Employment agencies are the bane of the jobseeker. Love them or loathe them, anyone on Jobseekers Allowance sooner or later must do business with them during their search for work.The problem is that these agencies aren't interested in finding you work - you're just not that important - but instead need to shove you into the first convenient role to fulfill their contractual obligations and profit margins.
Unlike employers, agencies always do things at the last minute. There's always a sense that if you don't immediately agree to be enslaved then someone else will, the point being that they get paid for signing away their freedom and human rights whereas you get left with having to explain your failure to a claims advisor. Just today I struggled through the gale force winds to attend a work registration run by an agency, only to discover my on-going opportunity was merely two weeks casual labour. "It was in the email" He assured me. No, pal, it wasn't.
This sort of thing happened to me a few days ago. I was at the ocal shopping mall, my mission to buy some frozen chips, when my mobile phone activated itself for the first time this year. Hello? The call was from a desperate recruitment agent. Can I start work early tomorrow morning? Errm....
You see, my world has pretty much ground to a halt. My day was planned to the last detail. Go to the mall. Buy frozen chips. Go home. Cook chips for dinner. Sorted. Then this frantic guy on the other end of the phone wants to meet me at the local library to sign me up for a job on the outskirts of the known world and suddenly my brain starts remembering all the things I ought to have done by now and hadn't planned for. Seriously, you get so used to very simple lifestyle decisions as an unemployed person that conversations involving decisions on whether to do the right thing and return to the workplace before sunrise tomorrow actually become stressful.
Eventually I agreed. There was nothing in his sales patter that meant the job was not for me, so I accepted that my fate was sealed. That meant I would have to notify the support centre, the dole office, Swindon Council, or anyone else with a vested interest in knowing whether I work for a living. A busy afternoon then. Here goes...
Then he suggested we meet for a registration interview at the local library. Huh? Why the library? Apparently his office was way out of the town centre. It was just easier for all concerned. Okay. So I ended the call, bought my frozen chips, went home, had some chips for dinner, and then waited at the library as agreed.
He never showed up. All I got afterward was a text message telling me he couldn't make it and that he'd speak to me later. He didn't. Is it just me, or did I just get used in some way?
Threat of the Week
There was a time when you could walk the streets in Swindon without hassle. Now little children hurl dog poo for a laugh, and youths trty to enforce territorial rights on passers-by like petty gangsters. Just today some acne-ridden wretch busy trying to make his secondhand hatchback look 'hot' said "Don't come this way again" in a hideously immature tone.
Look mate, if by some quirk of fate you learned how to read and happen to be reading this instead of Facebook, then I have to tell you I was walking along a public thoroughfare. Since I was only going about my lawful business, you mind yours, and by the way, where did you get the money for that car?