Sunday, 14 April 2013

Funemployment 12 - A New Low

This may (not) come as a shock to some of you  but during my last visit to the Job Centre they managed to hit a new low. Now, I have come to expect a pretty dismal level of service from the Job Centre and the majority of the time they seem to be a hindrance rather than a help in my job hunt, last week they got worse.

I arrived duly on time for my appointment and took a seat to wait to see my 'adviser'. Usually the Job Centre runs at least ten minutes late but I make it a matter of principle that I will always be on time even if they are not. After around ten minutes a few people had been seen, various 'advisers' were industriously typing away (on what I couldn't see, probably Facebook, but they looked busy) and others were sitting on each others desk gossipping about their weekends. NB in the over 25 section there are no filing cabinets for them to lean against so desk-sitting is the new gossip position.

After about twenty minutes my general mood was decreasing - people coming in after me had been seen, people before me had been seen and no one had come to ask anyone elseo who was also waiting who they were here to see. I was on the verge of going up to the nearest 'adviser' and pointing out that I had better things to do with my time than sit and listen to office gossip while being ignored by people who were meant to be advising me. This was until I remembered that I hadn't actually signed on yet and that if the advisers got confused by me being polite then sarcasm would probably not go down well and may even be taken as a reason to put a strike against my name.

After a further five minutes one of the advisers started to 'free lance' from desk to desk and appear to be, well, actually working. Once he had finished with his last person I went up to him and explained, politely, that I had been there for nearly half an hour, I just needed to sign on, no one had called my name and that I wanted to know how much longer it would be before I was called. The adviser took my name and went to ask his colleagues.

Upon returning the conversation went as follows;
JCP: Sorry about that, but it turns out that the person you are due to see isn't actually here and doesn't work on X.
Me: Oh, well that explains why I didn't get called
(in my head): well there's a bloody surprise! I've been booked in with someone who's not even here, how incompetent do you actually have to be to work here? Is it some kind of specified skill on the job description?
JCP: Yeah, well I'll just go and get your record and we'll sign you on.
Me: Cool, thanks
(in my head): You haven't even pulled my record out?! I come in on the same day at the same time every fortnight and no one has found my record?! If I were this disorganised and useless at my job I'd had been fired!
JCP: Right found it *types away and brings up my page* ok if you could just sign here
Me: Ok *signs paper waits with baited breath for 'a have you considered MI6?' comment*
JCP: Ok, I have also booked you in with Y at X on Z and because this is your M visit next time you'll be having a, what we call, 'Personal Intervention'.
Me: Ok.....
(in my head) What the hell is that?! Have they been following me and are going to formally reprimand me for blogging about them? Or my drinking? Bollocks this does not sounds good!!!
JCP: *looking at my confused expression* don't worry it's not as scary as it sounds you will just sit and go through everything that you have done to find work with one of our 'advisers'. 
(in my head): oh God! This sounds worse than I feared
JCP: you can also tell them how you feel about job hunting
(in my head): hello! Someone is actually going to ask me for my thoughts on job hunting, he he he, they may live to regret that!
Me: Ah ok, that sounds useful
JCP: do you have any other questions?
(in my head): yes, can I bloody leave now please
Me: No, don't think so
JCP: Goodbye then! Sorry again about the wait.
(in my head): DW you're still doing better than Haringey Council! 

At this point I grabbed my stuff and ran out the Job Centre still slightly stunned that someone had actually booked me in to see someone who would not even be there. Seriously, if I had done something like that when I worked as a receptionist then I would have been in big trouble. It's no wonder that the DWP has problems if they can't even book someone in for an appointment and not cock it up. Needless to say I am now very much looking forward to my 'Personal Intervention' *slightly evil grin* if I get asked for my honest opinion on job hunting then they may find that they have a lot of feedback about my experiences.

The job hunt continues.

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