Work program. Really?

After my long ongoing battle with the DWP, I have finally been accepted on to the work program. As I mentioned in an early blog post, I was refered following an appointment with a jobcentre advisor. I was warned that I may not be accepted as I was pregnant. 

So yesterday was my first appointment with the company running the program. Before I had even left the house, I knew I was going to struggle. I just didn't want to go out. I know I wanted this appointment and it was hopefully going to help me, but just the thought of leaving the house was terrifying me.

Fortunately, my good friends on Twitter talked to me and I resolved that I would be ok, panic attacks may feel like I'm having heart attack, but I wont die! 

I managed to get there, I'll skip the vomiting and two more panic attacks, on time.

I waited outside the building, no response to buzzer, hmmm ok. Somebody let me in, when she arrived. I waited in reception. Nobody there, nor did it look like they would be soon. I could see the door for the company I needed to be at. After waiting 10 minutes or so, I decided to just go in. When I did, I saw a reception style desk, again nobody there. There were a few people in the office, but not seemed to acknowledge me. A man walked over and asked if he could help. I told him I had an appointment to see someone. He told me to take a seat whilst he got him. 

My advisor came to the desk, shouted over to me that he needed to get some stuff, they don't normally have customers until 10:00 and he doesn't know why I was booked in that early.

I cannot help but think, 'who cares, I have known about the appointment for a week, I'm sure you have too, why aren't you ready for me?!'

Basically the appointment is form filling. The advisor gave me a rough guide to what they do. I have to tell him that I am not on Jobseeker's, I haven't been looking for work, I am claiming ESA and why, and oh I'm pregnant. I am made two further appointments, neither time asked if they were convenient, although he did change one when I asked.

He asked me when I saw myself back in employment. I said within 12 months. He seemed a little shocked. 'Even with a baby?' Like I was going to stroll up to work, with a newborn suckling my breast. 'I presume there are options.' At which point he told me he would discuss the benefits system with me. 

I know the point of this program is to help people in to work, (I thought) from sickness benefits. I have struggled to survive with the ongoing battles with the DWP and now I'm wondering if having a child means they no longer give a sh*t. I'm one less statistic, because I will no longer be sick / disabled / Mental health patient, but a single mother.

All in all, I managed to get myself worked up and stressed out for nothing. To be honest, I could have returned forms and posted in my C.V.. 

As I cannot return to my previous role, I am considering what I want to do. I know I have a lot of transferrable skills and experience, I just don't know where I want to transfer them too.

I need a careers advisor....
Anybody know one who works with lost cases?


  1. DH has had this kind of experience before when claiming benefits, except he had to 'self-medicate' with's just typical. they couldn't care less about people...grr! I hope that you're feeling calmer now and well done for actually getting there. Hope things work out :)

    1. Thanks Irene, I'm not sure calmer is the word to use! I forward planned and booked in a lovely pregnancy massage for yesterday afternoon, so Karen worked her magic on me and I felt better.
      I have spent years 'self medicating', now pregnancy has taken my crutches away, time to learn some new ones and not just keep pushing on and thinking I'll cope.

  2. Hi Nikki,

    Seriously, I believe many bureaucratic agencies are alien to how 'real' people have to cope in uncertain times. Our lives can change in an instant, which creates distress. You WILL COPE, Nikki; you are a battler and you will be victorious.

    Your friend always, Ross


Please do comment, for every one you leave, a fairy gets her wings!