Robbie the Rat from Complainark

Picture is of a cute rat seemingly chewing on a tiny hula hoop

Robbie was the scourge of the country of Complainark. Robbie knew how to break the law in Complainark. In Complainark the law only worked if people complained. The people of Complainark don’t like complaining. Complaining is depressing and it often means you have to dob people in. In Complainark dobbing people in was bad form. The Government had tried to lessen the stigma of dobbing in but numerous campaigns in the media had not hit their target. Complaining and dobbing meant you were miserable and a whinger and people just did not want these labels. So, rather than complain, the people of Complainark remained largely silent.

Robbie knew this and he abused the system at will. He knew there was a risk that one day someone might actually complain about him BUT he also knew that there were so many shades of grey in the law that the likelihood of him being penalised was next to nothing. The risk was worth it in his view. So Robbie did just about anything he damn well pleased.

Robbie would walk into a shop. See something he liked and just take it. Of course stealing was against the law and frowned upon but for the law to work in Robbie’s country someone had to first complain about Robbie stealing. So Robbie would walk into an electrical shop, see a laptop that he liked and walk out with it.

Of course people from the shop would confront Robbie. “That’s not yours”, they would say and ask him to put it back. Robbie would laugh at them and just walk away. The shop owners would ring the police and ask them to tell Robbie to give back whatever it was that was stolen. The police would do nothing. Instead they would direct whoever it was that complained to their website. The police would instruct them to go to the complaints section and document their complaint about Robbie. The complainee needed to document in detail what had happened and why they had been disadvantaged. Of course it took a fair amount of time for their complaint to get through the system. In the meantime Robbie was at home enjoying ‘his’ new lap top.  Strange? It certainly was, but that was the law in Complainark.

After a period of time, sometimes two weeks, sometimes a month and sometimes longer the police would contact the person that had made the complaint.  They would explain the process for having their complaint heard. First there would be conciliation. The person making the complaint, the shop owner or whoever, had to meet with the police and Robbie and explain why they think it was wrong that Robbie has stolen the laptop or whatever it was that Robbie had stolen. They had to explain why they thought they had been disadvantaged and what they thought should happen. Of course the answer was usually very simple, Robbie had to give back whatever he had stolen and be punished for it.

BUT! The law was funny. You see Robbie could claim Unjustifiable Hardship. Unjustifiable Hardship was a part of the law that stated that if a person didn’t have very much money they could claim hardship if whatever they had stolen was taken away from them. Now Robbie did not work, he had very little money and he would simply claim that by taking the laptop away he would be severely disadvantaged. How would he apply for jobs without the laptop? How would he feed himself if he had to BUY one?

The person making the complaint usually would claim that it was unfair that Robbie was able to do as he pleased and that he should go to jail. Of course Robbie would point out that if he went to jail there was no one to look after his children, four dogs two cats and budgie, (the animals all which had been stolen), and that apart from being in financial hardship he would suffer untold personal hardship as well.

Under the Unjustifiable Hardship clause Robbie won every time. In an effort to counter this, the person making the complaint would try another avenue of the law. They would claim that it was Reasonable for them to ask for the laptop back because it was theirs in the first place and that they had paid for it. Unfortunately, under the law, Reasonable had not been given a clear definition. In other words what was Reasonable was not clearly prescribed in the law. Robbie would claim that it was not reasonable to give the laptop back because, in his view, they had enough laptops and they would not miss the one he had taken. But, you see, under this weird law Robbie and whoever made the complaint had to meet and try to work out what was considered reasonable. Robbie simply would refuse to budge.

So the police would try to get Robbie and the person making the complaint to agree on what should happen. That the answer was as simple as Robbie having to give the laptop back was not something that the law had considered. Conciliation was about the two parties coming to an agreement on the course of action that should be taken. Robbie would simply never agree. The laws of Complainark were Robbie’s friends.

Now after the conciliation process had failed the police would advise the person making the complaint that they were sorry but resolution could not be found. They would advise that the only course of action for them to take was to go to court. They would have to get a good lawyer and then argue their case in the courts.

The problem was that court was an expensive business. The lawyer’s fees could come into many thousands of dollars. Court fees likewise were in thousands of dollars. What is worse, if they lost, they would have to pay Robbie’s lawyer and court fees as well. The fact that injustice had happened was of no consequence, the onus was on the person making the complaint to take the risk of losing many thousands of dollars, which might mean their house, and show that Robbie had broken the law.

The lap top was worth just over a thousand dollars. The risk of losing everything usually meant that the person making the complaint, even though they were entirely in the right, simply could not take the risk and they would usually drop their complaint like a hot cake. Robbie knew this and he went away laughing every time.

Robbie knew that there were cases where the person making the complaint had gone to court and won. But he also knew that the odds of them doing so were very slim. He knew that the system was weighted in his favour and he abused the system to the hilt. Apart from that Robbie knew that people hated complaining and rarely did. He knew he was wrong BUT hell he didn’t write the laws of Complainark, it wasn’t his problem.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA what a strange country Complainark is. Perhaps Complainark  is the figment of some kind of weird dream. Well if you are disabled then try to claim discrimination under Australia’s disability discrimination law because that is exactly how the law is written. Fair? Reasonable?  PBBBBFFFFFFTTTTTT!!!!!


5 thoughts on “Robbie the Rat from Complainark

  1. I can really relate with your article – a few years ago after being constantly encouraged to make complaints as they say “every small thing makes a difference”, I decided to make a complaint against xxxx via HREOC only to find it to be a hopeless and useless process. i was told that I could go to the court but it would be at my own expense if I don’t win in court. I just lost faith and never made a complaint again. Changes needs to be made…

      • Interesting artical and same name sake?? coincident??

        Read on
        there are laws stealing is a crime simply put wether i agree or not stealing is stealing i have in turned made complaints and won simply because i had reason to then i can only suggest you do the same .

        Interesting bit if someone breaks into a home do we report and make a complaint> lifes little suprises it does bt back if the complaintee is identified.. Grey area Threatend ? these times im sure this does not refer to Australia as Stealing is simpley a crime and yes crime does pay . interesting topic and wow my name is added? was it directed at me as a justified complaint is always investigated even if Discrimination happens Laws a law mm such an interested topic think im gonna change my name

  2. I might add if its discrimination for deaf ? mm law states you have a right to lodge a complaint its your Right also to seek justic also it law to stop unwarented cases hence tribunals .
    hence the law is two sided and i can relate to it.
    when a complaint is made its wise also to know Failer as its the right to the complaintee to seek damages .
    Im neither a lawyer but as i said Grey area complaint are mostley delt with Tribunals but in some cases if damages are greater then goes to a higher court its the Tribunals duty to stop this due to damages on both sides Deframation of character is one hence its not easy these days to seek discrimination as it can always be resolved unless a party is seeking Damages it wise to seek the law a Laptop is classed as stolen goods Discrimination is classed as human barrier denied rights ect im aware if we take on a higher buisness schools ect they have means to counter discrimination hence most drop the cases i suggest you do not fight for what you believe in in life there are no winners most with dollars stall intimidate until we feel exhausted

  3. I first argued about the law being hopeless a while back. I have lost faith in the legal system as well. I believe the American system is better as they would act on a situation once sued! Here, everything is wishy-washy and if you have money, the law is your friend.
    It definitely needs to be clear cut and at other times, it needs to be final (where decisions do not need to go further).
    Anyhow, the Disability Discrimination Act is due for a review. So, keep an eye out for this and start putting forward suggestions for improvements to make this system a bit better for us all.

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