A row of dispirited people sat on chairs facing the two doors to offices being used for a few hours a week by the Citizens Advice Bureau. They arrived early as they ran it on a first come, first served basis and the doors shut promptly at one regardless of how many were still waiting.
Mavis walked confidently up the stairs, glanced at the queue and thought. “What a bunch of losers. I’m going in. I need these forms signed.”
She held the file high and smiled at the down, beaten people as she knocked on the door. “This won’t take long.” She brazenly walked in. The man at the desk blinked rapidly, “I thought my next client was a gentleman, Mr Watts.”
Airily, she waved her hand and said, “He’s happy for me to see you instead.”
He sighed, how can you help people when they don’t even wait? “What is it you want?”
A cascade of paper flowed from the file onto his desk.
“It’s not much. I need to prove to the council that I need a disabled parking bay, a blue badge and a reduction in council tax plus some form of disability allowance.”
He looked at the jumble of paper and her. “Is this for you, or are you here on behalf of someone?”
She was shocked. “For me, of course! Why would I want to help anyone else?”
He clenched his jaw before taking a deep breath. “Madame, if it’s not an impertinence, what is the nature of your disability?”
She screwed her eyes and with a sneer said, “I don’t have to tell you. Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with me, but I was told you could help me fiddle the system. I’m tired of working and want to take things easier.”
© Felicity Edwards