Are you available for and actively seeking employment Terence?
Okay, so she made me promise not to tell anyone and I did solemnly swear and all that but I want to put this out there to recognise a kindess, or for Karmic reasons, or whatever.
And because I fancied her a wee bit too.
Right. This week I went into the Social Welfare office, got signed up and signed on, and they have me approved and ready for the first payment already. Yep. That quick. I'm an official, depressing statistic inside the blink of an eye and what's more, I'm very pleased with it all. Surely this is some sort of record? Is there not supposed to be an eight-week wait? And all sorts of lamentable checks and forms and stuff? Blood tests? Stool samples? Sealed transcripts of how much you got on your confirmation day?
Sure, they were even nice to me so they were.
It was so neatly handled and painless it was like going to the dentist to have all your wisdom teeth out, trembling in trepidation, and finding to your surprise that he'd craftily removed them with the hearty slap on the back he gave you in greeting when you walked in the door.
Is that all like? Do you not want me to cry or beg or something?
Now although I had every last bit of required documentation gathered, present and correct, and then some, I can tell this is not typical. That's because after signing off on my signing on inside a dizzying 15 minutes, she leaned conspiratorially into the plexi-glass and with a wide-eyed whisper, beseeched me not to go out on the streets with a loudhailer proclaiming their awe-inspiring efficiency to all and sundry. For fear, you see, that it would be the clarion call for a deluge of hopeful unemployeds, all travelling long distances to inundate her as they seek the quicksharp succour of the mythical WonderWelfareWoman. And sadly, these sorts of quick turnarounds (crap Wonder Woman pun intended) are just not always possible she says. I think I'm just very lucky or something.
So I'll not mention any names or locations to protect the identity of the superhero involved, because she presumably has a family who know nothing about her amazing powers. Although surely it's only a matter of time before the neighbours see her star-spangled knickers on the line and her cover's blown.
She was a bit of a fox as well actually. Verrrrrrrrrry cute. Nice Rs too. Actually, can foxes be cute? Hmm. Maybe she was more of a rabbit so. Either one or the other I guess, although not at the same time obviously because that might confuse her as she'd be trying to chase herself around the office all day, wanting to eat herself and then having to deal with possible feelings of self-loathing and stuff.
Yes, on reflection, the rabbitty fox/foxy rabbit thing is an annoying circuitous analogy and should never be used again but I like the image of her careering through furniture trying to bite a lump out her own bum, so I'm leaving it in.
So there you have it. I was expecting to be interrogated and indecently probed by some leather-clad Nazi superbitch in wrought-iron underpants, who'd spend three hours shining a light in my eyes and slapping me around the room with her stiletto. But instead I got a nice smiley girleen in a woolly jumper and boots who couldn't do enough to help me. So, you know, that's all good and fair play to the lady involved because the staff there get a bad press sometimes.
My apologies if anyone reading this hasn't had things run so smoothly for them, but you know, it was all so slick and polished for me, I nearly forgot the fact that I no longer have a job or a regular income.
Well nearly. But although I had to leave my pride at the door going in, I was sure to pick it up on the way back out.