The saga of this sodding bus pass

So, even though I’ve not been on a bus since June. I’ve been applying for a disabled bus pass, because it allows me to get a discount card which lets me get cheap access to council gyms and swimming baths. The idea is that this will make things cheaper.

To do so, I need some passport photos (Usually about a fiver) and a note from my doctor saying what’s wrong with me. Now, the doctors’ note is crucial in the application – It has to get across the fact that I can’t walk, and that I am basically really, really ill.

So I asked the people at RL to fill out the form for me. I handed it over, and waited a week.

Yesterday I rang back, and it had been filled out. And at this point, the receptionist said “Oh, you do know there’s a seventeen pound charge for that, don’t you?”

After the job had been done. When it became impossible for me to say “I don’t have seventeen pounds. Literally. At all. I’m waiting on a pay packet and it’s probably not even going to BE seventeen pounds after it’s been through the rapacious hands of the currency converter.”

But anyway. I borrowed the money from a friend and went to the surgery to pick it up. And what had been written was this;


Twelve words. Twelve words which must have taken about thirty seconds to write. At a rate of £1.42 a word, or £2,040 an hour. Which doesn’t say “And thus basically can’t walk more than a hundred yards” which is the only part that’s important to the bus pass company.

Anyway. Need to go to the Post Office to get my photos done (A 300yd walk, which is going to take me about half an hour each way, since I’ll need to rest a few times). So obviously, I want to phone ahead and find out if the post office has a photo booth. And lo, it’s the only post office in the area that doesn’t have a local number, it goes straight to the Post Office’s switchboard – Where they’re not going to know if it’s got a bloody photo booth or not. So I might be making a half-mile round trip, and wasting most of my afternoon, for nothing.

And finally, have had to order a copy of my council tax bill becuase they need two forms of ID, and one of them has to be either a utility bill (I get mine electronically), a council tax bill (yearly, so not within the three-month bracket), or a rent book (I’m mortgaged). Which will take “A few days” to be dispatched.

And then it’s going to take about a fortnight to be processed, and then another ten days or so to arrive. So about a month to wait, really, from the day that I send it off.

Cost of this bus pass – Already up to £23 (and there’s no guarantee that it’ll get processed at all). Plus the £10 for the nondisabled discount card that I’ve already bought, and the £2 for the disabled discount card that I’m still going to have to buy, and that’s £35. For £3 off a swim, I have to do ten swims to make back the cost of the pass. So that’s about a month. Fuckssakes.

Being disabled is basically just a matter of the paperwork heaping up until it kills you.


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