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Showing posts from July, 2013

No Match, Universally

This site really needs to be taken down. Look at this advert for example; since when did clothe stores ever use recruitment agencies? The only shops I have ever seen advertise in that way are mobile phone places. The advert also says, underlining to make the point, no telephone enquiries; why is that I wonder? I can't even ring - whomever - to find out where the job even is? Wouldn't that save time for people that, as it may transpire, can't get to the venue.
Look at the link to apply. There is no information of any kind as to who the agency or even the business concerned is. I certainly have never heard of Que Consultants before, though I suppose there is no reason why I should. All that's available is a simple form with an attachment facility to include a CV, below which is an advert for 'cv library' entreating the prospective and naive applicant to upload a CV to them, even though no link is provided.
If I go to the root web page there's a 'vacancie…

The Assessment Carousel

Three weeks ago I had a mental health assessment as the result of me asking my GP to ask the CMHT about a diagnosis for aspergers/ADD/etc. During that assessment I asked about getting a diagnosis and was asked whether or not it would make any difference to my life, which, really, seems a rather negative thing to ask. I said that, per se, it would not, but the purpose was in respect of ESA and benefits. Unfortunately I have to navigate the DWP whether out of work or even trying to find work and so I need to have these things looked into and, if possible, rubber stamped. That’s just how the world works. He said there’s a possibility they could do a diagnosis locally and look into it.
Three weeks passes by and I hear nothing, so I rang them up yesterday. I had to ring three times over the course of three hours because I kept getting the run around. The person that was supposed to call me back didn’t bother. In the end I get through and I’m told that he’d actually written to me 10 days p…

Nick 'n' Marge: A New Low For Auntie

This is the message: no matter how crap one must do some work. No matter how much disarray society is in, just ‘et yer head down’ and do your bit: lie back and think of England. But things are falling apart! Is this how to address them? If so can you honestly tell me that it’s working?
Work should only be done if it is necessary. That would eliminate pointless busywork (like call centres dedicated to ‘saving Britain money’) and give people more time for their lives. Instead we have people that only see their families for nine hours a week extolling the virtues of this nebulous concept that seems merely synonymous with exploitation.
Work should only be done if it is necessary. I don’t spend my time polishing the dishes I clean the plates when they need to be cleaned. Once that’s done I don’t give it a second thought. While I’m doing it I do it as best I can and as efficiently as I can, but it is not something that consumes my time. Nor should it be. That is not what I was put on this…

Employment Support Allowance Is Mismanaged.

Given the ongoing scandal ATOS scandal this may seem a redundant statement, however the problem isn’t just the mismanagement of the test, it is the entire benefit itself. According to the DWP overview ESA offers:
“personalised help so that you can work if you’re able to”. And that:
“You can apply for ESA if you’re employed, self-employed or unemployed”.  This, according to the DWP, means that, like DLA, ESA is not an out of work benefit. More importantly for me it means that ESA, as I have tried to explain to anyone that will listen, is not just for people that cannot work at all.
There was already provision for such people: Incapacity Benefit. Why would you rename and repackage that benefit if it wasn’t to help people (even if you believe that some of those people can’t be helped because they aren’t getting going to get better) that can work? Or at least need some help to ‘work if you are able to’? I don't think the intention was to put all people on Incapacity Benefit onto ESA. …

We All Hate The BBC

Oh what did I watch on Thursday evening? More importantly, why!
We All Pay Your Benefits (which should more accurately be titled, We All Pay Each Other’s Benefits) was another example of how far the BBC has sunk in recent years, fronted by, of all people, Nick Hewer and Margaret Mountford from the Alan Sugar Firing Squad. I’ve no real idea of what they actually do, but from Nick’s expression it would seem a career spent in sniffing malodorous substances. Margaret on the other hand has forged a persona that would seem at home teaching in a convent. They don’t strike me as a pair with any real knowledge of being poor and having to make ends meet however possible.
The premise involved a group of benefit claimants, presumably, though failing, to represent typical scroungers, paired off with an equal size group of taxpayers, ostensibly people on low incomes and low expectations. The claimant cohort featured a recent graduate with a lot of bling and a massive student debt, an overweight si…

Seven Questions

I checked my bank account this morning and noticed an extra twenty pounds that shouldn’t be there. Turns out that it’s the ESA I was owed from the date I failed my WCA, which I learn about when I contact them to find out why they are paying me this extra money. A letter to follow came through in the post shortly after.
This isn’t really news. There was no way I was going to pass this test, if you can call it that. No way at all. Now I will have to appeal, though I’m not entirely sure of myself in the process. I will also have to convince my GP to provide sick notes during the wait for any appeal I am entitled to, assuming there aren’t further requirements for making an appeal (providing further evidence for example) I can’t fulfil.
The whole process is antediluvian: does the decision maker speak with you? Your doctor or specialist? Anyone? Of course not. Their decision is based solely on what ATOS tells them. You can provide supporting evidence, but in all cases it is simply about s…

Dog On A String Theory

Having just watched John ‘No Tommy, you weren’t there!’ Sweeney expose Trump on Panorama (in much the way Trump’s syrup exposes his vanity) I caught a trailer for the latest piece of BBC anti scrounger torture. On Thursday the Laura and Hardy of the Apprentice, Margaret Mountford (nee ‘Rodupyourarse’) and Nick ‘is it me or has someone farted’ Hewer preside over another slice of car crash TV, sympathetically titled ‘We Pay All Your Benefits’. The premise seems to be: gather a group of claimants and a group of taxpayers and…FIGHT!
I don’t know how much more of this I can take. The trailer featured a revealing interlude wherein, it was implied, at least one claimant was getting more than they ‘should’ by virtue of a household menagerie. They seemed to have a lot of pets: dogs, cats, lizard. Presumably this is the dog-on-a-string scam whereby people, according to urban myth, usually crusties, get themselves a dog with a rope for a lead and then claim more benefit. File under: girls get …

The Sporting Life

I’m not really a sporty person (though of course I am a sporting person!) it does nothing for me. I find professional sport faintly ridiculous: teams based around community and locality happy to employ anyone from anywhere if it scores them big. Insane sums of money that do nothing but keep players in arrested states of development. It seems as if sport only functions at the level the participants can be physically infantilised otherwise they are past it. Quickly they become heroes, an equally quickly they’ll be discarded.
Sport never meant much to me. I grew up in the typical nerd role and so the jocks were always my ‘enemies’; me and my NHS prescription glasses cutting a dreadfully cliché dash while dreaming of space and stars. that’s just who I am. I’ve never betrayed that fact. I’ve never had to give a long drawn out eulogy of my own performance to a cameraman from a company paying me sponsorship money and I’ve never been paid to sell mortgages after winning a medal. Is that wha…

My Manifesto

Tomorrow I have an appointment with the Community Mental Health Team who, I imagine, will take one look at me and decide ‘huh, what’s wrong with you? You can talk clearly? You’re not flinging your waste at the walls; get a job!” Certainly their reputation, in the opinion of my not-particularly-aware GP isn’t great. Unfortunately while I’m happy to attend the appointment, I’m still dreading it.
I dread everything these days (except my treasured cups of Peppermint Tea: a true sign of my working class pretensions. Mmm…peppermint tea!). I am a nervous wreck; I had a panic attack on Sunday when there were helicopters flying over head. I have no idea who it was (I think it was the cops, though I couldn’t tell; I’ve no idea who else it could be). Three times they flew around during the day. It was too much!
I think what needs to happen in this country, particularly with regard to folk in my position, is this:
Firstly we need to take care of their financial needs. They need to get whatever w…