03 April, 2008

Bureaucracy

I'm sitting here typing away at a computer as I develop a website as a part of a year long course at Padstow TAFE. For those who don't know what a TAFE is, it's a technical college.

The reasons why I'm doing this course are long and complicated, as are the reasons that I find myself writing this first post in my blog.

I'll try to sum things up in some short points.

  1. I am no longer employed by my former company, having lost my job in the week before Christmas 2007. (Describing the events around this could involve a long and complicated list of posts in itself, some of which would seethe with venom, while others would be insightful comments on the human nature, greed and ego.)
  2. Very shortly after I lost my job, I took up unemployment benefits knowing full well that Christmas is a difficult time to find employment. I had hoped to find something, or return to study if I had not.
  3. I started doing some casual work to help make ends meet around the house, while I frantically worked on some artworks and projects that have sat on the back-burner for far too long.
  4. After 3 months on unemployment benefits in Australia, a person has to start going to a job referral centre, or must pursue some means of self-improvement. After two months of unemployment, a new college semester was starting, so I chose to study Information Technology, specialising in Website Design.
  5. At this stage I was working casually 2 days per week and studying three days per week, yet I was still expected to look for work by the government division looking after unemployment benefits. 4 jobs a week, not too bad. I decided to look for work in the IT field to match my studies. I gave my relevant paperwork to the government unemployment office, who sent me to the job referral centre.
  6. I have now found myself in a position working for a company specialising in retail price ticketing, they generate self contained programs that provide full pricing solutions to stores. This job is fairly stable, 2 days per week, and between this and study I'm busy from Monday to Friday. I notified all the relevant people of this change as well.
  7. Three months have elapsed. The job referral centre has lost my paperwork proving that I now study. The government office says that I do not need to look for jobs, I merely need to inform the job referral centre of my change in circumstances.
  8. On Tuesday of this week I went to the job referral centre and they said that by studying I had met my obligations for social benefits. I should head to the government office. The office booked me in for an appointment this morning (Thursday) to take care of the details.
  9. This morning I headed in to the office to confirm what was happening. I was told that they couldn't help me and that I had to head back to the job referral centre as they were the only ones able to determine if my workload met certain eligibility requirements. I was told that I hadn't.
  10. Now I have to look for several jobs each week, I need to attend study, and I need to go to my casual job. Somehow I need to fit in interviews with the job referral centre, and need to make myself available if another job interview should come my way. Between study, work and other commitments, I now find myself occupied over 36 hours per week, earning barely a quarter of what I had earned in my previous job, where I was working about 38 hours per week.
I was told this morning that my case was complicated. Apparently, a person isn't supposed to improve themselves through study while doing some part time work on the side to make ends meet. I have to seriously wonder how "dole-bludgers" get away with abusing the system, when I'm trying to do the right thing and getting screwed from every angle.

At least I can get a bit of angst out through the blog.
Post a Comment