Monday, October 27, 2014

It is what it is, but it's stupid.

The system is cold and unfeeling. I suppose that's no surprise. It's not human; it's incapable of feeling. How is it then that this inhumanity can cause exasperation, frustration and even sadness in a real human?

Today when I arrived home I came in through the garage so I could get the mail. The mail slot is in the garage door and it goes into an old beer box that Steve taped to the inside of the door. Generally it works perfectly, but when there is a ton of mail (as there was today) it tends to hit the top of the box instead of dropping in and as soon as the door goes up, the mail goes everywhere. Because there is an election next week everyone is inundated with campaign crap which caused everything to go flying. I had my purse and a bag of groceries in my hand so I left the junk on the floor of the garage and picked up only what mattered, like the electric bill and what I thought was a check I've been waiting for. When I put everything down upstairs and looked closer I realized it wasn't a check at all. It was a Jury Summons for Maggie.

Ouch ...On so many levels.

Amazingly, though, as I looked at the form I noted a box that excuses a prospective juror if they are deceased.

So we've got that going for us.

There are many other things like this that happen all the time. The worst one was shortly after Maggie passed away. I told someone this story the other day and realized I never shared it.

Before Maggie passed away I initiated the process for IHSS (In Home Support Services). It's a California program that is designed to help disabled people stay in their homes.  The IHSS worker would not do nursing care, but could do thing like shop, laundry, cleaning, etc. There was really no question that Maggie would be qualified for it, but I never went through the application process which is mandatory. I filled out the application and arranged for the required home visit. The home visit was scheduled for February 18 (I remember because it's my dad's birthday) That was Tuesday after Presidents Day. Maggie died on Saturday night February 15.

As I wandered around the house in the middle of the night on Sunday or Monday unable to sleep. I suddenly remembered that woman was coming over. It was 2AM, but I figured I would leave a voice mail on her office phone hopefully heading her off before she came over on Tuesday. It worked. She called me Tuesday morning and thanked me for calling her and expressed her condolences. She was very nice and said all the right things. I was happy it was taken care of without having to deal with anyone in person. Efficient and relatively painless.

Of course that wasn't the end of it.  There is a process and the government needs to have the right paper in the right file within the required amount of time. Even though the human was kind and caring, she had to complete the dehumanizing process.

A week or so later I received an official State of California/County of San Francisco letter advising that the application for IHSS was officially DENIED because the determination was that Mary Margaret did not need the services.  

While I couldn't really argue with the conclusion,  I certainly could have done without the letter.

Can't wait to see what's next.


  1. And whatever comes next, you'll write about. Writing, telling the story, dispels its power, I hope -- or spreads it around.

  2. I haven't checked your blog in awhile, cousin, so I hadn't heard. I'm so sorry.


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