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Programmed - Parked?

I've been waiting all week for P to ring me. I was sure they'd be on my case as early as possible, and in a weird way, it might have been better had that been so. At least then I wouldn't have to wait, stressing out, as to what is supposed to be happening. It would also mean that I don't struggle to answer the JC adviser, when I sign on, when asked "how's it going on the WP?" which they ask every time now. 

So where does that leave me? Have I been parked? Will I get a call next week, next month, next year? Perhaps they've passed me back to the JC  for someone else to deal with; they clearly don't like having to deal with people that have the wit to ask questions about this awful nonsense. But in the end none of this really helps me, as if it was ever about that.

I've been filling in the forms that P printed out; the assessment forms. One of the first questions it asks is about my interest in self employment, further education, and/or training. Yet I've already been told that training, at least, is off the table. These are Jobfit forms, so it seems that the Salvation Army want to ignore the provision. Probably because they haven't the money to offer any kind of decent service; that's money they could be spending on transforming the environment into some horrible 1970's church hall and buying new old bibles.

Of course I'm not going to ring them myself. Not least of all because that's not my responsibility. But I'm annoyed that the signing process isn't as expedient as I would like. One of the few upsides I was hoping for, while on the WP, is that signing on is supposed to be more efficient. Unfortunately despite supposedly having a fixed time for my appointment (important given local transport times), they change it every time because the system is actually incapable of booking a set time beyond two weeks. I'm also supposed to see the same person (at least that's what my GP was told), this was the case until I was referred. Now i just see whomever is there and get asked the same question about how the programme is going. A waste of time really since the DWP can't do anything - and frankly I don't really want to get into it with them because it's probably going to cause more problems than it solves. So instead of being a quick in and out at the JC, it's still the usual bureaucracy, only without them doing any jobsearch (that's what the WP is for).

I wouldn't say I feel abandoned. I expected the WP to be a complete waste of time. But I just didn't think it would be so regressive: so lacking and just so backward. At least if you're in the right kind of environment - ie not a tatty musty old church hall - it would feel a bit more modern. But really it's just like a local rotary club meeting and completely unproductive.


  1. Hi GW.

    With a bit of luck you might not hear from them for months. Although you may feel better just getting on with it. Whatever 'it' may be!

    But when you do hear, supply at least an email. That should save you from my fate of 3 times a week intensive jobsearch. i wasn't on the ball, I should have given them an email. Hindsight.
    Still totally confuddled as to what to do for the best,
    Doing alright though considering, stressed, but not tooooo stressed.

    Hope you are well mate.

    1. They screwed you over because you refused to give an email? I suppose that's possible, but I'm extremely uncomfortable handing them my email (or any email). They would still need permission to give that to a third party.
      They can't mandate you to a three times a week jobsearch without putting it in writing and you signing the action plan.
      Of course I could argue, if and when they do ring me, the mandatory nature of me turning up to any appointment. This will almost certainly trigger a sanction doubt which I'm sure won't go in my favour, but legally I haven't signed anything that says I am obliged to attend, and I've already been to the first meeting. It's not my fault they are disorganised and didn't provide me with an action plan!
      It's like playing a game of chicken.

  2. Morning.

    Yep, screwed over. The works!

    "If we have no email we need to see you regularly".

    After manager confirming I didn't have to.
    Oh, action plan? What action plan? This was only my second appointment!
    No action plan!
    They printed the letter at the appointment mandating me to do this 'punitive' measure from their ever so grey black box. I'm going to go this week to the first couple of 'intensive jobsearch sessions' Just to see what they get up to.
    I guess because I caused a bit of a stir they will probably enjoy giving me a tough time. One wonders if they can even do this, but as we know, it's pretty hard to gain any help or knowledge.
    This lot are a nasty bunch. They couldn't railroad me, even a bit of cheek and patronising after the first 10 minutes when it was obvious i wasn't your average compliant scared 'client'. Oh and character assassination too.
    Sorry to be negative, but this is totally accurate.
    Complain? After my experience i cannot be too confident about impartiality with regard to a complaint through their complaints procedure.

    I agree about the action plan. But they do what they like. I am carefully thinking about how to deal with this. Complying with a few sessions doesn't negate the ability to make a complaint or officially questioning the mandation validity. And I dont want a sanction doubt going through just yet.

    They're not getting away with this though. I could not turn up and take a chance with them hearing my side. Hmmm? I'll stop here for now.

    Good luck to us all.

    1. From what i've gathered at (send them an email, they might be able to help), they can't just print out whatever they'd like to do and amend a file.

      If you haven't got an action plan then something is definitely amiss. The whole point of the plan is to provide a written record of mandatory activities. This is something the provider guidelines indicate the customer can look at any time. Therefore I think we can reasonably infer that providers can't just print a brand new mandated task and amend it.

      These people are clearly not playing fair. Unfortunately I can't advise you to do something that might risk your claim, even if the rules suggest that shouldn't happen. I could say that these are people using fear to oppress their clients.

      I would also say that, if it's already been made clear that you are not obliged to provide them with an email (and i have seen nothing to suggest that's the case - what if you didn't have an email address to begin with? They can't force people to open up accounts!), then this course of action must be seen as punitive in that context.

      Best of luck. These people are clearly turds. If they are behaving also in a bullying or intimidatory fashion then I would seek advice from the CAB. No one should have to tolerate that.

    2. Hey GW.
      I don't intend to tolerate it for long, but one really has to be rational and logical and deal with these people with precision. Let them carry on, i am always reasonable until they are not. If they are not correct it will be vocalised. And documented! And a complaint will be made as soon as I can muster some clarity to compose a concise non rambling letter.

      As for the email, you would be expected to have one for applications etc. The real issue is supplying it. Others may get away with it, i didn't. Despite not having to. Oh well.

      Always appreciate your words. And glad of the opportunity to have encountered yourself and a few other articulate people going through this coercive horrid scam.

      I wont clog your blog too much, I can ramble a bit at times!

  3. Anonymous If you do go, I would suggest you not to download your cv to their computers, what I do is I set up emails with attached cv's and basic information, then all I need to do is put the email address of the company I am applying too.. Making sure i print off a copy of the email and the job advert..

    Cover your back at all times. A lot of these place dont care if you get a job, so long as you are not claiming JSA you are off the books..

    1. If you stop claiming JSA it won't make any difference. You are still on the WP. Which is to say that, if you go back onto JSA or ESA within the two years, you go straight back to them. In the meantime they will likely chase you up to find out what you're doing to sniff out a payment. In other words all they can really do, if you aren't depending on claiming, is hassle you.

      How this plays out in practise we won't know because it's relatively early days yet.

  4. But if you stop claiming JSA, you are not counted as unemployed you are put on another list. That is the danger, they will say look someone has stopped claiming.. Its the outcome they want, rather than the reality..

    1. Indeed. But it's down to the individual to decide if he's better off signing on or not. if the dwp want to exploit that, there's not a lot we can do. The WP is just too encompassing.


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