Friday, July 29, 2011

Life on the Dole - A Part-Fantasy

Well, Geoff. How are you getting on on the old king cole?

Well, it's been six weeks now. I am dutifully applying for at least six jobs a fortnight as the Job Centre Plus demands, whether I want them or not. I don't want any of them but I don't want some more than I don't want others.

No fucker gets back to you. I say no fucker but actually one fucker did get back to me and I went for an interview yesterday.

The life was sucked out of the room. I was told the shit parts of the job which were many, I was told they had between 600 and 1,000 clients and I was thinking there's a fucking big difference between 600 and 1,000. I would be spending a lot of my time chasing up these clients to get their paperwork in on time then I would spend a lot of my time contacting clients to try to get them to take their paperwork back.

So I decided against this job and trotted along to the Job Centre Plus in the afternoon for my third fortnightly appointment.

"Since you haven't got any accountancy qualifications, what about this job?" said the woman seeing to me.

I said, that's in Orpington, a town an hour away by bus, an hour away by train, it would take me an hour and a half to get to work.

She said I was obliged to travel up to an hour and a half to work. Orpington was OK.

I said it was a 40 hour week for £7 an hour.

She said I was obliged to work a maximum of 40 hours for a minimum of the minimum wage, £5.93 per hour. She said the object was to get the jobseeker off jobseeker's allowance and into a job. She said if I'm low-paid I may be able to get other benefits.

I said you're only giving me £68 per week for 26 weeks. I've paid tax and national insurance for the past 29 years. I said I'm doing this so I get my full pension.

She said have you checked how much pension you'll be getting? Go onto the internet, type in "Google" and type in "pension forecast".

I said can you write that down because I don't think I'll be able to remember that. Do I have to turn on the computer first?

She said yes, maybe you could go on an IT course. A lot of our older customers have trouble with computers, how to turn them on, how to turn them off, etc.

I said that would be good because though I've got a computer at home I haven't got any qualifications in using a computer and a course showing me how to use a computer would be very useful especially since I bought it seven years ago and still haven't worked out how to turn the fucking thing on. And I have spent the past 29 years in accountancy blagging my way as I don't know the first thing about it so maybe I can go on a course to, I don't know, I don't know what's done nowadays with all these new fangled machines, did you know when I was made redundant some cunt nicked my favourite abacus?

"So what about we go for this job in Orpington?" she said.


  1. I feel your pain, man.
    Orpington? Accounting? Have you got a Ph.D. in misery?

  2. If she's offering to go with you to Orpington that's good but don't tell Betty. Have you thought of Media Studies - they could teach you how to read a Newspaper.

    Hope the sun comes out soon.

  3. Vicus - I just went down the wrong road in search of the bright lights.

    Rog - I'm seeing another woman next time, my fourth in four visits. I think they get progressively more aggressive.

  4. Sympathies, Geoff. Hate talking to these people.

    I remember when signing on & they asked how many jobs I'd applied for since last time, when I said 50, but no interviews, they said 'Do you want some help with filling in application forms?'

    It's all your fault, you know...

    Crossing fingers for you.

  5. It's as if they're saying "You've had your good years, now it's your turn to have some really shit years."

    I can say bollocks to them only because I've been lucky enough to be able to save for the past few years thinking it was all going to be over soon.

    They should rebrand the benefit "Anyfuckingjobseeker's allowance".