Loan Rager

There are many great things about February. Valentines day, for example, or the fact that it’s a month that no-one seems to ascribe a purpose to.

February is the month everyone gets to chill out a bit. No-one has to listen to any tedious tales about how hard Dry January is as though everyone is a raging alcoholic and drinks so much they’re literally shaking with withdrawal when actually their tales of woe relate more to not having a glass of wine with dinner.

Oh, and there’s pancake day as well.

And for those of us who attended uni in the 90s, there’s the annual fun of telling the Student Loans company that we haven’t amounted to enough since the end of our studies to be able to pay back our loans.

And we’re pretty sure they run off soon, but fear that may be an urban myth and we’ll have to go through this every year until death.

In previous years it’s been a doddle. Three wage slips and away they go. Last year everything went wrong as my deferment got lost and I had to make a payment (before I kicked off) even though I wasn’t even working, so was actually earning less than previous years when I had been working but wasn’t earning enough to pay anything back.

And then this year I’m earning way less than the threshold, but I’m super happy so whatevs. Or I was until I embarked on the path of trying to print my wage slips off.

Our printer has been renamed several times today. None of them were polite. My computer would detect the printer, set it up, and then tell me it couldn’t detect the printer. But it could detect how much ink was in the printer it couldn’t detect.

Not that the ink in the printer that couldn’t be detected would leave the printer. Except for some yellow I never really asked for.

Last year, when my deferment got lost, I could electronically submit all my information. We live in a digital age, after all. But that was a blip. A one-off. Instead I’m left at the mercy of a printer that doesn’t print. It’s like it’s in cahoots with the ones at mums.

It’s a conspiracy.

I’m starting to think that there’s a hate campaign against me, by printers. They all gather round a perfectly printed picture of my face and their digital displays all say things like “Fuck him up!” and “Down with Jake!”

I’m going to email the Student Loans people tomorrow – that’s how they prefer you contact them, despite their love of post at this time of year – and ask them if they’ll accept hand-written sketches of my wage slips…