A Week of Highs, Lows and Lies

This has been an interesting week of both highs and lows including moments where I’m not sure if ranting or laughing is a more appropriate response. At the beginning of the week I received a letter from student finance asking about what I’m doing and whether I can provide evidence to see what interest should be on it, obviously I thought it would be easy to get my ‘Work Coach’ to sign the accompanying form and it would be sorted (I was wrong as you’ll find out shortly).

This time while waiting in the Suicide Capital of England, having learnt my lesson from last week, I nibbled a tuna sandwich I had prepared before leaving home to grant me the strength to face stupidity once more. Arriving in the Job Centre Plus (having climbed the flight of stairs inside anyway) I see the place packed with people, and still only 4/5 ‘Work Coaches’ (they’ve easily enough desks for 12). I took a seat on the sofa next to a woman arguing with her daughter (looked to be about 3/4) which was actually a pleasantly amusing discussion. After a while I’m eventually called over when to my complete and total astonishment my ‘Work Coach’ apologised for being late as they were busy, considering we’ve only started on time once I wondered what had caused the delays most other weeks. What happened next shook me even further, she actually complimented me on filling out my job search completely with enough detail.

After this I even felt confident enough to ask her about my aforementioned student finance letter but she wanted nothing to do with it and didn’t help me with how to sort it. This was followed by her telling me she didn’t expect me to be here because I should definitely have a job by now as the job agency would have given me a job because they have so many. I explained to her the agency didn’t feel I was suitable for any of their current openings which she said wasn’t possible they’d put me on anything if I didn’t tell them no. She went on for a rant about how all sorts of people get jobs with them and how a girl had started working for them and was climbing tanks and really enjoyed it. Annoyingly I didn’t think about this enough as I later realised how on earth would she know about whether the girl enjoyed it if they weren’t personal friends, I assume she was merely lying. Next she told me she’d contacted the job agency and been told they had no record of me, which is at least a different lie but still rather annoying. Finally she booked me in for an interview next week with a different ‘Work Coach’ as she won’t be there next week (small miracles). I thought with this my ordeal was over for the week, as always I was wrong.

Towards the end of the week I received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions stating in large type “You could lose some or all of your payment”. Further into the letter it states (in a more reasonable size) “We’re worried that you did not register with [the job agency] by 3rd November 17 as agreed.”. Which as I’m sure you’ve been following this blog with great interest dear reader you’ll know I in fact did and this is purely based on the lie of my wonderful “Work Coach”, unfortunately I have no real proof of this at the moment. I have e-mailed the guy I saw at the agency but haven’t received a response yet, I will go in to see him shortly before my next meeting if I have to get a photocopy but it is leaving it to the last day I have in order to provide a defence. As a final kicker just to prove that they really are trying to wind me up (and are in fact greatly succeeding) the letter states “You can send your documents free using the envelope we’ve provided”, I realise that it’s hard to remember 2 pages of the letter and a page for the related form but they completely failed to include any type of envelope with it let alone one with free postage. I am starting to think that maybe they are running a competition to see who is capable of making me snap.

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