To feel bloody sorry for some of the people who work in Job Centre

(206 Posts)
NurseyWursey Thu 27-Mar-14 13:49:47

I had to go into today to discuss why I'm not working at the moment (few of you know, lets not get into that)

The lady who was seeing me said she'd be over in a minute, she was just dealing with another person so I waited. I was close enough to hear the conversation and I've got hawk ears and am nosy

Man: How am I supposed to print cvs out with no f*ckin money

Woman: X you missed your last appointment with us, you'd have money if you'd have come. You know it gets stopped if you don't come

Man: I didn't have any f*ckin money to come

Woman: I can see that you live less than a mile from here, or is there any disabilities or conditions you need to tell me about and I can arrange something for you

Man: no am not a cripple. why the f*ck should i have to walk to you. its too early in the mornin anyway me appointment i need sleep. i need money. you're not helping me

Woman: I'm really sorry X but if you want the money you need to come. You've come today so we can get the money reinstated. In the meantime the library round the corner lets you print for free, could you print some there?

Man: am not goin to no pssin library you stupid cow. wot you think I want to sit in a library for?

At this point he stands up being really abusive, the secretary had to escort him away. When it was my turn she was visibly upset.


How can you help someone who isn't willing to help themselves? I know it's bloody hard when you're skint and emotions run high, and we get volatile especially if we have children to feed, but good grief.

On the plus side she was fab for me and helped me get access to some financial help until I'm ready to work again!
If this woman was you, thanks to you!

Nocomet Sun 30-Mar-14 22:23:59

My old university used to run free EFL classes for foreign students, especially post grad and post docs wives. Otherwise they could get very isolated.

MrsDeVere Sun 30-Mar-14 22:44:57

I work with disabled children. How anyone without English can be expected to negotiate the medical and SEN systems is beyond me.

The families I work with are at the very first stages of diagnosis. They have years and years of appointments and meetings, treatments and decisions about education and therapies ahead of them.

Its heartbreaking to see how some of them struggle to even grasp what is going on.

Interpreters are not always available and some have to rely on family member who do NOT relay information accurately. Some are totally upfront and tell us 'they don't need to know that!'. Even when you get an interpreter they often do not have sufficient specialist knowledge to do the job properly.

Of course lots of women do learn English and a hell of a lot quicker than I would learn a second language.

I just wish it was the most vulnerable ones who did.

Defnotsupergirl Mon 31-Mar-14 07:09:06

I worked for a job centre until not long ago. Everyone that comes through that door is quite convinced they are not scroungers, each has a story which has got them there, some cannot understand why they are at fault (lack of awareness of appropriate behaviour) and why they lost their job. I have had people come into my little room saying they don't want to sit outside with "those" people, what, the public? Other job seekers like yourself? I had people that would limit themselves so specifically to one type of work, not understanding for some reason that from a benefit point of view, any work is acceptable work and people cannot be choosy.
I've had people with 3 good degrees come in who have no social awareness. People think they have to go on these courses to be trained in basic computer work but to be honest very often it is to assess whether they need any further input or whether they are actually employable. Some graduates are so superior and just don't understand they can't tell the boss of a company how to do their job on the first day at work. People have told me they have work lined up many months into the future, so, the public is supposed to support them until this possible job comes up then?
Everyone that came through that door started with a smile of welcome from me, I genuinely wanted to help people back into work. Unfortunately not everyone sees this and it isn't easy to see who is a "scrounger" and who is someone that just, through no actual fault of their own, virtually unemployable.

ParsingFancy Mon 31-Mar-14 08:33:11

Well there's an indictment of how well we've demonised the unemployed.

Nobody refuses to sit in the GP's waiting room because they don't want to be "those" people. Because there is no "those" people.

People who lose their jobs know fine well you are sitting in judgement on them, waiting to decide "who is a scrounger". And if they don't get the message from you in person, they'll certainly get it from the literature, where even the simplest communication is laced with threats of prosecution.

Allergictoironing Mon 31-Mar-14 11:15:37

It was my signing on day today. Big bright smiles from all the security/reception staff and a pleasant "good morning". New main advisor due to a reshuffle there, so she went out of her way to go through my job searching & CV to see if I was missing any tricks (I'm not). Asked what blockers I was finding in my job search in case she could advise on anything (none that she could do anything about). Unfailingly pleasant & friendly. I live in a not-great town with high unemployment levels & comparatively low social status for the majority of residents, but the staff at my JCP are all lovely, sympathetic & do what they can when it is clear that you really are trying to get a job. If you are friendly and smile, they respond to that.

So I suppose I'm just repeating all the other comments that it very much depends on both the individual staff member and the general ethos of that particular office (with a bit of local/regional policy thrown in).

spinnergeologist Mon 31-Mar-14 13:26:15

I know someone who used to work at the job centre and feel really sorry for her, some of the stories she tells are horrible. Also each government changes the goal posts so they are always playing catchup.

However when my dh was made redundant for the second time (years ago now) he was told that I obviously earned enough money to keep him so why not get me pregnant and live off the benefits?

Also similar stories of being put on courses he didn't need (also has a degree so capable of using word), asking him to apply for jobs that he wasn't qualified for (required CSCS cards or similar) or were going to cost more to get to than they paid. When he asked someone to look through his CV with him he was told to pay for a private company to do it. When he did get a interview it just happened to fall over his job centre appointment and he was told he was lying about the interview and was just sciving even after showing the invitation to interview. It made him feel so small and as though it was his fault he had been made redundant. The bullying behaviour knocked his confidence so much he didn't believe he was fit for any job.

When we finally scrapped together enough money for him to do some worthwhile training that has helped him find work we were subject to a investigation for fraudulent benefit claims as he was obviously working to find the money. We had actually saved every bit of birthday and christmas money (asked for cash not presents) and delved the savings to do it. Plus he wasn't entitled to any benefits due to not paying tax as a student. Not sure now we could commit fraud on money that he didn't get.

They were so warped by dealing with the stereotype job centre applicant they didn't want to see people who were actually trying.

btw i got him to complain eventually, though it took a threat to take it to the press to get a apology

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now