Posted on 31/10/2011 5:30 PM
Diva, £98/month seems a *lot*, especially if you just heat one room, even though I know storage heaters are a nightmare.
I heat a smallish one-bed flat, fairly well, cook, launder, bathe and all that, and use laptop/TV/console too, and my gas and elec come to about half that, sometimes a lot less.
Good luck getting it down - I'd be happy to try and help if you run into trouble with it, I was surprised how much difference swapping made to me.
Make sure you're not on prepayment meters, if you can - they're about 50% more expensive I think, but if you are disabled and would not be able to get out to top them up, you can have them changed to credit ones for free usually.
Have you checked about getting your house insulated, and all that? Even stupid-sounding things like cling-filming windows can help. I assume you have but it's always worth a reminder!
Posted on 16/10/2011 10:53 AM
seegee, if i can get someone to let me out of the house, I want to be at the Manchester one - are you definitely going?
Posted on 11/10/2011 3:25 PM
Auntie, I'd love to know what it says, what company are you with?
Npower have still not got back to me. Their 24-hours-for-a-reply is somewhat... optimistic I think.
Posted on 09/10/2011 10:44 AM
npower's social tariff that I'm currently on is called Spreading Warmth.
The criteria were a household income less than £13,500 pa and someone in the house who was chronically sick or disabled (they took my DLA award as proof, think they may have also accepted a doc's letter).
There were also income + older person and income + young child sets of criteria.
It's made a huge difference to my bills. Autumn one on the best 'normal' tariff I could find was £220. Next year on this one was ~£80.
Posted on 08/10/2011 1:45 PM
says the Citroen Picasso, which seems to be what is being replaced by the C4 Grand, is multiplex. makes it more likely the C4 is multiplex - as i understand it they tend not to design-from-scratch, just update the bodywork and a few features.this
is a C4 owners' forum - this particular post does mention the c4 being multiplex (aside from that it seems like gibberish to me!) but it may be worth looking around on there or posting yourself.
best of luck.
Posted on 08/10/2011 1:39 PM
just a thought - is there such a thing as a Citroen car enthusiasts board? they might know? or a Citroen garage if you haven't already tried one - go in and speak to a mechanic, if you can, rather than a receptionist.
Only other thing I can think is that if you can get hold of the Haynes Manual for that car (my local library has quite a collection) it might say something in there.
Posted on 08/10/2011 12:23 PM
I'm on npower's social tariff and they haven't said a word to me - this is the first I know about it changing.
Just sent them a question about it.
If it's first come first served and they've not bothered to tell the
people currently on the social tariffs, I will be a) very very annoyed
and b) making an enormous scene.
Seriously, first come first served? How pathetic. 'The most vulnerable
will be protected'... unless they don't rabidly keep up with the news
for every last detail of what torture's coming next. I don't buy
newspapers because I'm *poor*. I don't read the news online because
frankly, I would like to enjoy what quality of life I have while I still
have it, instead of awaiting with dread whatever punishment I am about
to receive for not making enough profit slaving for a toff.
The social tariff is the only thing that means I'm not blue and shaking,
and *still* terrified of the cost, when I finally put the heating on.
Given how bad the last two winters are this is especially cruel.
Honestly, it adds to the sneaking feeling I've had for some time that
they really, really, cynically, knowingly, are simply trying to kill as
many of the 'unproductive' as unnoticeably as possible.
Posted on 30/09/2011 12:10 PM
There is some sad news. My grandad passed away this lunchtime. I was very upset for most of this afternoon. I'm trying to remember now that he had a long, good life, was well loved, and isn't suffering any more. I've spent all day with random, good memories of him appearing in my head and I'm grieving, but it's not killing me like it was. Maybe that sounds heartless, but I do love him, and part of loving someone is putting their needs above your own - he was in excruciating agony, and it's over now, so however it hurts me to lose him, at least it's not hurting him.
There is also excellent news on the housing problem.
I've had a complaint with the Local Government Ombudsman for about 12months now.
I mentioned, in an email the other day, that I wasn't well enough to deal with a phone call - ironically, due to housing-related stress - so could we continue emailing? and she asked what was happening, and I told.
She's come back to me today and said that as a remedy to my complaint she has proposed to the housing poeple & council:
-- rehousing me in a suitable property as soon as possible
-- paying for reasonable costs associated with moving
-- decorating it before I move in
-- property to be suitable to my needs now and in the forseeable future.
