More Job Centre fuckery…DWP/G4$ just doin’ their JOBS
It’s been a quiet couple of months for myself and with the new benefit information flyers arriving, it was time again to get out once more and hand them out.
Spur of the moment thing, i let it be known on Facebook/Twitter that i was going to the Cowbridge Road East Job Centre Plus, Canton, Cardiff.
Just the flyers and the BoycottWorkfare banner, no tea and coffee this time…
And so i arrived, immediately stuck the banner up on the window front with tape and started to hand out the flyers, there was quite a heavy footfall, plenty people going in, the majority accepting to take the flyer. A few people stopped and asked questions, i was happy to chat and explain about the flyer and why i was there,
I have had previous experience of this particular satellite job centre plus, having signed on there a couple of years back…managed to get thrown out by the security the last time, long story cut short…went to sign on and was hoping to talk about possible training courses, but the claimant adviser told me to sign and go, i signed and asked about any training courses available, the adviser said there was a possibility of a 16week course on plastering, thats it. I politely refused as i was able to plaster small areas already and that my trade overlapped that of the trade of plastering. The adviser asked me if i was turning it down, i said yes and added that i was merely enquiring into the possibility of a training course of some sort, seeing as it was six months now of continued unemployment,
Okies…so its turned into a long story, anyways…i was still keeping my cool as i repeated myself…i did not need a plastering course at this time, it was merely an enquiry…so im turning it down? Yesssssss i am, i started tapping one finger as i explained over again my already known position,
The adviser jumped out of the seat, started crying…and ran through the staff only door, leaving me sitting there, quite shocked. I wasnt expecting that. Two security, either side came over, i was still seated…they said it was time to leave, grabbed an arm each and i was ejected and left on the steps outside.
I went home…and the phone rang immediately, it was the job centre manager, screaming at me, asking me what had i done to one of her staff, who had now gone home in tears…with the possibility also, of the claimant adviser being off sick for the forseeable future.
I explained myself and how i saw the incident, denying that i had been abusive or in any way and that the worst of it, if any, had been me tapping my finger on the table. I also counter claimed that i had been unfairly and forcibly removed from the job centre.
The conversation ended with the Manager saying it might be best for me to be moved from signing on every two weeks to never, by placing me on self employed tax credits and that the relevant forms would be sent to me in the new future. Goodbye.
That was the last time i had any contact with this particular job centre…and i was moved to the self employment tax credit scheme.
I was left shaken at the time, surprised at the events that had taken place, in all my visits to the job centre, i had always co-operated fully, ok…i may have refused to do their homework, the claimant adviser used to fill in my forms each time, the ones which ask what had i done that week to find a job…i used to dictate to her the same things, she wrote them down…saying it was in her interests aswell as mine for the paperwork to be completed.
I was never rude, always on time…and if anything, it was always me making the moves, asking about this scheme or that grant or…training courses available.
Looking back now…i think it was my postcode that led to my abrupt removal…assumptions and judgements on their behalf, wrong ones.
Till this day i can remember the injustice,
I bet it is on record somewhere, with all parties…all agents of the state, being able to view…and judge further,
And maybe tis the reason why i now refuse to sign on during my times as unemployed and take their benefit…
Take the money…and then also take their psychological crap, you are duty bound to,
I dont wish to trade my dignity for their payment, yet just recently i have had hard times and nearly did so.
Two years on…
Same set up,
I recognised the DWP worker who came out of the Job Centre to greet me, he is the guy who supposedly welcomes you, the claimant…the customer, and offers to help…
Well, they the role is to being semi nice, but mostly efficient…but needing to analyse why you are there, so that they can move you to that particular area in double quick time, or move you on, you cant loiter…close by are the security, ready…already sussed you before you notice them, G4$ security.
I am only focused on the Guy in a tie, he came across in a professional way, said take the banner down, i refused whilst looking for a resolution, i usually state a period of time i intend to stay for, with banner remaining, the guy in a tie repeated the request, adding the banner was not going to stay…
Enter Mr.G4$ security, a young guy, quite tall, he moved forward from behind the guy in a tie, till then he was merely a blur whilst i was dealing with tie guy.
Mr.G4$ decided to take it upon himself to enact his master’s wishes and moved to grab the corner tape holding the banner in place,
I move with Mr.G4$, careful not to touch him in my effort to make sure banner remains in place.
Mr.G4$, not thinking much about touching me…does so,
And we have a minor moment of eye to eye, he is expecting me to retreat, to stand down…to his self appointed authority, i dont.
