A while back I wrote a post about my musings (spitting vitriol) on the way most official letters these days seem to carry really disproportionate threats in them. Today, I got one such letter from a totally unexpected source.
Since becoming Steven’s deputy (“You’re like Woody in Toy Story 2 Dad”), I’ve always had a great relationship with the Office of The Public Guardian. I’m slightly resentful that Steven, or me, have to pay £350 a year for the privilege of being a deputy but besides that, they have been very helpful and supportive.
There was a bit of a hiccup over my report for the last financial year. Basically, I made a right pigs ear of the report and had to do it all over again. I sent the revised report off three weeks ago, together with the relevant bank statements. They were returned a few days later with a compliments slip.
Today’s letter informed me that they still haven’t received my report or the extra information. The letter became quite hectoring telling me that if I didn’t supply the information:
“we may have to:
1. Change your supervision level
2. ask the court to increase your security bond payment.
3. if necessary ask the court to discharge you as deputy and appoint a new one”.
Now I don’t know about you but I find that rather threatening. So, I phoned them up and after a lot of deliberation, they confirmed that they had received all the information they need and that the hold up was caused by a backlog in their processes. Furthermore, they admitted that their old computer system (“We are updating it by the end of the year”) automatically generates one of these letters every couple of weeks until the report is dealt with. They mentioned quite casually that I might expect a few more of these letters before the report is finalised because the computer will spew them out until it’s told otherwise.
Being a deputy and coming under the constant scrutiny of the court is scary enough. I faff around every time I buy something for Steven, trying to second guess whether the OPG will find the expenditure acceptable. Getting these standard letters taps straight into my paranoia.
It’s not nice.