Dangit, I completely forgot to update my blog at the end of September.
Oh, well…It’s not like I necessarily HAVE to update at the end of every month.
Let’s get started…
Wednesday 7th September 2016
Jobcentre says Lav was actually taken right off my claim for some reason. That’s weird, they said they would only put things on hold while she was in work.
Anyway, we have to start a new claim from scratch. <Sarcasm> Joy. </sarcasm>
We had a look at laptops in PC world. We found an Asus that would be perfect if only it had a quad-core processor instead of just a dual-core, but it’d do fine for tiding Lav over until we got a job and more money. Definitely be better than the old wasted laptop I gave her.
Monday 12th September 2016
Lav’s 2nd Hep B vaccine. One more to go. Then it’s the blood test. Then the year-long wait for the booster the accelerated dosage requires.
Tuesday 13th September 2016
Lav found a smexy-looking green gaming laptop from Argos for a reasonable price, except it appears to be out of stock everywhere, so she sent them an e-mail to try and find out why.
Wednesday 14th September 2016
Lav and I had our jobcentre interview to re-start our claim.
They booked her in to a group meeting to discuss useless stuff we kind of already know.
Friday 16th September 2016
Yep, the group session was about as useless as expected. On the bright side, we found some leaflets advertising a jobs fair next Tuesday. We can go to that see if there’s anything we can go for.
Monday 19th September 2016
Lav and I went shopping for some smart clothes and shoes for me to wear to the jobs fair and any other employment-related stuff I go to.
We saw a crane driving down the street. There’s something you don’t see every day.
We both thought the boom arm was gonna knock our heads clean off!
We also saw a kingfisher flying down the river from the bridge across to the Peel Centre.
Tuesday 20th September 2016
Lav and I went to the jobs fair. I guess it was fairly productive.
Applied to TK Maxx there.
Got some info on some websites and other stuff to check out.
I was also approached by a lady who recognised me from my time at Seetec.
She’s now working for a place called Work Solutions…she reckons they can help me get a job.
They’re gonna help me with stuff like Interview techniques and freshening up my CV and hopefully find me some fresh work experience, too. Well, I could do with all the help I can get, so I signed up.
Thursday 22nd September 2016
Well, this Work Solutions gaffe certainly seem to know what they’re doing.
They had me do some English and Maths tests, of course, but they also did a kind of personality test and a test to see what kind of teaching method I respond to best.
Maybe I can finally get some proper help to get a proper job!
Monday 26th September 2016
Went to Work Solutions again to review the results of my tests and make a plan of action.
Their personality test revealed I had silver stars in everything…even a gold star in one aspect! The only aspect I didn’t have a gold star in is something they think is a result of me being out of work so much, so really I just need a job!
I’m to e-mail my advisor my CV and cover letter template to see if they need improving at all and to also speak with someone from the National Careers Service to see if they got any retail or Customer Service courses I can go to in order to boost my CV a little bit.
Wednesday 28th September 2016
Today I got a very unusual phone call…
Let me try to explain it as best I can from what I understand…
So the woman on the other end was talking about how folks who have travelled with an airline on an all-inclusive holiday (all-inclusive meaning hotel and food) within the past couple of years or so are eligible for a refund of at least £1,500 per passenger.
This is due to, as I understand it, some kind of investigation that found that some European airlines were not up to modern standards of health and safety and other such legislation.
So she started asking me if I’d been on an all-inclusive holiday.
Well, as a matter of fact, I had. My girlfriend and I took a trip to Romania last June to visit her family as she’s originally from there.
We booked it through Wizzair and were able to add a hotel booking and a taxi ride to the hotel through their website for over half the price of what it would cost booking the three separately. Set us back a little over five hundred quid in total if memory serves me correctly.
So once I informed her of this, she simply asked me for my e-mail address so she can send me an e-mail with some information.
She then explained that, at no point, will they ask for any of my personal bank details or anything, simply the booking confirmation details and ATOL certificate of my flight, and my National Insurance Number. (NINO is a red flag right there…preeeetty sure I’m not supposed to give THAT out to pretty much ANYONE outside of the jobcentre and the bank)
Then her manager is supposed to ring me and forward me to their legal department to finalise everything and get a cheque sent off in the mail to my home address.
This all seems very fishy to my girlfriend (who was listening in on the call) and I for a few reasons.
One, It’s completely out of the blue random.
Two, that trip to Romania? Yeah, we booked it through an account my GF had already set up on the Wizzair website (from when she first came to England from Romania) with HER e-mail, HER details, HER phone number…I was just her plus one, pretty much. No real details, just my name. That’s it. Oh, and they didn’t really mention ANYTHING about my girlfriend being on their system. Oh and wouldn’t it make more sense to try calling her in the first place?
Three…I’ve been getting a few random phone calls recently telling me they had me on their database that I had a credit card, and I could be eligible for something they call “funds due” on that. Insert Family Fortunes wrong buzzer here I’ve never had a credit card in my life for fear it’ll open me up for a big shove into a pit of debt.
It’s likely I’ve been getting these calls lately because my mum put up an ad on Gumtree on my behalf to sell some stuff I don’t use and/or need and included my mobile number to contact me.
Huh…would you look at that…I checked my e-mail inbox for the e-mail they’re supposed to send me, and here it is!
I have made no edits beyond minor formatting alterations and censorship of sensitive info to protect the innocent and/or guilty.
I’m probably not the only one that’s hearing a robot voice as I read this;
– Good Afternoon
– Following our recent telephone conversation, I would just like to give you the following information.
