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Nonsense Upon Nonsense Upon Nonsense

July 2, 2015

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.

Update 2nd July 14.55

I phoned the bank earlier to try and get the accounts changed into Steven’s name. Needless to say, I went through to a call centre. The woman advised that I would need to go into a local branch with all the necessary paperwork. She tried to make me an appointment for any day from 3.30pm. Their “template appointment booking proforma” only goes up to 3pm. I have two choices – either I let her send an email to the branch and ask them to contact me to fix an appointment, or I go to the branch and book an appointment when I get there. For another day! I can’t actually speak to someone at the branch on the phone directly (“we don’t have the system to expedite that”). Now if I try to explain that piece of bureaucracy to another bureaucracy (the OPG) they wouldn’t see a problem with it at all. “That’s what needs to be done, so that’s what you have to do”, would be the attitude.

It’s worn me out for today. Can’t even begin to face the tax return or the personal budget audit. Before the bank, I phoned Steven’s dentist to get a repeat prescription for his toothpaste. I’d left a message on Monday and we’ve since completely run out. For the second time in four days, after listening to Herb Alpert for 25 minutes, I get an answer machine again. The surgery is open but nobody is pickling up. Perhaps they need a call centre to intercept their calls. I have no idea whether they have got either call. I guess I’ll have to pop in there when I go into Uxbridge to visit the bank and kill two administrative birds with one stone.

This morning, a client, who is due to move to the South coast later in the year said – “I can’t wait to go down to the beach on the first day and scream my head off to the sea”. I know how she feels.

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From → Social Care

5 Comments
  1. Bureaucrats inventing more bureaucracy to justify their bureaucratic salaries…

  2. swanarchie07 permalink

    This kind of sums my day up today especially the last bit, I can’t wait for my holiday to Dorset to go to the beach and scream and forget all the pile of crap that this world throws at us

  3. TSFonline permalink

    Sadly we’re going through the ‘transition’ at age 16… preparing for it, apparently. Cue oodles of paperwork repeating what was only done 18 months ago, trying to alter bank accounts to a an appointee (can’t happen til X reaches 16 yet DWP want details now, before that date), much talk at hospital appointments of transfer to ‘Adult Services’, challenging the LA about their assertion the Adult Process for complaints applies at 15 (“because transitions sits within our Adult Services” – this may be the case, but the process remains for a CHILD until 18)… and so on… and on… and on. Barely a word of common sense spoken, dull eyes return a befuddled gaze and so the roundabout of “can you believe what THEY have said now” conversations rattle on. An object lesson in how to waste time, delay matters, cause upset and, generally, deliver NOTHING additional/of benefit to X. GIVE ME STRENGTH. I really do feel your pain!

  4. Sally permalink

    The most complicated concepts on Earth can be explained simply. Being able to give a clear ,brief definition is part of the IQ test. You would think that it would have been easy for the person on the phone to explain exactly where you stood, what your choices were, and what ,to him ,seemed the best way ahead for you.
    Indeed ,the excuse given for countless service cuts and reorganisations in disability services is usually to”simplify things and make them more user-friendly.”
    So why oh why do we have to have these maddening conversations with people who just parrot garbled and contradictory tosh, and when asked to explain…parrot it again. This time with an air of menace and talk of terrible consequences.
    Our Borough contains about 5 services, some of which are LA ,some are charities, some part of the other. All have silly aspirational titles which are very similar ,ditto initials. I was on the phone a few days ago asking if there was anybody who could explain to me how to sort out my son’s package of XYZ which had been altered without notice.I said I no longer had any idea at all of how to make things work for him in their system and would very much like to be able to call someone without being threatened or ticked off. The worker was taken aback. Help? You want help?

  5. nic permalink

    glad you ‘phoned a friend ‘ glad mine phoned me, because some people don’t scream, ever. Permission to scream everyone.

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