The housing have *agreed*! and want to send a manager *as soon as possible* to get started on finding somewhere suitable.
They've also agreed to a payment of £300.
This is absolutely bloody brilliant news. It's everything I wanted and was apparently not going to get for several years, if ever.
The 'foreseeable future' bit is good as well - I think I can argue this means a bungalow rather than a ground floor flat - safe outdoor space, more adaptable if I need a wheelchair later, etc, etc.
Going to start putting together a list of 'must have' 'very much want' and 'would like if possible' things for new house.
I can't believe after all this agony it's fixed just like that. It's amazing.
Now to wait for housing to get in touch.
Jobcentre DEA on phone again today, trying to get me to claim ESA. Apparently it's OK that the assessments are horrific and completely unfair, because you don't have to have one for three months... and my doctor 'should' give me a sick note. Pointing out that actually that's up to his professional judgement and I have no influence did not seem to go over well.
Also, not sure why a DEA would have no idea about disability premiums for either Jobseeker's or ESA (the existence of, amount of, and criteria for...) and think it's rather poor that a *disability* adviser knows nothing about how out of work benefits work for disabled people. She's 'looking into' ESA and will phone me next week. Let joy be unconfined. I suspect they're going to try and force me onto ESA and I do not want to go. I will lsoe £30/week, be subject to abuse by ATOS and every other tosspot that comes along, and will have to get my doc to sign at least 13 weeks worht of sicknotes... how does that help - especially when I *am* capable of working, if someone would employ me? She tried to tell me it's OK because I could do work-related activity on ESA, don't see why I should be penalised £30/week because their system is disablist and not set up to deal with me.
Also wondering whether Govt realise that kicking people off ESA won't actually save them much money as long as they can appear to satisfy JSA conditions, due to ~£30/week disability premium applicable to JSA.
She also said I wouldn't be able to stay on Jobseeker's as I'm due to be referred to the 'Work Programme'. hmmph. I don't recall anything in my Jobseeker's agreement or in the rules I was given that specifically says I cannot get JSA if I cannot get out of the house to the Jobcentre...
Remploy are one of the Work Programme providers. They were crap last time I went to them on FND, in their office that is up two flights of stairs with no lift, and their staff who threatened to sanction me because I couldn't climb the stairs. I doubt they've suddenly got more useful. Currently wondering if I can refuse to attend Work Prog if I can show it won't be beneficial. (ie, CV training and 'jobsearch sessions' just a bunch of unqualified amateurs trying to get people to take a job stacking shelves for min wage). Probably not.
If I get new house soon, won't matter. Might be able to get them to defer kicking me onto ESA or onto Work Prog with promise of new house, and then just keep JSA, snooze through Work Prog (bound to be completely rubbish and of less use than choc kettle) and keep looking for job?
Posted on 29/09/2011 7:47 AM
Sorry. Depressed, can't keep up. will do better when i can, soon, sorry.
death of beloved grandad from cancer imminent. he has pneumonia and was given 12hrs left at about 2130 last night. trying desperatly not to cry, and even more desperately not to feel like a complete <bleep> for not being there, but is over 100 miles away. cannot get there, really. Even if could, he wouldn't know i was there. mom saw him monday, says it's bad an will be better to remember him as himself, but choice is mine. know she's right but still feel evil.
***end of upseting info***
pfi team also been round today, prior appt that i didn't remem to cancel this morning.
pfi work starts 9 Jan, my house one of first so work to start mid Jan. cannot cope. noise, dirt, strange men invading house. refuge full of asb disableist hate crime commiting neighbours. only option decant to temp property, cannot take all my stuff, have to move back when done. move house twice in a month or so not really less stressful.
not putting up with pfi work if then move out and do not benefit from it. only hope is to get rehoused first, please, goddess, universe, please.
jobcentre disabilitty employment adviser called to do adviser interview today. was it really that difficult to arrange? will call back to complete tomorrow. coherency hard. not quite sure what she said. hope it was ok.
can't concentrate, brain in bits. keep hearing bloody chickens. why chickens? i almost preferred the terrifying auitory hallucinations. chickens stupid.
won discworld books in competition. arrived today. not all bad, must remember it's not all bad.
sorry ouchers, will try and be here better soon as i can. just a bad day.
Posted on 28/09/2011 8:57 AM
JCP manager just phoned back. It's the same
(I took yesterday off from all this because when I thought about it I wanted to kill someone).
