Can you still buy Rinso?

I have been dealing today with a government agency requiring photo ID for an older family member, impacted by the disaster in Lismore. He’s now too old for a driver’s licence and has never been overseas, so he has no passport. To get a replacement birth certificate, he requires a photo id. To get a photo id, he requires a birth certificate. Yes Minister.

I have explained to them he lost EVERYTHING in the flood. There’s NOTHING left. It’s now up to the manager to decide if they can accept the application without a photo ID. 

Should I explain this is the only photo ID we have?

There have been a few moments of frustration over the last few weeks, dealing with bureaucracy in both the public and private sectors.

Memorably, I have spoken with a couple of agencies who told me I should “go into their branch in Lismore”. “But you have no branch in Lismore”, I’ve told them. “Apparently we’ve set up a temporary branch” they’ve told me, on checking the computer. “No, that was washed away in the second flood”, I’ve replied.

Others have been awesome. For example, I spoke yesterday with someone from Lismore City Council about getting a copy of a rates notice, also washed away in the flood. We need this to apply for some government support. The person on the phone was wonderful and provided some advice about how we might need to deal with things in the future.

Lismore floods have taught me power of attorney is one thing, but also important is to be able to speak on behalf of older family members before that’s required. This is especially the case with technology-based companies like phones/internet, where it’s ASSUMED everyone has everything online and doesn’t still live in a world of paper.

Despite these setbacks, there have been some moments of joy.

I LOVE some recently unearthed photographs of Gloria from the early-mid 60s. Likely before/around the time I was born. South Lismore.

Gloria washing her feet in the tubs at 21 Kyogle Street. A packet of Rinso is nearby. Can you still buy Rinso?

And it was awesome to see today this has won the Archibald Prize. Lismore artist, Karla Dickens, as painted by Blak Douglas. Both are wonderful artists, and great to see Lismore getting a mention again. Friends commented (dark humour) that the flood waters were much deeper

I just saw Adam/Blak on ABC TV, and he said the leaking buckets were about artists losing income to galleries, curators etc.

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  1. Andrew

    I think agencies expect an older person to have an advocate for them who can deal with form filling and tech matters. But what if they don’t have such a person? I’d like to think bureaucracy would step up to the crease and help the helpless person. Am I being naïve?

    1. James O'Brien

      There have been times when I’ve found the help stuff challenging, and I know my way around computers and bureaucracy. Other people don’t have much support. I know there’s lots of help for people in Lismore at the recovery centre. But even so, there’s lots of help you may not know existed.

  2. marcellous

    James, great title question but presumably rhetorical as you could find out the answer as easily as the rest of us. So (with difficulty) I am resisting the temptation to provide the answer, though it did send me down a rabbit hole about brands of laundry detergent.

    Like toothpaste, they differ very little. The technical term is “market segmentation.” In other words, still trying not to answer your question, it doesn’t really matter if you can buy “Rinso” or not.

    1. James O'Brien

      Hehehehe

  3. James O'Brien

    Update, with persistence, we got the necessary paperwork.

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