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TOPIC: Having fun at a "group signing"

Having fun at a "group signing" 14 Aug 2018 12:06 #9728

2 weeks ago I was informed by my normal work roach that my next signing would be a group one. He said all they'll ask is if any change in circumstances etc then you sign. Nothing said about having to provide jobsearch evidence. Normally with my (current) roach he accepts my verbal job search evidence, let's me sign and I'm done. The appointments with him usually last about 2 minutes max.

So, as you can guess it was an entirely different scenario when I signed on this morning. Some young roach who I'd never seen before, and seemingly very much part of the new breed who like to instill fear with lies, first thing she asked for was my evidence. I explained to her how it was usually done, so I gave her verbal evidence. She asked how often I logged into the jobsites I'm registered with. I told her at least twice a day, plus I have set email alerts with these sites for any job vacancies in the sector(s) I'm looking for work. This still wasn't enough for her. She asked when I last logged into Find A Job. I told her about 2 weeks ago. I could see the alarm in her eyes, which I expected so decided to have some fun. She informed me that wasn't good enough, that I needed to log into the site every day. Knowing this is what she'd say, I then told her how useless FaJ is, and how I don't need to use it as I am registered with far superior job sites.

As this group signing was in a room with other claimants, I could sense she didn't like what I was saying and could be heard by the other claimants waiting. She tried to change the subject slightly saying "well can you log into your email account so you can show me your jobs applied for?". I told her no I couldn't as I didn't have my password on me, plus it's way too long and complex to remember, so I use a password manager called LastPass which handles all my long and complex passwords, and I'd have to install it on their computer and put in my password for it which I would never do due to security issues. All of this was beyond her comprehension, so she just spluttered "next time you do a group signing you need to show some kind of evidence". I told her I'd take her words on board and discuss it with my usual work roach at my next appointment with him, and if possible get him to vouch for me not needing to provide evidence if I ever attend a group signing again. I won't be surprised if I'm never asked to attend one again. Still, it was nice seeing the panic in her face as she didn't get the subservient responses she was expecting, and probably gets, from most other claimants!
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Having fun at a "group signing" 14 Aug 2018 12:11 #9730

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Thats the way to do it;
Stand up for your Rights.
Well Done. :)
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Having fun at a "group signing" 14 Aug 2018 12:26 #9731

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Arent group signings unlawfull i seem to remeber a post a while back posibly on the old UM site reguarding how all interventions are suposed to be one to one tailored to your personal needs/situation and any sort of group signing type scenario had to be of clear obvoiuse benifit to the claimant ?
Sound an awful lot like they just wana make life easyer for themselfs by just herding you through like groups of cattle with mass signings.
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Having fun at a "group signing" 14 Aug 2018 13:18 #9733

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Love reading your escapades with coaches Tarquin. The password thing was masterly! I would also have said (if it`s on your CC) "where does it say on here under `actions I will take` to log into FAJ daily?"... This FAJ site, according to discussions and FOI`s released that say claimants do NOT have to open an account on FAJ and if they do, it should be up to them how they use it. We all know it`s set up to record activities in real-time, but if there are better sites out there we have already created accounts with, work coaches should just accept that, especially if we are still using FAJ, just not making it our default choice.
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Having fun at a "group signing" 14 Aug 2018 14:32 #9734

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Finnister, you are quite right. Group signings are illegal because they are in breach of everything the law has to say about the claimant/coach relationship. Recent changes in legislation concerning data protection and privacy reinforces those rights of the individual.

I’m afraid, though, that Tarquin gave up those legal rights and protections by accepting or agreeing to do as his ‘normal’ coach proposed. Actually attending this farce could imply consent. As it turned out it seems that he was lied to when his coach explained to him the limitations of what was involved. He should have held out until details of the proposed action, and the guarantees, were given in writing with references to the specific authority upon which the coach relies to propose the action in the first place.

It was more by luck than management that the coach taking the group session did not initiate doubt proceedings there and then. It is obvious that, in addition to being ignorant of data protection and privacy law, this young coach is clueless as far as using or registering on FaJ is concerned as well. We should not suppose that her limitations are restricted to those two matters either.

