So I’ve been sent to the wall…

Remember the work experience, it turned into something called a Mandatory Work Activity. Keyword being Mandatory. I’m all good and ready to start work and to that end I have a few interviews lined up. Unfortunately the last I attended, with a guaranteed job, was a waste of time. The training was changed and I then realised I wouldn’t be able to make the first shift due to an 18km travel distance. 

Funny thing being that the agency it was set up by was first contacted through the job centre/UC itself. I knew it was too good to be true. Aren’t most things? Maybe my cynicism and general lack of faith have reached new depths. Either way it’s not important beyond the time wasted. Hopefully the next one is better right?

I attended the MWA meeting which was pointless basically a registration where no documents were required beyond signed ‘agreements’ something, something illusion of choice. We were told they didn’t even know what we were going to do, they just made vague allusions towards charity shops and such.

Here is where it gets interesting, I’ve been put in some kind of forest. 100 acres of woods. I’ve been instructed to bring everything I need because there are no shops around in a while. I had forgotten this place, my grandmother lived out here. She warned us of adders and the general dangers of dicking around Inna woods. I haven’t been there since I was a boy.

I was surprised to learn we have sequoias in England. I had only previously known of the ones in California. I definitely didn’t think we would have them in the UK. A quick Google search confirms my suspicion that this isn’t a natural occurance and they were transported via ship as seeds long ago. Still that’s actually pretty cool, they’re a beautiful tree. 

So I’m in the middle of nowhere which probably sounds stupid to Americans or Europeans on the mainland but to me that’s the middle of nowhere. They sent me to the nights watch. I still have no idea what I’m doing but at least they pay my travel. This might not turn out so bad. I guess it turned out pretty well considering the alternatives. Youth work or charity shop.

I’m just wondering about the weather, what I’ll be doing, the ridiculous travel distance every morning and evening and that’s without the traffic going back into outer London. Going to catch everyone and their mother coming too and from work every morning. Fact is I have very little idea where I’m going beyond a bus route and some vague childhood memories. It’s going to be a party. 

Let’s look at this for a second, when I received the letter it said it was mandatory because it will give you skills and experience relevant to getting a job. False. The reason I say this is because the type of employment I’m attending is very specific and has very few transferable skills. The other issue is that these jobs don’t just come and go, usually you’re in for the long haul so it isn’t like there will be a related job available any time in the near future. 

They also told me nobody there is getting paid, I don’t think I’ve ever heard such a barefaced lie. Someone is getting paid. I doubt that equipment is donated, somewhere someone is getting paid. There was no need to lie about that. Were they trying to make us feel better about being a source of free labour?

Anything job centre related is bound to be a clusterfuck. The only good points are the lack of people and reimbursement of travel. The rest is going to be an absolute shitshow.



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