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Your Middle-Class Guide to the Job Centre

Posted: 16/07/2012 12:18

Look at you with your university education, horrible red trousers and penchant for Starbucks macchiato. You've graduated, now you find yourself unemployed and Daddy's just cut you off. How are you going to fund your gratuitous middle-class lifestyle now? Jack Wills won't issue you a credit note Farquar.

They say money doesn't grow on trees. Despite what they may tell you, there is actually such a thing as "free money". So, what am I talking about? I'm talking about the dole of course. Perhaps it's a little immoral seeing as you have a Porsche sitting on the driveway, but needs must right? Could there be a more valiant cause than Teddy's 21st at Funky Buddha? Isn't this what the welfare system was designed for? According to Wikipedia, social security guarantees "the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality". Dignity? I'll tell you about dignity. Dignity is avoiding the riff-raff at Val d'Isere. Cultural rights? What about your right to par-tay? Surely this is integral to the "free development of his personality". YOLO.

Before signing on, there are a few things that you should bear in mind. Those bastards at the job centre won't just hand over the dough. The first time you go, you are obligated to have a "job-seekers interview". This is where you pretend that you're looking for work. They require evidence such as rejection letters and copies of application forms. I've posted on the Old Etonians Facebook group asking if anyone's Dad can write me a rejection letter from a bank or a consultancy firm. In exchange, my Dad will write them a rejection letter from his accountancy firm. In times of austerity, we must innovate.

Next, you'll have to sign a "job seekers agreement" which lists what you need to do each week to get your money. They'll ask you purely hypothetical questions such as "how many hours would you like to work?" and "what active steps will you take in order to find work?". Based on these responses, they may have certain expectations of you. You may be required to call up companies or visit the DirectGov website, but remember these are all things that you can get Jeeves to do whilst you're at the golf club.

In my opinion, appearances are everything. It's not a good idea to go to the job centre wearing tweed. Elbow patches are also a no-no. Some of the people at the job centre are actually legitimate job seekers- you shouldn't feel obliged to talk to them, but if you do and they insist on shaking your hand, wait until you have left the building to use your alcohol rub.

If you haven't got anything lined up for next year, job seekers allowance is a readily available and indispensible source of income. Hopefully this gives you a good insight into navigating the job centre and keeping the Moet flowing. What am I doing? You don't need me to tell you that we've all been screwed over by the economy. It's something to do with Barclays, house prices and Call of Duty (or CDOs as the big dogs call it). As a result, Fiona Bruce has told me that there are no jobs available. I believe her. This year, I'm doing some voluntary work in Thailand- I don't really have a choice. Hopefully I can use up the saved dole money to find my "true passion", "broaden my perspective on life" and maybe see a ping-pong show.

 

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