Five days passed and I'd not heard back from her, so I phoned her again. She claimed she had not received my email (but I'd not received one telling me the address I'd sent it to didn't exist, so God knows where it ended up) and gave me a generic email address to resend my CV to. I did this and didn't hear anything for another five days, so I sent another email and heard nothing.
The following day I called BS Social Care and Sam H claimed she had not seen any of the things I'd sent. I explained to her that I must have sent the things to an existing email address otherwise they would have been bounced back to me and I got the impression I was trying to explain particle physics to a bowl of porridge. So I confirmed her email address and sent everything again.
We're now advancing towards the middle of July and I'm growing slightly frustrated. I email Sam H again and amazingly get a reply - she is on holiday... I wait a week, email the company again and hear nothing from them. I ring up again and speak to a girl called Jenny who a) hasn't got a clue who I am and b) can't find any of the things I'd sent through. She begins a new application with me and I thought we were finally moving. A week later, I called them again to see if she had received me references and was told that 'Jenny no longer works for BS Social Care...'
I now had the 'delightful' Leanne to deal with, who proceeded to go through everything that Jenny went through because, I quote, "There's no evidence that you spoke to her, she might have thrown all the applications away!" To say I was nonplussed and slightly bemused would be an understatement, but I went through the long and drawn out procedure yet again and agreed to go into BS with the documentation they wanted and for a face-to-face with Leanne. This happened on the 8th of August, over two months since my initial contact with Sam H.
Leanne told me that with my experience she would have no trouble finding me a job; however, it would be far easier to find me a job if I agreed to do sleep-ins, which I categorically refused to do, for two reasons - 1) I don't sleep and 2) I have, as many readers know, a bad back and a special mattress which aids my sleep; I can't see an employer forking out a few hundred quid for an agency staff to be comfortable at night, so I didn't even mention this; preferring to just emphasise that I was too old and had done too many sleep ins in the pasty to go back to doing that now. "Oh, this is going to seriously affect your chances of getting a job," says Leanne, to which I accepted that, but said that I was sure that BS got jobs in that didn't involve sleep ins.
Four days after this meeting I received a text message telling me that Leanne had not be able to find me anything but she was still looking. This was indeed a step up on the previous two attempts. However, by the beginning of September I still hadn't heard anything from them, so I emailed Leanne for a progress update. She was on holiday and I had no way of contacting her. this annoyed me, mainly because I was sitting at home expecting this company to find me a job and the person I was dealing with had gone on holiday and not bothered to tell me (or presumably any of her other clients).
Being unemployed is massively frustrating, especially when you can't even get an interview for a job that you could have done with your eyes closed six months ago. I believed that BS, with all their promises, were looking for work for me and who knows, in their strange way they might have been, but I wasn't aware of it, so I became more and more frustrated and angry.
What followed was a number of increasingly angry emails from me, which were met with disdain and arrogance from Leanne. She even suggested I questioned her ability to do the job, which I didn't; I questioned her ability to be able to do her job properly, not whether she could do it. This came from the fact that on August 8 she asked me for references and by September 8 she was still waiting for one of them because she had typed his email address in wrongly and he wasn't receiving any correspondence from them. This is a good point, but we'll come back to it.
On Wednesday morning, yesterday, I received a letter from BS Social Care HQ in St Albans telling me that I had been unsuccessful in being added to their list and they would not be seeking employment for me because I do not meet the company's high standards.
This was a trifle annoying, so I emailed Leanne and her boss Sam K, telling them what I thought of their shower of shit company. Amazingly within twenty minutes, I had Leanne on the phone; not apologising, but expecting an apology. Not taking any of the responsibility, but blaming her colleagues, who she "wasn't about to apologise for"! And saying that the references being late wasn't her fault, she had just typed the email address in wrongly. Uh? What? She types the email address in wrongly and it's not her fault? I didn't realise that typos were exempt from the mea maxima culpa rulebook.
She also tried to blame my ex-boss, saying he had taken his time, had gone on holiday and it was him I should be angry with, not poor old blameless BS Social care. I then had Leanne tell me for ages how she's good at her job and in 4 years she has never let anyone down (until now?) and she thought I was aggressive and being very rude on the phone... Well, let me see, I just received a letter from her company telling me they weren't going to help me find a job and a phone call from Leanne trying to blame everyone but herself for the cock-ups and I shouldn't be a bit angry? Jesus wept; the audacity of this fat cow is amazing.
The upshot, because I got to it as fast as I could was that her call wasn't to tell me that BS were reconsidering application - because they weren't; it was so that I was aware that they did everything in their power to help me and I was being ungrateful and unreasonable - and she thought I was being rude to her??? I asked her what the point of the conversation was if she wasn't going to find me a job and she didn't really have an answer. I think she took umbrage at me suggesting her company was a load of shite; and proceeded to do nothing to make me think any different.
I'm now expecting a call from Sam K later today to discuss my letter. I really can't believe this. I barely hear from a company for three months and as soon as they say they aren't going to help me, they all want to talk to me. I can't think what she wants to talk to me about unless she's going to apologise for her company's incredibly unprofessional behaviour, poor communication skills and inability to follow up phone calls. Plus tell me they intend to try and help me find a job after all. I can't see any of that happening, so I wonder why she wants to speak to me...
I've never had luck with agencies; I've heard some real horror stories from colleagues about them; including this one. Tomorrow I'm at the dole office; I've promised the wife that I'll be nice and civil and agree to everything they ask of me...