WINZ brings me back to "winning".

Today I had an appointment at WINZ. I can’t remember what they called it, but it was because I missed an employment workshop about a month ago, which I wrote down on the wrong day.

Doi.

Anyway, I rock up there explain what happened and they finally book me in for another employment workshop today.

So I waited around till 9.30 to attend. It was a lot of basic stuff that I already know, but it’s spurred me on.

The motivation is back to do stuff. If you get what I mean, to actually find a job, or at least find some more experience. If I’m writing, it’s only a matter of time till I get a job.

It’s what I love to do and nothing is going to stop me from doing it.

It’s funny how motivation kind of comes in waves. I’ve found over the last year and a bit that I will go through phases of having a huge amount of motivation, but it will slowly fade, then something will bring it back. Then the cycle repeats itself. Why can’t it just stick around? Or is that something I have to work on?

I’ve hummed and haaaed most of my life about what I wanted to do as a career. I felt I had to choose, there was so much pressure on me. But I’ve found what I want to do and I’m having trouble getting into it.

So, I’m just going to do it, whether I get paid or not. I kind of am doing it already with writing for Oh, The Scandal! But I need to do more.

Sure, I’ll keep applying for jobs that I see, but I need to get some more experience of just writing for a newspaper.

The plan: call them. There are plenty around Wellington and I’m living there currently.

Update: I wrote this a few hours ago and was undecided on whether I wanted to publish it as is, so left it for a bit. I changed a few things and now I can also say that I have another job interview on Monday. Yay!

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WINZ makes my head want to explode.

Being unemployed, you’ve got no income at all. You have to rely on Work and Income New Zealand and the unemployment benefit in order to afford even the simplest things. Even then, you don’t get a whole hell of a lot.

But, they can be the cause of many, many headaches.

I have a particular one going right now. I’m raging. Actually blind rage, because what they are asking me to do/telling me and what I have told them and done, just doesn’t add up.

From the beginning: I was on the sickness benefit because after all my university study I had very severe depression and needed a break. But at the start of May, my medical certificate ran out and my doctor wanted me to transition from the sickness to the unemployment. I did not question this, I was quite ready to get a job, beyond ready actually.

I had an appointment at the Flaxmere office, went through the unemployment seminar, which was actually a waste of time for me because it was all “where to find a job”. Yeah, I know where to do that. I then met with a case worker. I told her that there weren’t many opportunities for me in Hastings and that I was wanting to move to Wellington. Because of me wanting to move, they were not able to give me any benefit.

So I moved.

I then made an appointment at the Willis St office and again underwent an unemployment seminar and met with a case worker. Who, I might add, was a lot more understanding than the case worker I met with in Flaxmere. He actually understood that I had skills above physical labour and didn’t want to do any course for practical skills or retraining, because I already had them. He also saw that I had been applying for every and any job that I thought I could do. All of this I did tell the Flaxmere case worker, but she didn’t seem to understand me.

After my first appointment in Wellington, I had to go to a second one with a case worker in order to get the unemployment benefit. I did this the next week and I got my benefit.

This was a HUGE relief, because I also got back pay. By huge relief, think: at the extent of my overdraft starting to panic, relief.

Being on the unemployment benefit, you do have to meet certain requirements. I’m up for that. I’ve been applying for jobs left, right and centre. I just haven’t been getting anywhere with them, which really upsets me.

You also have to go to several employment seminars etc etc. So I had an appointment for one of these at the Wellington office. In a stupid silly mistake of mine, I missed this one. I thought it was on the Wednesday, not the Tuesday. For some reason I thought June 14 was the Wednesday, not the Tuesday. But once I realised my mistake, I called the 0800 number and explained the situation and asked whether I could book in for another one.

However, the guy that I was talking to said that this type of thing had to be booked through an office. I was ok with this, because I walk past the WINZ office quite regularly. It wouldn’t affect me much.

So the next day, I went into the Willis St office and explained the situation to the person on reception and again asked whether I could book for another one. At this point I was told that if I had missed it, someone would call me and that they couldn’t book it there.

Ok.

So I waited.

Earlier this week I finally got a phone call to re-book this appointment. Unfortunately because I am in Hastings for family obligations currently I couldn’t do it this week or next. I would also like to not have anything to do with the Flaxmere office ever again, because they actually make me feel worthless. So I have an appointment for July 12, when I am back in Wellington.

