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The Timeless Wisdom of Employment Plus

I thought it might be fun/stupid/irresponsible to upload choice cuts from my time with a guru so wise his wisdom appears to my mundane ears as ill considered bullshit. This was the last time (i sincerely hope) I saw this awful adviser who has, i have discovered, behaved with remarkable abandon regarding the data protection act. For added amusement I have increased the pitch of the voice. Might seem a bit bizarre but it wouldn't be fair to leave it so either of us could be identified (yes that sounds paranoid, but then I am). 

On CV's:
On chucking toys out the pram:

On mental health:

Speaks for itself I think. Also there is another adviser not three feet away in the tiny kitchenette at the back of the church hall that passes for their Work Programme nerve centre. He's dealing with someone else. How's that for discretion and privacy!

I welcome any comments on this, even though I sound like a massively smug bastard high on helium!

I'm actually genuinely interested in how it's perceived outside of myself. It's very difficult to be objective sometimes when you have these kinds of issues in yer head!

I'm sure there are some that would sympathise with my adviser and I've tried to be fair, if harsh, with what happened; but I cannot deal with people that behave like this. This guy is so full of rules and regulations (assuming there are so many rules and it isn't the flexible black box we've been told about) and so full of 'we're going on a journey' that it borders on the absurd. At times it's not a million miles from David Brent!


  1. I think that you were being very reasonable given the astonishing lack of knowledge of the Work Programme rules with regard to data protection and privacy by your 'adviser', and the lack of understanding concerning 'support workers' (as if every person with a mental health difficulty is automatically assigned one!).

    So much for their 'support' of you. If they know that you have problems they should work with you not against you. Also, in working with you they automatically help themselves: it's beneficial to them for goodness sakes!!

    It's hard for people to cope with such long-term injustices like this. I hope that you don't have to deal with this person again!


    1. So do I! Thanks.

      People need to know what the WP is really like.

      However that said, I'm not sure how long I will keep this post active. I'm not particularly motivated to spare the feelings of that awful advisor, but I am wary about this material being online. I would hate to think of myself as disrespecting another person's privacy and even to bully people by posting their finest moments online. in fact there were more audio files I could have uploaded, but I think this is enough.

  2. Don't worry about the privacy aspect, I doubt they're going to get recognised - it'd be different if you posted their name and address on the blog, though. But this is fine IMO.

    I can see the advisor's point about the CV, or at least I can see where they're coming from; they're coming from a place which isn't as clued up as some people. I think all you'd need to do is print off the DWP's responses to freedom of information requests about CV obligations and it should clear things up. Emphasis on should!

    Do you know if you've been sanctioned then?

    1. I had spoken to the Salvation Army's office beforehand and was told I didn't need to give my cv which is what I tried to argue. My post a few days ago clarifies their position as they again said that they do not apply for jobs on your behalf, even agreeing that would be counter productive, and that they cannot act on your information and send your details 'on my behalf'. All this is exactly what he claimed he needed my CV for. Furthermore it's surely ridiculous to assume that not having over my CV (which again they refused to even look at so they could see I had one) prevents them from offering any kind of support. It is patently nonsense to say things like that and is nothing more than emotional blackmail IMO.

      This was all from an appointment last November. What you don't hear is me kicking off a bit about the threat of being sanctioned. When I mentioned that I had spoken to his office he backed off and nothing more was said. I made a complaint and changed advisors.

      Much of this stems from (according to them) the fact that I was on JSA. I am now on ESA (for now) which is a lot less demanding. Apparently the Work Programe, despite how it's been sold, is very strict when it comes to JSA claimants. This is partly why he won't even listen to me explaining mental health (and partly because he's a wanker).

      There was another clip that I accidentally deleted before uploading where he says that all i've done is put up barriers by answering 'i don't know' to everything. Essentially he wants a compliant customer who will say 'yes sir no sir threebags full sir'. People that think for themselves and have some idea of what they want are difficult customers. it is very important to me that my CV is not forced out of my control. I have no idea if they can be trusted with such information, but when they tell me they want to apply for jobs on my behalf (again they now say that's bollocks and borderline illegal) I'm not convinced. Who knows where they'd send my information and once it's out's out there!

      If they want me to look at some vacancies why not just show them to me and treat me with a bit of respect?

  3. Very revealing, and in some ways very similar to my experiences, especially the woeful lack of privacy (the desks where the advisors are have no partitions or screens between them, and it's hard to not overhear conversations taking place when the advisors' desks are next to each other).

    What is most telling is your advisor's inability to back up their statements with written corroboration. All they can do is threaten you, with the ever present possibility of sanctions and "compliance issues" their only back up. No doubt this "advisor" is used to his interviewees backing down, so good on you for being firm.

    This whole Work Programme is a farce, and the sooner it's put out of its misery the better. What worries me is if they do, I can only wonder what other wheeze they'll choose to inflict upon us.

    1. The lack of privacy wasn't an issue initially, the second customer arrived half way through and at that point I was too far gone to object - and of course doing so would have drawn (even more) attention to myself. God only knows what the other advisor and customer (wasn't really fair on him) thought. Not that i care too much about these advisers.

      We didn't get to even fill in an action plan (and i still haven't). I have some paperwork which i may or may not have had with me at the time from the DWP and a FOI request that clarifies you don't have to sign an Action Plan. I can only imagine his reaction to that! But the point isn't about non cooperation, it's about rights. We have the right to expect decent fair treatment with regard to ourselves and our data. If you as an adviser can only accuse someone of being obstructive without offering anything at all then you are a failure.

      Throughout the entire interview he offered nothing and contradicted himself: the assessment form asked if I was interested in training. When I asked what they coudl offer he said "cv training, application form training, goals and agency seminars"! Make of that what you will. Not actual training, and certainly nothing significant (i think they might help get a CSCS card or something basic like that - which is fine if tht's what you want).

      Basically you have to fit their expectations and assumtpions of how someone should be and act in regard to work and unemployment. If you don't they can't cope and so label you as non compliant. They are not interested in your problems or how you are struggling. Even during the interview it was obvious I was struggling and his attitude was 'you are not cooperating'.

  4. I don't think you're doing anything wrong by putting up audio clips of your adviser's comments. You've protected the individual's privacy as they cannot be identified. Also, I think it's important that posts like this are made so that others can learn how the awful W2W industry works. I too have experience of the WP claiming this and that yet unable to back up their claims with any reference or evidence whatsoever. They simply indulge in the blame game of claiming 'you' the 'client' are not engaging fully, which is clearly rubbish.

    I do wonder what will replace the WP. Sadly I believe it'll be more of the same, after all the WP isn't about getting people jobs with support and training. It's about simply harassing and punishing those who have the cheek to be unemployed and poor.

    1. At the risk of sounding melodramatic it's ultimately a kind of emotional blackmail - because they wield the threat of the ultimate sanction. Imagine if you went to your GP and told him your problems and he acted like this; or any other agency there to support and help. However because we're scroungers it's acceptable to resort to what is essentially bullying; all to get results. I was even told that they are under DWP pressure to get results.


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