Catch 22 situation - not a happy bunny!

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Catch 22 situation - not a happy bunny!

Postby lowopinionated » Sat Jun 28, 2008 12:05 am

Right here goes:

I was made redundant from my old job at the end of March this year, and had been applying for lots of jobs since last September. Eventually I saw one, in one newspaper during my last week at my old job for a Government office which was the same grade as the one I was just leaving (also a Government office). I applied of course then at the start of April got a numeracy and literacy test and then an interview.

About a week after the interview I got a letter through which I was chuffed about :D saying I had provisionally got the job subject to Security checks. Now I know a lot of jobs have "CRB" checks etc which may last about 2 months or so but this is taking a looooong time! You see, I had also signed on for Jobseekers allowance before I knew I was getting an interview with this job and after I sent the completed security forms off to the employer I didn't really worry about looking for another job as I naively thought I wouldn't need to (mistake I realise now).

As a result I had my jobseekers payment delayed by 5 days as I hadn't done enough to look for work in the meantime (as you have to show evidence of this every time you go in and sign on fortnightly). So initially I was a bit peeved as I thought I didn't need to as I've got a job now.

I then rang the prospective employers personnel section to see how long I would have to wait as the Jobcentre would want to know, and I got told the security checks take 3-6 months!!! I was a bit shocked to say the least!

So I realised I needed to look for work in the meantime as I may be waiting till October.

This is what I have been trying to do since early May and I went to 5 Employment Agencies. Now the thing was I told them I really just wanted casual work for that period due to the pending job application which I also told them about. I've given them a C.V as I prefer to do office work as that is what I've had the experience doing for many years. Trouble is I haven't heard anything from them and 2 agencies also said they'd have trouble finding me anything as a lot of firms only want people for long term casual contracts lasting 6 months or up to a year, and they hadn't really had anything shorter term.

On top of that, I've asked about commercial/factory/warehouse vacancies: (which I don't really fancy as I did that with agencies 20 years ago - yes I'm that old! And it was an absolute nightmare and I ended up working with some not particularly nice people and one guy started bullying me and nearly caused me an injury by not giving me protective gloves to wear when working with caustic soda which made my hands red and ruined my pair of shoes! It ended up with my dad angrily stomping down to that factory when I didn't ask him to, to complain to the deputy manager who at least agreed to pay me back £20 compensation for the ruined shoes. The manager was going to be "having words" with the permanent staff member as he also wasn't wearing the protective gear for that job and didn't tell me, as he should have known better, and also about his attitude in general and bad temper as he seemed to have it in for me, which was totally unprovoked! I didn't go back to that factory again after that day and managed to get work in another factory a bit later!! So that's why I don't want to do factory casual work!! :evil: Never did find out what happened with that bloke - he was about 20 years older than me and had woman and kids).

Anyway the agencies say they haven't got any of that work left at the moment due to all the summer holiday students filling the vacancies! :x

Well this security check is still going through as a man from the prospective employer came to visit me at my home address to give me a security interview which was 70 minutes long. I won't go into the questions........... Also ALL my reference people have been contacted.

The thing is now, it's got me a bit worried that I might not get through and not get the job in the end, although I know I haven't got a criminal record etc so I should be OK but you never know!

Anyway when I went to sign on last Wednesday, I had this jobcentre advisor guy at the Jobcentre who made comments about me being "half hearted" about looking for work and that he thought a guy like me should have found something by now and I could perhaps be doing more than I am. I explained about my check etc with the other job application still ongoing and explained that when I went for other jobs to do in the meantime, including casual and permanent, and mentioned my situation to another prospective employer who phoned up when they got my C.V, this "other" potential employer loses interest and says that they don't to take anyone on short term and don't want to spend ages training someone if they're going to leave after 2-3 months! So the jobcentre guy (who looks over 50 years old) then says something like "Well you tell them too much, I know the firm might say that but how else are you going to get a job?" He then preceded to explain that he used to be an employer/manager/boss etc and he always thought right from the word go, when he took someone on, that they could leave after a short time for a better job and that firms should always know that and they're taking the risk etc. Actually my brother has said something similar and that if I left one job to go to another that was in the pipeline and the current employer don't like it, "well that's just tough for them"!!

Well today I chased up the agencies, but when I went into one, the woman dealing with searching for work for me, got rather terse when I asked her if the fact that I mentioned about the on-going security check before could be disregarded and she said an immediate No and explained that they need to honour their clients contract and can't have people clearing off for other jobs half way through etc as it would look bad on their agency and they could lose the firm as a client and it may damage their reputation and (my opinion here) loose them business. It looked like she thought I'd asked a stupid question but it wasn't stupid to me - I didn't realise how that worked and she may have thought I was trying to get her to be dishonest which I wasn't!! Well how the heck was I supposed to know??!! :evil: :x I've probably ruined my chances of getting work from them now, and I don't think she seemed interested when I was trying to explain what the man at the job centre said!! So thanks to him I've looked stupid down the agency!! Nice one mate!!

