Now, let me just state that I don't like using this blog to moan about things, partly because this is (hopefully) the first stop for anyone who's read my work and also because, quite simply, no-one really wants to read some faceless berk's 'woe is me' guff.
However, I have not been so ANGRY in such a long time that I simply have to vent. You'll see why in a minute.
Right, so here in the UK we have a benefit system. The main benefit you can claim is Job Seeker's Allowance (aka The Dole), which, as its name suggests, is a payment you can receive every couple of weeks whilst you look for work. I have been on the dole for over a year, though I work part-time at an art gallery (if you work 16 or more hours a week you no longer qualify, but I'm still claiming because my hours vary from week to week).
Last week, my boss offered me a new job within the gallery. I'd get to work with kids and help with exhibits and it basically was/is an excellent opportunity. Suffice to say, I was very happy to be asked. Here comes the second 'however'...
However. The position is linked with what the UK government call 'Future Jobs Fund'. The idea is the government give a ton of money to an employer, to enable them to create a new job within their organisation. But - and here's one of the first problems with my country's benefit system - these FJF positions are primarily aimed at 18 - 24 year olds, because 'they need the work more than anyone else'. I'm going to leave that statement alone for the time being because it's a whole other can of worms.
I showed the printout of the job to a lady at the Job Centre today and explained how my boss told me to ask about it. She looked at it, noticed it was a FJF job and went "Oh it's for 18 -24 year olds".
I said "Yes I know, but my boss told me that, since I've been technically unemployed for over a year, I am also eligible to apply for the position."
"Oh no," says this woman, "the position can only be offered to people over 24 if" - and this is what's made me so angry - "they've been unemployed between 39 weeks and a year."
I'm involved in this thing called Flexible New Deal, because I have been 'unemployed' for over a year. The point of FND is that I attend interviews/meetings at a sort-of consultancy, and they help me find work. Hmm. Yep.
So, the long and short of it is, I've been unemployed for TOO LONG to apply for a job! A job I've been offered, by a manager, at a place I already work at! A job she wants me to have! It completely beggars belief. I can understand the reasoning that been on FND means that process itself will get me a job, but it's actually going to be at the expense on an exisiting one! I can't put into words how absolutely absurd this is. And that's where I'm ending this post before I dissolve into expletives.