Category Archives: Employment

“No DSS”

(I meant to write this post months ago, but I was busy, then I forgot all about it. Recently, I overheard a few people discussing some articles they had read in some piss-poor excuse for a newspaper, about benefit claimants, as if the story was factually accurate. While I held back from shouting “ABSOLUTE BOLLOCKS!” and/or laughing in their faces at the time, I’d like to use this opportunity to vent.)

A few months ago, I was looking for a new place to live. I was also unemployed.

Gumtree is always awash with people renting rooms. Hundreds and hundreds of them. And despite me seeing the same properties listed, and relisted, and relisted again – because the owners or occupants clearly can’t find anyone to move in, when I emailed asking politely if they would consider someone on benefits, and “either way could you let me know” – most of them completely ignored me. Which is rude, whichever way you look at it.

And that’s just the private ads. There was (and is) agencies listing and relisting and relisting (on Gumtree, Easyroommate, and other sites), like some form of house-based spam. Some of them pretend to be private landlords, for some reason. I was onto you “Lauren” and “Riccardo”. I’ve even seen “Lauren” advertising multiple properties in different locations with the same internal pictures. I emailed you twice and you couldn’t be bothered to reply to either. Well fuck you, fake “Lauren”. Continue reading “No DSS”

Unemployed man seeks room in Bristol

Short version:

Unemployed man, 29, seeks room to rent in Bristol up to £275 per month (excluding bills/council tax).
If anyone can help, please contact me on twitter @benpark or email <link now removed due to spam>

And now the longer version:

I haven’t always been unemployed, and don’t intend to be forever. Currently though, I don’t have a job, and so am claiming benefits, while looking for work and also looking at starting my own business.

My credit history is fine, and I haven’t paid a bill late in years.

I’m looking for somewhere ASAP, as I have split up with my girlfriend and need to move from the flat we currently share together. This also means I have no notice period to give, so can move straight away.

About me: I’m 29, I don’t smoke, and don’t drink (well not regularly – the occasional one, maybe at New Year). I’m quite quiet and clean, and generally keep myself to myself really. I like the normal things like watching TV, films and a bit of gaming (though I’m not very good). I’ve got a reasonably eclectic taste in music, which means when you ask me what music I enjoy, I’ll instantly forget every song I own and be lost for words.
When I have more money the only places you’d find me in Cabot Circus are the cinema, crazy golf course (though it isn’t very good), or the Apple store looking at products I still can’t afford.

As far as areas-of-Bristol-to-live-in go, I’m not entirely sure. I like Redland/Westbury Park/Henleaze/Bishopston/St Andrews. Realistically though, I’m not sure I can afford such areas, so am open to most parts of Bristol really. I like areas with some trees/birds, and don’t really mind how close (or not) to the centre I am, as I don’t spend a lot of time there. I currently have a car, so if it has some on-street parking available, great. I’m not expecting guaranteed spaces or anything though.

I guess I’d like to live with people who are non-smoking (or who at least don’t do it in the house), reasonably tidy (but not anally so) and are relatively laid back. I’m past the late-night party stage (if I was ever there), so preferably nobody too noisy. I’m quite a fussy eater and not much of a cook so I might not be that useful if shared meals is your thing, but I can make a reasonable victoria sponge so might be handy for the dessert.

If anyone has got this far, hasn’t run a mile and has a room to rent, please get in touch.

Note: Due to my unemployment, I can only pay up to £275 pcm or thereabouts (excluding bills and council tax). If it is an “all-bills-included” type of arrangement, the tenancy agreement will need to break down how much is rent, how much is council tax, and how much is ‘other’ bills.

If anyone can help, please contact me on twitter @benpark or email <link now removed due to spam>

The life of the unemployed

If you’ve ever thought that the unemployed were enjoying themselves getting paid to sit on their arses living off other people’s taxes, or as some wanker wrote on Twitter last week “people that dont wanna work and think everything should be handed to them on a plate”, or even if you know that not to be the case, I thought I’d garnish you with some figures from my own personal experiences. I’m currently a little bit angry at the world, and my confidence isn’t as high as it might be. And that’s partly because this week I’ve been rejected for another two jobs that are very much below me.

