She rang me today. Who's that, your fancy woman? No such luck, I refer of course to the Salvation Army head honcho I will be seeing on Monday. As you can imagine I am looking forward to this appointment wholeheartedly. I can't wait to have a one way conversation with an organisation that doesn't understand, seems institutionally unable to help, and insists on using completely inappropriate facilities. If I'm extra lucky then bully boy adviser, who works at the same venue on the same day, will also be there (I'm not actually sure that isn't going to be the case, but if it is then I'll not be staying). Isn't sarcasm great.
She called to ask me if I was ok with her manager not also being present. Er, what? I don't remember that being part of the deal, Lord Vader! Perhaps then it's just as well he won't be. I saw no point in changing the appointment or arguing the toss either way.
Maybe I should be more positive about this. Perhaps I will be lucky and this person will actually be more helpful, more compassionate and more able to assist. I simply don't believe it, I'm afraid. What I've seen so far - and they have had 9 months to be helpful - tells me otherwise. As I type the above words about being more compassionate etc I just find myself laughing with a sense of resigned internal despair. It feels like saying 'maybe today I'll win the lottery'. I just don't see it.
The whole programme seems so institutionally inept that I cannot see any good coming from this. The best these providers seem to be able to offer is a facility to spam my CV to whomever they like, or to send me to application form training. My problem isn't one of literacy or a lack of imagination, it's based around the way my mind seems to work. There's about as much chance of them understanding this as there is of the sky turning green. People take one look, hear me talk without slurring my words (too much) or having a massive schizoid episode, and assume that there are NO problems, never mind issues they can't possibly understand.
I don't really get why the Work Programme could not have been delivered by people with an understanding of more than just what a CV might look like (and there's no guarantee they can even get that right). It's just the most basic school leaver level career guidance, possibly topped off with some dodgy corporate sales psychology, and a lesson in 'life is for winners kid!'. There's nothing of substance here, except the money these people make. Yet these advisers all think they are cock of the walk; they think that, because they've been filling in action plans and talking in corporatesspeak and doublethink, they are actually experienced in the pure art of helping people. They aren't. Action plans mean nothing if they don't help people. But it's just so easy to compel us to fill them in on pain of sanction (though, unless the rules have changed, one isn't actually forced to sign the plan - something I'm sure would have gone down well with my adviser had we actually got that far!)