Are you looking for work or are you secretly a rich man and have no intention of getting a job? Maybe you are better off being unemployed due to a variety of benefits that you get for dependent family members, for example, and it would not be worth your while even trying to look for a job?
This situation is of course more widespread than many people realise but what about a single person fighting hard to get a job as his or her single person allowance cannot even feed them for a week, let alone all the other bills and costs that they have to find to survive everyday?
Can you imagine how offensive it must be to them when they are told they ‘must’ look for work everyday, they ‘must’ walk for miles each and everyday to find work, they ‘must’ spend money on travel costs and not food to find a job?
Being told such things when they are trying very hard already to get money coming in must seem like they are being judged as one of those who does not want a job and likes claiming benefits – would it not?
Maybe those at the job centre’s think these people are not aware that they must fight hard for a job, or maybe they think they enjoy living in poverty all the time and do not want to find a job? In any event, for those fighting every single day to get a job, being told what they must do is not only not needed but also somewhat patronising in the worst possible way – yes?
Have you ever been out of work? If you have and it was for more than a short period of time then you may have come across what I would describe as, unfair comments on your character, in various ways.
Sadly there are those who would steal rather than work for a living or would sooner find any reason at all to avoid going back into work again rather than take positive steps to get out of the benefit system so it is more than understandable to a degree to think that such people are idle minded, for example, but not everyone who is out of work thinks or behaves like that.
For those who work in job centres, or those who work in back to work programmes whose job it is to ensure that those out of work are doing all they can to find a job, will often be faced with job seekers who are clearly not making the effort and will often find excuses to avoid doing so.
Add to this situation that service providers and job centre staff are under a degree of pressure to meet their targets and get a result in getting people back into work again, then it is somewhat clear to see that such a situation will be a frustrating thing and even at times something of a burden to them when faced with such a task. It is understandable therefore that their attitude towards claimants at times will be somewhat negative in nature and even towards those who truly are trying their best to get themselves back into work again.
This situation is not helped at all however when we see documentaries and various other stories highlight the very real problem of benefit cheats and those who maybe are involved in various petty crimes to even outright fraud while claiming benefits.
It would be silly to think that benefit claimants are never involved in such things but the fact remains that there are those who, in some cases, only know such a lifestyle for a number of reasons and in some cases even prefer that lifestyle rather than work for a living but for most people, I hasten to add, such activities are never an option and they would rather starve to death that get involved in such things.
Sadly however for those who work in such an environment there is a great tendency at times to treat both those that avoid work and the genuine job seeker alike which all adds to the problems faced by those who are truly fighting hard to get a job and are trying their best to get out of living in poverty due to their situation.
It is bad enough for the genuine job seeker as it is when you take into account all the problems and barriers that they have to face every single day when it comes to finding a job but imagine how humiliating it is for them when they are not only treated as just another dole scrounger, or a benefit cheat, but also treated as a second class person for not having a job and being spoken down to in a patronising way by those who think themselves better than those out of work.
The problem that some unemployed people have to face, often on a regular basis, is that those who have a job, and in some cases those who work for the unemployment services, automatically think that if a person does not have a job then as a result of that situation they will have no money and therefore by default must be stealing or being fraudulent to overcome that situation on a regular basis. But of course that is never the case with the majority of people who struggle to make ends meet and will never think of such illegal activities as a viable option.
The mindset that some job centre staff, and back to work providers have of people looking for work, and the clear to see stigma that goes with it, often results in people who are out of work being spoken down to and treated with suspicion and even at times looked upon as being unworthy of simple common respect.
Being treated at times as untrustworthy, or even thought of as a common criminal to a degree, by the very people who are there to help them back into work again all adds to a negative attitude that can be very offensive to those trying their best to return to the workplace.
Of course no service provider would say such a thing is true, and for many service providers that is very much the case, but without realising it they themselves could also be guilty of such an attitude at times even if they are not aware of it themselves.
When faced with such an attitude from service providers claimants are often made to feel at the very least unworthy and even offended at times when being spoken down to as some common benefit cheat rather than being recognised as a person trying their best and of good character. The additional attitude by some service provider staff when it comes to them implying that the claimant is not just a benefit cheat but also idle minded all adds to the problem.
When a person who has not only worked all their lives, and maybe also in some cases held very high profile jobs such as management level positions or being their own boss are told they are idle, not worthy or not clever enough to be of any true value, and even an untrustworthy benefit scrounger, by some service providers with such a patronising attitude then is it any wonder that many former hardworking people who now find themselves out of work become angry and offended?
Sadly with some people choosing to avoid returning to the workplace, and even being involved in petty crime in some cases, the job centre adviser or unemployment service person will not always be able to spot the difference between those who are genuine and those who are simply playing the system.
This situation however could be better managed if such service providers took the time to look into, not only a person’s basic work history, but also the background details and positions held in the past, by the claimant, that covers not just what they did in the workplace but also what other things they may have done over the years and not just judge someone at face value alone.
Of course it is well noted, and very understandable, that job centre staff and service providers are somewhat limited, time-wise, when it comes to dealing with a never ending amount of people to see and deal with everyday but taking a bit of time to study each individual’s history and skills can make all the difference at times when it comes to helping them to get back into work again and it also helps them, to a degree, to also understand who comes from a working legitimate background and those who could be reluctant at finding a job of work again. Such an assessment of someone of course is not a perfect thing but it could help to a degree.
For the more mature person finding themselves looking for work again after many years holding down a high profile job or trusted to do a job of work that may have involved specialist skills, or a position of authority and trust, being treated in such a way by unemployment service providers who maybe were not even born when they did such work all adds to being offended and creating problems that will only make things worse and does nothing to help the job seeker to find a job again as a result.
There is, of course, nothing that can be done to rectify such a situation when it comes to human nature regarding a clash of personalities during regular meetings between an adviser and a job seeker but some time spent training staff, and making service providers more aware of this situation, will help to a degree and also help hopefully to avoid such negative or confrontational situations in the future.
Not everyone enjoys being unemployed and living on poverty level handouts all the time so rather than add to all the problems that the unemployed have to face why not just give a little respect when dealing with clients and be aware that they may have done some very important jobs in the past and not judge them on how you see them today. This is even more important to take into account when it comes to helping those of senior years.
A little bit of common courtesy and respect can often go a long way – more so for those who are now facing their final working years and have more experience, chances are, than the young person who is attempting to find them a job.