Firstly I'd like to say this is not a dig at Anglicare, I know they do amazing work, this is just my spin on another funny experience to look back on.
February this year was not a good time for me. I had just been fired from my job, was behind on rent already and had a mountain of bills piling up. I was, quite simply desperate and completely broke. I decided to reach out for help and this is my experience with Anglicare.
I made an appointment and was told to bring as much information as possible, which was easy since I was literally behind on everything. So I used my precious ink to print everything from bank statements, to phone bills and a seemingly endless cavalcade of bills. Even my printer gave up towards the end and now I was out of ink as well.
I turned up to my appointment and was told to wait until my name was called. A man came in who couldn't speak English and I was taken with how dismissive the woman at the desk was. "Just give him a bag of groceries" she moaned to another woman who simply looked numb. I have to admit, I checked out his bag and was quite impressed with what he'd gotten. The man, clearly there for more than that, wandered back out the door.
This is going well, I thought.
My name was called soon after and a very erratic man led me down one hallway, realised the room was being used and then led me back to the start and then into this quite odd room that was clearly some sort of storage space that happened to have a computer. The man, lets call him Eric, fumbled around while I sat patiently with my massive wad of paper shame.
Apparently there had been new systems installed and despite a full day of training, Eric advised he really had no idea how to use it. At this point I started to want to bolt for the door. But alas, I stayed to watch the impending train smash happen right before my eyes. Eric asked me about my situation, which I told him I was basically screwed in every direction. I started handing over each bill, my lease and the rest of the paperwork, throwing in that now I have no ink left either (for some reason that was a thing).
We went through everything, he ummed and ahhhed at various points, not giving me any real indication that he knew what he was doing. " Is this guy new?" I wondered? After helping him get the computer started (he had the laptop on the deck next to the actual one he should be using), I was convinced this was not going to be a super helpful outcome.
I even remember the date, because this is an important part of the story. It was the 6th of Feb. So anyway I digress, Eric shuffled through all my bills, helpfully pointing out that I was in a really bad position. Yes Eric, I knew that at the time, hence me sitting here in the first place. I could feel my frustration starting to boil at Eric's seemingly intense lack of any sort of competence. I kid you not, when he said he would make a call, instead of calling whoever he was meant to ( I never found out), he accidently just called the front desk, had a good laugh with the mean grocery lady and then hung up. The thing is he didn't pick the phone back up and call whoever he was actually meant to. Game over Kyle, I thought.
Eric told me he'd need to go and speak with his manager, which I concurred would be a good idea, hoping Eric would get some guidance on what to do. Twenty minutes later he literally tripped through the door and was back.
" So the thing is, we all have budgets, and I have hit mine for the month" he started off with. Ummm its the 6th of the month started to explode out of my mouth. " So unfortunately I'm unable to help you at all". I looked at him like I'd been shot in the face. " I'm really sorry" he said. I couldn't help myself, " Sooooo even though you knew from our phone call what my situation is and have spent the past 45 mins going through all my paperwork, you would have been already aware that on the 6th of the month you have gone over your budget? Could I possibly see someone who HASN'T gone over theirs?". He looked at me like I had asked the stupidest question in the world...... Then it happened.
" What I CAN do, is give you a bag of groceries" he chirped.
I felt the last sliver of my dignity flee from the building. Then I thought to myself well hey it's a free bag of groceries and that other man didn't to do badly, apart from having the actual reason he was there addressed.
So I followed Eric out with my massive wad of useless paperwork while he said he would personally go and get me a bag. Still reeling from the whole experience I grabbed the bag and rushed out the door and fled to the car.
Once I got inside the car I sat thinking...."Why on earth did he make me go through all that and then tell me he could do absolutely nothing?" Well F*#$ it, I got out with a bag of food I guess. I then turned my attention to the bag and this is where I lost it.
The bag contained the following
* Pasta (no sauce)
* Some ground coffee (for a machine I don't have)
* 2, yes 2 cans of Asparagus (which I hate more than life itself at this point)
* Weetbix (score 1 Kyle)
And.................. 2 cans of Kidney Beans!
I sat there for a second, taking in the hellish experience and now the sheer horror of my grocery bag. These moments are when I look to the sky and go " Really?". I looked out of the passenger window and there was a bin outside someone's house. In a complete rage I got out of the car, marched around to the bin, took out the Weetbix, and threw the rest in the bin as hard as I could. It felt like I was being pranked, who the hell needs 2 cans of Asparagus and 2 Cans of Kidney Beans, not to mention the ground coffee, couldn't I have just gotten some Nescafe?? I thought back to the lady behind the counter, maybe there's a group of bags for people they just want to mess with, and then a normal bag with food you can actually use.
The groceries had tipped me over the edge. I drove home in a fury, then pulled up outside my place and just laughed, there was nothing else I could do. This couldn't have been any less successful if I had tried, not only was Eric completely odd, the whole process was insane.
Needless to say that night's dinner was on Eric, thanks for the Weetbix.