Remaining friends with the Ontologically Evil APS friend

Lately, you’ve noticed something different about your friend. Something off. There’s a spring in their step. They’re dressed business casual, even though it’s 7pm on a Saturday. The lanyard at their hip swings hypnotically as they walk down Uni Ave, like a metronome, or the quivering hand of the Doomsday clock. You know these symptoms. We all do. 


They’ve gotten a job at the APS.


Of course, you rush to congratulate them. They’ve joined the world of real jobs (APS employee, paralegal, Woroni writer), leaving you and your not-real job (hospo, high school tutor, Woroni writer) far behind. You ask where they work, and for some reason, your friend can’t quite meet your eyes. The DKD, they say. It’s a new department, you wouldn’t have heard of it.  


Curious, you press further. DKD? Is that like PMC?

Sorta, your friend replies, though their gaze is still skittering around the room, checking all the exits. 

So, what does it stand for?

They mumble something unintelligible. 


Dog-Kidnapping Department.

The what

The Dog-Kidnapping Department.

And you…?

Kidnap people’s dogs. Yeah.


You’re shocked. Your friend takes the opportunity to make a dash for the stairs, with a hurried goodbye and an excuse about emails, leaving you to bear the weight of this horrifying knowledge. You like your friend. You want to stay friends with your friend. But you consider yourself a good person, even something of an activist – you did Veganuary this year – and supporting someone who works for the literal Dog-Kidnapping Department is optically terrible.

How do you deal with this?


  1. It’s actually a lot more nuanced than that.

The DKD sounds bad on paper, but it’s actually part of Labor’s recent attempt to keep their climate change promises. 

The CSIRO has developed a newer, greener form of renewable energy. More investor-friendly than solar, apparently less unsightly than wind, they’ve constructed a thousand large, hamster-wheel-esque turbines, which are currently being set up in the suspiciously large basement under Parliament House. The dogs then run in these hamster wheels, generating kinetic energy that will power homes across the nation.

Are they taking dogs from their families? Yes. Did that one little girl cry when they took ‘Ruby’ – now Organic Engine 414 – away last month? Also yes. But if we want to be running on 82% renewable energy by 2030, we can’t afford to be Mx. Nice Guy. 

Of course, your friend’s family dog is safe. Those bourgeois poodle-crosses wouldn’t be any good in the turbines. 


         2. They’re getting the bag.

Sure, your friend is working for a department that’s kind of evil, but they’re just getting the bag. Isn’t that kind of girlboss of them? They go to work in their fun little office outfits, roleplaying adulthood, a total corporate glamour dreamboat. Profiting off dog-kidnapping never looked so good. It’s slay.

And the cost of living affects them too. Their rent is higher than last year even though their new sharehouse is smaller and further from campus, and it feels like groceries get more expensive every week. This is the only offer they’ve gotten after two months of job applications. They want a little treat every now and then. 


           3. It puts them on the DFAT track.

The DKD is only the first step in your friend’s ten-year plan. It’ll get their foot in the door, and from there it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to that DFAT graduate program all the International Securities students are tearing each other apart over. Stealing those pets from loving homes might seem extreme at first, but consider the alternative: having to find any other job with an Asian Studies degree.


            4. It’s good representation.

They’re one of the first queer people hired by the department. They’re also, they tell you proudly, the only one with a facial piercing, and it’s so cool nobody even minds. Sure, their boss introduced them to the team by saying “his pronouns are they/them”, but they’re trying!

Wouldn’t you feel better knowing that your dog was stolen by an empowered queer person, paving the way for other queer people to get into dog-kidnapping?


             5. They don’t actually do anything anyway.

If none of these other reasons have swayed your strong moral compass, then rest assured: your friend isn’t actually doing any dog-kidnapping. Nobody is. The DKD has stalled in its first month of operation, and the first dog-kidnapping orders are still working their way through the department’s bloated gut. Your friend spends their workdays wiggling their cursor, refreshing their inbox and begging their supervisor for work, who in turn begs their supervisor for work, who’s about to move to a better-paid job in the Treasury. Those dogs aren’t going anywhere.

We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.