The Dole Office

-”No, no, no. You need to fill out form 207B and bring it to reception.”

-”But, this is form 207B? It says it here at the top?”

-”No, what you’ve got here is form 207b. See it’s got a lower-case b. You need to get 207B, capital B, and bring it up to reception.”

-”Hang on, up to reception? Isn’t this reception? It says ‘reception’ on that sign there behind you.”

-”No, no, no. This is the reception exclusively for those in their late 30s who were employed in the tourism sector in the early-to-mid 90s. You need the reception for recent film graduates from forgettable midlands counties. That’s up on the 28th floor, between the Icelandic tourist department on the 26th and the samba soccer graduates on the 28th.”

* * *

-“So, you’re unemployed and you want to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance?”

-“That’s correct, I’ve got all the forms here, I think, and the lady downstairs told me to bring them…”

-“You don’t have a job, is that what you’re trying to tell me?”

-”Eh, yeah, that’s right…”

-”And why not? You fucking piece of human waste.”

-”Excuse me?!”

-”I said, ‘Sir, why do you think you’ve been unable to attain employment?’”

-”Eh, um, well I just finished college there a few weeks ago and I’ve been applying for jobs but…”

-”Hang on there a minute now, finished college?! Why have you gone and done that?”

-”What?”

-”Why have you finished?”

-”It’s… it’s a three-year course and I’ve just finished my final year…”

-”So you decided to just finish your degree, knowing that you’d be a jobless parasite afterwards?”

-”I, well, I don’t really get to decide how long the course is you know?”

-”Less of the attitude now, you little bollocks.”

-”What did you just..!?”

-”I said, regardless of your poorly considered decision to finish college after just three years, this is the wrong form.”

-”How do you mean?”

-”Well, you see, what you need to supply us with is form 207B.”

-”Yes, I’ve been told… This is form 207B.”

-”No, no, no. This form you’ve handed me here is form 207β. You see? That’s not a capital B, that’s the ancient Greek symbol for the letter beta. This form is for Jobseeker’s Allowance, but only for those who graduated from Plato’s Academy from 367 – 347 BC. They deal with those claims in the Socratic reception up on the 71st floor.”

-“…the… the Socratic reception?”

-“Yes. If you want to hand in 207β, bring it up there and be ready for a few questions from the man behind the desk.”

* * *

-“Hello, good afternoon, yes. I’d like to check if my social welfare payment has come in yet. I was told to check this post office on Friday the…”

-”Yes, yes, yes. Give us your card, please.”

-”Eh, here you go. Thanks.”

-”Yeah, says it’s all here for you now, a month’s backpay and everything. Hang on just two seconds…”

-“Ah, that’s great, thanks very…”

-“There you are, a hundred euro.”

-”…much… A hundred?

-“Yes.”

-”One hundred euro. With backpay?”

-”Yes.”

-”…Feckin’ Greeks.”

sanzio_01_plato_aristotle

Plato and Aristotle throwing shapes in the dole queue.