So I went along to that group session at the work programme center this morning and I found out it was a job search for care work and I wondered what the fuck I was doing there.
I had expressed interest in care work previously but after relapsing back with my anxiety and depression and going back to CBT again I told my adviser I wasn’t really up to doing this kind of work right now, nor was I really ready to begin job searching.
However she obviously booked me onto this session anyway. I told the adviser who was running it that I was not job searching at the moment as my health was up and down and that I was feeling quite anxious.
She eventually spoke to my adviser who said she was ok with me going home and that she would see me on my next appointment, which is this coming Monday.
So all in all I complete waste of time then…..
Well not entirely actually as it allowed me to see just how much pressure they put on JSA claimants (I am on ESA but I was obviously lumped in with JSA claimants) to look for work.
Several of the JSA claimants who were in the group had no clue why they had been called in for this session and expressed severe displeasure at being asked to come in. They were asking the young girl who sits on reception why they were there but she had no idea and said she had no control over who gets booked on to the group sessions.
The adviser running the session had printed out a sheet with the telephone numbers of several care agencies and some nurseries (for those interested in child care work) which she told the claimants to call up.
One of the claimants was very annoyed at the fact she was there and was agitating to the adviser that she wanted to go home but the adviser said it was not her call but the call of that claimant’s regular adviser who was not in.
Obviously as that claimant was on JSA she really had no choice but to be there and would have been sanctioned if she had not attended at all.
I feel frustrated that I have again been lumped in with JSA claimants and feel that the expectations put upon them are being laid on me as an ESA claimant. It’s clear they put a hell of a lot of pressure on JSA clients to find work and I certainly do not see why they should do this with ESA claimants, which I have been told they should not be doing.
However whilst I feel my time was wasted coming in to a group session that clearly was not appropriate for me at least I got a good look at how much they are turning the screw.