As of 12:00 this afternoon, I am officially part of the Great Unwashed. I, too, can look upon the unemployment statistics of this great nation, and feel that I’m a part of something. Something large, Something with a lot of people in it. Something with absolutly no money in it what-so-ever.

The rant about Job Seekers Allowance is going to have to wait for another day, because I can’t do it justice right now. It begins with the process of actually getting the benifit, goes though the six to eight weeks for delivery of said benefit, and how people without work are made to feel like third class citizens, ranking somewhere below pond-scum.

But that isn’t todays thing, oh no. Today I walked into the Job Centre Plus (Which I can only assume is like a normal job centre, but with more objects) and walked to the reception.

“I have an interview in about five minutes” I said to the blonde girl on reception, who was somewhat inadvisably dressed in bright red with enough gold jewelry to make Scrooge McDuck want to go swimming in her.
“Right,” she said “Hand me your forms, and we’ll get this started”
I handed her the forms and went to sit down whilst she sorted them out. I was given a new form to fill in, filled it in, and gave it back. This is important, watch the birdy.

I was called to a desk by a middle-aged man named Roger, who was to be my Claim Adviser on this sunny day, and we went though the forms and put it on the computer piece by piece. He gave me a booklet to get signed when I sign on, and we agreed a “Job Seeker’s Agreement” which basically codifies what I have to fail to do to get my beneifit taken away. I introduce him to the fact that Web Developer is different from Web Designer, and convince him that ability to touch-type neither marks me for secretarial or data-entry work (Which would send my RSI back in full force), and then the system fails to let him say I attended my interview.

Now, when you enter the Job Centre Plus for an interview, you sign a piece of paper to say you’ve arrived, hand in the forms, and wait for your turn, possibly whilst filling in another form they find, roughly in the same way some doctor’s waiting rooms have colouring books. In this case, the brain-dead moronette behind her castored desk had taken my form and given me my colouring book replacement without signing me in, meaning that some other Enterprising (Enterprising: Adjective, Deserving of being shot into space to seek out new life and new civilizations, and go where no one has ever gone before) indervidual had looked at the interview list, looked at the sign-in, and entered me into the computer as a No-show within the two minutes of me sitting down.

This means that at the start of my Job Seeking career I already have a black mark against me for not turning up to an interview. Gah.

Since then I’ve had more phone calls from recruiters in the last eight hours than the previous six weeks (ie, two), been sent a couple of jobs that appear to be tailor-made for me (One as an emailed link, One as an emailed 8mb Tiff-file scan of a want-ad, thanks mum) to which I’ve applied, and made the tactical error to which this entry title refers.

You see, today I introduced LoneCat – my Girlfriend – to The Sims, a game which will not run on her laptop, and only on my desktop. This has earnt me a certian amount of Quality Reading Time, and may have been a Tactical Error on my part. Oh well.