Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Everything that is wrong with The System a.k.a. Conversations in the Dole Queue

So for those of you who don't follow me on Twitter (you should, I'm @Shippers1983) and aren't friends with me on Facebook (reserved for the special few) then you won't know that I have a little bit of good news - I have a job!

I got the call yesterday after having an interview last week and it's for an administrative job in Chorley. It's really not great money and it's going to be a bit of a commute but it's a job and it'll hopefully see the return of my feeling of self worth and hopefully chase some of the dark clouds away.

It's odd because truth be told I'm actually a little embarassed about it - I was working doing a pretty cool job that I was getting (after a long time) decently paid for and now I'm doing something that many would see as a step down (certainly in salary terms) and it's led me to downplay it a little bit or fend off the congratulations by saying "It's not that great really."

But it reminded me of a conversation I had with a delightful chap last time I was at the Job Centre to sign on...

Him: They've stopped my money because they said I have to do 15 things a week to prove I've been looking for work and I haven't done it.
Me: [Non-commital nod. Try to move slightly away and not have this conversation]
Him: I mean 15 things, can you believe it?
Me: [Unable to resist being drawn in] Erm, yeah I can. I have to do the same.
Him: Well I know for a fact that there's only one job going in Preston. One. job. And that's sitting at a conveyor belt sorting out recycling. I'm not doing that.
Me: [No response - blood pressure starting to rise]
Him: I mean would you? Would you do that?
Me: Well if it really was the only job and they were going to stop my money then yeah I would
Him: ...Well...I'm not doing that.


Him: What is it that you do then?
Me: Well I did research but I was made redundant so now I'm looking for anything really, admin whatever I need to do.
Him: How old are you?
Me: I'm 29
Him: When I was about your age I was working in holiday camps at Butlins and what have you, did that for a few years...and I worked in London when I was in my see I've done my bit. I'm not sorting out recycling on a conveyor belt.

I've done my bit.

Luckily at this point the doors were opened and I made my way inside before the rage engulfed me and I beat him to death with my signing-on book.

You've done your bit? Excuse me? You are what - 50 years old? So now it's the State's responsibility to look after you? Are you a pensioner? No you not. That is when you're allowed to say you've done your bit.

And also who did you do your bit for? Are you applying that you've done it for everyone else in the country? Because I believe you did it for yourself and how very dare you stand there and say you're too good for job.

You are not too good to do anything. You are currently not contributing to society in any way, shape or form. (Good god he couldn't even have a shave and wash your hair so he looked nice for society at least.)

You are as good as the job you are currently in. If you are unemployed then you are at the bottom of the ladder and it is beyond me why you think you can sprout wings and fly to the top of it. You put your hands on the side and you lift one foot on to the bottom rung and you go from there. If that means you sort rubbish on a conveyor belt then suck it up and sort rubbish on a conveyor belt, if that means I have to go and do a job that pays £7k less than I was previously on then I do it.

That is doing your bit and you are not done until you can support yourself.



  1. Congratulations. Also, loved that sloth video from your last post. So much!

  2. Well said! And good news on the job, like you say - its a job! better than nothing and hope will make you feel a bit more back on track :-)

  3. Yay, well done you! And silly man, he needs to be realistic doesn't he! Snobbery could lead to starvation in his case!

  4. Congratulations! I hope it gives you the chance to breath, recuperate and find something more inline with your dreams.

  5. Congrats! I'm so happy for you and I understand the excitement yet non excitement.

  6. What an idiot! I have so much respect for anyone who sweeps streets and cleans toilets and sorts recycling to support themselves rather than rely on handouts from the state - thank god I've never had to do it myself, but I would.

    Anyway - congratulations on the job! Don't play it down! It may not be what you dream of doing or as well paid as your previous job but I bet more people were in the running, so really, it's MORE of an achievement! :)

  7. Congratulations!! Don't be modest, a job is a job and I bet you beat lots of other people to it, so be proud.
    As for that waste of space, it's people like him that give the unemployed a bad name when most of them like you have been trying bloody hard to find a job and support themselves. Well done.


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