Unemployed? We own you…

Posted on: July 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Unemployment | No comment made yet

workI haven’t signed on for years.

I had an extended period of unemployment (as Douglas Coupland puts it, my ‘mid-twenties breakdown’) when I found myself out of the institutional structures I’d been part of since I was five and had no confidence in my ability to find work and no idea of what exactly I could do with the qualifications I had somehow managed to achieve despite having no basic understanding of the subjects I’d studied.  Knowledge, yes.  Understanding, no.  The understanding came a little later.

Anyway, my trip to the Jobcentre yesterday was an eye-opener.  The system is antiquated and truely weird in some ways.  And I realised how well-designed the barriers put in place are.  They communicate in every way ‘you don’t get to know what’s going on behind the scenes’.  From the complete lack of signage, to the total lack of clear instruction about where you are supposed to go.

I think the thing I found most odd was the inability for people using the Jobcentre to print off documents.  I mean, they ask for evidence of earning and a copy of your CV.  I don’t have a printer and everything is done online, as with MANY other people.  So I bring a USB stick with my documents and they tell me they can’t print anything off.  And I understand the reasons, which the patronising arse behind the counter explained in great detail because as an unemployed person, I can’t possibly grasp the simple concept of computer security.  So today I am having to go to the library to print the shit off and hand in to the front desk at the Jobcentre, just because they can’t just put the facility of a computer isolated from their network in place for the benefit of jobseekers.  SAKE!

Don’t misunderstand – I’m not saying that the unemployed should not be given every possible encouragement to find work.  No, no.  I want to work.  As do the majority of the people going into Jobcentres. And the majority of the staff were very courteous and helpful.  I just find the place more of a hindrance than a help.

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