Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Perils of Payment - Round One to Centrelink

Today I had my (what I thought was final) interview with Centrelink (down at Newmarket). Being the conscientious and organised being that I am I had my birth certificate, statement from the lan mine saying I don't work there, and my 3 bank statements all ready to go. I arrived early about 4:30pm (for a 5pm appointment) because I had nothing better to do and at 5:35pm they called my name (35 mins late but I wasn't counting..much).

The centrelink staff member (who I will get to in a minute) and I sat down and then the fun started.

CSM: So you are living with your boyfriend
ME: Er no, not really..I mean I'm staying with him but I'm not paying rent or anything
CSM: So he is your de facto
CSM: In order to pay you we will need statements of his income
ME: WHAT? No! I don't LIVE there..I'm just STAYING there!
CSM: Thats not what I have here
ME: Well yesterday they asked me if I was living with any I said yes because I am!
CSM: You shouldn't have said should have said STAYING
ME: ok..right (raises right eyebrow)

Anyway I ended up feeling like the lowest piece of scum in the world. To top it off..I have to look for jobs...and apply for 10 a fortnight...even though I ALREADY HAVE A JOB. Brilliant isn't it?
So instead of them just paying me the money, now I have to waste MY time (although I have a lot of it), I have to waste the companies whose jobs I apply for time (by them having to assess me as an applicant...EVEN THOUGHT I ALREADY HAVE A JOB) and I'm wasting centrelink's time because instead of just paying me (very easy) now every fortnight they have to check I have applied for the jobs I have, which is a waste of human resources (something that their obviously understaffed organisation should take into consideration)!

The centrelink staff member made me feel horrible. I was nothing but polite to her, I asked her "is it stressful working here?" (being the brilliant conversationalist that I am) and she replied "it is when you have to go through and change all these details because people give you incorrect information".
Once I had been given my "job diary"...I signed a "preparing for work agreement" and left. I stormed home (it was a very quick trip), kicked some rocks and then had a cry to the man about it when I got home.

So: Round One to Centrelink. But tomorrow I am going to ring them and find out why I HAVE to do this. It seems pretty ridiculous (considering they already told me I didn't have to).

I will update on what happens soon,

- Disgruntled Jen


jase said...

Heya Jen!
Man, when I had that interview, the chick was awesome! Spent a good 1/2 hr flirting with her, so much so that she back paid me for 2 weeks that she didnt have to (assumed i'd been looking for jobs) and said that "if my other job happened to give me more than 30 hours a fortnight... i only have to look for 3 jobs in that time!". How good was that?
They can be dicks though... you COULD always still be working at the lanmine if you werent so keen to be gettin your bone on up in Melbs. But you can just write really shitty applications to jobs you have no chance of getting, i guess.
Chat soon...

jenu said...

Yeah I just spoke to a really nice guy on the phone. I'm just going to apply for jobs I won't hopefully get interviews for like...a backhoe operator or accounting jobs! Its still the stupidest thing ever though. But yeah this guy was so nice and the lady yesterday was such a...I'm not going to get into it again! Talk soon ou workaholic!

Anonymous said...

OMG, what a biatch