Now, this is where it starts to make me angry.

Dated June 16, that would be two days after I missed the Wellington appointment, I received a letter saying there was an appointment for me to discuss “Work and Training opportunities” at the Flaxmere office for June 22.

Naturally, being in Wellington, my mother called and canceled this appointment for me saying I had done what they told me and moved.

Another letter arrived, dated June 22, advising me that I had another appointment for the same thing on June 30, at the Flaxmere office.

Because my mother didn’t want to spend another 30 mins on hold to explain the situation she wrote on the letter, “You have already been advised that Lisa is now in Wellington. She has had several appointments at an office there. Please cancel,” and faxed it to the Flaxmere office.

Today I got another letter, dated June 29 saying that I failed to attend an appointment on June 28, to meet work obligations and did not carry out the agreed Job Search Activity. Subsequently, my benefit will reduce from next week.

Um, what?

As far as I am aware, I never had an appointment on June 28.

Other inconsistencies include:
Why are they making appointments for me at the FLAXMERE office, when I have been dealing with the WELLINGTON office to get my benefit and they know I have moved to Wellington.

Why did it take TWO WEEKS for someone to call me and reschedule my missed appointment, when I could have had the appointment re-booked the day of, or day after I had missed one? I put in the effort to rectify my mistake, and now I am been penalised for them making mistakes.

Yes, the first mistake was mine. I am not challenging that. I’m challenging everything that has come AFTER that.

It is not like I have been sitting around on my arse doing nothing. Since I got the unemployment benefit, I have had testing and an interview with Media Monitors, which I didn’t get because they said I wouldn’t fit with the team. As in, my personality wouldn’t fit with the team.

I also had testing with the Wellington Courts for potentially becoming a court reporter. However, I only managed to get to 65wpm on the test and they need at least 70wpm. Damn.

I did some contract work for the Department of Building and Housing.

I’ve also finished my photography diploma. That was A LOT of work.

I’ve also been applying for jobs, as you do when you are looking for a job.

And finally, I have been continuing to write for Oh, The Scandal!

Not that any of these are the employment seminars etc that you have to attend, but they have obviously missed something. LIKE THE FACT I NOW LIVE IN WELLINGTON.

Now, I could have actually gone to the June 30 appointment, because I was actually in Flaxmere at this time. But at the time of the letter, I did not know I was going to be here.

So now I have to call them on Monday to try and sort all this out. Taking up more of my time.
I tweeted earlier: “It’s like, how can they expect you to find time to look for a job, when you’re constantly fighting them?”

Maybe if they actually left me alone, I’d have found a job by now.

That might be a bit unlikely. For some reason no newspaper or media company wants to hire me. I do not know why. And I am getting forever more angry and frustrated about it all. I actually want to crawl in to a hole and forget this entire world exists.

I’d prefer to have nothing to do with WINZ, but alas, I need some money.

It’s June!? Yikes. An update.

I haven’t been feeling that great over the last few days, you can probably tell.

And, to a certain extent, I’m still not. I’m not really sure what causes it, it just happens.

Right now, my mood probably has a lot to do with the lack of job prospects. It’s hard to stay positive when one after the other, you get job rejection upon job rejection. Whether you have had the interview or whether you have applied for one that you really wanted and you got nowhere with it.

I’ve kind of been in that phase for a wee while now, but things are starting to look up again.

I had a job interview last week, alas I did not get it. But this week I have some casual work, which will give me a bit of much needed money. And next week I have a job interview/testing for a job that I think will really suit me.

It’s amazing how little things can turn your mood right around. However, if I don’t get the job next week, I may be back to feeling a bit shit again.

But, after a month of having no money coming in whatsoever, I’m finally making headway with WINZ. I have an appointment next Wednesday to get it sorted and I’m hoping for back pay! Going into overdraft because you’re not earning anything is pretty lame. I haven’t exactly been spending anything either.

So I keep applying for jobs and hopefully something will stick. It has too.

When I was at AUT we had a career advisor come in to talk to us. She said it takes around nine months to find a job. If I go from when I was let go at my previous position, I’m now at six months. I’ve had five interviews. I’m starting to think that is a pretty good track record and I’m actually on track for getting a job. It just takes one.