Not much left for him to do, apart from get shitty and calls me an asshole,
Guy in tie threatens me with calling the Police, take the banner down, again i refuse whilst keeping an eye on Mr.G4$ and another security guy.
Calls the Police,
Ok…so this is nothing new,
“We have protesters here” i intercept…”one and its not a protest”.
On previous occasions, whilst outside the Charles St Job Centre Plus, City Centre, Cardiff…i encountered the same requests, i responded with same refusals…yet the difference being quite apparent,
Charles St JCP workers and G4$ security were respectful, tolerated us outside and indeed were happy to negotiate,
We did what we did…and left…like i said we would,
Banners came down, tea stuff packed away.
Cowbridge Road East JCP?? very rude indeed, why is that??
I continued to give out flyers,
A PCSO arrived after an hour.
Police Community Support Officer…supporting the community on behave of the South Wales Police,
On all occasions the PCSO have turned out to be the most considerate, polite and courteous out of all the agents of the state that i have come into contact with.
Cant fault them, they do their job in the most professional manner, never being too authoritative…even able to see the funny side of a situation, something that is sadly lacking with regards to G4$ and the DWP.
Obviously, the role of the PCSO is sent to attend a situation, usually after someone has rung 999…the real Police take the call and i presume as long as the situation is deemed ‘non violent’ or ‘low risk’ (both of which the Cardiff Tent are and always state upon arrival) they send the friendly face of the Law.
I was told in a friendly manner whilst at the Charles St JCP that it would be a shame for the ‘bigboys’ to be called out.
No threat as such, maybe just a gentle reminder,
Do the DWP deal in gentle reminders??
They, the DWP, do not im afraid. Whilst i cannot tar every DWP worker with the same brush, it really does need to be said that the majority happily go about their business, that of enforcing their master’s wishes, in a way that goes way above their role, that of claimant advisor or assistant…to the CLAIMANT.
I do feel that there are assumptions and judgements being made on behalf of the claimant advisors, maybe by the way a particular way a person looks, or acts…maybe their postcode is taken into consideration.
Maybe the DWP worker, in order to survive and keep their job, needs the requirement of a particular way of thinking…it cannot be said that they are just there making a living, keeping their head down, providing for their family.
I could not do that job…
I could not do the job of security either in the JCP, working for G4$…
Again… a particular way of thinking is required.
I would also like to ask a particular person who on one occasion made themselves known to me, you know who you are…please contact me again, thankyou 😀
As i write this morning, i came across this…
“DWP APOLOGISE FOR CALLING POLICE – RIGHT TO BE ACCOMPANIED AT JOBCENTRES AFFIRMED”
“Claimants should not be intimidated by Jobcentre bullies. The DWP’s apology re-affirms once more that ALL claimants have the right to be accompanied to appointments by the representative of their choice. This does not only apply to claimants who are particularly vulnerable or have special needs, but to everyone.”
For way too long now, claimants have been ‘bullied’, ‘abused’…or have been found to have been given either the wrong information by the DWP, or at the very least…not giving enough information, regarding decisions, appointments or other matters that the claimant needs,
The negativity of the Job Centres makes the claimant experience feelings of humiliation, helplessness, worry,
Why? how are these feelings going to enable to find a job, being unemployed can be a pressuring situation for so many reasons, usually uncontrollable debt and having mouths to feed, amongst others.
There are supposedly near 2.5 million unemployed in the UK…with approx. 570,000 jobs available,
It doesnt take much to work the sums does it, unless of course you work for G4$…and id be only too happy to help next time, explaining that there are 5 unemployed people to 1 job available…who knows the full facts on those jobs, part time? zero hour contract, seasonal, agency.
Remember the guy in the tie? came up in a conversation the other day, “oh yeah, the guy who looks like the weatherman?” Yes thats him, anyways…he took it upon himself to laugh in my face as i was handing out leaflets, leaving the building putting his coat on, maybe it was his lunch hour…walking past, laughing, ridiculing.
The form of smugness that i detest, having a laugh…after previously sending out people, asking where the tea was? where was the tent?
How fucking funny mate…
Funny that you were the one i remembered after two years.
Solidarity to the Edinburgh guys, Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty… didnt have time to mention the good work of ReClaim in Liverpool, but will highlighting them in the next blog,
Action is being taken across the UK…
People are helping each other,
Information is key…
You are not alone…We are not alone!!!
Solidarity 😀 x