Jobseeker fills out joke form: no-one notices

one page of the form

Grace Newton, an unemployed-24 year-old from Fishburn in County Durham, says she started writing jokes on a JobCentre form in protest at the fact no-one was taking her seriously - and to see if anyone was actually reading it.

She says no-one noticed. And it's not the first time the JobCentre's failings have attracted attention.


Joke form

The Daily Mail reported that Newton was wondering whether anyone was reading her Looking for Work form at the Stockton JobCentre, so to test staff she started filling it out with jokes.

These included writing in the 'what I did' column things like 'This is your last chance to pretend you care about my future". The 'what happened' column was then completed with the words "I stared intently into your eyes." She said the forms were signed off by an employee who never read what it said.

She has published pages from her Looking for Work diary with scores of these joke entries. She says on her blog: "I am in no way condoning a gross misuse of the benefits system of this country, rather, I am merely attempting to highlight the flaws in such an infamous system."

The Department for Work and Pensions told the Northern Echo that those comments were not on the form when it was signed. It added that there was a complaints system in place if job seekers were unhappy with the service they received. Newton has written on her blog about how angry she is at this response.

JobCentres in the news

It's not the first time that JobCentres, and their unhappy clients, have been in the news in recent months.

Last week we reported on the war hero who broke JobCentre rules when he volunteered to sell poppies for the British Legion, and had his benefits stopped.

In November we wrote about the unemployed Portsmouth woman who juggled studying and single parenting in order to complete a degree. However, rather than being impressed with her dedication, a JobCentre adviser told her to take it off her CV because it made her look overqualified.

In September, a man in Castlefield had his benefits stopped for 13 weeks after he applied for six jobs in one week and none the following week - rather than the three-a-week specified by the JobCentre.

In June, it emerged that an unemployed graduate from South Wales had her Jobseeker's Allowance stopped because she missed an appointment at the JobCentre. This is despite the fact that the only reason she couldn't make it was because she had a job interview - and she had rescheduled her appointment for the following day.

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Jobseeker fills out joke form: no-one notices
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