I’m tired. I was five minutes late to sign on today after the bus was five minutes late and stuck in a bit of traffic behind a tractor and having to stop for a piss before going in. Fortunately I’ve never had any grief for being late, and usually I’m not, but I did get asked why I was late. I think what annoys me is that it’s such a feeble question and asked in such a pointlessly lame fashion. Obviously I don’t want to get into trouble for being late (when there’s no one else waiting, either), but it was just pointless asking. Either make an issue out of it or don’t, preferably the latter.
This time however they did ask about the Work Programme. Again, and perhaps fortunately, it wasn’t an in depth interrogation. I’ve been anticipating them asking me how it’s going on the WP, not that the JC is in any position to do anything. So I had to explain, as tactfully as I could without giving away the fact I’ve only had one appointment (which I’m sure would set off all kinds of alarm bells), that they are no help at all – by their own admission. They mad it clear from day one that all they could and were prepared to even consider was ‘jobsearch’, and that was within their hopeless church facility.
Consequently I’m stressed. I was asked if I minded the adviser taking this issue up with her superiors; discussing the issue. She assured me that she wouldn’t mention me by name, only that ‘a customer’ had mentioned these issues. So I felt I had to relent. It’s a game of give and take with the JC; you have to be seen to cooperate. The trick is not to give too much away. if there is any come back from this then I will know she broke my trust, for all the good it will do.
But the problem is, again, the stress. I suffer from stress. It makes me a bit dizzy, and that’s how I felt walking out the Jobcentre. It’s the uncertainty of this whole system. The claimant – customer, as he is now considered to be – has no assurance of anything and never knows where he stands. It’s like walking across a sea of shifting sands in a desert and that’s how I feel right now, wobbly. I think I need to have it out, again, with my GP. For all the good it will do. Doctors have a position of power and trust in all of this but some of them seem unwilling to engage in understanding how the system works. Again the ’customer’ is left dangling.