Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Dementor Attack

As I approached the ominous building, I noticed a sinister mist was beginning to form that could not merely be due to the smokers that lingered outside. I lowered my gaze, avoiding all eye contact with the people I passed, shivering in my raincoat as I rounded the corner and approached the door. The autumnal weather was more suited to a mild November day rather than the middle of August, but I was not glad to leave it behind as I passed through the entrance and into the sterile hallway, empty apart from the towering security guard who obscured the stairway. I showed him my pass, a single slip of paper with a name and time, mumbled an explanation, and as he moved aside I read the sympathy in his eyes.

I had barely taken a seat when I was called through to another room, and allocated a desk. Already I could feel my spirits sapping from me, replaced only by fear and despair. As the severe looking woman opposite apprehended me, I was suddenly struck by the thought that I would never break free from their power, and the knowledge that they didn’t really care that I didn’t belong there. Everything the woman told me was scripted, said simply and with little empathy. The whole procedure took a matter of minutes. She signed me up for two more soul-sucking sessions in the next week, and then let me go.

Numbly, I descended the stairs and passed the security guards with my head bowed. I felt drained and weary, and as I was confronted with the dismal weather once again I wanted to curl up and cry. The woman hadn’t really said anything to evoke this emotion in me, apart from the fact that my benefit would be suspended temporarily, the consequence of my trip to Scotland, and I was already expecting this. It wasn’t a huge deal anyway. It was then that I recognised the job centre for what it was – one giant dementor that sucked the soul and spirit out of all lured into its confines out of necessity. And I knew then that I had to get out of there. And soon.

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