I guess I could write a post of doom and gloom with the joys I am experiencing in life right now. However, I’ve decided to jolly it up a bit and spit in the face of adversity. There are a few aspects of life which are quite challenging right now, but lets deal with the art of job hunting and the challenges of dealing with the wonderful staff of Jobcentre Plus…
I have finally been told that I am entitled to receive Job Seekers Allowance… Let me hear a whoop whoop! Though, they never bothered to send a letter of confirmation :O I figure that I am doing more for my money than if I’d actually been at work (full time). Ok, maybe a slight exageration there but not much… I have had up to 4 rejections so far, and am already suffering from ‘Rejection Shock Syndrome’. How dare they turn me down!
Moving onto the fiasco that seems to be the staff… Despite calling them and seeing them several times now, they failed to act on my new bank account information, when I updated them. Now bear in mind that you are bound by the rules to tell them everything (insert recorded message about failing to inform them of any new personal information) or fear THE SANCTIONS, they are not very efficient on their end of the bargain at updating their records.
Hence, my first payment has been sent to an unopened/fake bank account and will take yet another week to sort itself out. I am about to summon a ‘Crossroads Demon’ (similar to the boys from Supernatural) and sell my soul to have an enjoyable 10 years of life, without cashflow problems. But I fear my soul has been kidnapped by the ‘system’ over here, or I am just sinking and soon there will be no soul left.
Today was my first ‘real’ Job Seeker interview appointment. I was enlightened by a few things:-
- It is not necessary to write up the pages of Jobsearch Records, if I have been (naturally) using the electronic Universal Jobmatch portal.
- There are a level of tasks set and agreed by the adviser. However, I am already doing more than what is expected of me! :O
- The only available (free) training on offer was not relevant as I am “too self sufficient” and the courses they have on offer include training on how to use a printer, as one example….
- If I transfer to another town, I need to fix up an appointment on arrival and go through a ‘transfer interview’.
- The adviser calls to update you on jobs he/she deems appropriate and asks you to apply (happened to me today).
At the interview, I did point out that TCAT (Telford College of Art and Technology) were trying to set up an intensive course in retail, for unemployed people (to give them some form of experience in the field and a few recognised apprenticeship qualifications). They just need the financial backing of the Jobcentre. However, they are apparently being held back by Jobcentre demands. It seems ‘proper’ work experience and a guaranteed job interview is a must if this training is to take place, before the Jobcentre will support it. Ironic that establishments are trying to help but are banging their heads against a bit of a wall…
So anyway, now I am armed with all relevant information but will have to suffer their condescending, ineptitude for a little while longer, just not too long hopefully…
I am lucky that I have the support and help from a handful of friends. There are many times when dark, heavy and overwhelming loneliness kicks me in the gut, but then I get a few words from those who do care, and it makes a big difference.
I guess there is still hope and it’s just a matter of time before I land on my feet again. I’m still in the most convenient country for that to become a reality, for me. But the feeling I had in DK of being in the wrong country, is now happening here – especially as a chunk of my support network are based in both Denmark and the Netherlands. I do miss you guys and gals overseas and am glad I met you.
So to those of you who think I was stupid to flee the country and leave ‘Great’ Britain behind or say “W(what)TF”, I say “W(why)TF not”. I have experienced an alternative life (also had the best toyboy in DK that a woman could ask for) and think the UK can learn a little from our neighbours. The neighbours could also learn a little (or more) too tbh, in different ways… But, I have met some like minded people from many different places and won’t forget them – if only getting a job abroad had been easier… It may have dented my career progress a little but I don’t regret trying it out anyway, and I like to think I can still get back into the swing of things, eventually, or die trying at least… 😉
And, to those of you still out there, try and avoid the nightmare of all of this if/when you return ‘home’.