Slow and Steady

My work directions interview aka A waste of my bloody time!/ wl diary day 22

Posted on: June 8, 2009

Today I had to go to an interview organised by the job centre called pathways to work. Now, I phoned them last week and queried whether I needed to go, as I’m not actually receiving ESA, and doubt that I will for the moment as my employer is paying me.

They insisted that I had to so off I went this morning. There was 14 of us in the room. 2 people standing at the front, one was from the job centre and the other was from Work Directions which is the name of the company that the job centre works with.

The job centre guy briefly outlined the morning and said he was going to talk for a while, then the other person would talk and then we’d have 1 to 1 sessions.

He explained that Work Directions is a private company that work closely with Job Centre Plus, to get people on health related benefits to consider going back to work. He said over the last 6 months they’ve managed to help 700 people back into employment.

He said that as we receive health related benefits, we have to attend 6 mandatory interviews, this being the first and then the other 5 would be once a month and 1 to 1. He said that the next interview would set up an action plan for the following months, and that they would be about 45 minutes long.

He added that failure to attend would result in your benefits being stopped.

Then the Work Directions person started talking and asked us to name reasons why we couldn’t work and then started saying how Work Directions can help in each area. They have a programme called the Condition management programme that can sort out a diet plan for you, pilates sessions, an exercise plan with a physio. They can help with your CV and give you interview techniques training.

Then it all started to unravel.

As soon as she asked for questions she was bombarded by 2 people who were furious that they had been asked to attend. They asked her who her company thought they were, and if the doctor has signed us sick who are they to say otherwise.

Then a woman started saying how the journey left her in pain, and that she can’t afford it. The woman said they would help with travel costs, but the woman just shut her down by saying that couldn’t take the pain away.

The WD person started talking about help from a physio, and again got told off by the the man who asked her if she thinks her physio is better than the one he’s been seeing.

She then started talking about statistics, and the woman told her that statistics can be manipulated .

Between those 2 people, they tore down every point that was presented. I felt like I was watching Jeremy Kyle!

The best bit was when the lady was talking about ‘moving out of your comfort zone’ and finding a job in a different field. The man asked about retraining and she admitted that they didn’t have a training budget, he said ‘so you’re telling me I have to come here for you to tell me what my doctor and physio has already told you, come up with some action plan that can’t be carried out cause you can’t pay for my training?’. I couldn’t stop laughing.

I felt quite sorry for the woman presenting, only for a bit though, because she was actually very patronising. We were given a handout on their services and case studies. To be honest some of the workshops looked good, and I would definitely utilise them if they were closer to my home.

There are opportunities to improve your well being and I think that should be applauded, I think the problem is forcing people to do so. I can understand why they do so though because lets face it, there are people taking liberties with the system. It’s just a shame that people who are genuinely ill are being penalised.

The argumentative two did have good points, but arguing with the messenger wasn’t going to solve anything and all it did was extend the time that we were there. We were only supposed to be there for an hour, but it was closer to 2.

The one thing that they asked which I thought was a good question was what happens if you go through the mandatory interviews and still are not able to work afterwards. The answer was that you are left alone for 18 months and then they start the process again.

What if you have a degenerative condition? The problem I’m finding with these schemes set up by the government is that they do not look case by case. They tend to stick to the same hymn sheet for everyone. The pain clinic was exactly the same, even though our pains were all really different we were treated the same when it was simply inappropriate in certain cases.

In the one to one interview, I said I didn’t know why I was there and explained my situation. The woman said that she didn’t know why I was there either and gave me a number to ring which I shall do tomorrow. I was so pissed off I forgot to ask for reimbursement. I’ll have to do that, £37 it cost me in travel costs.


I was supposed to weigh in today, but I had to leave for the interview before my pharmacy opened.

I didn’t do any exercise today. My mum was really ill last night and I was up all night with her, and am in pain today. I didn’t have the energy to cook when I got in from the interview either. I’m really looking forward to sleeping now. Hopefully they’ll be no interruptions, and tomorrow I can start afresh. I’m going to go to the pool tomorrow for my exercises.




Leftover mackerel in a sandwich with olives, peppers and tomatoes.


Slice of cake from my mum’s church sister.


5 Responses to "My work directions interview aka A waste of my bloody time!/ wl diary day 22"

Oh Lordy! What a nightmare!!! I hope your mum is still remaining getting better and that you’ve caught up on your sleep pet.

Re Pathways to work…last time I went onto benefits..I got the letter in to go to Job Centre. I called and explained that I was still employed and they said..nps just leave it then.
This time, after not being back on incap benefit for long,I got letter in to attend Pathways to work interview. I tried to get out of it, saying still employed etc..but a man had said they had their targets etc and I really should speak to the woman who had written to me..erm I did phone the number on the letter headed paper signed by her!

So then I go through to said lady..and changed the appt from something silly like 9am to 3pm the following week. I did most of the talking and she said “you’ve covered nearly everything I was going to tell you” I mentioned I’d contacted the college and found out about other things. I was walking bad that day and had my stick with me. We sat *me uncomfortable in the chair,constantly moving around..her asking me if I was ok..and me saying I’ll cope ARGH* and then to finalise she said..normally it would have affected your benefits if you didn’t attend, hence why she felt it best I came along.

