So the other week I was told at a meeting with my DES provider that I had to ring Centrelink to arrange an interview so that I could be assessed.
The reason for this is for Centrelink to determine whether I will benefit from having my employment assistance extended by a further 6 months.
I am currently suspended from receiving any DES service provider help until I see this employment service assessor.
This is all because I am a volunteer (not something which I asked for I hasten to add but something that was added to my records by Centrelink).
Being a voluntary participant means that I do not have compulsory participation requirements, and have only voluntary activities in my Job Plan.
Again let it be noted that I didn’t ask for this, this was put in by Centrelink and I suspect that it is because I receive the DSP (disability support pension) fortnightly from Centrelink.
This process which I wasn’t told at the time but which I later found out via a text message can only be done by an employment service assessor at Centrelink.
The outcome (remember the text message?) will determine whether they grant me an extension or refer me to another provider or recommend no further service.
I then spent the following week on the phone being transferred to various departments whilst being forced to listen to loud classical music (Why? Who made that decision?)
Anyway after a week of phoning, being put on hold, being transferred, and in some cases being hung up on I gave up.
Cut to Monday the 5th November at 12.33 PM AWST.
I sent a text message to the operations manager who oversees the employment consultants.
Here is a copy of my text message.
Now imagine the full internal Autistic screams of pure rage.
They weren’t the ones who messed me about, it was you *Frank* (not his real name) and your orgainsation.
You see this information contained in this text message was not conveyed to me during my meeting with my job consultant.
I was told that it was down to me to ring Centrelink and that I had to make the booking to see the employment service assessor which to me sounds like a secret underground coven where you have to know a password, a secret handshake and knock on a wooden door in a certain way before it’s opened by unseen hands.
So you can only imagine my inner anger raising when I was informed that my job agency were the ones who had to do the initial review.
However I was told that it was down to me to complete over the phone via Centrelink by my DES job agency but which now turns out to be false.
YES, let that sink in.
So my week that I spent ringing Centrelink was a complete waste of my time because all along *Frank could have performed this assessment from his end and coincidentally they were also able to book me an appointment with the mysterious employment service assessor at Centrelink.
Internal Autistic rage mixed with a barrage of swear words is what happened next.
So here’s the thing why am I putting myself through this?
Why am I constantly being let down and misinformed by DES providers?
What actual assistance have they actually given to me?
None of the four that I have been with in the past 18 months have had any success.
So does that signal that I am unemployable?
Why do I even bother attending these meetings, when nothing comes from it?
Why do DES providers exist when they can’t do the one thing that the government pays them to do which is to find me a job?
If I am unemployable, then what’s the point in seeking work?
What’s the point of being job ready and actually wanting to find employment and contribute to society (yes it’s a cliché statement but it’s the truth) when I am continually made to feel that I am not even worthy of being with my current provider (an Autism employment agency).
The very reason that I selected them was because they are an Autistic employment agency.
If they can’t help me then who can?
And look this isn’t some poor me, pity post.
It’s a post highlighting the fact that if an Autistic employment agency can’t find me work then what’s the point?
Why do I even bother signing into Seek or Indeed and searching for work?
If they don’t want me then who does?
I’ll let you know the outcome after the 15th of this month.
Carry on the Conversation
Let me know in the comments below.
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Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.