Sunday, August 10, 2003

Memo to those on the dole – what a typical Centrelink employee really thinks of you

Because The Age on Sundays (aka The Sunday Age) still persists with the curious fiction of its being a standalone masthead, correspondence on previous Sunday stories can only get a run on a Sunday. Which means a lengthy, one-week wait, to follow-up (rare) “hot” stories, such as last week’s dole survival story.

But, oh how it was worth the wait – this time. Look at this marvellously poisonous missive (scroll down) from one Dee Candlish. Now although she doesn’t directly admit as much, it seems fairly clear to me that Ms Candlish is a Centrelink employee, and as such, has taken some of “Jean’s” points very personally.

Behind Ms Candlish’s dripping sarcasm (itself, of course, another tell-sign of her being a Centrelink employee) is the Truth That Dare Not Speak its Name – even “Jean” only hints at it. This unspeakable Truth is, quite simply, that if meritocracy in employment outcomes worked in even the most perfunctory way, then the tables would have to be turned on so many Centrelink (and Job Network etc) officer/customer interactions.

In other words, yeah, I know that working for Centrelink (/Job Network etc) would often be stressful, and that it is not particularly well-paid. But Ms Candlish, if you ever think that a goodly chunk of you customer base is not immediately capable of going behind your little laminated counter, and doing your job just as well as, or better than you, then you are sadly deluded.

And Ms Candlish, if you think that a Labor government would change a thing here, then it is high time that you took a holiday, and a long one at that. Actually, why not make it permanent?

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