I absolutely adore this country - I think that anyone who has been reading my blog gets that. But there is ONE thing that I really REALLY don't like and that is this over emphasis on our children apparently being able to be viewed as adults from the age of 16. Seriously - they want you to sign a form at the doctors surgery when they turn 16 stating that they can contact the child without the parent present. Some colleges try to exclude the parents in the application and enrollment process. This morning I came face to face with more of this rather annoying and downright insulting behavior and I am mad!
Let me elaborate. My eldest daughter has started to work - as you might already know from previous posts - and is in need of a National Insurance number. In order to get one you need to make an appointment for an interview at a local Jobcentre. You need to prove who you are (naturally) with something like a passport or a drivers licence or something else. If like us you are not yet citizens, you need to prove that you are eligible to work here (again, naturally).
So appointment made, I drive my daughter into town for appointment. I go armed with all our permanent residence information because our application is complicated. We don't have our passports to hand as they are sitting at the Home Office. This not a simple straight forward interview.
My daughter is called for her interview, I go with her. The woman hardly looks at me and says to my daughter, 'And who is this?'
Urm - excuse me! I'm RIGHT HERE and I can even talk!
My daughter and I at the same time, 'My mom/I'm her mother'
Woman: 'Do you need her?'
I'm STILL HERE lady and now my hackles are up because you are SO DAMN RUDE!!!
Me: 'Actually it's absolutely necessary that I'm here because this is not a straight forward application and there are things that my daughter will not be able to answer because she DID NOT make the permanent residence application. As the adult I DID THAT!!'
Woman: 'Well okay then' in a rather sulky voice.
She then proceeded to ignore me completely, she asked questions that my daughter could not answer so I had to answer and provide all the paperwork. She would listen to my answer then TURN TO MY DAUGHTER, meet her eye, and answer!
I cannot tell you how angry I was! That has to be the rudest encounter I have had with a human being ever!
So, to the Jobcentre's around Britain - you may want to introduce your staff to Lady Manners! Put aside your bureaucratic and officious attitudes and LISTEN to each individuals business.
And with regards to everyone's attitudes towards treating children as adults the minute they turn 16 here's how I see it, If I am the one still providing my child's (did you get that? MY CHILD's!) every need. The roof over her head, the food in her belly, the clothes on her back, transport to and from everywhere, every-single-need, then I HAVE THE RIGHT to be present in all areas of her life that are important and official. As long as I am paying the freight on her life I GET a say! How ridiculous that you afford children 'adult status' when they are still completely and totally reliant on someone else for every provision in their lives. GET A GRIP for heavens sake!