I know that Centrelink offices are designed to be off-putting. It wouldn't do to make them welcoming, with helpful staff, and brisk service. That might attract more customers. The plan always works for me - I walk through the door and immediately have this overwhelming urge to turn tail and flee.
I queued. Dreamer stood beside me, hiding behind his fringe, and playing his DS. We queued for twenty minutes to tell the receptionist why we were there.
"Dreamer is here to lodge an application for a Disability Support Pension".
A second receptionist looked Dreamer up and down, and snorted "Youth Allowance more likely". As if Dreamer didn't look disabled enough.
I restrained the impulse to punch her in the nose, THEN turn tail and flee and never come back to Centrelink, ever, ever, again.
We sat, as requested, and waited for someone to call us.
Our document-lodging was much more pleasant. A nice young gentleman noted details of ID, checked the forms were completed correctly, and chatted. Towards the end (and this was the endless document, remember) he started flipping pages faster and faster.
I joked "Is it almost time for your lunch break?
"No, I only work 4 hours a day. I'm on a return-to-work plan. This place gives me anxiety attacks".
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I think working at Centrelink would give me anxiety attacks as well.
He picked up the phone and booked Step Four - The Job Capacity Assessment, for the following week.
We turned tail and fled.