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entry 36 - 17th December 01
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how the DSS thinks

My giro hasn't come again, but I know where it is: it's sitting in the hall of the ground floor flat two storeys below me, the one beneath Horsey, a flat I have no access to. The reason for my giro being there is pretty simple... my address is officially the top flat at number five, but the way these non purpose-built dole scum hovels are knocked together means that my access is through the stairwell of 'next door', i.e. number six, which is where all my normal post goes. But not my giro.

My flat, which is as scabby on the inside as it looks from the outside.

Horsey's flat. This used to be Dave Bahan's flat.

The letterbox my giro gets sent to every fortnight. Unfortunately for me it is not actually MY letterbox, so getting hold of my giro is not as easy as it should be.

My front door.

This flat is occupied by a mad old Chinese woman. She can often be seen on the promenade collecting old newspapers which she brings back and 'stores'. She also, for some reason, collects potatos.

I decided to sort it out once and for all at the Jobcentre.

Me: Look, it's really quite simple: the ground floor flat is completely self contained; there aren't any stairs in it; my front door is, er, next door.
DSS: So you actually live at number six then?
Me: No. Well... sort of.
DSS: But your housing benefit is for number five. You can't have your unemployment cheques sent to a different address from your housing cheques.
Me: Yes, but my housing cheques get paid directly to the landlady. I don't have any trouble with them, it's just my giro.
DSS: Knock at number five and ask the people there to give it to you.
Me: I normally do, but they moved out last week. It's empty.
DSS: Ask the postman to drop your giros at number six then.
Me: I've tried. He won't do it. He said he's got enough on his plate already.
DSS: I'm sorry, but if your housing benefit is for number five, then that's that. Your giro goes to number five.
Me: Okay, okay. How about you send it to number five, but do it care of me at number six?
DSS: We can send a giro care of somebody else, yes, but we can't send it care of someone else with the same name as the eventual recipient. And anyway, even if we could, we can only do it once in any given year.
Me: But that's ridiculous. I just want my money to actually reach me.
DSS: Those are the rules. You'll have to move to a more sensible address.

I asked to see someone with more authority, was made to wait for two hours, then had exactly the same conversation all over again. It's at times like this I wish we had the same gun licensing laws as they do in the States.

Duncan

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