Monday, March 26, 2007
It's Monday morning! I'm feeling particularly good today, because I'm planning another trip to the Jobcentre this morning to have a lighthearted chat with their staff about a problem which has so far failed to be solved by three phone calls and a personal visit. They actually owe me a large amount of money which I should have received on March 13th. When it didn't arrive, I had the privilege of spending a lot of time on hold, and speaking to three different people, all of whom assumed it must be my fault.
So last Monday I stolled down to the Jobcentre with a song in my heart (making sure I went in the morning - they're keen to help, obviously, but they close the enquiries desk at midday), where I met with a lady who checked their records, found it was entirely their fault, apologised to me, and promised the money would be in my account within three working days. I said "Is that definite?". She said "Yes".
So that was a week ago. Needless to say I'm still penniless. I've actually had no money from them since February 27th, and have been living on my wits for the past month. So it's a miracle I'm still alive. But hey, I'm sure they'll be able to sort it out this morning. It's what they're paid (on time) for.
Anyhoo, the Jobseeker's Agreement I have between me and the DWP states that if I do my utmost to find a minimum wage job stacking shelves for a living, then in return they'll pay me Jobseeker's Allowance every fortnight. So as they've broken their side of the bargain, I'm obviously entitled to a two-week holiday. Which is handy, as if I don't get away somewhere soon, I'm liable to run amok with a copy of my bank statement, resulting in some very nasty paper cuts. And they wouldn't want my blood on their hands.
So after I've argued for half an hour with the girl on the enquiries desk, I'm going to take the advice of lapine sage Fiver (and I could do with a couple of those), who said:
"I know what we ought to be looking for – a high place, where rabbits can see and hear all round and men hardly ever come. Wouldn't that be worth the journey?"
It would. So I'm going here for the afternoon...
Of course, the rabbits in Watership Down had to cross rivers, evade predators and dodge bullets, whereas for me it's just a ten mile drive down the A27. But when you can't afford the petrol, it's quite exciting.
Posted by Phil Gardner at 10:23