A peek into what occupies my time at work-
Dear Governor and Esteemed Bureaucrats:
I have been contacted by an impoverished, disabled, functionally illiterate, mother who tells me she has been directed by someone at HUD to call us for charity work. While I would very much like to be able to assist her in returning her home to a safe, living environment, I am responsible for providing our employees with a livable wage and, as I am sure you can appreciate, I must generate income to do that.
I realize that sequestration is in place, that funds are lacking, but surely there are monies available. If all of the agencies contributed small amounts, this woman afflicted by ADHD, anxiety disorder, borderline agoraphobia, peptic ulcer disease, irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, crushed cervical disc, spinal tumors and spinal stenosis, who walks with a cane and wears a leg brace, may be able to stay in the home that she purchased through government’s magnanimity to help those people who might not otherwise know the joys of home ownership.
Since I have never met the woman, who called me crying because I was her last hope and her last phone call, I can’t testify to the quality of her character, which may be so lacking that she is somehow deserving of her status as a marginal human being. She has a cat. Her 7 year-old daughter has allergies and she has an air filtration apparatus in her bedroom so that she may sleep more comfortably. I understand that having a child with allergies and a cat in the same household is counterintuitive. When she called the town for assistance she was told she did not qualify because she has “extras”. I had no idea what she meant. It seems that impoverished people are not allowed pets, or environmental embellishments, without a doctor’s prescription, if they hope to receive emergency public assistance. Her monthly entitlement allotment is $718.00 SSDI and $148.00 DHS; she receives food stamps too.
Now, she is afraid she will lose her home and/or her child because she is causing a disturbance. She has a fifth grade education. I’d like to see my tax dollars at work for something I believe in. I believe in helping people who are unable to help themselves. I do not believe in pay raises and perks for those who would deny sanitary living conditions to the poor and disabled. Kindly advise me of what we might be able to do, collaboratively, to help her.
With deepest gratitude for your commitment to public service,
This is the real economy. In this state there has been embarrassing misuse of taxpayer dollars to fund recuperative retreats, at lovely B&Bs, for overwhelmed and overworked state employees. Time has been frittered away at the State House on which treat should be designated the official state dessert. There has been negligible oversight of agency budgets, which has allowed embezzlers to live the dream. Municipalities are missing money, with embarrassing frequency, because there are no dual controls in place to protect the taxpayers’ contribution to the public good. Meanwhile, private sector workers struggle to maintain what they have while the cost of living increases to unsustainable levels and micro employers are expected to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves as the cost of doing business skyrockets.
The woman, who called me for help, cries each time we talk. She thanks me. I tell her not to because I haven’t done anything yet. I want to help her. I want to donate the labor and materials it would take to restore her environment but I cannot afford to work for free. We are not posting huge quarterly profits. Our management receives no dividends.