Centrelink

I am so sorry for everyone in the same leaky boat,
Desperately trying just to stay afloat.

Their petty little red tape games
May be just an inconvenience for the average person,
But for us they can be truly soul and life destroying.

I would give anything to have Tony Abbott
(and in fact every single politician in parliament)
Walk in our shoes for a week or two,
So that they can experience some small part
Of the consequences of their heartless policies
That look so good on the budget balance sheets.

See you in the queue at my local 'Link, Tony.
Wait to give 'em your number not your name.
Sit with me and wait for hours,
Because obviously my time ain't worth shit.
Get immersed in the funk of desperation and depression that is everywhere.
Marinate in it as you wait
For your worthless name to be called out.
Leaf through all the pretty glossy pamphlets
That tell fairy tales of how good and easy it is.
Then take a good look around at the reality.

Fiddle with your phone (if you're lucky enough to have one),
Seek your dots and dot your coms,
Look for my career,
Log on to that nifty little Centrelink app
That tells you what to do when,
When to jump and how high.

Don't fuck up, be forgetful or let life drag you down...
Your payments could stop.
Then you'd really be in the shit or on the streets,
And Centrelink take rather a dim view
Of people with no fixed abode.

Get distracted by the spell of the smiling well dressed actors
On the TV screens, sharing their Centrelink success stories,
Then compare that to your own sorry ass,
Sitting in a red seat waiting to have a soulectomy.

Finally!
Your name is called,
And you walk passively behind the fast, efficient consultant,
Wondering whether they will be nice or a cunt.
"Watch your knees as you sit down".
"Thanks" you say, still not knowing if they're nice or a cunt.

Bang your knees as you sit down.
Ow.

Answer their formulaic questions like a good little robot,
Show them the evidence that you have been doing
Everything that they tell you to do
In your Employment Pathway Plan.

"Why haven't you got a job yet?"

Hold back the answer that you want to give:
"Because there fucking aren't any.
There's thousands upon thousands
Of younger and abler people,
Sitting in the same shitty red chairs,
Waiting for you to ask that shit.
How the fuck do you expect a useless cunt
Like me to compete?"

Instead, smile sadly and tell 'em
You're doing everything in your power.

"Well, I'm afraid that isn't good enough.
You've been unemployed for over a year now."

Don't you think I would change that if I could?
I would open a vein just to shovel shit,
But someone else already took that job.

Agree to come back to Centrelink next week,
Same shit, same shovel,
Same stink.
Thanks Centrelink.

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