I suggested a home visit as a reasonable adjustment. He offered me an appt 1330 tomorrow, I said I still could not attend and he said 'you don't know that, you might be able to tomorrow'. I said 'actually, yes, I do know, I won't be in accessible housing by tomorrow'.
He asked if my fiancé couldn't take some leave from work to bring me. I said no, what about a home visit.
He said no home visits. I tell him that I'm pretty sure outright refusing to consider a reasonable adjustment is against the Equality Act. I asked why no home visits, there was a pause, and he said it's Health and Safety (of course it is, you giant moron, I really believe *that*). I told him I've had a home visit before - when I had to see a compliance officer they insisted on visiting me at home, even though I was homeless at the time.
Compliance officer is a different job, he tells me - it's the adviser's job to see people in the Job Centre, it's not part of their job to do home visits. You have to come in, it's part of your agreement. I tell him *again* that I *can't* - not won't, not don't want to, not trying to avoid it, CAN'T. I also tell him that I do not appreciate having my nose rubbed in my limitations multiple times every time I'm speaking to him.
he told me it was an hour before my appointment 'and you're still in your apartment, right?'. I said yes. He said, you've not even tried to attend, have you even been to see if the door is open, or if anyone can open it for you? I told him it's on a return spring, it closes itself, sooner than I can get to it, and it's closed, I can see down the stairs from my front door, it is *closed*. He said I hadn't even tried to attend. Not 'have you?' but 'you haven't'.
I told him I wanted to speak to his manager, waited long enough for him to say 'yeah' and slammed the phone down. Not very adult, but neither is rubbing my face repeatedly in the fact that I'm trapped every time I speak to him.
God, I hope he ends up crippled and trapped in a system that wants to kill him. I've always said I wouldn't wish this on anyone - I've changed my mind. Excruciating pain, restricted mobility, inaccessible accomodation, discriminatory employers, and stupid, rulebound, inhumane, taunting jobcentre staff, he deserves the lot. And I hope he *looks* like there's nothing wrong with him. Let him have that hell, too. Let him have all the abuse and the taunting and the shame of saying 'I can't' and being called lazy, scrounger, cheat. All the while the pain is trying to eat him from the inside out and the idiot bureaucrats are trying to crush him from the outside in.
Even then, he's so stupidly arrogant and self-centred that I doubt it would dawn on him that he's getting what he gave out.
's manager. Speaks English, sounds older than 12, doesn't appear to have Ali G's attitude. It's a start.
Told him will be submitting complaint about
manager's attitude, (lack of) manners, and the fact he sees fit to make me state every few seconds that I am trapped and cannot even leave the house alone, and I have no-one to help me. Asked to put it in writing. More bloody letters to write, lovely.
Told him cannot attend - not will not, cannot. Told him asked for home visit,
manager refused flat out to even consider it, this is agains EqAct and breaking law. He said recent change in law, not familiar with current rules, cannot comment. 'Historically' have not done home visits.
He pointed out JSAg, availability concerns. I told him telephone/webconference interviews, Access to Work for both interviews and job, but A2W will not help me get to JCP.
He said he needs to ask his manager and poss an independent decision maker about reasonable adjustments, home visits, availability.
In mean time, will arrange postal signing, ask disability employment adviser to call, poss to do adviser interview, poss over phone (resisted urge to scream *that's what I asked for in the bloody first place you complete morons!*, go me), and adviser interview is otherwise 'on hold' until a decision has been made.
Seriously, couldn't they have skipped the insults and the harrassment and the making me repeat, over and over again, how limited I am, and just bloody done this in the first place - postal signing, adviser interview on hold, decision referred to people who actually have the power to make it, and speak to DEA in case she has any good ideas?
They are seriously bloody stupid over there. How hard was it, really, in the end? And they cause all that fuss and hurt and
World would be a better place without
manager, though. We shall henceforth refer to him as Shazam, because he thinks I can vanish my houseboundness like *that* if he asks often enough.
At least Shazam's manager isn't a complete idiot. And at least he knows when to put things on hold and pass the buck.
Posted on 28/09/2011 8:17 AM
Loopy - [EDITED] I said something snappy and really not that nice. I know you're trying to help me, which is why I've edited - it's not fair to take my frustrations out on you.
However, what they should/shouldn't and can/can't do, bear very little relation to what they do and don't do. I can't change that. I know they're breaking the rules, I've tried to make them obey the rules, I can't. I'm not going into all the hows and why of it because it makes me too angry.
