I missed my welfare appointment. Now, I must pay the consequences! In order to stay on welfare I have to participate in this jobWave Program. I wrote about it on an earlier post.
After the initial group intake meeting, I had another meeting with a job counsellor who basically went down a laundry list of questions about my “barriers to employment” including rather probing questions about childhood abuse.
She then booked me another appointment, with another job counsellor. But alas, I missed that appointment. I thought maybe I’d call them, they’d maybe rebook it and we’d go from there.
I get two angry, hasty messages on my voice mail telling me to call Job Wave back and then I get a letter informing me that I have to attend something called “Reconnect,” which is basically one of their code words for “getting back in touch” with people who’ve they’ve lost contact with.
Five people show up for Reconnect. It’s a group meeting that last for about an hour. It’s basically an hour of this woman talking down to us like errant children. It was degrading. The woman was this bleached-blonde forty-something year old with a heavy smoker’s voice and big earrings. She would not be out of place at a biker bar in Nanaimo.
She kinda looked like this:
She gave this annoying lecture about the importance of being on time. “There’s no excuse not to be late,” she says. “I’m surprised at how many people here come late. We never have this problem at the Surrey office. People are on time there. If you’re gonna be late, take an earlier bus.”
I had only been to two previous JobWave appointments – and I’d never been late to one. I missed one, but I wasn’t late.
She then goes on about the rules of the program, I should mention this had all been discussed at a previous group meeting. She goes on about how we won’t get very far if we tell her “F you and F that” and that looking up photos of bikini-clad women on the computers was not okay.
She droned on about the rules of JobWave, why they were important in the most condescending, belittling tone imaginable. I really got the sense that she felt superior to us because she had a job, and we didn’t.
She exhibited no respect for our personal situations and made no attempt whatsoever to engage us.
In fact, I didn’t say one word during the whole meeting. She didn’t know a damn thing about me, but she assumed so much.
I didn’t want to be there, but I had to or I’d get kicked off welfare, so I sat through it. I didn’t speak or make any eye contact with her. I was as sombre as a stone.
She then had us fill out all this annoying paperwork that they had made us go through on our first group meeting. And she spent about five minutes explaining each question and how to answer it.
After being force fed her horse shit, she gave us this piece of paper that we had to fill out that included questions such as “What do you do for your health?” and “what did you do for fun this week?” We have to bring that piece of paper back next Tuesday at 1:30 and then attend another group meeting called “Touch Back” which sounds like another horse shit group interview session. After that we’ll get individual appointments with the very underwhelming career counsellors who’ll prod us about our histories of abuse and so forth.
Err… uhm… don’t miss your appointments!