Monday, November 26, 2007

more Access to Work

As expected, a letter today from Access to Work.

"I am writing to inform you that your application is eligible for consideration and we will be looking at the assistance you need in more detail."

In other words, I have successfully applied for the right to apply... meanwhile I'm embarking on my THIRD week of work without the assistance I require.

I have to go through the form, which is part-filled with my answers from the phone call last week, and complete/amend, sign, and send back to them.

Oh, and I have to make my boss's day by giving him a truckload of paperwork too, and apparently they're going to phone him up to 'discuss' all sorts of things, including my "detailed client needs" because obviously there's nothing he or I would rather do than discuss my medical history when my condition IN the workplace is already taken care of, I only need help getting there and back.

You know, this is really going to ingratiate me as a new employee, at the busy time of year.

EDIT 18:20pm
I decided to put plenty of "Not Applicable" on the forms, with my boss as my boss and with myself as the "employer contact who will have responsibility for ordering support". My boss was fab about it. Conversation pretty much went as follows.
ME: Boss, can I have a word with you at some point?
BOSS: Is it good news or bad news?
ME: It's more of a ten-minute warning in case you get a strange phone call from the disability people.
BOSS: Right... What will they want?
ME: Hopefully just to confirm that I work here, but if we get someone keen, they might start wanting to discuss 'solutions'. Which I don't need, I only need help with the transport. But because AtW is a one-size-fits-all kind of thing, they have to approach it as if I needed all sorts of stuff inside the workplace. So they might need you to confirm that things are all okay apart from the transport.
BOSS: Yes, I remember you said about the transport, is that still not sorted then?
ME: *face* I'm working on it. Anyway, I also have to give you this (brandishes sheet "Information for Employers") which is largely irrelevant in my case as none of the help I need is within the workplace. But I have to have given it to you and I have to give them your details as my manager.
BOSS: So I don't have to do anything with this?
ME: No. I know. I'm sorry. It really is just in case they call you.
BOSS: Right. You are okay though? If you need anything, you'll just come and say?
ME: Absolutely.
BOSS: Fine.


Anonymous said...

*gets a bit more upset about the damned silly bureaucracy*

Naomi J. said...

Hmm. That's odd. I've told my AtW advisor *not* to contact my workplace, except to confirm that I work there, and she's had to respect that request. Ask whether they could avoid doing this - and then quote your confidentiality rights under the law at them...

I know AtW is hugely slow, but once you send back the forms, they should get things sorted quite quickly. It's absolutely worth it.

Mary said...

If the DEA was worth her wages she would be bloody well helping with this.

I have put up an edit to this post rather than a lengthy comment - luckily my boss is quite understanding.

Naomi J. said...

Heh. Well, you're dealing with all this rather admirably, from the sounds of that edit. I cried on the phone to my Girl for an hour - in the staff room, during my lunch break - when they threatened to talk to my employers. Those people just make me completely irrational - they're all so incompetent...

And, yes, your DEA doesn't appear to be doing anything, does she? Now there's a role that I don't know how the Jobcentres justify. It seems utterly pointless.

Mary said...

Yeah, my old line of work has made me very aware of two central points in this whole business.
(1) My boss and my co-workers are being exceptionally good. I'd love to claim it's my negotiating and explaining skills but seriously, they are amazing for hitting that happy middle-ground between on the one hand, support and consideration, and on the other hand, not making me feel awkward at all.
(2) There are good DEAs out there, who really do help and enable and encourage and support... but they're rare as hen's teeth, and not just in Lowestoft.

Maggie said...

Gosh, isn't time rushing by! Nearly through week 3 by now. Well done to you, I really have such admiration at your doggedness. :-)

Sorry not dropped by for a while - computer died on 22 Nov (eek, no email, no internet - can we say Withdrawal?), just got back online yesterday and am fighting through about 1500 emails!

Best wishes from Liverpool