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Everyday I try and use the Universal Jobmatch site, even though I claim ESA. I don't have a problem using the internet once a day just to see what's around; isn't that what they'd want me to do in the Work Related Activity Group (if I ever get that far)? Unfortunately it's still a giant fucking mess. In fact the quality of advertising is so lazy it beggars belief these are professional companies (even the recruitment agencies) using the site. It is like wading through treacle having to deal with that site. They haven't obviously bothered to sort it out and make it at least user friendly.

McDonald's has traditionally been the poster boy for crap jobs, hence the phrase 'McJobs', yet rarely do I see them actually use the DWP machinery to advertise. A good thing, I think, since working there would be the death of me. I couldn't handle the environment; I hate the food and even the threat of sanctions couldn't persuade me to lie thoroughly enough to convince Ron that I was made of the right (non horse) stuff.

Now I don't know if they are associated with any of the government's workfare schemes, but in the interests of being thorough I followed a link on today's UJM roster for 'crew members' at Maccy D's. Took me two attempts though as the link was incorrect (it's not complicated either).

Best part is that they had to film a short promo clip convincing potential applicants that society won't think less of them if they ended up working there! The clip (SPOILERS!) is hosted by a young woman doing a quick vox pop; turns out she's studying for a law degree. Is this really a good advert for our society: someone smart enough to study has to flip burgers for a toxic shit food chain in order to pursue their studies? Own goal?

Anyway, to the point. the job is for a crew member in Portishead (the town, not the band), yet if you look at the list, the same venue, Portishead (the town, not the band), also has vacancies for 'work experience' crew members. Now why would anyone choose to apply for an unpaid position over the paid position when they are both the same? In fact there are more listed 'work exoperience' opportunities, which also include full time, than there are paid regular opportunities - both of which are part time!

Workfare? I'm not loving it (sorry).

On another topic I got charged for postage on a DVD I ordered from Amazon Marketplace (don't worry Alec Shelbrooke, it wasn't expensive). Seems the guy forgot to buy enough stamps. It annoyed me a fair bit, it's true to say, so I left some negative feedback. I emailed the guy as well to ask what had happened. Turns out, giving him the benefit of the doubt, he made a mistake. I believe him; he offered to refund me the fiver I spent and I removed the feedback.

Why do I mention this? These are tough times. I think he's just an ordinary guy trying to make a few quid on Amazon. What's wrong with that? I'd do it if I could (and I tried getting advice from various Work Programme type providers over the years, none of whom were interested). So we need to stand together and not let capitalism and money divide us. It costs me nothing to give him the benefit of the doubt and if he does right by me and refunds me then all's well that ends well.

Contrast Iain Duncan Smith who will tomorrow seek the approval of Parliament to push his latest, nastiest, piece of legislation through - possibly with the support of Labour, definitely with the support of the Libdems. Even if Labour vote against this, they won't win alone. There's no fucking justice in IDS' world, and I'm sure retroactive legislation goes against the ECHR - no wonder the scum in government loathe it so much. Disgraceful.


  1. I think it is possible to register as a Sole Trader with HMRC and then sell stuff online; if you can make money at it you're a better capitalist than I am. ;]

    Those people I know who have gone down this route didn't last too long - because their plan was to buy cheap in charity stores and second-hand shops and then sell for a small profit at ebay/Amazon. But a few problems came up immediately - firstly that most charity stores have turned themselves into 'vintage boutiques' (as a result of unemployed fashion graduates volunteering there perhaps?) and have pretty much doubled their prices across the board; try selling a paperback on ebay for more than 99p, yet you'll pay two to three quid for it at, for example, Oxfam. Secondly, most of the good stock in charity stores doesn't even reach the shelves - the volunteers have first pick of whatever comes in in the way of donations. So even if people were handing in Beatles' 1st pressings and Stephen King 1st editions, they'd never see the shelves. Thirdly it takes a long, long process of years of experience and trial and error to be able to sort what is valuable from what is not, and that learning curve means extreme penury.

    The few sellers who survive this nightmare tend to buy bulk at auction, or old stock from sellers going out of business etc. For that you need capital up front - not something you're likely to have.

    At one time a tax credit was available to you if you tried this - however, Universal Credit means that anyone who attempts any form of self-employment and who needs a little help to make it work will be punished in the same way as the unemployed. Tax Credits are, in Tory parlance, a subsidy for big business, not a helping hand to small business. According to IDS, small businesses are hobbies, unless their turnover meets VAT requirements.

    All in all, like all free market shit, fine in theory, bollocks in the real world.

    1. Yes, using charity shops to make a buck is hopeless. Their prices have long been poor.

      When I went to Next Step (another so-called provider of help to theunemployed - and why are these groups all called 'step'?) and asked them about help making money selling on Amazon years ago, they looked at me like I spoke in tongues. They couldn't even believe Amazon was anything more than a silly fad: it was like showing a camera to a primitive tribesman. I thought they'd regard the internet as something that stole men's souls.

      In all unless you're very lucky or very rich it's a waste of time.


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