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Friday, March 14, 2008

This note was shoved under my front door yesterday...

A case to answer.
It seems my door's being painted by the Crown Prosecution Service. Still, it's better than them banging it down to arrest me.

Naturally I won't be around on Monday. I'll be in Haywards Heath, attending "a manual handling session with the manual handling team". No, really. This time next week I'll know exactly how to hold an instruction booklet.

So I've had a chat with the CPS this morning during one of their regular fag breaks, and they've agreed to paint my door this afternoon. Lisa's currently out having two hours of pampering at a health spa, so we'll see just how relaxed she is when she turns up later and gets paint all over her coat.

On the job front, I rang my future line manager this morning to ask what I should wear for my first day on Thursday. She started by saying 'smart/casual', changed it to 'casual', and finished by saying "definitely don't wear good trousers or a nice shirt". It's almost as though she's seen my wardrobe.

So buoyed by the news that I can continue shopping in charity shops, I headed down to the Jobcentre this morning to sign off, say good riddance to bad rubbish, and ask for a claim form for Working Tax Credit. Not necessarily in that order. According to the HM Revenue & Customs website, "you can pick up a claim pack from your nearest HMRC Enquiry Centre or Jobcentre Plus Office", so I walked all the way down there on the grounds that it would be quicker than phoning to request one. Whereupon they told me they don't stock them, and I'd have to phone and request one.

So I did. There's obviously some kind of paper shortage at the HMRC, because they refuse to send out a claim form until you've answered a long list of questions designed to ascertain whether you might actually be entitled to Working Tax Credit. Only people who pass that test are allowed to get their hands on a claim form.

So I spent what felt like half the morning on the phone to Jill from Newcastle, who sounded like she was auditioning for a part in 'Auf Wiedersehen Pet', answering numerous pointless questions, after each of which Jill would say "Would you like me to continue?", and remind me that anything she tells me is liable not to be true. It was all quite taxing (which I suppose is appropriate), not least when Jill asked me for my Health Number. I assumed she meant NHS number, and told her I didn't have it to hand. She in turn acted like I was some kind of idiot, and after much discussion in a Geordie accent, I finally realised she was saying house number. There just aren't enough call centres in Mumbai these days.