Shock, horror, a somewhat positive experience.

By Diogenese - 20 Mar 18 11:58 AM

I would usually not have a good word for the DWP but being one of the great unwashed ex-resident of HMPS, and now relying on benefits in the great outdoors, I am pleased to say that my JCP adviser is sympathetic to my situation in having an additional barrier to finding work.

There are so many horror stories in opposition to my experience, I was wondering how others have been dealt with by staff at the JCP?

Care to share your experiences?

By CC - 29 Mar 18 9:41 AM

BenS - 29 Mar 18 8:34 AM
As for experience at the Job Centre, I found the task workers themselves to be friendly and sympathetic. They know RSOs are unemployable but they do their best and try to make you feel human. I now work for myself and my job is online (writing-related).

As for the secretarial/reception staff who deal with scheduling meetings, it's the total opposite. They literally think they own you, and that going for a 5-minute weekly appointment to sign on is more important that anything else in your life. Chemotherapy session? Move it. Important hospital procedure where you would have to wait another 6 months if you can't make it? Go to the next slot in 6 months then. Father's funeral? Screwed up face, acting as if you've made an absolutely unacceptable request, then "OK, as an exception, I'll let you change your appointment. But this can't become the norm." Then as you're walking out the door, they say, at a normal volume clearly audible to others, "Make sure you bring a death certificate next time as proof of death" - saying the last word "death" while doing the "quotation marks" gesture with their hands, as if you're lying to them. So those people on the scheduling end are pure and utter scum, an inferior species. This has happened to me. How I would have loved to go public and complain to the press or whatever, but being an RSO, that fact about me would have come out.

As for the general attitude/extreme caution regarding RSOs who have committed non-contact offences, it's clearly frustrating. You can embezzle millions of pounds, beat someone to within an inch of their life, kill a family through dangerous driving, and you can get onto job schemes/interviews and explain the situation with remorse and get the job. But if you have viewed one image on a computer screen, you are less trustworthy than any of the above.

I can very much relate to what you are saying BenS. Unfortunately RSO`s sell newspapers and keep politicians in a job. We are an easy target and I dont expect that to change any time soon. Just to give heart to others reading this my offence came to light when I was 50+, I am now 60+. and as I said previously I am self employed. I have a partner in work and we manage quite well. I very rarely have to meet my customers face to face (one plus side of the internet) and take satisfaction in my situation when the odds are so very much stacked against you to succeed. A big driver [for me] to prove I could do it. Looking around I do see lots of people going around being self employed i.e a guy who rents a small plot of land and valets cars, he always seems to have work. I suspect some company's and businesses now use him. We could do with a simple listing of ideas to help ex-offenders get started. I think that would be useful.