpot Hitlers seem compelled to scrutinise everything to the point of annihilation and just waste time for everyone. It' snot like a doctor who, understandably according to the needs of individual patients, may require a longer appointment or even a shorter one.
I can't find much on the internet about Salvation Army Employment Plus (plus what?). Is this a new scheme? I've tired their main page and there isn't much there. I hope they are positive, as I have no choice in this. The referral letter is of course quite clear, shall we say, about my choice in this matter. It's always nice to be spoken to with an air of complete distrust.