Part of me wants to break down barriers, set people free and make the world a better place. A bigger part of me wants to sit on the sofa, drink tea and play through old Nintendo games.
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24/07/06 : Tim does a course
I have just finished a two week course that the Jobcentre insisted on sending me on.
I was sent on one of these courses when I was out of work some years ago. I was taught the "proper" way to write an application letter, fill out forms and write a c.v. - all very patronising stuff - and I remember having to take back the c.v. produced on my behalf to get them to correct all the grammatical errors. It wasn't quite so bad this time, although the whole thing could have been compressed into a few days if all the irrelevant stuff had have been left out.
There were nine of us in the group, with ages ranging from eighteen to fifty-something. They all seemed pleasant enough, but none of them were people I would normally hang around with. Presumably to overcome any awkwardness, the second day of the course consisted of "team-building activities" at some place in the forest, where we helped each other around obstacle courses and stuff. This was almost fun, although no one managed to work out how any of it was supposed to help us get back into work. There was also an archery competition (I was almost chuffed at winning this) and absailing.
The c.v. I had done was actually quite good, but pretty much everything else was pointless. For example, there was video about how to overcome the problems of applying for a job if you have a criminal record. Which no one in the group had. I made no effort to hold back the laughter at what was the most badly acted thing I had every seen.
The course must have cost the Jobcentre a fortune - it was in a conference room in one of the posh hotels in Bournemouth, and we had a cooked lunch provided every day. There was this manager-type person carefully watching us during breaks, presumably in case we nicked something or trashed the place. It must have been awful for him having such undesirables soiling his hotel.
Anyway, as a result of spending more time than usual actually looking for jobs, I got one ...