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    RetroSteve! My location

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    Talking jobcentreplus

    Has anyone here ever had to deal with the Job Centre? And if so, did you find them to be useful?

    Job Centre staff seem to have a reputation for being very unhelpful and very rude, patronising etc. So I was a little worried when I went to claim benefits last month.

    Fortunately, the staff at my local Job Centre were quite polite. Of course, they weren't much help as they can't really tell me about any job vacancies that I haven't already found myself on the Directgov website.

    I had to go to a 'Back to Work' session at a different, much bigger Job Centre last week. There, they had receptionists who were disguised as security guards . The Back to Work session was quite pointless. It reminded us of what we need to do to claim dole money and methods of finding work, as well as informing us about a couple of case studies:

    1. One of their customers got a job sprinkling garlic on chickens for 12 hours a day.
    2. They paid for someone to travel by train to the south of England, then by ferry to an island so he could attend an interview, then stay there overnight, and come back the next day. They didn't say whether or not he got the job.

    The two people running the session, who had also recently been on the dole, seemed to want to get it over and done with as quickly as possible. I don't think anyone who took part in the session actually spoke, other than one person who said 'Job Centre' when asked about what websites we visit.

    Also, has anyone here visited any job vacancy websites? I was given a massive list of then in the job centre the other week. Most of them tend to be duplicates of each other (when there is actually something on it to duplicate) and the rest just try and collate all the vacancies from all the major sites. I have generally found such sites to be rather useless.

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    My "Local" Job Centre Plus (14 miles away) is 1 million times better than it's previous counterpart that was soul destroyingly grey, dirty and stunk of BO. The staff were helpful in-spite of the fact that they must get so much shit day in day out. "Fortunately?" for me as I'm unable to work I didn't have to go through the looking for jobs so I can't comment on that although I have looked at a few jobsites for when I am able to go back to work and all the sites are mostly repeats and unless you're looking for a particular sector to work in then nothing beats the local paper.
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    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    My friend worked in the Croydon jobcentre+ for quite a long time.

    Highlights included:
    • A man that tried to change his name to Jesus Christ Jehova Son of God
    • A man in a wheelchair coming in and threatening staff with an axe
    • A man on incapacity benefit (with a 'bad back') leaping up onto the desk and kicking things around when told he should start looking for a job
    • A body being found in the alley down the side
    • Receiving a letter smeared in excrement
    • People of questionable mental stability writing incredibly weird letters that made no sense whatsoever
    • Someone trying to hang themselves by tying the blind cord around their neck and jumping off a desk. The blinds were reipped out the window frame and they landed on the floor in an embarassing heap. And didn't die. Or even really get hurt much.
    • Getting sacked and going to prison. Oooops

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    That last point... your friend was the one who got sacked and when to prison?

    Sounds like a great place to work! I think your highlights would sell the job to quite a few in the community! And I'm not joking!

    Regarding JobCentre+, as you say Steve, the jobs they can offer are no different to those you can look up yourself on the same website at home. The people at my local one have always been friendly and try to help, and it is a fairly relaxed place, but they don't have much to offer or recommend. They should really be renamed "benefits advice centre".

    Years ago I had to go into the main Job Centre in Southampton, when my Grandmother died, to get her pension books cancelled. That place was an eye opener and a complete contrast to any I've used myself in the past. Drunks and drug users around the front door. Security guards posted around the building, and all workers behind protective screens for their own safety. I was glad to get out of there, I can tell you! And even the short time I was in there the police were called for a couple of separate fights and a man attacking the security screens. I don't know how anyone can work in those places.

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    RetroSteve! My location

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    Why did he go to prison?

    They have booked me another appointment for next week. Don't know what that'll be for.

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    Probably to see evidence of your job searches.

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    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrison View Post
    That last point... your friend was the one who got sacked and when to prison?
    Yes, it was. He did a naughty thing at work and I was not impressed. We're still friends - in fact he's probably my closest friend - but he knows how dim a view I took of it, and how stupid it was.

    He did have some cracking stories from when he worked there though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Coates View Post
    Has anyone here ever had to deal with the Job Centre? And if so, did you find them to be useful?
    I'm currently in the 'unemployed' market, and having to report to the Jobcentre+ office every 2 weeks (so I can get my JSA) seems like a bit of a waste of time tbh, as all they say is "How's the job search going?" and "Have you done any work, paid or unpaid since you last came in?" followed by "Thank you for your time, you're JSA will paid later this week!"
    They don't even do the job searches anymore!

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    RetroSteve! My location

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    They haven't done any job searches for me when I signed on. I was just advised to use the 'Job Points'. The only time they did job searches for me was when I made the claim over the telephone, at my first 'Work Focused Interview' and at the meeting with the Job Coach.

    Anyone called the telephone service Jobseeker Direct? I have been looking at part time cleaning jobs (because it is about the only unskilled work you can do round here that wouldn't be boring, and there is no skilled work that I am really qualified for) and quite a lot of these jobs say to contact Jobseeker direct on an 0845 number to get the contact details. I have heard some people say that this is bad, but I can see why they would want to do it, as it means the employers contact details would not have to be put on the Directgov website.

    However, you end up spending ages listening to recorded messages and giving your details out before they will tell you anything.

  10. #10
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    Have you signed up with any job agencies Steve? When I was at university I used to sign up with all of the main ones in my area, and would have work every week doing something. It wasn't always nice or great work, but I used to get work with Industrial cleaning, kitchen porter, and Parcel sorting/delivery. Best job was making doughnuts, and you could eat as many as you liked!

    And also, do you have a Royal Mail or Parcel Force distribution office close to you? You can sign up for casual work with Royal Mail and I can't imagine there being a problem you getting in.

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