I know some of you will think I shouldn't have put my eggs in one basket, and I agree now, but I didn't know this check was going to take 3-6 months (over 2 months have gone by so far), nothing was said on the newpaper advert, or the paperwork, or the forms I completed, because I checked, or the letter I got on April 17th. Well I read carefully the forms to complete, before posting them off (well......unless I missed something but I'm sure I didn't).

I have decided to do what the job centre guy suggested and apply for permanent jobs now and not mention this pending job, after all I may get something just as good and could cancel the pending one but I'd be lucky!! Another thing a family friend said was that I haven't actually got it "in the bag" till the final confirmation of the checks have come through - true so if I get another job in the meantime, it would either be good if I got something else and didn't get through the checks for the Govnt one, or... if I have, I'll make a decision whether to take it depending on what sort of other work I'm doing at the time......obviously if I'm still not working then I'll jump at the chance but I wish that day would come soon.

Trouble is I was pretty cross today at the end of an annoying week, with the job centre bloke saying one thing and trying to make me feel bad and then that frosty woman at that one agency who seems like she's not being very flexible to put it nicely!! Grrrrr! :evil: I'm going round in ruddy circles and don't know what else to do. Can't get work anywhere else (I know it's a problem for a lot of people) and am getting 2 different opinions. I wonder really if the old guy at the JC is a bit out of touch with the job market - but the trouble is they're only doing their job. I know what that's like when serving moany groany customers at my old job.

Does anyone know who I can talk to, to complain to or see what else I can do e.g Citizens Advice Bureau, careers people., or someone higher up at the Job Centre to give me advice because this is doing my head in!

Well I feel a fair bit better after getting all this off my chest but I hope this can be resolved soon.

Well anyway an agency wants me to go and see them Monday morning as I sent them details of myself in May so maybe they might have something but I'm not holding my breath!
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Postby snail » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:53 pm

Hmmmm . . . I admit this is a difficult situation. I'm not sure there's anyone you could ask or complain to really, as this is a decision you have to make yourself.

On the whole I agree with the Job Centre man. You don't actually have the government job yet for certain, so I don't think there's any harm in not mentioning it. After all, you can't mention everything that MIGHT happen at a job interview. Unless you stumble upon a genuine holiday job (is this a possibility? Surely all of them can't be taken yet? Have you tried shops and cafes?) then no employer will want to take on someone who is quite likely to disappear in a couple of months' time. Rather than deliberately going for casual or manual jobs, go for jobs that you might actually want to do instead of the govt. job. Then if you do get offered both you can choose between them.

But if your conscience really won't allow you to do this, then that's fair enough. Stick to your guns, and if challenged at the Job Centre explain firmly that you can't lie. I would imagine this this would be the end of the conversation, as no-one will have the nerve to really press you to lie.

Don't worry about the attitude of the agency woman. People are wrapped up in their own lives and don't try to see things from the other person's point of view. To be fair to her, though, you can't ask for your previous statement about only being in the job a short time to be disregarded. Remember, the agency doesn't care about you, or what the Job Centre thinks, or anything like that. They care about making their clients (who pay them) happy. It would make them look bad if you left the job they got you after a short time, so if you want to pursue jobs without disclosing your probable early departure, then you can't tell any agency that you sign up with either.
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Postby lowopinionated » Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:16 am

Thanks for your reply snail, much appreciated, trouble is I already mentioned my situation to 5 of the agencies anyway so that's maybe too late. It seems to me that they're incredibly selfish and one-sided, and I hadn't realised about honouring fixed contracts, never heard of it before, but........ It's all very well that woman getting cross but how was I to stinking well know!

Actually maybe it was a good thing me telling them in the first place as if I hadn't and they had found me a 6 month or so, contract post and I had cleared off for another job, half way through, it would have been bad for the agency, and they would have given me a rollicking anyway, and I might have felt bad later, so that's another way of looking at it.

I was talking to a friend on Saturday about the problem too and mentioned what the job centre man said and she is quite proffesional, but thought the Job centre man was talking rubbish when he said that firms may expect an employee to leave shortly after taking them on, just because he thought that when he was an employer!! Not all firms are like that, as I've found out!! Honestly!

What I've decided is to continue looking for permanent decent jobs, I have sent off a completed application for one last Friday - and not mention the "pending" job and just stick to temporary work for now if the agencies can get me it, until I know for certain about the "pending" job.

Just unbelievable it's got to take up to 6 months possibly, but that's the world we live in!! :evil: Just really hacked off at the moment!!
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