… Manners Maketh the Man?

… apparently not if the man works for the Civil Service!  But more of that in a moment.

I forgot yesterday to take pictures of all the cards I made from my stash and freebies … so I am kicking myself!  However I have a few that are not yet dispatched so belatedly here is a flavour of the cards I made:

Christmas Card

Last night we had a bit of a pantomime when young sir tried it on – he really wants to sleep in Dog’s Big Dog Bed and the fact Dog doesn’t mind is real progress – he has steadfastly refused to share his bed with any dog for almost 9 years; to the extent of giving his bed up and sleeping on the floor!  SO I moved Pup’s digloo to the Big Dog Bed and told him he had to sleep in that on the bed.  Of course Pup didn’t want to do that and so after 10 minutes of nonsense his digloo was removed back to the crate and Pup followed.  I have never heard a puppy able to make such angry noises when displeased as he does and I swear he stamps his feet while he is doing it.  So apart form the fact he couldn’t actually get anything out of the crate and he had no toys to throw – everything came out of the pram in a  temper tantrum before he went into his digloo and slept.

This morning started well and we had a pretty dawn sky:

Dawn Sky

Dramatic silhouettes …

Dawn sky

… calmer version

I spent the morning waiting for the post again – still no bank card! and getting myself organised for the Job Centre.  After pooches lunchtime I slipped quietly away to get changed only to find I had Dog and Pup playing tig around me in the bedroom so as I balanced on one leg pulling fresh clothes on I wasn’t sure if I would be still upright by the time I was dressed.  Pup was settled in his crate because otherwise I couldn’t put my backpack down without it getting dragged round the house.  Eventually I got myself in reasonable order out of the door and across to the bus stop.

I got to Forfar just after 2 – if I wait for the next bus there is a good chance I would be late.  I stopped off at Tesco to tip a pile of copper in the Coinstar and get a voucher in return for shopping with later on.  I was at the Job Centre in plenty of time as usual and as usual my appointment was late starting.  Now we get to manners!

Bureaucracy and bad manners

First sentence was that I needed to see an extra person today – standard for new claimants.  I said it would have been nice to have been advised so I could plan better.  What did I mean?  I explained I had spent an hour wandering in the cold to make sure I was on time and that now I would be too late to do my shopping and catch the bus so I would do my shopping and have to wait around another hour.  I also explained I have to get value form my bus journey and do the shopping and  messages on the same day as signing on.  I was told I was lucky that because of where I live I wasn’t being made to go to a college for the meeting and it would only take 10 minutes.  (Not certain but I think this is to assess whether I know how to look for work … in which case it is patronising!).

Next although I am excused signing on in a fortnight I have to go on 3rd January at 12 noon to meet with my adviser.  Again 12 noon is not a good time for me getting there bus wise but at least I was expecting this because she has some information about the enterprise benefit for those starting a business.  And I am doubly lucky because I can claim my bus fare back for that one!

I signed on and then was asked the same ting as last time about giving them access on the Universal Job Match System.  I repeated my reasons and was given an ear bashing about the reasons it would help them to help me.  I pointed out that off the alerts generated by their system for my job search (we have to give three job categories) that only 1% of the alerts are remotely suitable – half of them are the other end of the country and those locally are for Locum clinicians, nurses, mechanics, joiners, teachers, etc – none of which I am skilled for.  He said he cannot see why that is happening without seeing what I have in my CV and profile pages.  It has nothing to do with what I have entered it is solely on what they have set up and they are not good matches.

Then he said I needed to print out my activity then – I repeated that I have no ink in my printer – even if I did why should I be subsidising the Government in this way?  SO then he said I will have to go into the office and print my activity off on one of their computers so he can document the evidence of my job searching activity.  I explained that my job searching activity is happening across many recruitment sites which are more suitable than theirs.  SO then he said I have contracted to use their site 7 days a week – I confirmed I check it 3,4,5, or more times a day every day of the week – even though they have not added any jobs on either of the past two weekends.  In the end I stated I would give them access but I was unhappy about being forced to do so.  He stated I was not obliged to do so but I stated that we were going to have this conversation every meeting if I didn’t.

I wouldn’t mind so much if it was about proving what I am doing for myself – but the truth is it is about the staff at the job centre justifying what they do – which is largely very little!

His final statement was that this was the Government’s system and they could already see it was benefiting some people … I don’t doubt it is delivering a kick up the backside for folk who have played the system for a long time on income based JSA but very few people on the miniscule contributions based JSA payment can afford to not get a job.

He then arranged for me to have the extra appointment in a month’s time and adjusted the time of my main appointment so I don’t have to hang around in the cold.  I insisted he logged the summary of applications made and pending.

But somebody Loves me …

On the other hand my visit to the supermarket to buy essentials using the gift card that is supposed to be buying my Christmas food went very smoothly and I was out in time for the bus.  No Toxic encounters either so that was appreciated.

Pup was so pleased to see me when I got home – you would think I had abandoned him days ago!


Ooooh … don’t my legs look short and fat? (that pinched in belly is a put on!)

 … and now it is raining  again with a forecast for two days of heavy/torrential rain … joy … maybe I need to get the Ark out again it has been sitting waiting for a few weeks now!  I have just amused Pup by getting the umbrella out so he could go out in the rain … I am not the wimp he thinks I am …


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About nonehpets

I have an interest in how interior design and adapting a home to support living independently for longer can be complementary. The blog Life Long Design is part of an holistic plan for establishing a social enterprise which will offer the people of Tayside opportunities to explore Telecare and the wider scope of assistive technologies. Enabling individuals to make more informed and responsible choices in the care and support they need in their independent living. I am also keen to see public transport more widely adopted and sustainable rural bus services in particular supported. The Blog Travels with a Megarider shares my journey to find serenity in my life as I make that transition form employment to social entrepreneur. One of my methods in increasing serenity is to travel as many miles as I can on a fixed price bus ticket and explore my own local places of interest. Places that I used to go past and had never stopped to look at; places of peace and tranquility; places where I have had some wonderful conversations with complete strangers. I would like to share with you a response to when I described that one paragraph in an e-mail made it sound simple: "Believe me, Cathy, it does not sound simple. You are taking on an incredible challenge for all the right reasons. It is ambitious and admirable - the sort of project that can change lives, including yours." He is right it is ambitious but when did we every achieve anything by settling for the status quo and ignoring what doesn't work for people? So I would welcome your company from time to time on this journey either simply as a reader or if you are brave enough adding your own thoughts to the comments as you feel moved.

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