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

(214 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!

wonkylegs Thu 27-Mar-14 16:10:50

*bust not busy

WooWooOwl Thu 27-Mar-14 16:23:52

YANBU, the example in the OP is shocking.

People like that shouldn't be able to use the services of the job centre, the same as if anyone was that abusive in a shop the shop would refuse to serve them.

I'm sure there are a few arseholes working at job centres, but I'd guess that the majority who are rude and patronising to service users have just gone on the defensive after having to take a massive amount of crap from so many people.

mrssnodge Thu 27-Mar-14 16:28:21

My brother was temp unemployed from college lecturing post and before that he was a teacher and was told his benefit would be stopped if he did not attend a literacy course-
He told them in a VERY loud voice so the whole place could hear-'your the one who needs the literacy course' , my records clearly state my last employment just two weeks ago! I can bloody read and write thanks very much & got up and walked out in disgust .

niceguy2 Thu 27-Mar-14 16:28:45

Unfortunately I get the sense that the above example is probably par for the course and not even a surprise encounter for JSA staff. They probably get that sort of attitude day in day out.

It's people like that which fuck it up for the genuine claimants that just need temporary help to get back on their feet.

Naoko Thu 27-Mar-14 16:29:55

I have friends who work in the contact centres. (so the people you speak to on the phone if you have a query, not the people you have face to face appointments with). Their work conditions are shocking. They speak to some awful people on the phone, but the main problem is the employer. I don't think all the contact centres are like that, but the one I know of is appalling. I certainly do feel sorry for the people who work there - because every last one of them I know is depressed, living in fear of their employer, and desparately wants out.

NobodyLivesHere Thu 27-Mar-14 16:32:30

That's pretty tame. I got pissed on when I worked for DWP. Literally pissed on.

mrsleomcgary Thu 27-Mar-14 16:36:07

Claimed jsa for 6 months when the company I worked for went bust. All but one of the people I saw when signing on we're patronising shits but doing that job I can see why!

The area I had live in is classed as socially deprived so they had more than their fair share of junkies and scroungers to deal with but they tarred everyone with the same brush. On one occasion I was told I had to go on a course about how to find a job (one which it turned it I could have taught) and they booked me on it on the afternoon I volunteered at a local hospice so I asked if I could go on a different day. Advisor actually put her pen down, folded her arms on the desk, tilted her head to the side and said that my payment would be stopped if I didn't go. This was a the time David Cameron was talking about encouraging the unemployed to volunteer so I pointed out I was doing exactly what her boss wanted me to but if she didn't like it I would of course tell the hospice I couldn't come in that day. I got booked in for the next morning. What really wound me up though was she had my cv in front of her so she knew why I was claiming yet still treated me like an idiot.

I'm sure it must be a soul destroying job so can imagine that any niceness you have towards people coming in would run out within the first week, I feel sorry for them but surely they know who's actually looking for work and who's out to get everything they can without doing anything for it and could treat people accordingly.

PuppyMonkey Thu 27-Mar-14 16:38:52

I got made redundant and had to sign on for a few weeks last year.The nearest job centre is in a notoriously rough town on the Derbyshire/Notts border. Every single member of staff was pleasant and lovely, really helpful about useful courses available, not mean, not snotty. And actually the clients were all really nice too, holding doors open and passing the time of day. I was genuinely impressed by how totally unhorrible the whole experience was.

NobodyLivesHere Thu 27-Mar-14 16:39:58

Mrsnodge, I don't see the need for disgust at that

And it's you're.

littlemisssarcastic Thu 27-Mar-14 16:40:35

Nobodyliveshere How did that happen?

AllDirections Thu 27-Mar-14 16:40:38

I work with the kind of people like that man you overheard OP, though not for the job centre. Some of them are worse, some are not quite so bad and a very small percentage of lovely and genuine. We have them in groups and it's utterly soul destroying trying to work with people like that. I've just handed in my notice, I can't take it any more sad

BellBookandCandle Thu 27-Mar-14 16:42:03

WooWooOwl banning people isn't straightforward. The counter argument is that it may increase incidences of abuse as some people will see it as a way of getting their benefits without the need to attend the Jobcentre and comply with the conditionality requirements and this may increase their stay/dependence on benefit.

Far better is to bring them in at quiet times when there isn't an audience to play too.

Just like staff, some claimants will be jerks - you need to learn how to manage those jerks (whichever side of the desk they are)

Misspixietrix Thu 27-Mar-14 16:45:10

Sorry to be pinickety but it isn't actually free to print in our libraries. I'm sure I used to keep them in business when I was at Uni with my printing! grin. Agree with dwarf though. They're are some right condescending twats working in some Jobcentres. They're are also some lovely lovely people working in others and indeed the same ones. The thing about no Money to get there though. I remember walking to one many times (the vindictive one) when ExH lost his job. We had no choice.

