Jobseeker's Annoyance

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Job Seeker's Annoyance by Aaron Tingz a.k.a Mark Mace Smith was written in 2003, and it is part diary, part open letter describing what he experienced during one month when he tried to transfer his benefit claim.

The events at his local b'roo are quite normal and yet by describing them Aaron Tingz shares the kind of surreal nightmare that claimants experience and can do little about.

Jobseeker's Annoyance is funny with a wit all its own. It's not an attack on the benefits system but it does single out one particular Job Centre and rather than naming the staff who seem typically ignorant of the service's systems and procedures, Aaron Tingz gives them all the name of the Job Centre's area manager - Birnie.

That is as in: Reinforced-glass-booth Birnie; Tannoy Birnie; and so on. Collectively they are the Birnies, and Tingz has every right to ask why the Job Centre employs so many (nearly 40 of them) when it gets so little done.

Jobseeker's Annoyance is sweet and sour. It also proves that an artist can be succesful in a challenge to improve a state system.

At the Job Centre the only things Tingz can do to improve the situation is turn his experience into art, and use it to critique the capitalist state.

I responded to Jobseeker's Annoyance because of how Tingz feels about art, which to him is work, but not work in the manner that the state understands it.

I have no suggestions as to how you might obtain a copy of this insightful and funny book; other than to keep looking. Keep looking! It has no ISBN which in itsef is a sweet victory of a kind.

Thud Dub Books