The University of Sydney Union (USU) brought joy and not a smidge of discomfort to many first years last week with their inclusion of a wax Taylor Swift figure at their Welcome Week stall.
But for ex-USU worker Grhant O’Phucklan, the figure was much more than an uncanny recreation of a pop star – it was a harbinger of peace.
“Losing my job last year was devastating,” Grhant told Honi. “I didn’t think there would be any way I could support my 3 children: Taylor, Swift, and 2014 Radio Disney Music Award for Fiercest Fans.”
Grhant was one of the many staff members stood down by the USU in 2020 due to COVID-related closures and cuts. It was witnessing the sheer majesty of Fake-lor Swift that gave him the sense of clarity he had desperately sought since the termination of his employment.
“All this time I had been asking myself, ‘Why can’t they afford to keep me? Why did they never give me my JobKeeper Subsidy? Where’s all that money going?’ But knowing that the USU had a bit of extra dosh up their sleeve to spend on hiring an inexplicably imperishable wax statue that people could take photos with and then never think about again… that was the most comfort I’ve felt in a year.”
When asked why his voice had been so muffled for the entire conversation, Grhant revealed that he and his 3 children had been living in the suitcases hanging from the Manning Bar ceiling since their house was sold last year.