It would be interesting to know how many other claimants attended? Were they legitimate claimants or perhaps ‘plants’ or ‘stooges’? Were any of them grilled in the same way at this public ‘show trial’? Did no one else arouse the coach’s displeasure?
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Having fun at a "group signing" 14 Aug 2018 14:53 #9735

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thanks for confirming that BB let them try that shit on me I tell you if it was me in that interview i woulda made the roach look like a right fool on most of his bs and outright called him a crimminal in front of everyone.
my favourite line in these types of scenarios after i back them in to a corrner is to ask if they are either knowingly acting in a crimminal manner or if they are simply inept at there job :evil:
evasion is usualy there favourite tactic of course i am quick to point this out as soon as they attempt to change the subject and I further humiliate them for there shamefull behaviour, by the time im done with them they just want to sign me and get me out the door as quickly as posible :P

On a side not tarquin im glad to hear you have ben manageing to pull off the whole verbal evidence thing but i did warn you when we spoke about it how while you may be able to convince your regular roach that this is the case and have relativley hassle free sign on's, but every so often your raoch will book off sick or go on holiday or events like this may crop up where you have to deal with an unfamailiar work roach and it could end up being problomatic.
This is why its realy important you start copying as much guidance/FOI responce you can and get them inside a folder that you bring with you to ALL signings so you can correct them on there BS and have some fun intimidateing them errr i mean educateing them :whistle:
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Having fun at a "group signing" 14 Aug 2018 16:10 #9740

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Freedom of Information requests can be gold dust in many ways when approached about something and the answer has already been answered by DWP, so no coach can then deny it. Things like asking about fares being repaid if you are TOLD to attend your job centre out-with the two monthly meetings under UC. Answers can sometimes be mixed though so puting a little edited version together from more than one request can help.
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Having fun at a "group signing" 14 Aug 2018 16:15 #9741

Benefit Bolshie wrote:
I’m afraid, though, that Tarquin gave up those legal rights and protections by accepting or agreeing to do as his ‘normal’ coach proposed. Actually attending this farce could imply consent. As it turned out it seems that he was lied to when his coach explained to him the limitations of what was involved. He should have held out until details of the proposed action, and the guarantees, were given in writing with references to the specific authority upon which the coach relies to propose the action in the first place.

It was more by luck than management that the coach taking the group session did not initiate doubt proceedings there and then. It is obvious that, in addition to being ignorant of data protection and privacy law, this young coach is clueless as far as using or registering on FaJ is concerned as well. We should not suppose that her limitations are restricted to those two matters either.
I'm not sure this was mass group signing like has been described before either on this site or on UM. Firstly I was shown into a room where I noticed about half a dozen computers, and 3 work roaches. There were 2 other claimants in the room, one was sat in front of a computer logging into his email account as his particular roach hovered over his shoulder. The other claimant had I think had just gone through the same scenario with her designated roach and was in the process of signing on at a different desk. The roach who approached me no doubt expected me to do the same. What I posted above was what happened after she approached me.

I gave up no legal rights and protections, BB, because I wouldn't allow her to dish out anything unlawful on me by complying with her crap. I wouldn't be surprised if my jobcentre has decided to do this "group signing" with most claimants, away from their usual work roach. Whether any other claimants aroused the roach's displeasure I have no idea because I wasn't in the room long enough to see any other claimants enter.

One thing I did forget to mention is that after I'd had my short conversation with her she momentarily left the room, coming back she ushered me back outside to my normal signing area where I signed on with some other random work roach. No other mention was made of providing evidence to this roach, I was quickly signed on and that was that.

I will be having words with my usual work roach when I see him in 2 weeks time, telling him what occurred today regarding my being asked for jobsearch evidence. I thought it strange at the time that as well as booking the group signing for today (as he was apparently absent for me signing today, and I didn't see him in the main signing area at all when I walked in) he also booked my next appointment with him which will be on the 28th.

One more thing, TheFinnster, I explained to the roach that I can bring evidence if required of my job search activities if they won't accept my verbal one, and my usual work roach is fine with this. Again this was something else she didn't seem able to comprehend!
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Having fun at a "group signing" 14 Aug 2018 16:55 #9743

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This is the first time I’ve heard about group signings. Are the ones BB is referring to mandatory? And what kind was the one Tarquin went to?
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Having fun at a "group signing" 14 Aug 2018 17:04 #9744

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They sent you back to the other room because the work coach knew they couldn't pull the wool over your eyes and you were up to date on your rights about using faj.
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Having fun at a "group signing" 14 Aug 2018 22:52 #9752

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Tarquin; I can’t see how what you have experienced this morning can be described as a ‘group signing on’. Two other claimants in the room, sat at a computer, each with a coach standing over them, and you being attended to by another coach?

