Tuesday, October 31, 2006

DOH's Simple 30 Step Plan for Income Reporting

  1. Tenant rings D'oH to to notify them of new employment
  2. The call centre promises to put the appropriate form, the Rental Subsidy Form into the mail.
  3. Next day, the form does not arrive.
  4. A week later, tenant who is busy trying to impress employers in new job and doesnt have time to keep ringing DOH, rings again to enquire "Where is my Rental Subsidy form?".
  5. Go to Step 2. Keep going to step two until several weeks pass.
  6. Form finally arrives.
  7. Form now lies mouldering in bottom of tenant's handbag while s/he is distracted by demands of new job
  8. Tenant smites forehead, having just noticed crumb-encrusted form at bottom of handbag.
  9. Feeling reluctant to out herself as a houso when her new employer still thinks she's a pillar of the community, decides she might just wait a bit.
  10. Tenant bites bullet and is referred to company accountant, who is invariably on leave for another 2 weeks, and has more important things to catch up with when they get back than worry about about some houso's pathetic form.
  11. Tenant hassles accountant for another week until form finally rubber stamped
  12. Form now lies mouldering in handbag for another week, because tenant is out of habit of using snail mail.
  13. Plus, let us be perfectly frank, tenant has just started work after a period of barely subsistence income. Tenant needs new work clothes, has lost transport and medication subsidies, the creditors have all come home to roost, the tenant has a bit of money in her hands, and is in no hurry to be pushed back to a level of disposable income that's only a few dollars more than s/he on the carer's pension. For those of you in the know, TEIS, the Tenant Employment Incentive Scheme has not kicked in because this is not the tenant's first short-term contract this year. So tenant uses the system in the same way as the rich guys, and hope that when the rent bill catches up with her some deus-ex-machina will save her
  14. Tenant finally posts the form to DoH
  15. Tenant waits longer than seems reasonable for a response from Department
  16. Still no word from Department
  17. Tenant rings up Department
  18. Department is required by law to have lost any record of tenants ever calling them on any matter
  19. Department promises to pass on urgent message to team leader who is "out visiting sites".
  20. Team leader doesn't call back. (Repeat steps 15 thru 16 n times, or till patience wears out)
  21. Eventually another form is accquired by circuitous means: try influence peddling, weeping, threatening self-harm, contacting local member,
  22. Go through rigmarole with employer's accountant again (Go to step 6)
  23. Finally hand deliver the form to DOH just to be on the safe side
  24. DOH takes another surprisingly long time to work out new rent
  25. Start paying rent plus arrears, unless a particularly zealous CSO, acting on new slash-and-burn ministerial directive, decides its time the tenant was taught a lesson and has 'em hauled before the CTT (The Tribunal)
  26. Tenant realises that the rent calculation was wrong. D'oH calculates the rent 3 different ways, and it never comes out the same.
  27. After much head-scratching and whispered background consulting with superiors, the correct formula is negotiated over the next couple of days.
  28. By this time, tenant's contract has ended and s/he is unemployed again.
    But now, she must pay rent on an income s/he is no longer earning, having already spent the rent money on the items listed in point 12.
  29. Get next job, hopefully soon.
  30. Go straight to Step 1. Do not collect Rental Subsidy form, that comes much later ...

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