Friday, 30 October 2009

There it is again......that weird sense of impending doom

I went to Molineux House to ask about the Travel To Interview Scheme.

If you've applied for a job and it's outside the area one could reasonably expect to travel to then you apply to the TTIS for money.

However, I soon learned that Wolverhampton to Birmingham IS reasonable.

But.

Two days of interviews in Birmingham is the best part of £13. When I'm trying to save every penny I can and I'm only on £128.60 a fortnight, £13 is A LOT of money.

I made an appointment to see an Advisor on Monday about the Discretionary Fund.

The doomy feeling was brought about by the final payment from my employer.

THE. FINAL. PAYMENT.

I felt bad the first couple of days after I was made redundant but now this feels worse.

From now on, I'm on my own.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Now watch me screw this up

Yesssssssssssssssss!

Today in rapid succession I received three invitations to job interviews.

One Thursday 5th November at 9am in Birmingham City Centre

One Monday 9th November at Selly Oak Hospital and

Another on Monday 9th November at Heartlands Hospital.

Now, I do not interview well. I probably won't get the first job because it'll be my first interview in a long while and I'll blow it completely.

The second interview MAY go well but it's for a data entry role which I'm not really keen on. My lack of enthusiasm will more than likely show and they will probably reject me because I don't seem very keen.

The third interview will be the second of the day, is for a cool and well paid lab job (which I REALLY REALLY want) and I'll probably blow it as I'll appear too desperate.

Ah well. I'll give it a go.

Monday, 26 October 2009

You learn something new every day......

Today I signed on and brought up the notion of training and such.

The guy who signed me on showed me upstairs and I evenually spoke with a young guy. He told me about Rapid Response Fund for the redundant like me, which will pay for any training (within reason) I might need to get back into a job and the Advisor Discretionary Fund.

The ADF is a secret little pot of money which will pay for interview clothes, work clothes (steel toe caps, hivi vests etc) if you ask politely enough, are needy enough and the Advisor likes you enough.

While I was waiting to see him, I met Julie. She was waiting for a client who was late turning up. All the while I was chatting to her like we were old friends, I couldn't quite place her.

As we chatted about how we came to be at the JobCentre, my mind was rolling back the mists of my poor memory for faces and trying to work out who she was.

Then it struck me. I hadn't seen her since she fired me. She let me go after David Wilson Homes were taken over by Barratts and the recruitment freeze was over. Then the Sales Office were relocated to Coventry and some were themselves let go Julie included.

She was now a Six Month Advisor, dealing with people who had become long term unemployed. She recommended the internet

Yep. Got that.

The NHS website.

Yep. It's on my list of Favourites.

The local council.

Yep. Wolverhampton Council Jobs Page is one of my Favourites

I reminded her of a job for a Clerical Officer being advertised.

She wished me luck and jokingly told me she didn't want to see me again as she went back to her desk to wait for her client.

He showed up shortly afterwards. Only 20 minutes late.

After finding out about money. I did a job search on the Job Centre computers - again Sales, Engineering and Carers with cars. That's all that's needed.

I checked, no the Rapid Relief Fund will NOT pay for ordinary driving lessons.

I went home. I checked the internet again and found two jobs to apply for.

So far, that's 35 jobs applied for in total.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Now THAT's an inspiring boss

I know tough circumstances can breed tough people. Extreme circumstances can bring out the best in people but, frankly, I really could do without becoming as tough as this guy was.

On the other hand, he must have been some boss to work for.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Home! Home! Land of my father! Home!

I'm exhausted.

I've been down to London to stay with Dad for a few days.

Good grief.

There was all the vacuuming, the washing, the shopping, the tidying up and the chivvying and the drugs and and and and........

Dad's tablets are in a little box set that's all set up for Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Night.

He gets confused by even that and often holds the box upside down or takes them from the next column along so either the Night tablets are taken in the morning or Tuesday mornings tablets follow Monday mornings tablets so he gets double the dose from them and can't understand why he doesn't feel very well and falls over.

Of course, he insists that he's taken them correctly and he will hear no criticism.

Brilliant.

Saturday, I came down to find that the ticket machines in Victoria Station now do Oyster cards so I don't have to join the scrum outside - much less stressful.

And Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were spent trekking back and forth looking for things Dad can't see (that'll be nearly everything, then), opening the door to the fill-in carers who don't know about the key safe, opening the door to the district nurses who had a whale of a time on Monday trying to remove a cannula from Dad's arm.