I'm trying to phrase this as a polite request - please don't tell me they're not doing it right, and how they should be doing it, like that will fix it. I know, and it doesn't make any difference. I hope this doesn't sound too mean - I don't mean it too, but I'm angry and struggling to control my temper. I'm sorry if this, or what I wrote before if you saw it, hurts/upsets you.
Door is only one problem, others would still leave flat unsuitable and require rehousing now/soon, so another reason they won't sort out door.
Even if they sorted the door, the stairs are still an issue, and becoming more so. They will not consider a stairlift, it would be vandalised in under ten minutes. The construction of the walls means that grab rails cannot be fixed in appropriate places - it's all plaster board, so they have to go through a stud instead of where they're actually needed.
There isn't enough room for a bath lift, or a perching stool, or a trolley to help me carry things about, or a seat in the bathroom. The building is on a pedestrianised walk, the nearest street has school markings on it so I can't park there, the next nearest street is about to be dug up for three months, the next nearest street is where people let your tyres down for parking in 'their' spot.
Just fixing the door would be a very temporary fix, which is another reason they won't do it. I don't appreciate that one but from a fiscal point of view it makes sense. What doesn't make sense is that having refused to fix the problem temporarily they won't speed up the rehousing process, and again I cannot change that, I really have tried and I Can't.
Thank you FS. You're a star.
Posted on 28/09/2011 7:58 AM
Kizzy, IronicJohn, thanks for tolerating my potty mouth *blushes*. Whether the situation calls for it or not I shouldn't have let rip in that language on here.
Sofie, I didn't even realise that 'adviser' appointments were different to signing on... goes to show how effective they are, eh? And also how well they explain their processes.
Deb - thanks for all that info, must have taken a while to put together!
Er, local council runs very few services for disabled people - the ones there are are for 'older' people (*grinds teeth at personal bugbear*) and an escort service is not among them. I had a quick ring of social services, and apparently to get that kind of thing you need to qualify for community care, qualify for and be willing to use direct payments/personal budget (can't remember which she said) and pay for it out of your care hours... *sighface*. When CPN reappears I am going to ask for a community care assessment, though. Does anyone know if you *have* to have personal care? Due to past experiences, frankly I would rather break my neck trying to wash myself or go dirty before I let a complete stranger do intimate tasks for me.
Re door opener - back when all this started, I had read a story in the housing assoc's glossy advertising waste-of-money brochure, that they'd just installed an auto door opener in a block where elderly residents were struggling with the door. Shortly after I mentioned it to someone during an enquiry, that disappeared from the website and I don't have a copy.
Blanket NO, from housing assoc and from community OT - both on grounds that they have blanket policy of not adapting communal areas, with the single exception of extra bannisters. I've also been told that it's too likely to be vandalised (true, but that's because housing assoc refuse to deal with ongoing ASB problem), that it's too expensive an adaptation for just one person (wasn't phrased quite like that but that was the info content of what they said), and that because my flat is unsuitable in other ways and I would need rehousing because of them soon anyway it wasn't worth doing in the meantime and I should just apply for rehousing now.
I've had this from Repairs dept at housing assoc, repairs manager, adaptations supervisor, adaptations manager, and their own 'trusted assessor' (who told me he was a plumber who'd done a 1-day course). From community OT, I've had a trusted assessor, a senior OT and a manger, and was supposed to be being referred to their specialist 'housing' OT (I would've though they *all* needed to specialise in housing for a community OT team...) but that was downgraded to 'I'll phone her and let you know what she says' and has since dropped off the map.
They all insist there is no appeal, there's no exemption from the 'don't adapt communal areas' policy, and frankly they've all started avoiding me. They don't answer emails or letters, aren't in when I ring, and do not return phone calls or voicemails.
I've tried my housing association's complaints process before (when they were an ALMO). I sent in my first complaint in Feb 10. Got a reply which basically said 'no, we didn't', and went to stage 2 of complaint process. They'd miss the deadline they set, and then wait til I rang to chase it and ask for an extension - delay was usually said to be a result of staff members on 'planned leave'. This happened three or four times during stage 2&3. Eventually got a paltry compensation offer, while problems were still not fixed, and it was 'without fault' too, so went to Ombudsman in ~Aug 10. One guy dealing with it left halfway through, the lady who took over is almost ready to make a provisional decision. It's taken 18 months to deal with a farily simple complaint and I have had to chase it every single inch of the way. It's become the sort of nightmare that no amount compensation will ever be able to rectify, really.
