Cautioned for attending a job interview



One of the people who came to our showing of I, Daniel Blake in Dundee sent us this account of his experience of the jobcentre’s unthinking uncaring bureaucracy, three years ago:

‘I had a job interview on my signing-on day, so I went into the jobcentre the day before, and a staff member I asked said it was fine for me to come in the day after the interview instead.  When I did so, the worker to whose desk I was sent did not look up to me, did not greet me, but said sternly “Where were you yesterday?”  I said, “At a job interview.”  I was asked what I did the rest of the day. I said I went to my usual part-time job.  I was then asked how much time I had had between the job and the interview, and why I hadn’t come in then. I said I needed that time to calm down as I get nervous at interviews, and that I had asked for permission.  The reply was “I have to refer you for a decision.”  I mean I had got myself a job interview, what more did they want?  I went to my local MSP, which I think may have made a difference They must have helped as the attitude of jobcentre staff (a number of them were always kind anyway) changed a little I felt.’

(Getting help from an MP (or MSP) has the added advantage of keeping our politicians informed about what is happening in the real world. We are lucky in Scotland that most of our MPs will be sympathetic.)

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