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Friday, April 27, 2012


i have just started a course to train to become a security guard (no sniggering at the back). it isn't that i want to become a security guard, it is that i want a job and security guards seem to be the one growth area there is out there. most of you are lucky and probably don't have much to do with your local jobcentre or jobcentre plus. trust me, you don't want to have dealings with them. now hats off to my jobcentre adviser (as they are called)for getting me on the course, even if i had to push and cajole him. he even suggested that it wasn't the job for me, telling me that i had plenty of work experience and a degree. to which all i could say was i was 50 and out of work and that trumps everything. getting on the course didn't require much. that i could read and count to five seems to have cracked it for me. on the course. yay, me. i inform the jobcentre of this. it only seems right and proper that i tell them that for four weeks i will be on the course that they have arranged for me. now remember that: they arranged it for me. for those of you who haven't had to sign on let me tell you the process is pretty soul destroying, even though it can be over very quickly. once every fortnight you go in, show evidence of your job search, answer a few questions, sign and leave. easy. why is it soul destroying then? because you are dealing with people who really don't care about helping you, they just care about ticking their boxes and completing their checklists. for instance i asked about a list of current job sites on then internet - oh i don't think we do one of those. i asked about other organisations that can help me with my job search - wasn't sure if there are any they have a contract with - which is surprising as there is one that is affiliated to the local council. oh well. even the request for my cv turns out to be a pointless piece of paper shuffling - they don't actually do anything with it except fold it up and put it in my little file. it is really useful there. there comes a point in your signing on when you go from being every two weeks to possibly every week. i started the course the same week they decided to move me on to a weekly signing schedule. after a bit of 'well that seems a bit stupid' from me it looks as if for the time of the course i won't have to do the additional signing on. score one for common sense. still there are problems with the signing on time and the course times. 'oh you can come in earlier or you can come in later - but we can't change the start time.' as if it were set in stone and unable to change. i try to get in there early. i end up being seen twenty mintues late. oh well, it is not like i can take the high ground over punctuality (as shep and ems can attest). that wouldn't have been so bad if it were not for the 'you have to sign on a 9.10, yeah thanks i knew that shame you couldn't sign me on when i was supposed to be signed on. now i wouldn't mind if i could say they were busy and they had a rush of people who were difficult - they didn't, just me an a couple of other blokes there waiting patiently. i wouldn't mind if they actually took the time to look at the job search you have to do, they don't. i wouldn't mind if they actually gave a little eye contact, but they don't. not that i am complaining. i am on the course. i could become a security guard at the end of it. the funny thing is most of the course is about customer service. judging by the quality of the staff at my local jobcentre - pretty much everyone in my group on the course would be able to do the job better than the advisers i have had. perhaps it is time that the department of work and pensions started to look at their training methods and started to employed 'secret unemployed' to see just how good their staff are, because from where i am sitting they are not that good. time for some of them to get some training in dealing with customers.

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