– The Travel Advisory Line works along ATOL protected tour operators throughout the UK. We have a list of over 10,000 hotels and resorts, which in the last 3 years, at one time or another, have failed in food and hygiene checks. As a result there has been refunds set up for anyone who has travelled to the affected resorts and hotels.
– We have all the relevant details necessary to proceed with your application.
– Holiday: Romania All Inclusive
– Date: 2015 (Note: I accidentally told her 2015 because the trip feels so long ago now)
– Tour Operator: Wizz Air
– Please reply to this email with a copy of your booking confirmation and ATOL certificate and preferable contact time for my manager to contact yourself.
- Full Booking Confirmation – This will be in your email inbox and should have been sent to you at the time or around the time you booked the holiday. If the holiday was booked in-store you would receive paper copes of the documents.
- ATOL Certificate – Once again this is emailed to you around the date you booked the holiday. If you booked it through either Thomas Cook, Thomson or First Choice, then you will not have been issued an ATOL Certificate, as all holidays with these tour operators are ATOL protected and will have been full package holidays.
– Wizz Air Customer Services: -[number redacted]-
– Once we have received your booking confirmation and ATOL certificate, my manger will call you to process your refund. If you have any problems or queries regarding the process, please do not hesitate to call us on -[number redacted]- and ask for myself -[name of lady who called me]- or my manager -[manager name]-, and we will be more than happy to assist you in completing your application. If the line is busy for any reason please do not hesitate to email myself and ask for a call back.
– Thank you for your time and we look forward to speaking with you very soon.
– Kind Regards,
-[name of lady who called me]- (Travel Advisor)
– TRAVEL ADVISORY LINE Tel: -[number redacted]-
…yeah, after we thought about things a little bit, we realised this is a very obvious scam…
But yeah…plane holidays, that’s a new one.
Usually it’s PPI or something like that.
Her manager rang back the next day asking for our booking confirmation, and I told him I felt things were a bit fishy and got him to get me off their records.
Monday 3rd October 2016
So I had my meeting with the NCS agent and she differed me to Job Gym for a Customer Service course they got starting next Monday.
Lav + I ended up ordering an MSI gaming laptop we found for her. According to the specs, it should be just as powerful as my desktop. Pretty amazing considering the very reasonable price tag it had.
Should arrive tomorrow.
Tuesday 4th October 2016
Yay! Lav got her smexy new gaming laptop! No more being frustrated at the old wasted one!
Wednesday 5th October 2016
Got new computer mice (one for me, too) a laptop tray and an Ethernet cable for Lav’s new laptop.
Saturday 8th October 2016
We both got Team Fortress 2 and played a few practice rounds to learn the controls.
We need to get good before we enter multiplayer.
Sunday 9th October 2016
We both got Minecraft, now, too. Though we had to buy it twice to we both could have the full, non-demo version that we could play on separate accounts. Now we just gotta figure out how to get both of us playing the same world.
Monday 10th October 2016
Job Gym had me do English, Maths and IT assessments, then had me fill in my details on a form for their system.
Then there was a presentation explaining what Job Gym do to help me and the other people there get in work.
The course is gonna be 9 – 4 over the next 4 days. Kind of simulating a work shift, I guess.
Tuesday 11th October 2016
The teacher at Job Gym taught me some interesting things about CVs and cover letters.
Apparently you got to constantly update your CV, keep it fresh and tailor it to whatever job you’re applying for…I don’t know how, exactly, you tailor your CV to each job, but I’m sure I’ll find out as we go along.
Here’s a funny thing…we also got to view the CVs of 8 applicants for the position of President of the United States, and pick one to take the job in our group of four.
My group pretty quickly figured out which CVs were Trump and Clinton so they were out.
In the end they seemed to pick one candidate purely because they had some pet dogs. That’s nice an’ all, but not exactly the basis for who makes a good president.
I didn’t really get a good enough look at all the CVs to make an informed choice…I was gonna pick someone based on them having a lot of political experience…it didn’t dawn on me that it was a sign they may be advanced in years until it was revealed at the end which CV belonged to who…
…I was gonna pick Bernie Sanders!
Wednesday 12th October 2016
I don’t really remember what we were taught today.
Thursday 13th October 2016
I was interviewed by a work coach today. He mostly spoke to me about my CV and what he thought should be done to improve it…bearing in mind the CV he was reviewing was ALREADY altered by the teacher of the course I was on!
He pretty much wanted it reverted it back to the way I had it originally, only with a bit more bulk to my personal profile, a few suggestions for what to include in my key skills, and to add Hobbies and Interests.
Oh, and I learned I’ll be doing a call centre / telephone manner course next week. <Sarcasm> Joy </sarcasm>
I suppose I’m gonna have to look into call centre work if I’m ever gonna have a hope of getting a job.
Then my group of 4 had to design a board game.
We came up with something kind of similar to Trivial Pursuit, only for young kids. Easy Maths and English questions for the kids to answer. Get it right, advance a space, get it wrong, go back a space.
There were also some random cards which were just instructions to go back spaces, move forward spaces and miss a turn, stuff like that.
Friday 14th October 2016
Today we learned about what workers are entitled to by law in the workplace, such as a contract clearly stating their responsibilities in the job, their salary, breaks, holidays, sick pay, stuff like that, and the responsibilities of the worker to do their job and do it well.
As part of that, we covered bits about Health and Safety, as well as equality and diversity.
I think that just about covers everything that’s happened so far.
So, until next time,
Ciao for now,
Cordially, The Blue Fox.