Monday, 1 March 2010

Bank lady in conversation with Dale Slamma

BL: Why do you only have a part-time job?
DS: I have other jobs but they are sporadic and somtimes I don't get paid.
BL: What are the job titles of these 'other jobs'?
DS: Writer, freelance music journalist, arts reviewer, columnist, magazine editor, portrait model and twitterer.
BL: Do you think you should be doing that? I don't understand how being a twit is a job.
DS: Well you just have to write very short sentences then press publish.
BL: What do you mean writer?
DS: I write things.
BL: Like books?
DS: Yes, I have a manuscript in progress.
BL: Where do you write this 'manuscript'?
DS: In my bedroom but sometimes I need to walk around or sit in a cafe and see if that helps.
BL: I see. What about portrait model? How do you do that?
DS: That's easy, you just have to sit very still and sometimes have knitting needles in your hair.
BL: Why do you do that?
DS: The artist thinks I'm interesting looking and offered to pay me money.
BL: No, I meant the knitting needles.
DS: I'm not sure really, I think she likes painting them.
BL: I see. What about music journalist? What does that entail?
DS: I go see bands and then write about them.
BL: Do you mean rock music? In pubs?
DS: Yes. Rock music. In pubs.
BL: I see. What about magazine edior?
DS: I am the editor of a new independent magzine.
BL: What is your income from editing the magazine?
DS: Nothing yet, it's my magazine and we haven't launched issue #1 yet. It's possible that it may not earn any money.
BL: How many hours a week do you work on the magazine?
DS: About sixty.
BL: Why do you do that?
DS: Well the magazine isn't going to edit itself.
BL: I see. So what you are telling me is that you work one hundred hours a week, get paid for twenty hours a week and sometime for a couple of hours on top of that, sporadically. Your workplaces include your house, pubs, artist studio, the footpath and cafes.
DS: Yes.
BL: I see. Are you married?
DS: No.
BL: We will not be able to process your application at this time. It is more usual in these cases for a person like you to have a husband earning a reliable income.
DS: But..
BL: You might like to think about getting a proper job.
DS: I don't think...
BL: In fact you might like to think about what you are doing in general.
DS: It's not your...
BL: Sometimes a person has to go out and make an effort to fit in and have more normal activities otherwise ....
DS: [hangs up phone, turns on kettle, has a lovely cup of tea and a little sit down]

4 comments:

bowb said...

wha?? i thought they were only supposed to be judgemental on the inside.

Yannimus said...

I was one of the lucky husband-with-reliable-income ones, but I do feel your pain. Banks are such bastards.

R said...

This is a great interview. If I ever get to Australia, or should you ever (for some God-forsaken reason) ever find yourself in my hidden corner of Upstate NY, I'm going to beg you to let me photograph you so I can be mentioned in a story like this.

Dale Slamma said...

You're on.