Jesus is sat in the waiting room of a nondescript office block with several other people on zimmer frames, walking sticks, wheelchairs etc. Jesus is sat uncomfortably still attached to his cross. He nods at the others and looks up at the receptionist. No-one seems fazed by his appearance. A woman in a wheelchair sat next to him whispers “don’t overdo it love, they’ll still sign you off, cross or no cross.”
The receptionist shouts out :
“Mr Christ to room 23 please”
The others moan and mutter as Jesus struggles to his feet. He eventually gets up helped by a man wearing shades and carrying a white stick.
“Cheers lad” Jesus says and then tries to negotiate the tight corridor with his cross. He knocks on the door of Room 23.
Jesus walks in and a strict looking woman is sat behind the desk. She seems to take no notice of his cross as Jesus has to duck and manoeuvre his cross through the door.
“Take a seat please Mr. Christ.”
“I’d rather stand if you don’t mind love, it’s difficult to sit down with this thing on me back.”
The woman looks disdainfully at him and takes her pen out.
“Suit yourself. So you understand the purpose of this Back To Work interview do you?”
“All I know this they’ve stopped me incapacity love and want to get me on Jobseekers.”
The lady looks down to her pad and writes something down.
“I mean, I’m not saying I’m totally incapable of doing certain jobs, I used to be a chippy, did a bit of catering and even volunteered at A&E but then y’know…” (nods at hands nailed to cross).
“So you have worked in the past?”
“Yeah, that’s what I’m saying love but then the fucking Romans did this to me”
She looks up as Jesus turns around to show her cross.
“Does that restrict you in any way?”
“Just a bit love, plays fucking havoc with me back like.”
“So you have back problems”
“Er, that’s an understatement, I’m on all kinds of painkillers for it.”
“So you have a medical prescription I can check?”
“Well, I mean I don’t like to trouble the quacks with it y’know so I just twat the Co-codamols and the Trammys when it’s really bad.”
She writes more things in her pad and ticks some boxes.
“And what’s the cause of your back problem?”
“Something funny sir?”
“I’d have thought that was pretty fucking obvious”
“I’d prefer it if you didn’t swear Mr Christ, and I’m afraid it’s not entirely obvious why you would be suffering with your back.”
“Well you try walking round nailed to this thing and carrying the sins of all mankind on your shoulders for two thousand fucking years and see how you like it.”
The woman looks up from her pad and angrily gets to her feet.
“I won’t tell you again about your language Mr Christ, I will terminate this interview immediately if you swear once more and phone security.”
“Yeah sorry love it’s just, y’know, I’m a bit agitated to be honest, I mean what about all these illegal immigrants eh, selling the Big Issue and living in five star hotels? I haven’t been sleeping well since I got your letter through the door.”
She sits back down.
“I understand that Mr Christ but my job is to assess you and judge if your right to welfare benefits is necessary or whether you are capable of doing some jobs, for example have you ever done office work, filing, typing, cold calling, supermarket check out et cetera.”
“Are you taking the piss girl? My hands are nailed to a big fuck off cross you soft bitch, how the fuck am I supposed to type or phone some cunt up to sell them PP fucking I?”
The woman picks up the phone immediately and dials a number.
“Right, that’s it, I warned you, this interview is now terminated and security will escort you out of the building. I’ve made my assessment and will forward this to Jobcentre Plus who will decide whether you are entitled to your current benefits. Personally, I think you carry that cross around to gain public sympathy and are quite capable of undertaking a range of different occupations, if you put your mind to it. It’s people like you who abuse the system that give all benefit claimants a bad name, the world doesn’t owe you a living you know.”
Two security guards come through the door and grab hold of Jesus who tries to kick them.
“Come on, dickhead.”
“Get off me, yer pair of pricks!”
“Grab his cross Billy”
They manage to steer him through the door and Jesus bangs his head as he goes through.
“Owww! Watch it lad, feel hard do yer? Two onto one, a fellar nailed to a fucking cross against a pair of stedheads? I’ll come after yer, grassing bastards!”
They throw him onto the floor outside. Jesus gets up puts the middle fingers of his nailed hands up and walks away disconsolately muttering swear words. The security guards return inside and the other people in the room look down. The receptionist shouts “Mrs. Nightingale”. The woman in the wheelchair struggles as she wheels herself slowly along the corridor.