I best start this the correct way and tell you how many months ago a horrible, vile woman that has no interest in helping any genuine job seekers passed me a piece of paper, on this paper was a date and time for almost 2 months in the future, a time and date for an 8 hours course on helping to find a job. Fast-forward to the night of the 28th June 2012 and I am trying to get some sleep, sleep after a little gaming session with my landlord whose job is so mind numbingly easy but also boring he can afford the time to play the real time strategy game , Command and Conquer 3 Kanes Wrath with me over the internet. So there I am, mind racing and it is apparent that my body is not going to let me sleep, one of those nights you just know the birds will be tweeting before your eyes shut for a sleep, well this point was reached at around 5am for around 30 mins until my body woke me up, startled and confused I wondered if the dream I had had of needed to be somewhere was real or not. Reaching over to my desk I pull a pile of un-organised papers onto my bed, put on my glasses and start to sift through them, now the letter is hidden from view from months of solicitors letters but I find it! That god forsaken letter, the one the daemon woman had given me little under 2 months previous, the letter that would start one of the most pointless and cruel days of my life, or so I thought!
In little over 2 hours I would have to be up, so head down and I finally drift off…..
Almost as quickly as I manage to sleep I hear my alarm, an alarm deliberately over the other side of the room as I have literally 40 mins to get up, showered, dressed and down into town to the Local Y.M.C.A. Already my body does not like the idea of this, my grumbling and moaning stomach writhes in pain as my Dyspepsia churns up acid into my throat and makes me feel a sense of doubt I will be able to make it to the bathroom to wretch, let alone make the trip to an 8 hour course on job hunting, alas I know I have to go, no matter of vomit or discomfort will stop me from attending what is a compulsory job centre course, and anyhow I don’t trust those people to not stop my dribble of money if I don’t attend, I feel that, short of a knife in my head I would be punished by them, so go I must. Head up, deep breaths and a very slow piece of toast letter and I am ready to go.
Walking out of the house it starts to rain, “Perfect” I giggle to myself as I start the trek down to the Y.M.C.A, 20 mins later and soaked from belt line down I arrive at the dilapidated buildings of the YMCA, I walk inside, I am immediately greeted by an old man who is very friendly and informative and sends me on my way to the room I will be imprisoned in for the next 8 hours. I walk in, there are 7 people, 1 girl the rest males from the ages of around 60 down to 19. As I walk closer into the room I utter a small “Hey” and a few zombie like eyes look up at me as if I am the newest meat, this along with the 60-year-old man who is the furthest away from me pressing one finger against one nostril and blowing out what can only be described as putrid green ooze, wiping it off his hand and as secretly as he can, rubbing it on the underside of the table in front of him. This makes my stomach churn once again , taking a deep breath and composing myself I take note to touch the tables and chairs as little as possible as I sit down.
Some 20 minutes of complete silence later in walks in a small dwarf like woman, mid forties with a smile across her face, name of Angela, instantly I think of her speal in my head, “Well you don’t want to be here and neither do I, so let’s try and make this as quick as possible! I would rather be home in bed too” she says almost in unison to my thinking it, “Is that the only way these people think they can relate to us?” I wonder to myself. Stood over her is another woman who is quickly introduced as Margret, Angela’s boss and evidently a strict woman who deserves the trust and respect of all in the room, “Fat chance” I think as I look around at the half zombiefied creatures around the table who don’t even show signs of acknowledging anyone has entered the room, let alone addressed them already!
So around an hour goes by of paperwork, write your name, date of birth, address etc etc on every page, as if the person who eventually has this will have the memory of a goldfish! After around another 10 or so minutes of signing paperwork and finalising everything we are told to had over the paperwork to Margret who then does an about turn, nods at Angela and marches out of the building, into a car and drives off. To my astonishment none of the others have seemed to notice this, however their smirks hide a bigger secret, the secret of just how much Angela could not give a damn, first things we are told is to get a coffee or tea, second a bean bag and third to just have a good old moan! “WTF is going on” I am thinking to myself, is Angela just so sick and tired of this rubbish she has decided not to bother teaching us anything or does she deem her knowledge parting skills would be lost on us, the jobless, the dregs of society, no, none of these things, the truth would make me smile, would make my day and would confirm that somewhere, something or someone must be dishing out luck now and again!
We are here to take part in a survey for the government to find help find out what it is WE believe the Job centre, and to a lesser degree the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) is failing us at, well suffice to say that after that there was a light in the room, the zombie like creatures around me sprang into life and I found out they had names and friends, ambitions, hopes and fears. There were rants, anger, sorrow, sadness and some utter bull but it was a good day, a day to finally get our point across and to finally tell those bureaucratic fat bastards that look at us as scum that just because one does not have a job, does not mean we don’t put every waking moment into trying to make our situation right, that we are not all lazy layabouts with no future and that we are proud citizens of this country and all we want to do is to put back into the state, not take.
Ow how such a miserable day in the rain and with my illness never abating could change into such a glorious 8 hours of letting off steam. Now will they take notice? Will things change? Only time will tell, but I for one was just happy I was actually asked.