Welcome to the job center, how may we crush your soul today?

So I signed up at the local job center today, that was… um. Maybe they mean well? But boy have I seen this vibe before, the one you get when you apply for WIC or TANF or a spot in the cheap daycare; the crappy fluorescent lighting, the despair-colored linoleum, the cheap chairs and the general sense of we-don’t-respect-you that soaks into any place set up by the state to help those who need it.

I went in in the morning and they sent me away because I didn’t have my Meldebescheinigung (an official document showing my registered address) and then when I went back with it they didn’t even look at it. They also told me to bring my resumé, and gave me a form to fill out – a list of past jobs and educational achievements! I didn’t complete the form because I had some questions about US/German equivalencies. I figured I could finish it while waiting to talk to an agent but no, I had to fill out the form completely and get in line again so they could send me up to a waiting room, where I sure was bored! Gee, if only there were something to pass the time, maybe some forms to fill out.

Then an agent came to collect me and as we walked to her desk the furniture got nicer and windows appeared, and she was polite and explained everything carefully and told me what would happen next and the shift in atmosphere was kind of a shock. Like if you can get past the fakely-helpful-receptionist-barrier you will be Accepted As Human, or something. It’s just weird.

Anyway. I have some more forms to fill out, and an advisor will contact me to make an appointment, and that’s another step taken. Which I suppose is a good thing. Because if I don’t find useful work soonish I may need to seek treatment for depression, and that would be just reeeeally really expensive.

Song du jour of the day: I Need a Dollar, by Aloe Blacc. Love this guy’s voice, he reminds me of Bill Withers.

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