He was in such a hurry to leave the hospital, that he left the hospital with the cannula still in his arm. With his levels of hygiene it was imperative to remove it ASAP. The district nurse (a giant African guy with a thick accent) was not happy at all and was threatening to complain to the hospital about it.

Good luck with that.

All the while, Dad cursed and tottered around repeatedly claiming "I'm not a fucking invalid!".

Riiiiiiiiiight.

I still haven't told him I was made redundant.

Hopefully, I won't have to.

I got back late this evening and the first thing I did was start trawling the internet. I've found two more jobs to apply for on the NHS website.

Like I say. If it does all go belly up, it won't be for the want of trying.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Yes. No. Maybe.

I called in to Proactive. The girl there told me that no one sent by Proactive had got the job. I sneaked a peek at her notes and saw Brook Street.

I told her about Dad and she welcomed the news and told me that she'd keep an eye out for me.

I thanked her and went back home. The postman had been and left the letter from the DWP stating that I was entitled to Contributions Based Job Seekers Allowance.

Yessssssssss. I could sort out my Council Tax claim.

I packed a CV, my passport, proof of address, the letter and popped into Brook Street on the way to the Council House.

Abigail acted pleased to see me and updated my details onto the Brook Street system. She photocopied the passport, took the CV and asked if I could email it as well so she could have it on the computer.

Yep. No problem.

Assuring me that there would be no problem placing me, she wished me luck and I carried on to the Council House.

Once there, I was not happy to find that as well as the Job Seekers Allowance letter, which was scanned onto the system, the council also wanted bank statements for both bank accounts for the last two months.

I went home.

I found the statements and went back.

I saw the same lady again, she scanned the statements and wished me luck finding work.

I checked my bank account.

There was still no benefit payment even though I now had the letter stating that I was entitled.

Hmmmmmmnnnnn.

I called the JSA bunch again. They told me I hadn't received any benefits as I hadn't signed on.

Um. Yeah. I had signed on. I signed on on Monday morning at 11:15 at Molineux House. I could even remember the doddery blonde I spoke to.

Well. There was no record of me signing on on Monday morning. Althooooooooough......

Yes?

A lot of new staff had been taken on lately and mistakes like this seem to be happening quite a bit.

Great.

I would have to call the Job Centre where I signed on and take it up with them. Until the computer is updated, there is nothing that can be done.

I called Molineux House. I was finally transferred to someone who had access to the signing on sheets. I gave all my details again from the back of my Job Seekers Allowance booklet.

They confirmed that I HAD signed on but the computer had not been updated - he could do that and payment would be received on Wednesday at the latest.

That's great.

Although, I won't hold my breath.

I only just remembered to send my CVs (techy and admin) to Abigail.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Not a good day

I called HR and it was confirmed what I already knew. The guy driving the car past me yesterday morning got the job.

Reed called and told me that although they had done their best to "big me up", the manager took one look at my CV and assumed that the no brainer work would be too mundane for me.

I got a call from my Kid Brother. Dad has been taken into hospital with another suspected heart attack. His heart was racing, he had collapsed and they were trying to stabilise him. He was at work as there wasn't much for him to do at the hospital (Dad had told him to fuck off) and he would check in on him later.

I spent a large portion of the day suppressing a panic attack.

So. No pressure for the interview for this afternoon then, eh?

I spent most of the day torturing myself with worst case scenarios which usually finished with me losing my house before killing myself (pills, mainly, washed down with a little booze).

I'm depressed, okay? Thoughts about killing myself tend to be fairly routine. Taking steps towards killing myself, like hoarding pills that's when I go see the doctor.

That reminds me. I need more sleeping tablets.

Kidding. I'm only kidding. In a depressed, deadpan kind of way.

The interview went okay. Not brilliant. Not perfect. Okay. On arrival, I was left waiting in the area where people sat waiting to register a death.

Luckily, with my dark interview clothes and miserable face, I blended right in.

After the interview, I called in on Proactive on the way home and they told me that they'd got some feedback already.

Oh, yes?

I seemed very stressed.

I told her about the shitty day I'd had and that I was still waiting for news about my Dad being hospitalised.

She sympathised and said it was surprising that I didn't cancel.

No. I needed the money too badly.

She gave a nervous laugh and wished me luck.

I went home and sat on the phone.

Kid Brother called and told me that Dad had probably mixed up his medicines and his blood pressure had plummeted. His medicines were being rejigged and he wasn't going to be let out until tomorrow morning.

Phew! No need for me to go back to London, bankrupting myself and losing my house. Yet.

One more online job application making twenty three in total.