I had made the application online after pestering from my mum to make myself part of the unemployed statistic. I had received a text message letting me know when my appointment was and now I stood outside the building. The building I never thought I’d enter in the whole of my life.
I was early for my first of 5 appointments and I hadn’t told anyone where I was going. I looked around as I walked towards the Jobcentre that was a 15 minutes walk from my house. I didn’t want to be seen. It was cold and I was early, I didn’t want to go in yet but it was way too cold and I didn’t want anyone to see me standing around outside the Jobcentre when I should have been at work. I took a deep breath and pulled open the door.
I didn’t know what to expect but I wasn’t expecting it to be so orderly, I was ushered to the front desk by a security guard (why they needed one I don’t know) to tell them I had an appointment and I was told to take a seat till it was time. I sat done next to a lady who seemed to know I was a first-timer.
“This place used to be much worse, you’d be waiting for ages to be seen and the noise and so many people…” She carried on, but I wasn’t listening I was glancing at the time. I didn’t want to be late.
The time for me to see my advisor came so I smiled at the lady next to me and went up the stairs to the second floor where I was met by yet another security guard! I chuckled as he told me to take a seat that I’d be called by my advisor.
As I sat down, I made some observations:
– it was a very open design so you could see everyone talking to their advisors (didn’t like that)
– There were a mix of advisors, a young black girl that was loud and a bit rude, a few white men and women (mostly middle-aged), an African woman(didn’t want her, rang to close to home lol)
– I was kept waiting!
I came on time and watched some advisors fraternise amongst themselves and I began to get annoyed. I shouldn’t really be here I thought as I shuffled in my seat. I just need some money to stop me from having to ask my parents. I stood up and walked over to the security guard.
“Erm, excuse me. Why am I having to wait so long when I came on time?” I asked, not trying to be rude, but probably sounding rude anyways.
“Oh sorry, who is your advisor?”
“I don’t know, I am new here”
He seemed at a loss of what to do next, then he said I should take a seat while he looked for an unoccupied advisor.
Then a lady called me over apologising for making me wait and we discussed job seekers allowance. She was very nice and asked me what kind of job I was looking for, I explained that I was looking for a job as a Pharmacist and she was a bit shocked as she looked at my qualifications and didn’t understand why I was unemployed etc.
The talk ended with her promising to look for work for me and I had to look also then I left.
It was slightly demoralising but knowing that there was someone willing to help was a positive.
So if you are struggling like I am go to the Jobcentre, they keep going on about how unemployment levels have reduced and I don’t think so, I just think people aren’t speaking out about it.