Continue reading The life of the unemployed

I’m coming back to Facebook

Last year, I quit Facebook. No – not deactivated. A full on account deletion.

I quit it because I wasn’t using it, I didn’t like it, and I was fed up of a lot of aspects of it. I still don’t really see the point of it now, don’t have enough information to share to fill a constantly-expanding photo album, and I almost certainly won’t use it very much this time around either.

I didn’t like their embedded video system, it’s a pain to find people on it, the general search system is shite, it’s slow, it’s cumbersome, and it’s got loads of adverts on it. I didn’t like the way people copied me in on conversations I couldn’t care less about, then watched as every individual replied back to everyone. It was like a return to the shit old ‘reply all’ days of email, before people learnt how to use it properly. Continue reading I’m coming back to Facebook

JobCentre Plus needs staff

No, they’re not advertising. I just know this to be the case.

I’ve been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for a few months now, and as part of the agreement, I have to agree to notify them if my circumstances change.

On Wednesday last week, I started a full-time (but temporary for 2.5 weeks) job. I don’t want to be done for fraud, so what’s the quickest way of notifying them of a change? I’d say the phone. Continue reading JobCentre Plus needs staff

Temple Quay Recruitment – A nice one

I get contacted by agencies a lot.

Sometimes they have “found my details on a job website” yet they want me to send them my CV (despite it being on the same site they found my details on). Sometimes they’ll say “I’ve got your CV here”, then proceed to ask you what qualifications/experience you have.

Sometimes I get emails that start with something like “Dear Ben, I am contacting you because I found your details on Jobsite and am recruiting for a role in…” and ends with something that says “if you think this might be suitable, please reply to this email”. And in between, there’ll be a job specification for a nuclear physicist or a consultant heart surgeon, or something else that involves many many years of training and experience. Do they think I’ve just neglected to mention on my CV the 10 years I spent saving lives in a third world hospital? Obviously I can do a triple heart bypass with just a coathanger and some drinking straws from McDonalds. It’s an absolute piece of piss.

“Oh shit…yes.. I was part of the team that built the Large Hadron Collider. Only I was smoking so much weed during that period, I don’t remember it so good. I knew there was something I forgot to put on my CV”.

There’ll be a bit right at the end saying that if I know anyone else suitable, maybe I’d like to forward this on to them. Are they just sending these emails to everyone they’ve ever spoken to? What is this? The six-degrees-of-separation method of recruiting? Continue reading Temple Quay Recruitment – A nice one

Help the (almost) homeless

Those who know me well, will know that my relationship with my girlfriend has ended. In recent articles, I’ve referred to her as my “ex-girlfriend”, “my girlfriend” (while in my head I’m thinking the past tense) or even the “most-recent girlfriend” (due to the amount of job applications I’ve been applying for recently). It’s a fairly amicable split. We’ve been through the unhappy stage, and the “wishing it could be different” stage. We’re currently living together, in a 1-bedroom flat, and neither of us has burnt the other’s possessions. We’re not having screaming rows, or anything.

This can’t continue though. She needs to get on with her life, and find a more successful man, with less of a fear of commitment, who wants to get married and have children, etc. I need to move out.

This would be pretty easy were it not for the fact that I’m unemployed at the moment. I need to put in a claim for Housing Benefit, while I’ve still got an address to put on the application forms that doesn’t start with “sister’s sofa”, or “park bench”.

But that’s the easy bit. The harder bit is where the hell I’m going to live? Continue reading Help the (almost) homeless

JobSource UK training

(If you don’t read this entire post, please at least see my update, below.)

I thought I’d blog about this, because I had  a call regarding it on Friday.

He started normally enough, by telling me he had found me on a job search site, then started asking about my experience/qualifications. I asked if he wanted me to email them my up-to-date CV. He declined, saying “you can do it after the call if you like”.

I had an appointment and they had neglected to ask the usual “is it OK to talk right now?” so I was trying to get rid of them from the off, while not really taking it all in at normal speed. That said, I didn’t want to be rude to a potential new agency who might find me work, so I persisted. Continue reading JobSource UK training