Calling the Jobcenter, Impossible Task.

Discussion in 'Rants, Musings and Ideas' started by ThePhantomLady, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    Sorry if this sounds confusing. But that's what it is... I'll try to explain my case here...

    I am on unemployment benefits, and in December the jobcenter transferred me to another place that was supposed to help me find work. In the meantime I've started therapy after 8 months on a waiting list and am slowly starting to work on some very hard issues, it's making my anxiety, depression, self harm and suicidal thoughts a lot worse. I am barely functioning most days. The thought of a starting a job in this state is freaking me out.

    My therapist couldn't understand I wasn't on sick leave, she keeps saying "you're on sick leave, right?"... and after a meeting with a job consultant yesterday I think that's what I need to do. At least until I get better.

    So, I asked that job consultant what it would mean for my economy (which couldn't be worse recently) and she looked into it, she said nothing would change there... I then asked her how to go about being put on the sick leave... she said to call the jobcenter and talk to my caseworker and get it in motion.

    I did this morning... and it resulted in a panic attack.

    I was pretty strong when I dialed and finally got through to the call center, I told her I needed to talk to my nice caseworker I haven't seen in 6 months... the woman had no idea who that was, and tried to look me up in the system... she couldn't even find out who my caseworker was.
    But she put me through to someone... I waited for 30 minutes in a phone cue... only to return to the call center, and had to explain it all again, got told to call the place that told me to call the jobcenter... I told her that, and she put me through to someone who wasn't right either, and then sent me on to yet another place... I got so frustrated by then that I laughed. But she found someone who MIGHT be my new caseworker... and sent her an email with my contact information. I am now waiting for her to call me... and if she's not the one, I have to start over tomorrow morning. You can only call between 8.30 and 10.

    I even tried to be funny with one of the call center women when she was looking up my caseworker. I told her I used to work at one of those call centers, back then it was all on paper and I knew most caseworkers name codes and phone numbers by heart. She didn't find that funny though... I didn't mean to insult her, but the new system. Bleh.

    As soon as I hung up I just panicked. I couldn't control my breathing and I was shaking and crying.

    Why the hell does it have to be so damn difficult?? I hate that system. I HATE having to deal with them.

    Once when they by mistake stopped my benefits too early and I had no money to live for at all, I called someone... and she said this: "And how is that my problem??"
  2. Deety

    Deety Well-Known Member

    Aaargh that sounds horrendous! Our system here is similar in many ways, but at least you can call at any time of day. I applied for an unemployment benefit a couple of weeks ago after finishing my study, lots of phone calls, online applications, and a 3 hour appointment to go over stuff with a caseworker. Luckily she was lovely. Keep on trying, you definitely shouldn't have to be looking for work or working at the moment. I hope you get a great caseworker.
    ThePhantomLady likes this.
  3. redgirl

    redgirl SF Supporter

    I have had so much trouble with the Job Centre it is almost laughable. I can relate to your frustration so well. The simplest of requests can be met by confusion or even anger, and I've experienced that far too many times. One time I was yelled at for simply asking if I could reschedule an appointment as it clashed with another appointment. It is ludicrous, but if you're lucky you might find a nice adviser every now and then.

    All I can say is, keep on battling forward. You shouldn't have to fight against them (it's supposed to be a team effort to help you progress forward), but it seems like it is the only thing we can do to get our point across or to get our case noticed. It's a terrible system, and I'm sorry you have experienced some of the worst of it. I had to resort to writing them a letter (as I can better express myself in writing, I also panic quite badly on the phone) explaining everything, and now my adviser is completely understanding of my needs. I'm not sure, but that might be an idea should you need to get things off your chest with them.

    I will say it does get easier once you're used to the routine they put you through, but it is still a pretty nasty place to deal with. I hope you can figure things out so you can focus on the more important things, like your well-being.
    ThePhantomLady likes this.
  4. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    I am sorry you had to deal with what I call" the red tape special." It seems to happen with anything to do with a government or employer system/agency. Their systems, processes and procedures are supposed to make things smoother and easier to track. Hmmmph! And for all that, if one name or number is missing, wrong, file not entered yet into the right computer folder...two people with the same caseworker who is transferred and his/her files divvied up amongst three other caseworkers...the red tape piles on tenfold.

    I hope you know it's the system and not you at all.

    It's definitely frustrating when we're trying to cope with things. I think just the best you can with it. Sounds like you did well in spite of your panic attack! And you survived their sloppiness. Yay! :)

    I agree, with Deety and redgirl: keep moving forward. The system is flawed, not you. And it sure as heck isn't personal or just you that this stuff happens to. You did well!

    Good luck and keep us posted!
    ThePhantomLady likes this.