Blethers and blahs

Random ramblings from a chaotic life

Bureaucracy gone mad

on March 17, 2007

Sometimes things happen that are just so senseless they make you mad!  My youngest son is on the autistic spectrum which means he finds some aspects of everyday life very difficult, mainly those parts which require him to deal with people, especially people he doesn't know well.

He is now 20 (soon to be 21 which makes me feel ancient!) and over the past year he has struggled to find a job.  He has qualifications in sciences and technology as well as the standard maths and english but all he has been offered are service jobs such as MacDonalds, hotel work serving tables or cleaning jobs.  Now all of these would be fine if he wasn't on the autistic spectrum as it is, he wouldn't last a day without some kind of incident because he would be so stressed trying to work out what he was supposed to be doing and why all these people were talking to him.  It is not an easy situation.

For some time now I have been thinking about what I could do to make it easier for him.  In the end, after many hours of discussion, he decided to try for fork lift training as he felt he could cope with that and it would be easy to get a job in this area due to the high level of manufacturing and warehousing facilities.  I applied to several companies and got nothing back.  Eventually we managed to get the name of a company in the area who would train him for the princely sum of £650!  Despite the cost I agreed and it is now paid and he starts a week on Monday.

This is where it gets silly.  The week he is training is also the week he has to sign on as unemployed and looking for work so he dutifully told the person he was dealing with what was happening and gave them all the paperwork to say I had paid for the training and when it was.  As a result he was told that as he was not available for work that week he would get no money.  So as well as paying for the training, the cost of his bus fares (he needs 2 buses each way), the cost of lunches etc for that week and the cost of the required safety boots I would also need to compensate for the money he would lose because he was trying to get back into work with absolutely no help from anyone else.  To say I was annoyed was an understatement and he was even more annoyed on my behalf.

Luckily there are some people who are employed on behalf of the government who do have a modicum of sense, despite the best efforts of the imposed rules.  A very kind lady arranged for him to attend a back into work course which is 13 weeks long and appears to be how to write a cv and look in the newspapers to find a job.  As a result he can now take a week's leave from this course to complete the training course I arranged for him and he won't lose any money. There was no offer to contribute towards the training or the costs involved but at least he isn't being penalised for trying to get off benefits and back to work. 

Anyway, on a lighter note I am off later today to collect my oldest grandaughter and my two sons and go to my daughter's house so I will have all my children and grandchildren under the same roof for the first time since Christmas.  I must remember to take my camera, lol.  Take care x x x

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