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This is a question First World Problems

Onemunki says: We live in a world of genuine tragedy, starvation and terror. So, after hearing stories of cruise line passengers complaining at the air conditioning breaking down, what stories of sheer single-minded self-pity get your goat?

(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 12:00)
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No funnies here
But anyone who thinks www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/16/work-free-tesco-job-advert?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038 this is a good idea should be shot. I can understand the people who made the scheme wanting to defend the principles behind it, but stop once it's been so utterly corrupted, cheers.

It baffles me that the comments page of any article about this has people whinging that people should be 'grateful' to be 'useful', and to make less than half minimum wage.
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 13:07, 26 replies)
CiF forums
are a sort of overflow for the Daily Mail, in my experience.
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 13:13, closed)
I'm not just talking about the Guardian-- it is interesting to see how similar the comments on the Sun, Independant, etc are.
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 13:17, closed)
Sort of
Though, as a long-term poster there, it's noticeable how many more reflex rightwhingers (spelling intended) turn up on CIF since Murdoch put up his paywall and they can't get on the Times comment pages for free any more.
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 13:23, closed)
It always seems to me that t he right wing get into a frenzy about The Guardian and go there to slag off its left leaning stance
whereas the left can't face going in to The Mail forums to do the reverse.

(Actually, it's because we're above that sort of behaviour, but saying that just makes the mentally challenged right wing froth at the mouth. Which is actually a pretty good reason to say it, now that I think about it).
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 13:40, closed)
Well reasoned. :P
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 13:41, closed)
Surely this would be better dealt with Councils rather than private companies
So the community benefits? Would lead to experience, better surroundings, probably better lifestyle and health, and more importantly, better respect for the community.

Dont agree with slave labour though for the corporate monsters.
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 13:49, closed)
Yes, and also the community would profit
rather than the corporations.
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 13:50, closed)
How about..
Cleaning up road sides or rivers or something? I did that on my tod when I was long term unemployed. Made me feel a little better about being depressed(i.e. unemployable).
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 14:11, closed)
this is my point
If the people dont like it, then it might push them away from benefits when they might have been turning down employment opportunities.

We need to make Benefits look like the last resort, rather than a sunny resort.
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 14:39, closed)
Oh yes
Being on the dole is an absolute bed of roses.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 10:14, closed)
That already exists
it's called "community service"
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 15:45, closed)
It isn't the idea that is shitty it is the implementation.
Any corporation is going to jump at the chance to get some freebies, it might be depressing but surely nobody imagined that globalmegacorp would have the minions' best interests at heart. I agree with the sentiment echoed further up that the idea could be translated into social/community work then at least you might be improving your own environment as well as doing something you can actually see the benefit of (no pun intended) and at least the people holding the purse strings would be deciding what was appropriate work expectations and already in a position to manage it.
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 14:41, closed)
the only problem i forsee
is this being panned coz of 'elf and safetee
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 14:54, closed)
I wonder if some of the folk could be employed as health and safety compliance enforcers?
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 15:02, closed)
I don't understand all the "working for free" whines
They're getting benefits from the rest of us, and yes, I expect some damn gratitude for that. Geography graduates have no God-given right to a career in geography, though they might stand a better chance of getting one if they lost that fucking stupid hairstyle.
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 18:05, closed)
Working for free is all very well if you have parents or a supportive husband/boyfriend to lean on financially, but it's just not an option if you have actual bills to pay.

(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 18:51, closed)
Of course
and that's where the benefits come in useful, no?
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 12:25, closed)
Or rather, they would if you could somehow get JSA and work at the same time. What's that called again? Oh yes, "fraud".
(, Sun 4 Mar 2012, 16:09, closed)
In places I agree
The "Working for free" is arse, since they're still being paid benefits.
The concern is they're being paid benefits from the public purse and working for a private concern who are getting that labour for free.

