A group of civil servants is attending the third session of their local DWP Anonymous group which is in progress...
David: ‘...I was just following the script. I asked her, “Have you thought of killing yourself?” It was like she shut down. Her face wasn’t there anymore. It was just...a smudge...or something. She sort of...she went quiet and then she did this small squeak. Then she mumbled something but didn’t really say anything else. I kept going through the script but she didn’t answer. I told her, you know, “You may be sanctioned for not complying”. I’m not sure she was still listening, because she didn’t even get up to go when we were finished. Anyway, after that day I just zoned out at work. I don’t remember anything else that happened for months after that. I just knew I had to keep saying the questions and giving the threats. I...thanks. I don’t want to say anything else right now.
Jeanne: ‘Thank you David.’
Others: ‘Thank you David’
Angie: ‘The claimants were so rude to me. It helped me feel like they deserved the high handed way we treated them. And the ways we tried to catch them out like sanctioning them for being 2 minutes late. And at the back of my mind I thought, if I meet my sanction targets I might get that management job. I think now that I was selfish and that it wasn’t what God wanted for me to basically punish people who were less fortunate than I was. Who was I to judge them? I’ve said to God so many times I’m sorry. I wish I could say sorry to all those people.
Jeanne: ‘We have spoken before about the option of bringing former claimants here to the group, and that is still an option we can consider.’
Angie: ‘Yes, I’d like that.’
Others: (murmers of assent)