I was sitting in a photographer’s the other week, waiting to have my pics done…
And very funny they turned out to be, too. The photographs, that is.
But it’s not the photo shoot I want to tell you about; it’s the conversation between the business owner and someone at Job Centre Plus. I overheard half of the conversation and the rest was reported to me by the business owner…
And I can tell you, my gob was well and truly smacked.
Okay, some background. The business owner runs a couple of businesses from the same location and employs maybe 10 people – a real Bony Friday (bona fide) EB business. She was looking to take on another member of staff through one of the government schemes that are administered by Job Centre Plus.
She’d had a conversation with JCP already and they had agreed she was eligible for the scheme and so was the person she was about to interview. The interview had taken place, the candidate was suitable and so just a call to JCP to iron out the details was needed.
Here’s what I heard:
Business: So, we’d like to employ her and she can start on Monday. Can I offer her the placement?
JCP: Er… not sure.
Business: What do you mean ‘you’re not sure’?
JCP: Well, just that really. You need to speak a different department now that you’re ready to go ahead.
Business: Oh, okay… mildly annoying, but fine. Can I have their number please?
Business: What do you mean ‘no’? How can I speak to them if you won’t give me their number?
JCP: I can’t give you their number, they have to ring you.
Business: Oh, flipping heck. I want her to start Monday, it’s now Thursday. When will they call me?
JCP: Er… not sure.
Business: What do mean ‘you’re…’ Oh, never mind. When might they call me?
JCP: I don’t really know – within the next few days.
Business: Well, can I start my new person and we’ll do the paperwork retrospectively?
JCP: Oh, no. That’s definitely against the rules.
Business: Can I speak to your boss?
Business: Do you want me to employ this person or not?
JCP: Well, that’s your choice
I was outraged and so was the business owner. How can there by such a level of ‘jobsworth’ attitude when a) the economy needs employment b) unemployment in the 18-24 age range is massive and c) there was a genuine business need?
I ask you… if you want a job doing well, you have to do it yourself.
So the business owner did and told Job Centre Plus to get stuffed.