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Programmed - And We're Already Having Problems 2

A new post because otherwise it will take up 10 miles of screen space.

I've just had the Salvation Army ring me back. Oh where to begin. I think the guy is almost deliberately misunderstanding me. He seems to be saying that he's been told that I said this or that I wanted that (specifically a private room - no just appropriate discretion). What I asked him was 'what experience with mental health issues do you have'? Turns out, none. They are just, to use his words, job brokers. I explain to him that I made it clear that the issues I have were explicitly included in the referral. These are issues that my GP supports (somewhat) and that, with the help of the Psychologist (in her own wayward fashion), the JC accepts them. My JSAg is also tailored accordingly. It's far from perfect.

The upshot seems to be, ignoring his constant misrepresentation of what I have said, is that if you are referred as a JSA claimant you are regarded as hale and hearty with no problems. Consequently you have no leverage with regard to the mandatory stuff (uh oh, his words not mine). He also mentions group work (fuck THAT!) as well. So they have a whole programme of the usual tedious cake baking crap I have to look forward to. If you are an ESA claimant you have more leverage - although how that works I don't know since they are going to be the same organisation with the same lack of experience presumably. The difference, I think, is that the mandatory stuff then isn't.

On top of this he keeps telling me that I can't have a private room even though I didn't explicitly ask for one. My point was that discussing the personal issues requires due discretion. It doesn't sound as if they have this; it's a small office apparently and if there's group stuff going on it sounds like it's going to be very cosy right from the off! So in at the deep end I am thrown and without even them being forewarned (apparently - who knows what they've been told) that I have problems. So again the system fails: the granularity is so thick and the system so binary that it just isn't helping. I needed to be on ESA all along, ironically, for this to work. So I don't know how this is going to go down. He even claimed to have spoken to the JC who, apparently, said that they don't pass on such info as health issues upon referral. So where does that leave me? He said also that people with mental health issues 'normally' bring an advisor, a case worker or nurse of some kind. Well I don't have one and I can't imagine what my GP would make of this.

It sounds like I'm going to have no credibility tomorrow and that when I sit there and try and discuss these issues (which I'm happy to do with proper professional trained discreet staff who follow due processes of accountability and responsibility to such information and myself) that I'm going to be in a minority of one. He can't help me, he isn't remotely in a position to do so. I'm not even sure that, were I referred as an ESA claimant (and I presume it would be the same random referral process - there's no specialist ESA provision as far as I know), it would be any different. This will be interesting to say the least because I'm certainly not going to be thrown in at the deep end like this!

EDIT: I rang Jobfit directly. They have verified that they indeed received the info from the referral pertaining to my mental health issues. They also said this is information that should be available to Employment Plus. It's all there for them to look at. So either something went tits up in the transmission of info, Employment Plus don't regard that information as being an issue and so just aren't considering it at all, or they are lying outright when they say they don't have it.


  1. The words, brewery and piss up comes to mind.

    1. I was thinking more like stitched and up. As in like a kipper.


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