Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Doubt and uncertainty

I'm on the dole. Not drawing cash you understand but signed on in the vain hope of finding a job and being eligible for retraining. Being on the dole also maintains my entitlement to free health care.

For lots of technical reasons I am registered at an office in Alicante province about 25kms from here and about 140kms from my weekday home in Cartagena. I only need to sign on once every three months and last time I made a lot of effort to get into the office but, once there, I realised that I could have signed on using the Internet.

Official Spanish websites are notoriously difficult and unreliable. I got up about 7.15 this morning to try to sign on. If it all went pear shaped that would give me time to get to the Elda office.

After about 40 minutes tinkering I seemed to have got a result except that I couldn't download or save the document to prove that. The website stressed that without the document I had not signed on. Problems with the website were being complicated by the mobile phone, dongle type, Internet access we have here. Now it worked, now it didn't.

In desperation I went to the local Morrocan run Internet place. The man on the desk spoke neither Spanish nor English but I got a machine at last. The website showed no record of me signing on today but it wouldn't let me sign on again either. It said today wasn't the due date which suggested that I'd succeeded in my attempts from home. I still wasn't sure though so I decided there was nothing for it but to drive to Alicante and sign on in the office. Then I had a brainwave, not much of one, and it shows just how conditioned I am to the face to face dealing in Spain that it hadn't struck me till that moment. I rang the office.

"Yes, you're signed on; tell you what if you're having difficulty with the website we'll post your paperwork on." It was just after 10.30 as I put the phone down.

I never really intended that this blog should be any sort of reference site, there are hundreds of expat sites that do an admirable job of providing information about living and working in Spain but following on from a comment I received I have added a link to the SERVEF website above. The national jobs site is here but your best bet for looking for work on the Internet is probably something like the InfoJobs website. There are hundreds more just a Google search away ranging from continent wide to the more local


Rob Innis said...

Chris - probably very helpful information for those in similar position (like some of my friends) could you post some links to these sites. Thanks.

Chris Thompson and Maggie Brocken said...

I've added a link to the SERVEF website which is the Valencian bit of the employment service and to the Central Government jobs site too.