I’d consider myself a pretty average Johnny, but like any other (relatively) young person looking for a job in the current market, I assume that I’m worth far more than I really am. So it’s no surprise that I am having trouble finding one because I’m not willing to settle for anything that I consider beneath me. I have decided by process of elimination that this excludes every job that ever existed except African dictator, extremely famous pop musician or lesbian porn film director.
Unfortunately, none of those are immediately available in New Zealand and because I’m lazy to boot, I could never put in the effort required to become African so I’ve decided to apply to Mother Government for some sustenance in the meantime because my Mum is threatening to kick me out unless I pay some rent, or clean up after myself, or whatever.
You would think that it would be easy to apply for the dole because most of the people I’ve seen on it are one minor head injury away from full blown retardation so you can understand my surprise when I found out that I couldn’t complete the first step required to claim my pecuniary birth rights. To apply for the dole, I needed to register my identity with a government website called ‘RealMe’ wherein they would gather all of my personal information in one place so all their bureaucratic fuckery could be thrust in me from whatever direction they desired. This did not please me. I wanted the money without any invasion of my privacy – clearly, this wasn’t an option. I understood a little about the social contract here – they may give you free money, but they’ll take your SOUL in return, man. Heavy.
So I tried to sign up for the website as myself, because that’s who I am, but I needed to prove it, and not by any commonsense method like going into the dole office to put my Johnny Hancock on a piece of paper with accompanying ID, but by giving a completely INFALLIBLE government website all of my personal information, including my phone number, so that they might “confirm [my] details against records held by Hospitality New Zealand, the New Zealand Transport Agency or the New Zealand Police”. Neato! I’m super glad that my speeding tickets, seatbelt infractions, unlawful arrest and drunk driving conviction will be right alongside a verified photo, my bank details, phone number and address for any crafty hacker or socialist government to know me better. There’s nothing that helps me sleep better at night than knowing I’m protected from, er, I’m not actually sure who because frankly, there is no one I’d rather be protected from than the government. I’m sure that only myself and a handful of South Island separatists feel that way though, but that’s because we’re fucking excellent and everyone else here is a communist sperm receptacle.
I did however, realise the genius of their privacy settings after at least a dozen failed attempts to sign up and get into the website because they have made your username and password credentials so impossible to remember that not even you can get into the site to verify that it is you. Brilliant. After exhausting all of my usual passwords that weren’t deemed good enough, my password ending up being something like Gof!ckuR5elf8$4 which I could only remember by writing it down on a huge orange Post-it that I slapped right on the top of the computer monitor for the best sort of privacy you can get. Don’t know about anyone else, but if a hacker can break into my government account I’d give them a beer or something, not prison time.
I was pretty spent by this stage, I’d made it through the first part of verifying myself by making a username and bashing my head on the keyboard to generate a secure password and I was ready to go to bed. As I lay awake pondering my ethical dilemma of giving up a good chunk of my privacy for a couple of hundy a week, I realised that I was only selling my soul because I couldn’t handle my mum’s nagging so I returned to the job hunt, comfortable in the knowledge that the citizenry who could navigate the RealMe website deserved their dole money after all.