After my mine in Tanzania went bust in 98 (I found myself the General Manager at the end, after the guy who was properly qualified for the position died of a heart attack) I unwisely decided (family pressure) to return to the UK instead of taking over the licence and making a fecken enormous fortune...) and signed on at the DSS. I lasted a few weeks of that until the unspeakably rude little creature behind a desk decided for me that I should have no further truck with them, and whether it cost me or not, I would go my own way.It's a rare moment for them.
I was made redundant after the 2008 debacle when the contracts my company was working on in the province ended and there was nothing to replace them locally. Mrs was still working and CLC Jr had rocked up so no chance of a move to a GB office which was offerd. I duly trotted down to the Job Centre got the brief and paperwork and set off home. Being Me I decided I would maintain a spreadsheet of every CV/Application I sent off and the outcome of each because having to explain everything verbally seemed a bit stupid. Every time we got to that section of the "interview" I handed over the freshly updated sheet to the (different every time) bod. They were always taken aback and would take a few seconds to compose themselves and actually read it. They were simply expecting a "Yeah, yeah course I was looking for work".
My experience with the DSS convinced me that nobody with the slightest sense of dignity or self-worth should take that ghastly route; it's designed to destroy you - work your route out yourself, they're no bloody help at all. It took me 18 bloody awful months, using up great chunks of savings; I got on my bike (the Mrs's Corsa) and went to live in vile accommodation and friends' sofas in London to pester every possible employer I could find (+600 targetted CV revisions involved) and got back on the ladder. It cost, but was finally worth it, in spades. It would have been far more worth my while if I'd said 'yes' instead of 'no' back when the prospect of taking over the Merelani tanzanite concession was available, mind. Every life has its regrets. ...and people wonder why I like whisky...