She said normally there would be another 5 sessions..but she was happy with us just having the one *thank god*. She gave me the number to contact re blue badge .. should get that soon:-) and numbers for the ILA *the budget you get for learning something new..if you are on benefits or earning under 18k a year. They give you £200 atm..but it goes up to £500 in does the amount of what you best to wait till end July, for anyone interested in that.

I’ve given the English details to this blogs owner. Also at college, the other day.. I signed up to 2 distance learning courses and had my interview for HNC HRM *Human Resource Management. After it you can get into 2nd year at uni for a BA hons! OOOH does that mean I can letters after my name?!! How exciting lol!

Now incap/b and income support give it to you for free..saving an absolute fortune…but I said what if I end up back at work…do I have to pay the diff…yes would be the answer normally..but she said as long as u get awarded ur DLA again then that covers it for you too *for free* u can work and get course free. The college were very helpful for any special needs re seating etc etc that I may need.

Thank goodness I didn’t get through the audition the other day. It runs on Wed Nights. The college course will be for 2 years between 6-9pm on Tuesdays and Wed’s. I would have picked College over the other. I have been told they see no reason why I wont get through but their comments and my paperwork needs to go to the top man..and I should hopefully get a letter out next week..fingers crossed.


Then I’m starting my Introduction to Training – 9 week distance learning course, based on one hour per week and also..boring *but I feel essential for my future* book keeping 9 week course, based on 1 hour per week! tumi is a lot better, thank goodness…really thot i’d have to phone nhs24 yesterday:-( felt so bad:-( however I’ve not slept well and have to get up later to get out and do things. I got up and took an anti histamin *cant spell*..and then went…I blooming wanted a sleeping pill!

ALSO whilst first off on benefits, last time, I called tax credits and gave them figures from slips I had, over phone…within a few days I had cheque for a little under 1k! I’m now scared to phone them in case they want that back lol…but perhaps you could try phoning them once/if you get onto benefits..because you will only have been getting basic pay and then onto benefits. They are quick to take money from people but I didn’t think they would be so quick to send money out.

Also very important to keep in touch with Inland Revenue to see if any refunds due. I got 2 refunds when I went back to the ground…and my feb pay packet there, should have had nowt on it..but I had £100plus tax refund. These are the things others don’t tell u! Also remind about subs for u know who coming up to time off your wage stopping…so u can keep a member for only £1.09 per month, direct debit. Hope that makes sense…

OH btw… you must try out your local Morrisons..That’s where I have totally sussed out their whoopsies. Things between 9 – 15 pence. The other day I got goat cheese, worth £3.49 for 9p. My daily meals are working out around 30p-50p per day dependant what I have!!! I had tofu last night for the first time and special friend egg rice with prawns. Altogether, separate items should have been 2 x tofu £1.99 each – 15pence each and the rice – £1.79- got for 15pence! So eg that meal would have cost just short of £6 and cost me 45pence!!! Morrisons,I’ve noticed .. here anyways are really still very good with their whoopsies! right

I’ll clear off now. You behave yourself lol. Did you watch Dvd yet? Thanku once again for your mail,yesterday. Lots of Love Miss LL xxxxxx

*special fried (not friend) rice lol!!!

Hiya Miss LL!

I’ve edited your message to break it up a bit so it’s easier to read.
I’m wondering if your rules up there are different, because the colleges I’ve spoken to do not accept DLA as a benefit to get discount from because it’s not income related.

Sounds like your job centre is a lot less stringent than the one down here.

Yes HRM means you have letters after your name. My friend who you met at my house has that and has worked for some really big companies, you can pm her and I’m sure she’ll be glad to answer any questions you have about the field.

Congrats on the courses! See everything happens for a reason my love. I’d love more info on distance learning. I really do not think I’m well enough to go to a class yet.

I’m sorry you had to phone nhs direct, are you better? How did you find them? The last time I had to ring them they were lovely! This one particular woman didn’t want me to get off the phone. I think because I sound quite young, and was upset AND in the house alone, she felt sorry for me.

Good to know about the tax credit thing, thanks love.

I keep asking *nonamesmentioned* about setting up a direct debit, and they keep fobbing me off.

Your the 2nd person to tell me about Morrisons this week. I don’t have one anywhere near me though. Fab bargains, I’m quite jealous! I’ve manged to figure out the whoopsie section in Sainsburys, but I’m not sure of the time to go to get the best deals.

I popped in Somerfield the other day, and it is really expensive, but their whoopsies weren’t too bad. I may have to check it out again in the evening to see how much they go down to.

Mmm, you can make a onion and goats cheese tart. I made pastry the other day. A Delis recipe, no kneading and it was great!

Still haven’t watched the DVD yet. My laptop has now stopped playing DVDs. The poor thing is on it’s last legs, but I’m still not letting go!

Thank you for your comments love. You take care. x x x

Perhaps you should stop whinging and spend the time you spent on this website trying to get an actual job!

I’ve approved this comment because I wanted to show a couple of things
1. I’ll happily take any type of comments, good or bad.
2. How ignorant peoples minds operate. They look at an overview and not bother take the time to find out what is really going on.
If this person read the post, in fact even just the first paragraph, they’d know I’m employed. Ignorant people don’t let a silly thing like the truth get in the way of their ludicrous views!

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