Will look at Shelter leaflet. It's a bit complicated because my landlord was the Council's housing dept, then an ALMO, and after a stock transfer is now a RSL, but I don't *think* my building was part of the stock transfer... and of course no-one will ever tell you what's happening/the truth.
On the Human Rights/Equality Act - all that happens if I suggest to landlord they are breaching these laws and need to do something about it is they go 'No we're not, try and prove it' because they know I can't afford a lawyer :(
I've looked at Law Centres before, just never had spoons. Are they really mean and complicated and scary, or are they likely to accept that both brain and body are somewhat b0rk3d and patience is needed? Also, will they charge me money? Would they be able to help with aforementioned landlordly stance of 'oh, are we breaking the law? PROVE IT.'?
I don't feel guilty about not voting for MP last time - I'm torn about next time, because while he actually seems quite excellent his party is <bleep>. If he were Green or independent, I'd totally vote for him.
Hoss - go ahead, tell him. He's about twelve and doesn't listen very well though, so you might want to stick with smaller words. Honestly, most of the Oldhamers I know think he's a joke... he just doesn't seemed to have realised yet that people are mostly just going 'yeah, yeah' and patting him on the head. This 'co-operative council' buzzword of his is frankly just annoying, especially as he doesn't seem to be able to define it for anyone - if you ask, you get a string of buzzwords and meaningless management-speak that has zero actual information content.
His positive is that he's starting with Oldham, so he's unlikely to manage to make it worse... there again, it was while he was leader that someone was told in the Civic centre that, during the standard indeterminate hours-long wait, she could breastfeed her baby in the toilets, or she could try it in a corner and be kicked out because the Muslims might find it offensive. That should tell you everything you need to know about Oldham Council...
Hurtyback, I survive by lists. When I was working, people used to joke that if they could feed my lists into the computer I wouldn't need to come in at all :) Mind you, when your memory's got this many holes in... Oddly the lists actually helped me survive the psychosis as well. I used to have lists in each room of everything that I needed to know was in it.. everything else could be safely ignored. Self-care lists, med lists, eating and drinking lists... my phone was the most useful thing ever, because not only could I make a list, I could make it go 'beep' at specified times or intervals :D
To be fair, Oldham probably isn't quite as bad as I'm painting it. It's just that it's about the worst possible place to be highly non-conformist that I have ever seen... and while its public services and local amenities are completely rubbish, they seem even worse after living in a city for five years with the world on my doorstep and three universities in town... I'm trying to be kind, but honestly it really is a hole in the floor and it's getting worse.
Suessad, I've often wished I could go out and collect or purchase extra spoons. Like you can batteries. It's be lovely... expensive, but lovely :D Thanks for the good wishes.
Posted on 28/09/2011 7:10 AM
Just a quicky before I catch up with what everyone's been posting (and thank you all so so much for the ongoing support, it means the world to me).
I have just rung JCP to tell them, no, I cannot attend my adviser appointment today, as I still cannot open the door.
I have found a nice, caring, sympathic person who works there. My eyeballs nearly fell out of my face.
He answered the phone, and I said I couldn't attend my appointment today because a combination of my disability and the door mean I still cannot get out of the house. I think he misunderstood slightly, and thought I was trapped because the door was in some way malfunctioning.
He asked if I wanted him to ring the Fire Brigade to come and rescue me.
Bless him, his first thought was about how to help me, not about my jobcentre interview.
I explained a bit, and he asked if I needed him to call social services, and how was I managing for food and the like.
I could have hugged him to death. Faced with that problem, his first thought wasn't 'but it doesn't fit in a box on the computer system' but 'I wonder how she's getting food and things if she can't get out?'
What a truly lovely human being. I wish we could clone him.
Eventually concluded that as I can only have a limited number of 'domestic emergencies' per year, according to the computer, and this is going to be ongoing for an unspecified length of time, he didn't have a way to deal with it and would pass it up the chain for a manager to call me back.
Lovely, lovely person. Kind, caring, generous human being. I am amazed. That one simple kindness - putting my welfare ahead of the computer's demands that I fit in a box - has made me feel like I actually count as a person again. And sob like a wee tiny child of course, but pretty much everything makes me do that at the moment.
