Monday, July 2, 2012

UGH.

Today is the reason that I love that I recently put in my notice at work. I had about 986234868927450 clients to see (more like 26, but STILL), a bazillion other things I had to do for my cases that weren't due to renew their benefits, and I had to deal with the front desk, IMing me and calling me about things that had nothing to do with me.

This is pretty much the best representation of my mood that I can find:

This isn't even the angriest gif I could find. This is tame, by head exploding standards.
It got me really, really looking forward to when I can turn in that fucking badge, go home, and never think about SNAP/food stamps again.

I think one of the most frustrating things about my job is how incredibly cavalier a lot of my clients are about their interviews. They'll just not turn in applications and then frantically call me like it's my damned fault they didn't get their benefits the following month. Or - and this is my favorite - they'll leave me this scathing voicemail, demanding that I call them back this fucking instant because their benefits have been cut off.

Client: YOU NEVER SENT ME AN APPLICATION.
Me: Well, let's see. We have your address as 1234 1st Street, Apt. 1. Is that right?
Client: NO. I MOVED TWO MONTHS AGO.
Me: Did you let us know this?
Client: NO.
Me: *blink blink* Why not?
Client: YOU ARE THE GOVERNMENT. YOU KNOW THESE THINGS.
Me: Nope, no, we don't.*

On my last day, I really want to print up a flier and give it to all the clients out in the lobby.

HOW NOT TO PISS OFF YOUR CASEWORKER

1) Understand that your caseworker probably has over 1500 cases in his/her caseload. That's cases; not people.
2) We give you the service center number for a reason. Remember Number 1 up there? Your caseworker, yes, is responsible for these, but if you want something accomplished, it's easier to wait 30 - 45 minutes to speak to a service center caseworker who DOESN'T have a caseload than it is to wait two weeks and maybe hear from us.
3) Leaving us threatening or angry voicemails does not put you on the top of our priority lists. Be civil; be nice. We'll probably, if we have the time, make sure that we get your stuff done as quickly as possible.
4) Come prepared. No, a handwritten letter by yourself, saying that you have a job at a place that pays you in pay stubs, is not verification of your income. Also, bringing your ID with you is probably a smart thing, anyway. Cops ask for that shit.
5) Do not come into the office for your interview drunk and/or high. You won't remember half of the shit we say to you. And honestly, it's just rude. Do it after, for all we care; just be coherent and bring a notepad with you.
6) Yes, you may have to wait an hour to see a caseworker. Remember Number 1? Also, the client before you may have needed an interpreter or there were other things in their cases that would warrant a longer interview.
7) Do not ask us about your neighbors case, who you think doesn't deserve help when you need it. You don't know their situation, and more likely than not, we don't, either.
8) Understand that we make mistakes. Hell, I make them every day. If it's our fuckup, we are willing to admit it and will try to fix it as soon as possible. But remember, we have a ton of clients, so if we don't get to it right away doesn't mean we've forgotten about you.
9) Email is SO. MUCH. FASTER. than listening to voicemails. Go to the library and set up a yahoo or gmail account. Something. Or, refer to Number 2.
10) We have time frames. Just because you got me your income verification today does not mean I'm going to work on it today.
11) Do NOT call me to see if I got a fax. You'll be notified if we never got your fax because, hey, you'll get denied. And if you can provide that cover sheet that shows the day and time (and to what number) you sent the fax, we'll honor that. But GAWD, we do not have time to answer the 50 calls per day about fucking faxes.**
12) Anything the front desk tells you may or may not be true. They are not caseworkers. They were not trained in policy. If you ask them a policy question, they are supposed to tell you to ask a worker or are supposed to actually ask a worker prior to responding to you. So when you come back to our desks, saying, "Well, the lady at window 22 said ..." I'm probably going to shake my head and say, "Nope, that isn't true."
13) We do not hate you. We really don't. We are just overwhelmed. You see the economy right now. You're feeling how the economy is deflated. But after being bitched at, complained to and/or about, answering emails from the state office, upper management, and the governor (haha, because he knows what he's talking about), being paid shittily for what we do on a daily basis, etc., yes. We are probably not going to be super excited when you come in to talk to us. We also don't deny you because we don't like you. If you don't qualify under policy, you don't qualify. It's not personal. But when you start calling us names and then acting like a whiny brat? Now you've made it personal.

This is not an exhaustive list, by any means. I'd like to make it into a neon-colored pamphlet, circa Saved by the Bell, to hand out with all the other pieces of paper that people throw away and conveniently forget.

Sigh. August 31st is so far away.

* You wouldn't believe the number of people who assume I can look at their bank accounts, know the day they got married or if they're registered to vote or not, get copies of their tax returns, etc. If that were true, I'd expect to be paid a lot more than I am.
** Although seriously? Faxing? This is nearly ancient technology now. You might as well try to send a telegram. EMAIL, guys. E.MAIL.
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