Monday, 4 April 2011


My (very) old church leader used say I was a 'nutter magnet'. My Practice Nurse says I'm a 'plopper' - if something weird is going to happen with anything official/healthwise, it will.

Add the Employment Service to that.

As it happens, my lass worked for them for years, so I have an inkling how they work. Though her job was more putting answers together for Prime ministers question time, rather than dealing with the public (What? You didn't know that the antics in the monkeys cage at PM's question time was scripted? )

To give you a bit of background, if you scroll down a few posts, I've helped out a few people with 'sanctions' recently. Job Seekers Allowance stopped for weird reasons.

Phone call. No Bear in sight, had to answer. "Mr Wills?"


"Mr Wills" said a rather determined voice. "Nope" I said, doing a bit of brain juggling and getting a faint suspicion that....... "I think you have the wrong number ducks"

"Mr Wills. It's about your Job Seekers allowance claim." I'm sorry. I couldn't resist it. "Huh?" I said. I have a rather large mirror over my landline, so I knew I had an evil grin on my face...

She relentlessly ploughed on. "According to our records..." "I have never claimed Job Seekers".

"What? You are ? Can you tell me your postcode please? And your national insurance number?"


"I'm sorry?" "Wrong name. I don't give out personal personal info over the phone, and I haven't nor have I ever, claimed Job Seekers Allowance, nor have I ever signed on in my life".

"You are ?" "Well" I said, "If I wasn't, you've just given an address out to a complete stranger. I do not claim Job Seekers".

I wasn't going to be Mr. Nice Guy and spend half an hour describing on an unrecorded line that I THINK has happened. That's because I've helped a few people negotiate the minefield and because I've used my name and address, they've chuffed up and got their details in a mess.

Anyways. " Mr Wills" (not my name - but hang on, Wheelie) "You do realise that unless you sign on soon, you will lose your benefits?" I told her to go back, start again, and hung up.

I know. My approach was uncooperative and a bit bad tempered. I don't suffer fools gladly.

But I know of a few unemployed, perhaps not as well qualified as some job centre staff, who could at least fill in a bleepin' form on or off a computer, and get the details right. They are, after all, the unemployed, experts at form filling.

Sheesh :(

Wills. Indeed.

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