Just when I finally conclude the place is staffed with sociopaths, as well, eh?! Apparently the universe never loses the capacity to surprise you..
Posted on 26/09/2011 12:52 PM
Sunshine, I've got rid of the swearing. I didn't want to upset anyone, and I'll try and keep it under control in future. I can always tell the hamster what
s they are :D. I'm sorry for not thinking about it, though, I really am terribly foul-mouthed sometimes. If I've upset anyone by my language, I do sincerely apologise, and I will try to do better in future (although I may overuse that smiley!).
Hoss, thanks so much. Poor Mr Meacher... I hope he survived and hasn't been left too suicidal.
I've kept the best notes I can as well - not perfect, but pretty good. Will keep on recording all that goes on in one format or another. I think I may have something else underway which may tip this in my favour - may I PM you? Don't want to tip off the enemy :D
I will ring on Wed as instructed, and after getting in the bit about availability for interviews and telephone/reasonable adjustments/access to work, will ask for a home visit - DavidG suggested it on Twitter, I said I didn't want the scumbags in my home, but thinking on it I need the money. I feel like such a hoor, sometimes. And if they can do it as a matter of course for 'compliance' visits...
Excuses should be interesting at least... I've been thinking about it and surely it's reasonable on resources when the organisation in question is the DWP? We'll see. Feel much better now I have the semblance of a plan, so thank you so so much to all you lovely lovely people for spoon feeding me the ideas and knowledge I need.
Another reason I'm determined to keep documenting this here, in public, as much as possible - when I've googled various combinations of 'Jobseeker's' 'Jobcentre' 'sign on' 'housebound' etc, there's nothing. If they ever try and do this to someone else, I want that person to know exactly how to fight it. I don't ever want them to get away with hurting someone else like they're hurting me now. And, despite what they'd tell you, they *are* hurting me - I know there have to be rules, and the Jobcentre and the housing have seperate remits and whatever else - but surely there's a point where common sense should override it and they should all get together to sort it out?
Pinkandpurple - thanks, good wishes are most appreciated.
- get Lovely Fiancé to write letter about how terribly unfair it is to place burden of care on him by denying timely access to suitable housing.
- get him to write nother letter about how JCP cannot assume he is available to take me to their appts and how he resents the manager trying to imply he doesn't care for me if he won't or can't do it
- ask LF what he thinks about carer's assessment
- ask CPN for community care assessment for me and carer's assessment for partner
- ask CPN for letter from her to housing, from her to JCP, from psych to housing, from psych to JCP
(I text her asking for her to see me, saying I wasn't coping well. I almost never do that, so she should realise it's a big problem not a little one).
Collect notes together and try and collate into coherent whole
- BBC Ouch
- Paper notes
- Previous complaints/digital notes on comp.
- get back in touch with MP about recent developments w/JCP
- ring about not attending appt
- inform of availability for interviews - telephone/web conference/access to work
- ask for reasonable adj of home visit for adviser appointment
--- postal signing for normal appts
--- manager said adviser appts were 'occasionally'
- PFI meeting (sighface)
Deep breath. I can do this. They are *not* going to beat me, that is unthinkable.
Posted on 26/09/2011 12:30 PM
Deus, we reckon we'd need a cutting torch to get it off the door - all the mechanisms are inside a steel box rivited onto the door. Only other way would be to saw through the arm. Problem is, couldn't do it quickly, and neighbours'd shop us to the police/housing office.
Sofie, apparently an 'adviser appointment' is different from just normal signing on. Although the little
couldn't tell me what was different about it, except that they might review your JSAg. And he couldn't tell me why that couldn't be done over the phone.
Oldtone, I'll get back in touch with MP's office tomorrow, phones just exhaust me because they make me so anxious :(
My previous complaint was addressed to 'The Manager, Jobcentre Plus' but it sounds like this litte twerp has been dealing with it - he's the manager for the section that includes my adviser. Surely it's bad practice for someone to investigate a complaint that is (partially) about themselves?
Pen, my MP is on it already, I'll update him tomorrow. I copied the original complaint to IDS, Grayling and Miller, and they have, surprise surprise, ignored me completely... I even sullied myself by couching it in terms of getting back to work as a disabled person to agree with their rhetoric. I might try a follow-up letter, but honestly I suspect they're going straight in the bin.