I sign on in what could be described as an ‘open plan office’. There are approximately 12 desks in this office of which about 8 are usually manned by coaches. There are 6 computer stations on tables lined against one wall of which 3 or 4 are usually manned by claimants presumably doing their own thing, no one standing over them. The waiting area can seat around a dozen claimants and is usually about half full. Between 2 and 4 goons standing or walking about.

I think that my fort-nightly signing on experience is more akin to group signing on than yours was today.

Claimants are required to comply with the terms and carry out the activities listed on their CC or JSAg. Any other activity, that means ANY OTHER ACTIVITY, requires a written job seekers’ direction or a negotiated alteration to their current CC or JSAg.

This simple truth should be foremost in the claimant’s mind, implanted on the brain.

Once any deviation from the current negotiated agreement or commitment is accepted by a claimant then the rights and protections provided by said agreement or commitment are invalidated. By failing to forcibly resist any proposed alternative activity and blithely accepting or agreeing to any whim dreamt up by a coach, claimants, it could be argued, are complicit in disregarding and being in breach of their own agreement or commitment. This should be apparent to you when you saw how quick the coach was to home in on your use or lack of use of FaJ, how prepared and insistent she was for you to do her bidding vis a vis FaJ, irrespective of any other assistance or suggestions she could have been prepared for, chosen or offered to help you into work.

You insist, Tarquin, that you gave up no legal rights and protections. This is what your coach wanted you to believe when he proposed the activity to you in the first place, going so far as to lie to you to get you to accept the proposal without much resistance or question.

I hope that my worst fears are not realised and that the worst that will happen is having to live through the next two weeks until your next appointment in a state of increased anxiety, concern and worry as to what might transpire.

But if they are, quoting your legal rights and protections at that stage would be about as helpful as standing on your head and whistling Dixie through your anal passage.
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Having fun at a "group signing" 14 Aug 2018 23:23 #9753

Benefit Bolshie wrote:
Tarquin; I can’t see how what you have experienced this morning can be described as a ‘group signing on’. Two other claimants in the room, sat at a computer, each with a coach standing over them, and you being attended to by another coach?

Maybe you noticed the title of this thread, and can see that I enclosed the words group signing in quotation marks?
Firstly, the work roach told me it was a "group signing" at my previous appointment. Secondly, it said on my appointment card "group signing". Thirdly, when I went up to the floor where I sign on and where I had to sign on today, I was asked if I was there for the "group signing" as I entered the room. Also, as I stated in my previous post: "I'm not sure this was mass group signing like has been described before either on this site or on UM", maybe you missed that part too. Maybe someone who undertands what exactly more was going on than you (who seems to be the expert on everything) could tell us what exactly what this "group signing" was all about. Because I for one have no clue!

Benefit Bolshie wrote:
I hope that my worst fears are not realised and that the worst that will happen is having to live through the next two weeks until your next appointment in a state of increased anxiety, concern and worry as to what might transpire.
Erm, I can guarantee that will not happen whatsoever! Nothing will transpire, my payment was put through as usual today and I expect no repercussions. But waddya know??? I was there and you wasn't, you cannot expect to know everything about the DWP's ways and means. As I said before, maybe this was just in my jobcentre. Maybe due to the holiday period they just didn't have enough work roaches present to cover all claimants signing on. I'm not even sure the woman I first spoke to today is even a qualified work roach. Maybe she was doing it as work experience as she's currently unemployed herself?!? I could've asked all these questions but my aim is always to get in and out of that place as quick as possible. Maybe when I see my normal work roach at my next appointment, where I will have zero concern or worry, I'll question him further on what all of today was about and it it'll be repeated in the near future!

Benefit Bolshie wrote:
But if they are, quoting your legal rights and protections at that stage would be about as helpful as standing on your head and whistling Dixie through your anal passage.

This comment isn't worth replying to, because I whistle Bella Ciao through my anal passage...! B)
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Having fun at a "group signing" 15 Aug 2018 00:04 #9754

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I did not doubt that this was sold to you as a group signing. What I was querying was why those who said it was would call it group signing. It was because I don’t understand what exactly is going on and I want to, and because I don’t have all the answers, that I posted a response and asked. Pardon my brashness.

If you had made it as clear in your first post as you did in your last that you are not in the least concerned about your group signing on and how it went I would certainly not have responded, and you would not have had to get so offensively defensive.
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Having fun at a "group signing" 15 Aug 2018 00:05 #9755

Benefit Bolshie wrote:
I sign on in what could be described as an ‘open plan office’. There are approximately 12 desks in this office of which about 8 are usually manned by coaches. There are 6 computer stations on tables lined against one wall of which 3 or 4 are usually manned by claimants presumably doing their own thing, no one standing over them. The waiting area can seat around a dozen claimants and is usually about half full. Between 2 and 4 goons standing or walking about.

