..and all through the house...
Everything went tits up.
That's right. TITS UP.
But it's okay, I've sorted it now. As usual.
Because once again, the Job Centre have decided to fuck me about.
Except this time do you know what they did? They suspended my claim! Do you know why? No, neither do they.
It all started on Saturday afternoon when my landlord called to tell me that my Housing Benefit had stopped as of the 3rd of December. I know it's the Christmas Post season, but 2 weeks late.. really? Anyway, I couldn't do anything about it because obviously the council isn't open on a Saturday.
Cue massive panic.
When Monday finally rolled around, I had a phone call from the Job Centre to tell me that my Job Seekers claim had been suspended on the grounds they were awaiting 'part time work confirmation'. This is because I earned £10 doing some ironing. In future, I'm not going to fucking bother being honest, because this is what happens. Apparently they needed confirmation of the part time work that I did before they could process my claim again. I told them they already had the proof - which they did. After I'd been passed through to somebody else who confirmed they had all of the correct information, they told me to wait for a call back from someone else. Fantastic!
I eventually got around to ringing my local council and asking them what was happening about the Housing Benefit situation. They informed me that my claim had been suspended because the JOB CENTRE had been in contact with them to tell them I had a part time job.
I DID A BIT OF IRONING AND EARNED £10! ARE YOU TAKING THE PISS!?
The council couldn't do anything until the Job Centre had confirmed that this was all some huge mistake and they could sort my claim out.
The Job Centre finally rang me back and I was told that my claim was actually suspend because of my 'availability'. At this point I was now ready to actually blow my lid. They make me travel across Nottingham every fortnight to sign on which takes all of 20 minutes, and now they're suspending my claim because of availability? I have made every single appointment and they have been at least 20 minutes late each time. Now tell me who's struggling with fucking availability.
The bloke on the phone actually had no idea what was going on and couldn't answer any questions. He did however tell me that the whole problem had something to do directly with the Job Centre where I signed on. My youth Job Centre, on the other side of Nottingham.
I attempted to call my advisor who was busy so instead I spoke to a female colleague. I told her that because I hadn't yet received a single payment from them, I was unable to catch the bus to the job centre to sign on on Wednesday due to having no money. So she told me I would have to walk. I asked her if she was taking the piss. It would take me over 2 hours to walk to the Job Centre and they can fuck right off if they think that's happening. What were they going to do? Suspend my already suspended claim? Nice one Nigel.
After my advisor had kindly finished his lunch an hour and a half later, clearly ignoring the URGENT note his colleague had left for him, he returned my call.
Do you want to know what he said?
He'd made a mistake.
He'd put in the wrong code when filling in the details about the £10 I earned.
I asked him if he knew what his 'mistake' had done.
It had stopped any money I was due from the Job Centre coming through. It stopped my Housing Benefit claim, WRONGLY. It caused me complete unnecessary and unwanted panic. I was upset, I was stressed and I was worried.
All of this, the week before Christmas.
It still isn't completely sorted. I still have to check with the council that they'll be helping with our rent at the end of the month. I have to harrass the Job Centre again to ensure they are in fact sorting my claim out. (That was following advice from the Nottingham benefit centre.. I am actually having to push them to sort out their own mistake.)
The ironic thing about all of this?
I have managed to find a job before they have even given me a penny.
The Job Centre have done nothing but treat me like the scum of the earth who is just looking for an easy ride through life. They have discriminated against me and made me feel three inches tall.
But now I have a job. I start in January.
And I can't wait to tell the Job Centre exactly where to stick their fucking money.
Once they've paid me what they owe me of course.