Prof Harrington I'm not sure about - he was recently in a paper - the Graun? - saying that it's not his place to tell politicians what to do, blah blah, he purposely doesn't have an opinion on whether ESA is a good idea, whether there are jobs for disabled people to go to, etc, etc... guy is a spineless little yes-man, from what I read. Sounds like even more of a waste of time than writing to IDS/Grayling/Miller - at least they have power to do something, it's just that they don't give a
. Harrington still doesn't give a
, but couldn't do anything if he did... probably just disclaim all interest on grounds it's JSA not ESA.
Sunshine Meadows, when I ring on Wed to tell them, surprise surprise, I still can't make it to the appointment, I'm going to tell them that I was challenged as to availability for interviews on Monday when I rang to attempt to arrange a reasonable adjustment, and I've since ascertained that I may be able to ask an employer to conduct intial interviews by telephone or web conference as a reasonable adjustment, and that if that was not possible I could apply to Access to Work for assistance to attend the interview so I am still available for and actively seeking work. I'm also going to ask them to confirm that they have heard that, understood it and have noted it on my records with today's date, and am going to note their name.
Just for when the slimy
manager sanctions me on grounds of availability...
Honestly, Oldham as a whole is completely dreadful. It'd help if people from round here stopped marrying their cousins, I think.
Nothing but chavs of one kind or another, racists of every skin tone, and god help you if you don't fit the stereotype. When I first had to come back here, I was getting abuse and threats and physically pushed around every time I went into town - because I had a lip ring, and an unusual ear piercing, and was wearing a pair of New Rocks. Kids used to follow me down the street throwing stones and screaming.
I'd forgotten why it took me until I moved to a city for uni to really learn to be myself... I remember now, definitely.
I have regular arguments with the council because emptying the recycling bins once a fortnight is too challenging. It took me almost a year to get them to give me a recycling bin, despite them displaying posters saying 'Every citizen of Oldham has recycling facilities!'.
The CAB favour the trial-by-endurance method of making an appointment, and then forget about you. They can't help anyway, because if the Council tell them 'no' they refuse to argue.
Remploy - *Remploy*, of all people, run a Jobcentre program in an inaccessible office (stairs, no lift). The Jobcentre is surrounded by people smoking, always tobacco, usually weed, and occasionally crack and you have to walk through this miasma to get in. The security guards will manhandle you if you happen to have a mobile phone in your hand, even if all you're doing is entering your next appointment into your calendar as you leave.
There's no cinema, one small theatre which is utterly dire apart from the yearly pantomime, and Pizza Hut is considered a 'restaurant'. The swimming pool may or may not be accessible - the staff don't know, won't find out, and won't let me in to look unless I pay the £4 fee which will not be refunded if I find out I can't use it. The library is full of unlabelled shelves, the books are shelved in some arcane sequence which is unrelated to their author's last name, and it is the 'right' of the chav gits to play so-called 'music' on their phone speakers in the library. There's also a percussion band that practices in there on Tuesday nights. I eventually found the books on dressmaking shelved under 'DIY', and the books on crochet under 'Antiques'. The library staff insist they are perfect, and so is their organisation.
Honestly, this place would be improved, vastly, by some sort of natural disaster that left nothing but a smoking crater... it tells you something that when I moved into a scummy part of Toxteth, renting from a dealer, I was ashamed to tell him where I came from.
Laughably, we do, though, have a Tourist Information Office. I personally think it could be replaced by a large sign saying 'Run while you still can! No, really, we're serious! RUN!'.
I miss Liverpool. I miss being able to leave the house in something other than a tracksuit without being abused. I miss buses that didn't smell like fish. And people who, while drugged up to the eyeballs, didn't particularly want to kill you and wreck your house. I miss living in what was considered a rubbish neighbourhood, where nonetheless, men (usually scary and probably criminal) would offer to help me up the hill with shopping. I miss living somewhere where actual human beings weren't in a vanishing minority compared to these... heartless selfish scum.
Posted on 26/09/2011 10:51 AM
sorry, sorry, sorry, i got completely carried away and forgot not everyone is as foul-mouthed as i am.
is it OK with the triangle and stuff or do you want me to take it out?
