2/20/2014 | 0 comments | offline
Tags: reflection

Did I tell you I am a mystery shopper? Well I completed my first assignment today. £10 per assignment though I doubt it's a job that'll give you that many assignments.

I also went back to the Job Centre and the advisor recommended work experience for me. I'm happy to do work experience as my jobseekers allowance should cover my overheads. However, the work experience is fulltime. I did ask how am I supposed to spend thirty-five hours a week looking for jobs if I spend thirty-five hours a week doing working experience (work experience is shorthand for unpaid labour FYI) and I was told I am suppose to look for work around my volunteering. Bear in mind the Job Centre thinks my eleven hours a week course will get in the way of my job search, they think my thirty-five hours a week work placement will not get in the way of my job search.

I'm looking forward to going back to college next week because I'm hoping I'll be able to speak to my teacher about completing early (or at least I can ask her to countersign my grant applications).

On the bright side my advisor today was a total gem. She was supportive and understanding. And she explained things. I noticed she was wearing a PCS lanyard too. Which probably explains why she speaks to claimants like they're human. (Yes I will be spouting my pro-union propaganda here... deal with it).

Here's Moriarty again.

2/19/2014 | 2 comments | offline
Tags: reflection

So I've finally gathered all my paperwork to submit my claim for jobseekers allowance. Whether it'll be approved or not is another thing.

I was up all night crying and worrying about it. I do not know how I am supposed to spend thirty-five hours a week searching and applying for jobs yet still keep on top of my coursework. Though, I suppose that really doesn't matter to anyone except me.

I've got a university interview in a couple of hours. I'm confident I'll be offered a place on this degree but I'm in a bit of bad mood. It's hard not to get angry sometimes.

2/17/2014 | 1 comments | offline
Tags: reflection

I could easily write a new blog about all the contradictory information I get from Job Centre advisors and then how they talk to me like it's my fault I don't have the relevant documents that day. After the dispute about the hours of my course (see entry below) where my previous advisor told me the guided learning hours I provided were insufficient the advisor today asked why I didn't have proof of the guided learning hours with me. I told her the previous advisor said she just wanted the part of my college agreement that states the course is part-time. The advisor I saw today replied with there's a note which says you are fully aware that you need to bring in confirmation of your GLH today. I even had a piece of paper with me where the previous advisor wrote that I need to send a confirmation letter to a different department in the midlands.

I had all sorts of trouble with my student loan company. They had been sending confidential mail to an address I had five years ago, despite me calling twice to change my details. I called them three times today and each time they told me to print out the information I need from my online account (I couldn't).

I've just had loads of experience lately of people mishandling my information. I'd rather not deal with any of this. The Job Centre now want me to grant them access to my universal jobmatch account so they can check I'm not lying in my job log. I know they won't believe me because most of their jobs are advertised through third parties so they have no way to track me. And I feel uncomfortable giving them access to my account. I know they will bring it up in my meeting on Wednesday. I know I am within my rights not to grant them access. I just don't know if I am able to tell them no! If they start being condescending again about my not cooperating I think I might just crumble.

I actually envied the drunk man I was sitting in the waiting area with today. I would've liked to bubble of alcohol to protect me from that experience.

I went to my local social centre as they have a benfits/welfare drop-in. OMG. It was brilliant. The volunteer had a tonne of advice for me and was so kind that I felt like crying. It's a sad state of affairs when kindness feels so alien to you that it makes your heart ache. She gave me a list of grant companies who might be able to help me finish my course. Applying for the grant is pretty long-winded and complicated but the volunteer (I wish i got her name because I feel like she should get more praise!) said she'd contersign or vouch for me.

I'm going to get started on applying for grants tomorrow. It's going to be a busy day. Most of them require a personal statement. But by now personal statements are second-nature to me.

2/16/2014 | 0 comments | offline
Tags: reflection

I found My Wonderful World of Fashion in a charity shop earlier this month. It was 99p. I'm guessing that's because a few of the pages were coloured in by the previous owner. I like it though. The illustrations kinda remind me of my favourite perzine illustrations. There are some good lines in there.

Speaking of zines I'm hanging out with some people from the local feminist society later this week. A couple of them decided to do an art workshop because a handful of the members have projects due at the moment and they thought it would be fun to get input from eachother. I have to say this workshop has come at just the right time for me.

I found out that I didn't get the last job I interviewed for. It's disappointing because I think it was mostly down to be not being able to work mornings during termtime. I'm hoping March will be better for me. I'm a little stung by two job rejections from previous employers who said they'd like to have me back when I left. I'm sure it's mostly to do with my schedule but it's sad that they didn't like me enough to try and accommodate me.

My latest unrealistic idea is that I should start applying for seasonal/fixed-term fulltime roles and ask my teacher if I can complete my course earlier (or by distance). I'm certain it would be difficult and my tutor would be completely against me leaving early but that may be my only choice.

Argh. It's so frustrating. Everything depends on something else.

2/13/2014 | 3 comments | offline
Tags: reflection

I swear I'm here. I'm just not appearing on the front page. I'm seeing this a lot:


I just took a screenshot 'cause 666, y'know?

I was ill last month and then my subscription expired. Then I was so broke that $10 looked impossible to cough up.

I had a couple of really successful job interviews but I had to withdraw because they clashed with my course. Sadly both of them said hours were negotiable on the job description, and I only found out they were not after the interview. So that was a bit of a party-pooper. Feeling like I had finally been thrown a lifeline and then... nothing.

I headed to the Job Centre. They are still considering my claim and expressed doubt as to whether I will be accepted because I'm doing a part-time course (which may be considered full-time NB I used to work in education funding and I know for a fact it does not meet the criteria for full-time, nevertheless the Job Centre have to look into it), I don't want to leave my part-time course and I am getting a loan for the course (which is paid straight to my college, I don't see a penny). I'm due back on Monday.

I am awaiting feedback from my most recent job interview. And I'm hoping with all my might that I have got this job to avoid having to go the Job Centre for the foreseeable future. Though my gut instincts tell me that the interviewers were looking for a more flexible person.

My tooth is better. My dentist felt sorry for me and gave me half a root canal for the price of the extraction. I have a year to get £400 together so I can complete the procedure.

I finally got my research proposal signed off today. I had my first proposal rejected last month and I was supposed to rewrite it and send it to my tutor ASAP. That ASAP ended up being three weeks. I found it hard to rewrite, especially after planning it for a month. I changed my research question about five times. In the end I kinda threw together all the things I'm interested in. TBH the whole thing looked like a mess but my tutor liked it and signed it off.

My class had a trip to Sussex Library yesterday. A quarter of my class objected to going because they thought it was a waste of time. After seeing some of the difficulties people had using library facilities I felt like it was a really good idea. Luckily the negative people on my course were ill or couldn't make the trip so my tutor could guide us through the library without sighs or passive-aggressive comments. I wasn't able to take out any books because the ones I wanted were all out and the journals cannot be removed (and I had no money for photocopier credit) but I saved a bunch of PDFs. I had to cut my visit short as I needed to go to a job interview, so I didn't get time to look at everything. The visitor computers were slow so I ended up leaving later than planned so I missed a chance to get a free bubble tea from the student bar! Boo.

I've got another university interview next week. The local university announced a new degree last month. I emailed the department for more information and they just asked me to come in and interview. The degree covers all of my interest areas, it's almost tailor-made for me (interestingly enough, I mentioned in previous interviews I'd like a humanities degree with an art history emphasis). I'm pretty excited about it.

My last three assignments in college all got distinctions. Even the incomplete case study I handed in! So chuffed.


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