I think that my fort-nightly signing on experience is more akin to group signing on than yours was today.
Just to follow on from my previous post (cannot edit to add this part), where I sign on can also be described an open plan office. Never really figured out the exact amount of desks in this office, maybe next time I'll do a count and report back to you, but I'd hazard a guess at there being over 20 desks but less than 30. In this open plan office they have about half a dozen computer stations in the centre, and there's about 4 smallish rooms, one of those rooms is where I had my "group signing". There are 3 other floors at my jobcentre, the ground floor has fewer desks as this is also the entrance to the building, but I guess about a dozen desks are there. The two other floors are more or less the same as where I sign on.
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Having fun at a "group signing" 15 Aug 2018 00:13 #9757

Benefit Bolshie wrote:
If you had made it as clear in your first post as you did in your last that you are not in the least concerned about your group signing on and how it went I would certainly not have responded, and you would not have had to get so offensively defensive.
I'd have been concerned if there was any threat of my claim being suspended or being sanctioned, but that didn't happen despite the person I saw attempting to say this could happen. I don't think she'd even heard of anyone giving jobsearch evidence verbally. Maybe she tried threatening other claimants who appeared before or after me if they didn't allow access to their email account or logging into a particular jobsite...? Maybe they staggered the amount of people doing the "group signing" so as not to have too many claimants in a smallish room....?

Also, apologies if I offended you but I found some of your comments offensive too! Anyway, I shall definitely be enquiring more about this group signing next time I sign on and see if I get any answers. B)
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Having fun at a "group signing" 15 Aug 2018 09:51 #9765

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Have done a fair few group signings i just say im not willing to talk about myself in front of people. Seems to work. The actual signing is done as normal with a random advisor. Luck of the draw who you get but usually when i mention my on going problems i get a easy time of it.
Side note i have been booked in on a 1to1 for half hr next signing to see what they can do to help. Dreading it as i will be seeing a different advisor. Why it's not with the usual one i dont no but thought she would be best to have this time with as knows me best. They really are useless.
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Having fun at a "group signing" 15 Aug 2018 10:54 #9766

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It is funny how these things go in cycles; I remember a few years ago my local JCP had a scheme called the “Digital Job Club” (2016). This was a signing/monitored job search in one appointment! As others have mentioned this is against the DWP rules regarding one to one appointment with the work roach (please see attached letter).





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Still well played to you @Tarquin_Flotsam ;) , also as mention by @BB did any of the other claimant make a fuss while in the room explaining the rules to the roach, or do you think they were some sort of stooge/confederate?
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Having fun at a "group signing" 15 Aug 2018 11:00 #9767

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Sorry had trouble attaching the file could IT Admin, sort out if needed?
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Having fun at a "group signing" 15 Aug 2018 11:27 #9768

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Thats OK Mate, No worries.
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Having fun at a "group signing" 15 Aug 2018 11:38 #9769

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TW35, I hate the way they switch work coaches too when you have a good connection with one who gets to know you and your circumstances. A bit like seeing a different GP sometimes and you have to repeat yourself or feel the need to justify why you are sat there. It`s ridiculous and no excuse for it, especially if that specific work coach is away training or on holiday. They should compensate for that by asking claimants on his/her rota not to go in if they are not available. Especially ESA WRAG claimants. I learned from the coach I`ve been meeting for a year that I will be meeting someone else next time and like you, I`m dreading it. Just because I know this new coach may be hell bent on throwing suggestions at me that I really don`t need right now as I`m already engaged with work related activity in a small way, but that won`t stop them from pushing ideas at me.

TW35 wrote: Side note i have been booked in on a 1to1 for half hr next signing to see what they can do to help. Dreading it as i will be seeing a different advisor.

"See what they can do to help"? Well unless it`s a six week holiday from the job centre, I would guess they will have a few things on that they think could benefit you TW, but now is the time to look at what is `reasonable` for your circumstances and consider travel times, length of time at any place they send you to, what would you be tasked to do there?, would it increase your symptoms, an increase in medication or pain, or think about any deterioration you have had in the past that was a result of activities you were engaged in. How do you feel before and after a work coach meeting,does it cause you anxiety or stress?

Being on JSA means they must also consider ALL health problems you may have even if your not claiming ESA.
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