Posted on 26/09/2011 8:50 AM
sobbing, shaking with rage.
spoke to JCP manager. slightly paraphrased convo -
=====================================defensive - we've got 15 days to respond to complaint
yes, but I asked for interim arrangement re: signing, heard nothing, got appt to sign on Wed.can offer postal signing in future -
hang on, I spoke to you in person last time, and you said not possible to sign by post, phone or email.isn't for next appointment, it's an 'adviser appointment'
what's the difference?you have to be physically present for an adviser appt.
but why?it's the rules.
but what is the reason?it's the rules, the guidelines say so
that's not a reason. why can't it be done over the phone?because the guidelines say so - can't you friends/family help? [exhaustive questions about personal routines of friends and fam]
so you're demanding I impose on my friends and family when you won't even tell me why I need to be physically there?it's not an imposition, your friends and family will be happy to help, they won't see it like that
I'm glad you can read their minds, that must be very useful for you. NO, MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY CANNOT GET ME THERE.oh, but you might find a way by Wed, if you can't, we'll rearrange it.
but I still won't be able to get there. but you have to be there it's the rules.
why do I need to be there?it's the rules
can I speak to someone who can actually answer my question?we're going round in circles, if you don't understand it I can get someone else to explain it to you different [grammer fail is JCP's own]
actually, I understand what you've said perfectly, I just don't consider it answers my question.if you had an interview on Thurs, how would you get there?
I don't know, but as I haven't had an interview in several months, it's unlikely.But if you did, how would you get there?
I don't know.See, there's a doubt now about your claim, about your availability cos you couldn't get to the interview
Because of the doorYeah, but it's not my job to rehouse you..
Yes, I know. It is your job to make reasonable adjustments for me while I get suitable housing, thoughI told you you can sign by post..
Yes, but not for this interview and you won't tell me why.We're going round in circles, it's the rules
But it's OK for you to say to me that I can't cancel my appointment til the day of, because I might suddenly be able to get there, and if I cancel I must rearrange because I *might* be able to get to the next one, but not OK for me to give you the same answer about interviews?You'll just have to ring on Wed if you can't get here, you should get the complaint reply in a couple of days. BYE.
I absolutely cannot tell you how much his attitue stunk. Typical young-asian-male 'i is better dan you, innit' shit. I could break his nose so happily right now.
And I'm even more
because I just thought, I could have told him Access to Work would probably help me get to an interview.
. I am seriously, seriously shaking. I bet he's off to apply
ing sanctions now because there's 'doubt' about my availability. Little bastard, they only get into that job because they can use it to kick people while they're down.
I love the way it's OK for the JCP to say I might magically find the ability to get to appointments at the last minute, but not for me to say that about interviews.
I hope he chokes on his
ing attitude, I really do. Either that or he does that to someone face to face and they beat the living crap out of him. Let him find out how it feels to be physically unable to do what you need to, and some smug, stupid, evil jobsworth sit there telling him 'it's the rules'.
I can't take this. They're just going to keep on until they
ing kill me, I should have known better.
Posted on 26/09/2011 7:11 AM
sofie, I honestly don't think he'd agree to one. I'll ask him, though.
He kept asking me last night if I really actually couldn't get out of the house on my own. I felt really awful for wanting to smack him after the first couple of times. :( I would never ever hurt him, but I don't like even thinking about it.
Posted on 26/09/2011 7:09 AM
Finally got hold of JCP.
I had to give my name, NI number, phone number, and reason for calling before she offered to get a manager to 'call me back'. I told them I'd heard that one before and it results in nothing happening. 'But he's not at his desk...!' Oh, quel surprise! I managed to extract a direct phone number for the manager before she said he'd call me back, 'probably' this afternoon.
Unfortunately, she doesn't know I've figured out that 'probably this afternoon' is JCP code for **** off, we're never going to talk to you.
So I'll give it an hour, hope he reappears from reading in the loo or whatever other sterling work he's doing reducing the country's unemployment figures, and ring again.
And they honestly seem to wonder why the 'customers' are angry...
Posted on 26/09/2011 6:55 AM
Reply to stalwart (26/09/2011 1:24 PM)
Jamielicious, they say that Support Services are for vulnerable people.
Disabled people are classed as being vulnerable. (Perhaps someone should tell them)
That's why having an age limit is stupid, all they have to do make bungalows etc for the elderly (65+say) and disabled.
As for "adaptations" they don't pay for them, an ot assesses your needs and then applies for a grant.
They say 'vulnerable'... but if you ask to apply, one of their eligibility criteria is 'over 60'.
Cos apparently no-one else is vulnerable.
I know they don't pay for them, but they act like bloody martyrs all through the process, and it is their own staff who usually install them - you'd think they were being forced to spend their kids' food money on them, the way they act.