I phoned my friend late last night. You’ll be relieved that I did. If I hadn’t, you would probably be reading an incoherent post of fear, rage and general all round wobbliness. As it is, this post is hopefully a coherent mix of fear, rage and general all round slightly less wobbliness.
I had two phone calls yesterday, both guaranteed to press my buttons marked “Terror” and “Fury”. The first, which lasered my fear nerves was from the OPG. A rather officious, hectoring chap, unhappy about the fact that Steven’s damages are held in a saver plus account. When I need to get something for Steven I transfer the funds into my account and pay from there. ” But there’s no paper trail” said the OPG man. But there is. There’s both sets of bank statements and a spreadsheet of all expenditure. The chaps problem was, although the spreadsheet shows that I spent £8.99 on the new Proclaimers CD, my statement only shows £8.99 paid to Amazon. In future, I need to keep all the Amazon receipts as well. Plus, I need to open a new account to avoid the need to transfer. I shouldn’t, but I feel very threatened by this level of scrutiny. I know I haven’t done anything wrong but I might be perceived as having done something wrong. I recently got Steven 18 greatest hits CDs for 10p each. Total expenditure, including posting and packaging, £1.80 + £5.45. Could I find the receipt? Aaaagh. A gap in the paper trail. Safeguarding issue? That’s where my wobbly mind goes.
The “Fury” call was with a CCG. I spoke at their conference a couple of months ago and haven’t been paid yet. I’m guessing they outsource their payment function as the call was from a chap who had nothing to do with the conference. Even though I only spoke for an hour, I have to be registered and accepted as one of their “contracted suppliers”. Endless form filling but I’d cleared that hurdle. Then my invoice was rejected because I hadn’t put ” the receiving body” on the form. I didn’t know who that was but a few weeks back, I cleared that hurdle. Yesterday, I was told I couldn’t be paid yet because of….. dummy account, green dockets. I stopped him, “I can tell you’re putting the ball back in my court but I haven’t understood a word you’ve said. You’re talking to me as if I’m one of your work colleagues but I don’t know the terms you’re using”. He just repeated back what he’d already said. I think my payment is lost in an Orwellian green docket hell void.
It will continue today. On my desk, I have amongst other things, the HMRC quarterly return for the support workers wages. And the LA’s forms for the June personal budget audit. Both guaranteed to send me off to fearful, furious wobblyland again.
How do we protect ourselves from becoming a Kafka character? Not taking it personally offers only minor and momentary relief because as one bureaucratic juggernaut drives away, another one pulls up. I know its not just me. A lot of my counselling work now focuses on people being driven mad by this nonsense. In the old days, my work would be helping people come to terms with their old days. Now, its people quivering and sobbing because they’ve been snared by the DWP or suchlike. People are being prescribed medication to deal with the shit. I wonder if my docket man from the CCG visits a counsellor to talk through how he manages his world. Quite possibly. I’ve had a recent client who used most of the sessions to talk through his wobbliness after going through the IAPT process – a therapy process left him needing more therapy!
Blast. Need to end the post there. I’ve got to go and find a receipt for ” The Barry Manilow Songbook Volume Three – 1979 to 1984″. If I can’t, I might be fined and struck off. Better pull my finger out.