I actually made the effort to leave the house, which was a good start. I had an appointment with the employment agency that centrelink wants me to be friends with. So, as I felt like dressing up a bit, I dressed as the most unemployable kind of person I could think of. It turned out to be a time-travelling rockstar. Admittedly this wasn't originally something I was going for, but when I looked in the mirror my first thought was 'time-travelling rockstar' so I did what I do most days and pretended it was intentional. This would also work well as an explanation for why I can only seem to make pop culture references that were topical circa 1985, which was a pretty good bonus.
In my silver boots (I love these boots because if anyone ever comments on them I get to say 'Well, you know, some people call me a space cowboy' and I love quoting songs in conversation), my ripped jeans (not so much a fashion thing as a 'they were $5 because they were torn' thing) and my totally sweet 70s-style aviators I went out into the world.
I forgot that it was Bogan New Year's ("Clipsal") right outside our house and so oh boy did I get some looks. When it's the suits on their lunch hour, I don't so much mind it. I go 'Yeah! Getting attention for being a weirdo! I bet I am blowing these guy's MINDS!'
But the bogans, they don't like it. And if someone is going to express their distaste with more than a snooty look, it's not the suits. Unless Patrick Bateman is out and about that day in which case I am probably a goner anyway.
Luckily, if anyone so much as said anything about me, I had the music blaring through my big chunky headphones and could deny anything was happening whatsoever. I continued this all the way into the city where it had the unfortunate effect of me accidentally jumping out in front of traffic because apparently I have no road sense whatsoever.
Unfortunately, the office of the employment agency was some kind of Harry Potter deal. I walked up and down the street for about half an hour until I called them in desperation saying I could not attend the appointment as their office did not exist. The lady asked my whereabouts and I described them. She gave me a quick direction and I discovered that the office was about 10 metres from where I had been standing. Despite the obvious use of magic, I walked in feeling pretty stupid.
It got worse when the chick had me call centrelink to see if I actually needed to be there and after being on hold for some time I found out that yes, everything I did in this appointment would be immediately redundant, but I had to do it anyway.
So I sat down to the huge pile of completely unnecessary paperwork. I started off answering their questions in a half-hearted, but mildly serious manner. Until I remembered that this was all totally redundant and I was going to be super late for coffee. I still answered most of the questions in the same manner, but I throw in a couple of stupid answers for my own amusement. Amongst my 'skills and abilities' I listed 'being a generally pretty ok person'. When asked what industry I would want to work in, I penciled in 'Anything but the circus (due to personal trauma)'. There was one question I didn't quite know how to answer because it made no sense that I could see. It said 'Who is your closed relative or friend?' or something and I had no fucking clue so I just wrote N/A.*
I thrust the forms at the woman and dashed out the door. Had coffee with an old friend who I meant to give a link to this blog already. I guess I'll go do that now. By this stage my boots were not being supportive enough (I wear such fickle clothing) and I had huge blisters on the bottoms of both my heels, making me walk like I had cerebral palsy. I had enough money in my bank account for either a taxi home or something to eat, one or the other. Knowing there was food at home, I opted for calling a cab. Unfortunately Yellow Cabs are the most awful people in the entire world. My call was answered quickly and I was told that because I was on Rundle St I should just hail a cab instead of booking one. I tried to insist that I would really like to book one, but he basically refused**. Excellent customer service, Yellow Cabs, seriously. The best part is that I did try to hail the only cab I could see and was promptly informed that it was booked under the name Maria. Yes, it was the same cab company. I would have claimed that I was Maria, but the woman who very obviously was the actual Maria was standing right in front of us. She was old and frail too.
So I called the Dude Ranch with yet another 'Yellow Cabs have fucked me over' story and Meattrain kindly agreed to pick me up. I started composing an angry letter in my head and went home.
* Vegatrain was once in a similar situation and I believe there was a question asking any conditions that would prevent you from working certain industries and he wrote 'Irrational fear of all living sea creatures'. To be fair, he does have an irrational fear of all living sea creatures.I see it as the main reason why I can never have my house with aquarium walls.
** On reviewing this story I am now wondering if I had called at a bad time and the real operators were in the process of being tied up.