Hope u don't mind but I just had to vent for a minute.
Today I went to my local jobcentre for a 3 month interview following commencing signing on. Well frankly I feel like banging my head off a brick wall.
I resigned from my job at the hospital on health grounds in Dec 2009, as I just could not cope with the demands of A&E and the stress had become too much. My anxiety, panic attacks and DP returned with a vengeance and after years of a mental rollercoaster I decided enough was enough. It was a very hard decision to make, but one I had to make.
It took a while for me to get my head sorted out and deal with my anxiety again after starting meds again, but during that time I was looking for work anyway, although I was very scared at starting something new.
After 16 months of living off my savings and help from my family, I started to claim jobseekers as it got to a stage I just had to. I dug my heels in for ages as I really, really did not want to claim as I HATE the jobcentre. I find it demoralising, depressing, demeaning and to be honest stomach churning. Everyone was telling me to claim as I was entitled, but I did everything I could not to.
So.......3 months down the line I had another 'job advisor' intervew. The woman I saw asked me how the job search was going, to which I said well, not great but the jobs I am seeking are hard to come by (school nursing/welfare assistant/GP auxiliary nurse, normal working week, no shifts) and are few and far between. I am a kids nurse too so my options are limited as adult positions are more readily availbale. Well she wasn't happy with this. She said my job search was 'too narrow' and i needed to look 'outside at other things'. I told her I had. My original agreement was to search for ' admin, nursing and retail' but retail and admin jobs were not working out for me as they all want experience for retail and specific computer skills for admin which I dont have. I have applied for tens of retail jobs to no availl. She said that the job I was seeking was ' too limited' and maybe I should look for other jobs apart from nursing, to which I told her I was a reg. nurse, i had a diploma and I could not just sit on a diploma and not use those skills. She looked at me blankly.
To cut a long story short I felt pressured, like I was leeching off the state and that I was digging in my heels as far as work is concerned. I also explained to her about my anxiety and stress problems, so NHS nursing was a no no at this time after 12 years, but she simply ignored this and said ' so u cant look for any NHS work then?'
She also reminded me that after 6 months on JSA they would be scrapping job 'options' and I would have to search 'outside the box' and get any job if I could do it.
I told her that I would stop claiming all together rather than have the DWP force me into a job I don't want, to which she looked gobsmacked. I told her I had worked all my life since the age of 18 except for 3 yrs at Uni and yet I was being hounded after 3 months on benefits when some people never work a day in their lives and sit on benefits for years. She had no answer for that except, 'well yes, but those people have to have regular job centre follow ups too......YEH RIGHT.
I tried all I could to explain my situation and that my anxieties and stress problems meant that I had to be fairly specific in terms of my work now as I wanted to stick in a job that doesnt flare everything up again, but she just was not receptive.
It angers me so much and has made me want to jack in my claim immediately. I am not in a position to do so however.
Sorry...just needed to let rip.xxxx