CrystalJelly Thu 27-Mar-14 16:47:31

I don't feel sorry for then one iota. My experience of the job has been horribly negative. I'm sure there are some nice people working for them, but most are rude and treat all claimants like they are lazy, benefit scrounging scum. I've worked since I was 16 and I don't think it's acceptable to tar me with the same brush as someone who's bone idle and hasn't a worked a day in their lives, which is what most of the advisors seem to do.

NurseyWursey Thu 27-Mar-14 16:48:19

misspixie But it is in ours, that was the point

Xfirefly Thu 27-Mar-14 16:49:59

I know some people who work in the job centres are lovely and put up with shite but I've witnessed my DM and DF been treated like dirt when they were on JSA from being made redundant. They were so patronising and making unrealistic demands. They sent my dad on a 'training' day and had him playing with playdough (seriously). he stormed out. they was forcing my DM on a numeracy and literacy course even though she has book keeping and accounts qualifications. The courses would be great for people who struggle with these things but forcing people who dont need it is odd.

Heathcliff27 Thu 27-Mar-14 16:53:43

15 years working with DWP issuing crisis loans, i was spat at, called every name under the sun, i was threatened in the street when i was shopping locally with my children. For £15k a year at the time, after 15 years the work was centralised and I was offered redundancy, I almost grabbed their arm off. Never ever again.

starfishmummy Thu 27-Mar-14 16:59:32

I think some libraries will have "clubs" where jobseekers can get free help.

And many jobentres have facilities to print copies.

Bassetfeet Thu 27-Mar-14 17:01:06

Awful rude staff and totally uninterested . I was an easy target to bully and patronise . Unsure and afraid ..must have stuck out like sore thumb.

CrystalJelly Thu 27-Mar-14 17:04:06

I needed a CRB for my current job, obviously as anyone who's had one knows they can take ages, I couldn't start before I had it so still needed to sign on. My advisor was aware I had a job and was just waiting for my CV before starting but still insisted that I applied for everything and anything under the sun and pointed out that my benefits would be stopped if I didn't do this. It didn't matter how many times I pointed out that I had a bloody job and that I'd be wasting time by applying for other things, it was like talking to a brick wall.

I know people who run their own business and people who do the hiring and firing for big firms and they say that he amount of unsuitable candidates who apply because they've been forced to do so is unreal. It wastes time.

The people mentioned in the OP are the eons that give the unemployed a bad name, but most unemployed people are NOT like this and deserve to be treated with respect.

NobodyLivesHere Thu 27-Mar-14 17:04:14

I was interviewing him for a crisis loan and he wet himself a over the floor between us and the first either of us realised it was when my sandal clad feet felt wet.
I got abused, insulted, threatened, called names daily. I worked a 45-50 hour week for the grand sum of £12k a year and my work load doubled in the space of 2 years when the old DSS was disbanded in favour of JCP and the pensions service, rules and procedures change weekly, training is at best out of date and at worst non-existent. It's not a place of fun at all.

AmberLeaf Thu 27-Mar-14 17:13:52

Like most things, some people will be nice, some horrible. That goes for the JC advisors and the clients.

I have experience of a few really nasty for the sake of it ones [advisors], but also some who were lovely, interested and seemed to genuinely want to help.

People facing money being stopped [so no food, heat etc] are people at their wits end. It isn't surprising that some, particularly those who are inarticulate, will fly off the handle. That doesn't excuse abusive behavior, but from what Ive seen, a patronising and confrontational manner that some advisors have, really doesn't help matters.

A friend of mine recently had her JSA stopped because she missed a signing on appointment, that may seem fair, but she had informed them she wouldn't be able to attend because she had a job interview this left her with very little money until it was sorted out.

Nocomet Thu 27-Mar-14 17:15:45

We did have a job centre up 5 miles up the road, which was cycle-able if you are young, fit and didn't mind 40 ton lorries, but it went years ago in a previous round of cuts.

You can imagine in an area with a fair bit of seasonal work and people sighing on and off benefits, the OPs conversation occurs quite often, with a great deal more justification.

Oh and now they want to cut our (3 mile away buses) to one every two hours, meaning short appointments in town can quite easily waste most of the day.

Dwerf Thu 27-Mar-14 17:23:46

mrsleomcgary I'm on a similar course at the moment, it's so ridiculously patronising it's untrue. Examples of unit questions are "Why is it important to be on time for work?" and "why is uniform important at work?" This is a two week course. It's supposedly to brush up my skills. Skills at what? Controlling eye-rolling and tongue-biting? The tutor is fabulous though, can't fault him.

hickorychicken Thu 27-Mar-14 17:27:23

My experience with the jobcentre has always been positive but i think when you show how desperate you are for work they tend to appreciate this and treat you like a person rather than a number.
I was under the impression that if you had been on JSA 6 months you were automatically put on to an employment training scheme A4E etc but my advisor (this may have changed it was a good few years ago) said that it was their discretion whether to put people on it, say, the people who weren't making enough effort.
I really feel sorry for training providers sat in a room full of people who didnt want to be there and are just difficult about everything.

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