Thursday, September 04, 2008

Bureaucratic Brilliance

Such is my love of brown envelopes I was delighted to receive not one, but two from the postman today. I'm always suspicious of manila encased contents and usually I'm right to be.

Today's offerings were from Social Services and the NHS. Now, despite having had my care rationed away in a miraculous curing event by a social worker only interested in moaning about his pay packet and ogling my backside
I had an inkling that more problems were to arise. And no, not like that. He may have been impolite enough to stare at his client's arse but I have manners and so don't look at men's crotches without invitation. Much. Certainly not his. Sandals and beards do nothing for me.

Back to the point. It was the letter I received a few days ago from the Inland Revenue demanding PAYE which tipped me off. That and the very nice, very helpful lady from IR who ranted about social services when I phoned to sort out the tax issue. Her ire was such I realised she had spent more time than she cared to dealing with the mess created by Direct Payments, politicians, social workers.

I lost my care package in May last year when rationing changes in eligibility brought about my miraculous and sudden cure. Yes, that was news to me too. I'd been using the Direct Payments scheme which allows people to purchase their own care rather than being stuck with whichever gawd awful local agency has got it's hands in social services back pockets. Direct Payments basically means that you are an employer, but in practice it works out to having all the responsibility of employing staff without the privileges.

At the time I had returned all the outstanding funds to social services and the file of relevant paperwork. So I was annoyed, although not especially surprised to receive a request for the outstanding funds which also stated they were unable to find the associated paperwork and needed me to advise them of the dates involved so they could trace payment and close the account. The tone of the letter was rather accusatory and without recourse to the laws of grammar or spelling implied I had stolen said monies.

Unusually for social services on this occasion one quick phone call cleared things up. Fortunately I still had the check book for the account and so could provide an accurate date as without that it would've been much more effort to trace the repayment. For me of course. Apparently the 'work experience' student sent the letter out. It's always reassuring to know who has the authority to demand money from individuals is it not?

The second letter was a standard NHS appointment letter. It took me a while to work out what it was for, but at the bottom of the letter I discovered it came from the rheumatology appointments clerk and invited me to see the locum consultant in 10 days time. Ah well, Red did insist politely suggest I needed to see a doctor asap when I informed her of the latest delights my body is performing. Though I still haven't come up with a better way to explain the symptoms I suspect spinal instability to be the root cause of than saying it's like someone shoved an enormous butt plug up my arse whilst I was asleep then woke my up by turning the vibrations on to full power-trust me, you don't want to know how that feels! Good job I've got 10 days to figure out a non butt plug involving explanation....


Trixie said...

Oh I think you need to use the butt plug explanation, just to see the reaction on the face of your consultant!

Mysterious G said...

You can stare at my crotch as much as you like (open invite), plus whilst your eyes are elsewhere you cannot see where I am looking :)

The more I hear of the state of the social services the more I am convinced that they employ solely minimum wage incompetents into the roles. People who don't know what they are doing, and have no inclination to actually do anything besides gossip about Eastenders etc etc with their desk neighbor. The poorly written (bad grammar and spelling) letters we get, often full of lies and half truths just confirms this.

Makes me all ranty, but alas, no idea what to do about it, modern society seems hell bent on making sure the undeserving are OK putting the decent people at their mercy.


But yeah, stare away baby ;)

Casdok said...

The dreaded brown envelope. Ahhhh! Am having a few of those at the mo trying to sort Cs benefits out.

I also use Direct paymnets to purchase care, but so far (touch wood) i havent had any problems and it works well, once i got my head round the paper work!

Hope all goes well for your appointment.

Mary said...

Oh no, don't... I've been doing really well with social services here and I want to have faith that (when Steve sorts his head out, see blog) direct payments and a PA will go as smoothly as the assessments did for me. :(

Last brown envelope I opened turned out to be advertising from my credit-card company. NOT AMUSED.

Best of luck with the doctor.

LceeL said...

Best of luck with the Doctor. I would really like to see the face of the Doctor if the 'butt plug' explanation is all you can come up with.

Ms Ordinarée said...

Yeah, what Mysterious G said...We/I got a letter from the SS yesterday which is what he refers to. It had lies and more lies in it (what they claimed to have done etc) and when I rang them, he lied some more! Am in middle of a blog post on it all - should post it over next day or so...

Anyway, just wanted to let you know (as I am sure you gathered already) that you are not alone with this! The hassle I got post cessation of DPs was hilarious (not) too...

Anyway, gotta dash, speak later,

Ms O

cogidubnus said...

Honey, with the debts I've got ANY envelope is intimidatory...At thirty-something if anyone had suggested the arrival of an envelope could inspire such sleepless-nights-type dread...

At fifty something, I tremble...and empathise with you totally...god bless hon...

spleenal said...

Sorry, the work experience student sent that out,
Sounds like bullshit to me.
Maybe they did, but kids on work experience don't do anything without first being told to. Mostly they don't do anything.

I was glad to hear of your miraculous and sudden cure. Shame it's not real. "These people" must believe that they are so powerful that if they say you're cured, you are in fact cured!

Pick up your bed and walk young lady.

I wish they'd tell me I wasn't bald.

kingmagic said...

Brown envelope came in the post this morning. It said on the front 'DO NOT BEND'

So I left it there on the floor. Am going to pick it up with the hoover!

Apologies for the crap joke Lil sis.

Take care

Big Bro Km x.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Trix: With either of my existing consultants I would do-I know they'd laugh and take the serious point, but I don't know who this consultant is, so I'll try not to cause too much offence! lol

NotsomysteriousG: Why thank you my lovely I'll bear that one in mind! I couldn't agree more with your comments about SS, although they are far too well paid for their own goods! It does seem the default position to cover up their own incompetence and negligence is to lie and then accuse the client of failing to engage/being over sensitive etc
I think the only solution is extermination!

Cas: It's always good to hear when DP works, it's such a good principle for us even if the reality doesn't often match up

Mary: I can actually understand Steve's reservations. For myself I know feel that any benefits I might get are so far outweighed by the sheer destruction social workers cause to my life every time they get involved that I never want anything to do with them again. But, like Casdok says when Direct Payments works it is great. I hope it does for you

Lou: If I don't use the explanation at this appt I certainly will at freak clinic later this month so I'll keep you posted ;)

MsO: I have never forgotten and certainly never heard worse than your DP applicant who was a paedo. Classy no? mwah x

Cogi: I'm really sorry to hear that happens to you too. I don't know what position you're in but I can't recommend the debt management charities enough, saved my life quite literally

Spleenal: You're not bald! I expect you to have a full head of hair by morning when of course you will be 'managing'
Like you I felt the work experience excuse to be utter bullshit, but hey, what SS don't want to listen to in person can now be blogged. Revenge is sweet!

MK: Big bro, crap it may be, but it still made me laugh! x