EFFIE BATEMAN | BRISBANE | CONTACT
Peering through a slit in his blinds, a weary Tom Peterson skulls his beer and surveys the street for activity.
Like hundreds of thousands of Australians who lost their job to the global Coronavirus pandemic, the ex bartender has had trouble keeping himself entertained for long stretches of time and has resorted to copious amounts of booze in order to make the humdrum of daily life more bearable.
In between pacing his small apartment like a caged animal and adding to his growing bin pile of recyclable glass, Tom reckons he finally understands what unemployed people go through every day.
“This all started when I tried to apply for Centrelink”, spits Tom, swaying slightly in front of his web camera, “they don’t make it fucking easy do they?”
“First you have to create a MyGov account which is a whole rigmarole. They want your birth certificate, bills with your address on them, fucking prostate exam results from three years ago.”
“Then you have to create a Centrelink account, if you can get on the site at all, link that up, get your ex-wife who hates your guts to sign some documents confirming you’ve got kids and then when you think you think you’re finally out of the gate, you’ve gotta call the head office and confirm your identity.”
“Can’t get through on the phone, the site crashes every five minutes. Honestly mate, I take back every shit thing I’ve ever said about dole bludgers. The system isn’t designed to help people, it’s to punish.”
More to come.