Just had my first real, legitimate, on-the-right-day signing on session at the job centre.
Upon arrival, I was given a questionnaire, which unfortunately for them had questions with multiple choice answers.
The answer options were “highly satisfied”, “satisfied”, “unsatisfied” and “highly unsatisfied”.
Really I wanted an option in the middle called “meh”. As they didn’t give me one, there were several unsatisfieds in there.
The last question asked if I’d be happy to take part in a focus group to give my opinion of the job centre. Fuck it. Why not?
I filled it out, and then I got a little confused.
The woman who gave me the questionnaire said to fill it out and return it to her. She promptly disappeared. When I asked another member of staff where she’d gone so that I might return it, I was told they didn’t know who she was, and she didn’t work for the job centre anyway.
Have I just had my identity stolen or something?
At the actual signing on session, I was told off for not opening and presenting my details in the correct manner, as they apparently only have 3mins for each person.
As she entered some of my details into the computer, she said she needed to see my jobsearch book, so I found it, opened it on the right page and put it in front of her.
She then asked for the jobsearch book, in a surprisingly moody manner. I pointed to where it was on the table, open.
She closed it, read the number off the front, then told me it would speed things up had I opened it on the right page in front of her.
Frankly that’s an argument I can’t be fucked with before noon.
I mean “phone 2 employers”? Who does that? Email/letter perhaps, but I’m not going to waste people’s time asking “you got any jobs going?” when I can just look on their website and see for myself.
Ask “people I have worked with before”? The ones who fired me?
They don’t enforce those bits, and at the moment, they don’t enforce the “apply for 2 jobs per week” bit, as in some areas, there aren’t that many jobs.
What I got the most of a bollocking for was the section that says “I will take 3 active steps each week to look for work”.
I’m not being creative enough with my answers, because I was told today that this would mean they look for at least 6 rows of things.
Yet, they count contacting Jobseeker Direct (Job Centre’s own jobs website/phone line) as one thing.
In which case, where I’ve put “updated CV on Monster, Reed and Jobsite”, presumably that should be 3 things in 3 rows? I’m a fool, clearly.
If I get invited to partake in this focus group, I’ll be sure to tell them just how silly I think some of their rigid rules are.