Diary of a Benefit Striver #2: Advisor Interview

Two weeks into the claim and I had an interview with the advisor. Hanley Job Centre ran true to form: no-one at the Welcome Desk as usual, then I was directed to the standing area (can’t really call it a seating area when there’s only four seats and at least ten waiting) with others waiting to sign. This turned out to be wrong as I should have been directed to another part of the office. The result was I almost didn’t hear my name being called, which could have had unfortunate consequences. The advisor did at least apologise for the misunderstanding.

The interview followed a similar pattern to those I had last year. All very polite, and with some tips on using the Universal Job Match system, but basically useless. Which just goes to prove that it’s not about “helping you find work”, as help is either not forthcoming, not available or they don’t know how to provide it. The so-called “Job Seeker’s Agreement” is a good example. This is little better than box-ticking: as long as you apply for enough jobs, less questions are asked. Even if you apply for some you have no hope of getting just to make up the numbers. Changes proposed for April 2014 will only make this worse. Incidentally, I don’t yet have a Job-Seeker’s Agreement: each time I’ve visited Hanley, their printers have been offline!

My arrival time: 10.03
Appointment Time: 10.10
Time seen: 10.20
Mins Late: 10

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