Thursdays will be my day for signing on at the DHSS. My first was last week. I attended as requested and was asked what I had done to find work. I listed the things I had done - trip to Reading, phone call with Rough Diamond Productions, a few job sites, etc. The lady seemed happy with this, typed it into her PC and handed me a slip to sign.
The previous day I had spent 5 billable hours playing with some source code, attempting to get it to build with some (but not enough to call 'moderate') success. I was quite happy to tell her, however the subject never came up, I was free to go after putting my pawprint to paper. I thought that it a little odd.
From 1993-1994 I signed on and did temp work. Each alternate Wednesday I attended the DHSS in Staines and declared my hours worked, and the payment received for my labours. Rarely was I asked what I had done to find more permanent work. I seem to recall every 6 or 8 months there was an interview to chat about it, but largely they were happy with the fact that I was getting work, and that they were able to support me during the more lean weeks. But last Thursday they seemed more interested in my pursuit than my success. Maybe it's because of the volume of folk seen in a post-industrial city compared to a smaller suburban town that time must be condensed to crunch the queues; maybe the focus is more on getting folk off the lists rather than helping them through; maybe the lady didn't think that anyone would sign if they'd been working; maybe she just forgot.
It was a pleasant enough experience, but there was something missing I'm sure.