Friday, 16 July 2010

Tales of Queanbeyan

When we lived in the ACT it was common to hear the City of Queanbeyan referred to in a negative way.

Since we have moved to Carwoola where Queanbeyan is 'town' while Canberra is 'that place' we have found that the people of Queanbeyan are extremely pleasant and helpful.  Not always of the upper socio-economic strata, however.  I think each of the first four tales below illustrate both the struggles faced, and the humane approaches adopted in dealing with, reality not seen often in the ACT.

My first visit to town after returning from the UK was quite interesting:
  • In the Post office a Person of Southern European Appearance (PSEA) was involved in deep discussion with a staffer, while another, older  PSEA was sitting off to one side in a wheelchair. It emerged that the younger PSEA was attempting to get the older guy access to his pension payment.  This seemed - due to bureaucratic bullshyte imposed on the PSEA and the Post Office staff - to require the old guy to have an Australian driving license!  In the past his country of birth had punted the cash straight into a bank account but that was no longer the case.  I have no idea how he was going to get his pension money.  Well done managers!
  • in a supermarket there seemed to be an emergency in which a member of staff approached a customer (who definitely looked as though he didn't own a great number of BHP - or any other- shares) with the words "Excuse me mate , do you have a minute .." after which they both disappeared for a bit of privacy.  When the customer had gone through the checkout the store manager rushed over to the checkout person and asked "Did he pay for the axe?"
  •  At a servo (service station) there was a lot of debate going on at the register.  After the sad looking customer departed the cashier explained that he had just paid for $80 of petrol.  Unfortunately he had inserted this into his DIESEL 4x4. I empathised greatly with this having recently been driving a diesel car in the UK!
 A couple of days later the woman in front of me at a(nother) supermarket mentioned to the cashier that she only had $nn so let her know if her goodies looked like blowing that limit.  They didn't by $3, but the request was obviously not unknown to the cashier!

There is one example of extreme optimism in town.  A new servo has opened.  The owning company is BP!  I cannot imagine anyone buying fuel from that company while there is still a memory of their incompetence in the Gulf of Mexico.

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