Taxing times


After the job centre it’s across the road to the council offices to see about my council tax benefit. In theory the paperwork I completed at the job centre should deal with this automatically, but I’d been advised to call in and make sure I was on the system. After my experience of being docked two weeks JSA for not claiming promptly enough I didn’t need telling twice. The System is clearly geared to those who hold their hand out soonest and longest so here I am, hand outstretched. Cash please.

The councils “Connections” office is on the west side of the town hall, a large high ceiling room with a central entrance, big plate glass windows either side, and a long continuous run of half a dozen or more occupied desks along the back wall. A queue of seats run diagonally from just inside the door to the far right-hand corner of the room. There are more seats back to my right in front of the window as I walk in, and the queue is so long that every one of the diagonal run of seats is taken, and I’m pointed to the unofficial “overflow” queue which is the second run of seats by the window.

One man sits alone on the seat nearest the diagonal queue and he looks up and smiles as I take a pew next to him. There isn’t the atmosphere of doom that prevails the job centre, and we get into small talk fairly easily. He’s been queuing for a little while, not much movement in the diagonal queue so far, but hope springs eternal that we’ll be out before nightfall.

As we chat a fat young woman with a pushchair huffs through the main doors her unfortunate beau scuttling in behind her. I’m rather partial to the more curvaceous of the fairer sex, in a generous fuller figured Ma Larkin sort of way, but this girl isn’t that, she’s just fat in an “ate to much” kind of way, and the abundance of pushed up cleavage just isn’t turning portly to sexy. She dumps herself at the end of the diagonal row of occupied chairs and my new friend rises to explain about our overflow queue situation. She looks at him blankly and shrugs, she aint bovvered.

At that moment a desk becomes vacant and the person at the head of the queue is called across. The rest of the queue shift up a chair each like some sort of reluctant Mexican Wave and fat girl dumps herself in the end chair as soon as it becomes vacant.

My chum remonstrates with her but “she aint movin’ mate”. Her unlucky sperm donor tries to explain (after all it’s not a difficult concept, just get to the back of the queue you silly bitch!) but she “aint ‘avin any of it, alwight”.

Then something magical happens and as another desk becomes free the next couple waiting head across. With two seats vacant, the Mexican Wave of bottom shuffling moves everyone up two places and I plonk myself in the seat ahead of the silly bint still arguing the toss, leaving the seat ahead of me free. Spotting the ploy, my man joins me to my right and the natural order of things is restored.

Sometimes you just have to grab these little victories where you can find them…


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One Response to “Taxing times”

  1. clare Says:

    Double 😉

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