Should that private concern contribute to the the benefit payment of people on placement I'd feel less irritated by the practice.
As is it's encouraging companies to sack low grade employees, knowing that they can call on the same people and their skills for no outlay once they register at the Job Center.
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 20:20, closed)
Good point
Well made.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 12:25, closed)

Well, I'll put myself forward to be shot. Unsurprisingly, the media view is hardly impartial.
This was discussed on Radio 2 on Monday, between an MP and a member of the Socialist Workers Party. It is available to listen to online.
The points that I picked up were;

It's voluntary. (That doesn't seem unfair, and certainly puts paid to the ‘slave labour’ comments).

They can try a placement for 4 days and see if they like it and if it will be of any benefit. (Still doesn't seem unfair).

After 4 days they can either leave, and keep their benefits, or commit to staying for 4 weeks. (I wish I could try a job for a few days before committing to it).

If they leave within those 4 weeks you may lose your benefits. (Still doesn't seem all that unfair. They have after all committed to staying for 4 weeks).

After completing 4 weeks they may be offered a job (win), will be able to put the experience on their CV (of greater benefit than ‘spent 4 weeks playing COD’), and may have experienced working in an different industry (can’t see how that would be bad thing).

Yes the companies are getting free labour, but due to their size they have the capacity to offer placements, and they are committing to training and providing experience to the candidate.
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 19:10, closed)
"Yes the companies are getting free labour, but due to their size they have the capacity to offer placements, and they are committing to training and providing experience to the candidate."

Alas Tesco are neither employing the people after their placement is up or offering training beyond "this is a can, that is a shelf. Get on with it".

Once someone's placement is up all too many are interviewed and told no jobs available, door's on your left. Only to be replaced the next day by another placement worker paid for by thee and I.

Oh, and the voluntary ?
Of course it is. You don't _have_ to say yes.
It's just that if you say No you lose your income.
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 20:17, closed)
Sorry Jono, but there's a big divide between what people/politicians are saying, and the reality. I'm not basing my assumptions on the 'media view', but on the experiences of my brother and at least another 10 acquaintances who fell into this.

1. "It's voluntary and they can quit." That's the idea, but if they quit it has to be for a genuine reason- and that's got to be more "My boss poured bleach down my trousers" than "I'm being exploited in lieu of them employing someone." If you don't have a valid reason, the job centre will issue you a warning for being uncooperative and "Not trying to find work." The result? Loss of benefits. It's clever as it's not directly the refusal which loses your benefits, but rest assured, you will be penalised.

2. "Offered a job and put on CV." Yes, if they were offering jobs- which they aren't. Tesco had tens of thousands on placement last year, and gave out just 400 jobs. Similarly, as DukeEuphoria mentioned, the skills aren't really worth boasting about.
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 21:02, closed)


Thanks for the real world perspective. I appreciate that my comments were based on a very limited source.

I still don't think that 4 weeks is a particulalrly long time to take part, whether voluntary or not, and if I'm ever in the position of having to employ someone I'd hope that the person that has got off their arse and done 4 weeks 'unpaid' work would be a better prospect than the person who sat around doing Sweet FA.

I would also concur that if you are a recently unemployed Scientist, Engineer, Nurse etc, this scheme would be a pile of wank.
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 21:42, closed)
Yes, I agree with that in principle.
Like I said in the OP, it's not the concept I have issues with, it's the fact it's been so badly corrupted.

Thanks for such a polite response, very refreshing on t'net! Sorry if mine sounded annoyed. :P
(, Thu 1 Mar 2012, 22:16, closed)
My major problem with this
Is that effectively these people are employed during these placements. If they are doing a job then why not at least pay them the minimum wage whilst they are doing it regardless of whether a position is being offered at the end of it? Personally I would be much more inclined to take the opportunity to earn a bit of extra cash if i was unemployed. The employer could make up the difference in wages whether that employer would be the council or a corporation.
(, Fri 2 Mar 2012, 10:13, closed)

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