Recently, the AP published an article on the rampant abuse of unemployment benefits currently plaguing Australia. The benefits system was intended for people who can’t find gainful employment, but the government is clamping down on its generosity by withholding a welfare check for eight weeks if one didn’t have a good reason not to be employed. Lots of able-bodied Aussies had some truly outrageous reasons for not wanting to work. Sadly, a love for golf happened to be one of them.
There was the 26-year old who turned down a job because he “doesn’t work with chickens.” And a 23-year old who refused to be a driver’s assistant because he wanted to be the one driving and the 19-year old who thought work would interfere with his acting career. But this middle-aged recreational golfer gave us all a bad name for not wanting to work for three hours on Sunday because it disrupted his weekly tee time.
Even we golfers think he’s being totally absurd. Golf’s a diversion from a full work week, something to invest your hard-earned dough in, a way to improve your work relations even. We’ve certainly never seen it as an excuse to be on the dole. We don’t know how you could afford to play it on the dole, unless Oz’s government’s unemployment benefits include a side of golf with your welfare. In which case, God help us all.