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What's Wrong With Everything 2 - Job Search

I've just done a job search for the day.

Granted it didn't take me the 8 hours that Camerot-in-hell and his think tank cronies would like, but then why should it. I look online at corporate websites including the DWP's own toilet of a database.
Frankly my head just spins.

Einstein is reported to have said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. That is exactly the definition of jobhunting with the Work Programme (or, more accurately, in spite of it, as they don't help at all). I look at the same pages, the same poorly designed career/recruitment sites and it's a mindfuck of corporate bullshit, images of happy clappy people all in some joyful action pose, like action man on MDMA. The same results,over and over. The same poorly placed links, the same stupid ad copy that I cannot read (literally, my eyesight and my ADD make parsing the "you will be a dynamic dynamo within our dynamic company. Are YOU excited by targets? That wasn't a question, because we know that YOU are!"

Where is the help? Where is the support? At best the WP just transposes the venue for this headache inducing, if brief, endeavour to somewhere most likely less suited to your needs, with completely inadequate resources. All so the people that work there can continue to do so - and for what? It's a feedback loop that is destroying the spirit of people like me and driving others to the very brink of self destruction. If you think that's melodramatic, go sign on and find out for yourself. There was no thought given to the provision beyond how much money can be made. Customers, for that is what we are, have no say in where they go or whom they see.

Meanwhile in rural communities the decline continues unabated: cuts to vital bus routes are like a hardening of societal arteries. Vital community care links and services, such as CAB outreach and human contact for the elderly, are threatened. And nobody cares.

I don't know how much more of this I can take. Every other week, when the shadow of signing on looms, I worry that this might be the week I get sanctioned. I try to do what I can, according to the rules, but it's not easy. A Jobseekers Agreement sets out the terms and conditions of my entitlement to the difference between survival and destitution, but no contract can withstand contact with the labour market, so all it takes is for one week's requirement not to be met and for me to be seen by someone not in the mood to act human and...bang, that's it. Game over. It might sound, again, melodramatic. But this is the reality of life on the dole, it's impossible to plan ahead because you simply do not know if you are going to fall foul of a system that can just, seemingly at random, decide you 'haven't engaged' with the WP (despite it not engaging with you) or that 'a doubt has arisen as to your entitlement', without so much as a word of explanation. Don't think they will look to discuss things with you ahead of time, don't think they will be reasonable, and don't think they will be flexible, rules is rules guv.


  1. I don’t know if this will help but what I suggest you do is check that your WP provider is mandating you properly. If they aren’t then any sanction doubt they raise against you won’t succeed. Here’s a link to the DWP Guidance on mandation (sorry, it’s a pdf):

    Remember that the DWP will always assume that the WP provider has mandated you correctly so if they haven’t and you appeal you will probably be required to supply the DWP with a copy of the Mandatory Activity Notification. My own WP provider, for instance, keeps on putting separate appointments on one sheet of paper and does not even say what those appointments are for. Of course, I keep attending the appointments, and the issue of mandatory notification is one I’m keeping quiet about for now and in reserve just in case they ever try to play silly buggers with me.

    Good luck. You’re not alone.

    1. Yes, I'm aware of that.

      Actually I was talking about jobsearching from home. I haven't heard from my provider in months. Though I doubt they can offer any better a service - do they hacve a special work programme centric version of the internet for us to look at? Unlikley.

      I have the stuff about mandating people printed out and at my desk. It too is in reserve. So far I have incrured no consequences, but i don't want to jinx it.

      All we can do is carry one.


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