Oh bureaucracy, how I hate thee

Today was employment agency day.
First I had an appointment at 9:30 am to hand in my application for unemployment benefit I (ALG I). I knew I wasn’t going to be entitled to it, but I had to hand in the application anyway because to apply for unemployment benefit II you have to show proof that I’m not entitled to unemployment benefit I. Complicated no? So the woman typed all my data into the computer, informed me that I’m not entitled to ALG I and printed out a letter of rejection to take along when I apply for ALG II. Then she told me where I have to go to do that… the town hall of all places?! After that I had my second appointment, with my advisor. She’s the one that’s supposed to help me look for jobs. That meeting went smoothly… she actually found even less positions than I did because they only check their own website and not every company advertises on there. So she printed out one measly little advert for me, printed out an agreement (which basically says they will publish my profile in their virtual job market and send me details of appropriate positions and I will continue to look and apply for jobs) then sent me on my way to the town hall. At the town hall I was asked a million and one questions, given a form to fill in and a huge list of things they need me to bring with me next time… a list which includes my bank statements from the last 3 months!  Then I was given an appointment with another advisor for next Tuesday. It’s exhausting stuff I’m telling you! I’m going to meet Jan for lunch now but after that I may need to lie down for a while to recover from all the forms, questions and traipsing around town.

Advertisements

Meet the latest victim of the financial crisis

I would love to say that I didn’t write once over the long weekend because I was having such a fantastic time doing wonderfully exciting things. Unfortunately, the truth is I was just too lazy. Shame really… at least then I’d have had some good news to offer you. As it is I guess we’ll just skip straight to the bad.

I arrived at work this morning only to be told my boss can no longer afford to continue paying me. The business has been doing fairly badly for a few months, we had already had a few crisis talks… and now things have reached a point where measures have to be taken… or in other words the most dispensable employee has to go. That would be me. Officially I still have a job until 15th June (two weeks notice you see) but won’t actually be going back to work (well maybe to drop something off but not going there to do any work), partly because.. well, there is no work. And partly because I still have lots of holiday to take.

So there you have it. I’ve been to the employment agency today. Got lots of forms to fill in, a form for my boss to fill in… and found out that because I haven’t been paying into the so-called “unemployment insurance” for a whole year (didn’t pay any at my first internship and have only been at this place for 10 months) I’m not entitled to Arbeitslosengeld I (unemployment benefit I… or the one where you get a bit more money) but instead will have to apply for Arbeitslosengeld II – unemployment benefit II. Also known as a subsistence allowance. Meaning they give you the amount the government claims is enough to live in (despite the fact that those who are receiving unemployment benefit II are officially below the poverty line!)

So it’s back to the drawing board… searching for non-existent jobs, trying to make my CV look interesting, (hopefully) being invited to job interviews.
Am also looking into the possibility of going freelance. I have an appointment to discuss it (and what I would have to do) with an adviser at the job centre on 29th June.

And until then? Well, I guess my days of defiant spending have now been ended for a while. I only hope I can afford to keep my flat…