Jerry Behr Number 2 (3/2/1951 / Netherlands)
Centrelink And The Dole
In Australia’s twenty first century today, it is far removed from old Henry Lawson’s time of the last century. Lawson’s day of horses, sheep and cattle stations, at the back of Bourke, seems hardly applicable in this century. The old bush telegraph, seems now an old cliché, hardly ever used, nothing more than a cenotaph.The camaraderie and mateship, known in Lawson’s day, are now in amongst the dole queues of Centrelink offices, strewn across the country side.The government has redesigned and reconfigured the dole office, with the latest Office decor, into a mixture, of a luxury hotel lobby and a Star Trek Ship.
The unemployed, enter a whirring sounding office, for their welfare trip.
The humming, whirring sounds, comes from all the computers onboard.
The air-conditioning also contributes to the low humming noises.
The customer is given an interview time, of which Centrelink keeps exactly with grim efficiency, and without any dilly-dallying, not to betray its hunkydoryness.The interviewer, a femme fatale, espouses Centrelink’s gloriousness.
The proletariat customer, is given forms to fill in, of which he has got to put in and
describe his whole life, bank accounts, investments, names of his spouse, his kids,
first names, middle names, and last names, ages, date of birth.
His wife with all details and her financial records, he has got to hand over his soul.
Only after handing over all his life’s information can he be in his dole role.
The computers on board the Star Trek Ship digest all information,
After which the computers start to talk with a host of other computers,
In Australia’s bureaucracies, in order to check out all and other bona fides.
It has been programmed into the computers that the unemployed are bludgers,
Cheats and miscreants, who do not want to work, and are buggers.
The femme fatales who work in Centrelink, in its hunkydory
Congenial atmosphere, look around their Star Trek Ship, and cannot
Comprehend, that there is unemployment in Australia. Little do they realize, that their generals in Canberra, made Centrelink look that way.
So as not to betray the facade, and propaganda, and truth, where it truly lay.
While the proletariat customer was having his interview with Centrelink's femme fatale. He explained why he lost his twenty year old job as a factory hand.The reason was simple, the place went bankrupt, and he didn’t get entitlements.He told Centrelink that he got the sh*ts now, because the same products are imported. “All imported from India, even though we made better products.”
The proletariat retorted.
Centrelink’s femme fatale looked with a facade of great understanding at the proletariat. Said. “The days of proletarianism might be over.” Suggested. “
Join the bourgeois aristocracies,
Complete with benevolent capitalism.” The proletariat had a quizzical look on his face; he said. “I’m broke, don’t know what to do any more, ” he explained. “I’m 49 years old have painful arthritis in my hip, and being in my forties its time to forget it I was told.”
The proletariat beckoned femme fatale, quizzed her about the probability of going on
An invalid pension. The Centrelink femme fatale looked at the proletariat with icy eyes,
And turned to her computer, with her slender fingers with long fingernails.
The computer screen displayed his medical records, her understanding eyes turned cold.
Answered. “The computer says that you are capable of doing light duties I’m told.”
The proletariat looked at femme fatale and said.
“What, do I have to be 97 per cent dead, before I can have a invalid pension? '
With icy charms she said. “You can still work and it’s better than a pension.”
The proletariat retorted. “I have a bum hip, and in pain, and over the hill.”
She retorted. “You could do light duties and could still work still.”
She added. “In order to meet your Mutual Obligations, you will fill in your Dole Log Book.
Fill in all your log book dates, and then Centrelink would be happy.”
“What do you do? ” He asked. “Oh we watch your efforts and man the computers.”
The femme fatale continued “Also you might have to do a technology course of a night.
Perhaps, in computers in order to help you better your life, against unemployment fight.”
The proletariat was absolutely puzzled: Around the Star Trek Ship he could see,
All the computers were manned wall to wall with females.
He remembered in all banks, the computer tellers were manned by females wall to wall.
Even in Road Organizations, the computers were feminized.
Indeed, the workplace had greatly changed over the last twenty years, became dehumanized.
The proletariat said to femme fatale. “Whats the point of doing a computer course if
Only females were allowed to man the computers, not only that, but a lot of computer
Jobs like call centres, are in India. “ He continued. “Imagine someone here in
Sydney, had a problem so he got to ask someone else, on a computer in New Delhi.”
“Now, now, don’t have negative attitudes, studying is better than watching a new telly.”
The Centrelink femme fatale continued and became blasé with the proletariat said.
“Further more if you don’t co-operate with Centrelink, we will apply Breach Rules,
These Breach Rules are designed to control the unemployed protégés.
If you talk-back, yak-back, smart-back, and even fart-back, you will be breached.
You wont receive payment, you will be on the street, this is respect to us to be reached”
The proletariat was absolutely shocked: This is no Star Trek Ship, it more resembled
Something like the Borge, an alien species from the Public Service Collective.
And the proletariat cannot upset the Hive of Centrelink’s Collective activity.
Centrelink’s femme fatale said. “Our programs cannot be resisted and final.”
With icy eyes and charms said: 'Resistance is futile, don't go into denial.'
The Centrelink femme fatale reassured the proletariat that the staff man the computers
In order to give the best of services to the people, help the people to better their lives.
Said to the proletariat that his next port of call was the Job Networks.
This is the new regime that looks for work for him, it’s now privately industrialized.
She pushed all papers: Sign here: Manned the computers: He electronically dematerialized. ©
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Comments about this poem (Centrelink And The Dole by Jerry Behr Number 2 )
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