Unfortunately I have made no more headway in my photography course. Yikes! And I need to finish it by the 29th. So I best get on that and do some tonight/every night and over the weekends. I’m not going to fail it and waste money. I will get it done. I will.

I kind of just realised that is is the first of June. Where they hell did that come from!?

My poor laptop and other things…

I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that I had a job interview this week. I am yet to hear anything about it though. So I continue to wait.

I hate the waiting. The waiting is always the most painful part. You’re stuck in limbo. Do you do more job applications or do you wait? Because if you do more job applications you then have to tell them, “Oh sorry, I got offered another job”. I always feel they will ask, “Well, why did you bother applying?”

I know, it’s lame, but that’s just how my mind works.

The bad news is that my laptop kind of shat itself. And by laptop I mean the power supply, which in turn means laptop because my battery only lasts about 30 minutes these days. Utter fail.

So I am without a laptop. The only way am managing to write this is because of Man Piece’s Mac Mini which is hooked up to the TEEVEE. Kind of awesome.

Alas that means there probably won’t be too many job applications going on over today and tomorrow. I did manage to copy my CVs over to the mac mini before laptop died so I may be able to do some. I just don’t have word or the equivalent on mac to write cover letters. I guess I could always write them in the body of an email. Awkward.

But hopefully a new power supply is on it’s way. Dad has a universal one lying around his workshop, he said it should do the trick. If it doesn’t then I probably do need to source another one from somewhere and who knows how long that will take. Oh well. For now the mac mini is working well.

It does make me consider just buying a whole new laptop. It has not been having the best year, or more just the last 12 months. Saying year I feel implies 2011, but the troubles began sometime last year. Poor lappy. It will be three years old in August.

So that was the good news and the bad news. I just keep trucking. Doing whatever I please because I don’t have a job. But at the same time, I can’t do whatever I please because I have no money and no benefit coming in. I really should do something about that…

Anyway, supposed to be going out for drinks tonight so I should probably extricate myself from the snuggliness of the couch and go shower. Because I’m one of those lame people who doesn’t shower till mid afternoon. It’s a #lifeoftheunemployed, what you gonna do about it?

Oh, and it’s raining and I should not be allowed to make fudge ever again. And by fudge I mean delicious chocolate, peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk all mixed together, chilled and cut into tiny addictive pieces.

Moral dilemma over a job, of all things.

A few months ago I applied for a job. Now, obviously, I’m looking for a job and am applying for on average two or three a week.

This one is specific. I’m not going to say who it was for, but it was for a reporter in Christchurch. (You can probably guess, but take into account all community papers/magazines too and you actually have no idea.)

Anyway, about a week after I applied, I got an email from the editor saying thank you for your application, but we are not going to be filling this position, basically, ever.

This of course made me a little bit angry – why bother advertising the job if you’re not going to hire someone?

But now I am faced with a decision of applying for, essentially, the same job. It has come up again in job searches.

Do I want to apply for this job? Do I want to move back to Christchurch?

I really want to be in Wellington, because of Man Piece. There’s no point in hiding this. As much as we could probably figure out the long distance thing, I just don’t want to do it. We’re technically doing it now and I loathe it.

But also because of the state of the city currently. I love Christchurch, or loved. I haven’t been able to see how much it has changed since February and if I was to move back there and see it, it might just break my heart. I loved Christchurch because of all the old buildings, but now most of them are not there, or need to be knocked down. I’d rather not see it and preserve the memories I had of the beautiful city.

Then there is the fact that when I was told the position was not going to be filled – I was told via email and it was in less that 140 characters, because I remember that I tweeted it. The editor should have just tweeted me and saved him a bit of time. Email of course is the main communication tool for applying for jobs currently, so that’s not weird and I guess it was courteous of them to actually let me know. Because I hear from about a quarter of the ones I apply for.

I hate when employers do this too. I’ve applied for several jobs, get the “thanks, but no thanks” email and then they re-list the ad a few weeks later! Rather frustrating.

I shouldn’t be so picky either. It’s hard times finding a job currently, especially in journalism, I should know! I should be applying for everything and anything that comes up. But part of me also wants to exclude Christchurch because anyone that is down there deserves the job over me anyway.

I’m actually so torn about applying for this specific job. I have arguments for and against and I actually don’t know which one wins out.

Help!