Sunday, September 13, 2009

Part#4: “White Man’s Adventures through the Welfare System”

With all of media hype regarding healthcare reform, the perils of socialized medicine and the pending legislation in the House being such a hot topic, I decided to break out some of my old blogs describing my trip through the healthcare and welfare system. After finding myself with health issues, I wrote an eight part series that described the process I was forced to navigate and endure. I have been there and done that. I’m hopeful that somebody might find some of the information and experiences helpful in their quest for answers or search for assistance.

January 26. 2008
Life goes on without skipping a beat. Despite being out of work since November 1, 2007, I have paid all of my bills on time. It took 42 days for my food stamp debit card to finally arrive. The application I completed way back on December 11, 2007, said it would only take seven days to get approval. The D.E.S. claimed that they forgot to send my EBT card. My “white-envy suffering” case worker failed to get my benefits to me in a timely manner. She also failed to answer her telephone or return the calls I made.

Since I had to make an extra 60 mile round trip to Casa Grande, I went ahead and stocked up at the food bank. They gave me bread, 5 lbs. of Potatoes, a dozen eggs, dry pasta, dry kidney beans, instant rice, Vienna sausage links, a package of hot dogs, a big bag of Cheeto’s and several canned food items. I can get a food box once every 90 days. After standing in line at the D.E.S. for over an hour, I wasn’t going home empty handed.

The line was backed up to the door just like on my first visit. I noticed that some of the ugliest woman seem to have no trouble breeding. Perhaps that knot hole in the fence theory actually worked for a few people. I’m afraid other men weren’t so lucky. There were three noisy babies in the waiting room. My hearing loss was beneficial for once.

I decided to contact a workers’ compensation attorney to get my case set in motion. As predicted, Sentry Insurance failed to respond to my claim within the 21 days they were required to by law. I will be having a hearing at the Industrial Commission in Phoenix in a few months unless Sentry decides to settle beforehand. I hate going to Phoenix. It appears that Sentry approved a claim filed by a coworker after being bitten by an insect on the job. I suffer substantial hearing loss as a result of my employers alleged ignorance or disregard for OSHA regulations concerning noise exposure and they deny my claim. My famous quote, “If things start to make sense, I’m in the wrong place.” comes to mind.

I had an interview for the constable vacancy for my local justice of the peace. The interview was conducted by a five member panel including the judge and Maricopa’s police chief who happens to be an obese black fellow. He didn’t look like a Republican to me. Republican Party voter registration and the ability to understand English were the major criteria. Although I was highly recommended for the position, I was not appointed. The appointee will be primarily responsible for serving temporary restraining orders on wife beaters, meth addicts and alcoholics.

I went grocery shopping using my food stamp EBT card. I put some of those old ladies with the boxes full of coupons to shame. Buying store brands and sale items, I purchased $37.55 worth of groceries for only $15.85. My monthly ration was $109. If one is a smart consumer, that is more than enough to feed one’s self. I’m being careful not to gain any weight.

My next installment will more than likely come towards the end of February since I don’t expect any new developments until a hearing date is set for my workers‘ compensation claim.

Don’t waste your time trying to call the DES. The recording never ends. Trying to call them is about as futile as trying to get me to answer my telephone. Put whatever you have to say in writing and fax it to them. I usually send information to both fax numbers to make certain they get it.

My monthly food stamp benefit was ultimately reduced to just $15.00/month. Unlike black food stamp recipients, I did not complain. I feel it’s completely unacceptable to complain about a gift. That amount remained the same until my unemployment benefits ended 8 months later. Despite this, I ate well and maintained a large food reserve. You cannot shop like millionaires when you are on a fixed income. There are people out there that will never get that simple fact through their thick skulls.

Persons applying for benefits must keep tabs on their cases. Many of the state employees handling your matters could care less. You are nothing more than a number or a file to them. Many of them are what I like to call “affirmative action hires“. These people were not hired based on their qualifications, desire or ability to the job. They exhibit very little motivation. As it should happen, the state appears to put the most incompetent and irresponsible people in positions of importance. As an applicant, it’s your job to make sure they do their job.

How safe was my former employer, Cardinal Glass Industries?

I want to thank Cardinal Glass Industries for letting me go before I was mutilated or killed. Despite my inner ear nerve damage, hearing loss and tinnitus, I still feel lucky I got out alive with all of my extremities still attached. There are others that weren’t so lucky.

Cardinal was too cheap to purchase noise canceling hearing protection, but they spent lots of money putting in a fancy epoxy floor with a Cardinal logo in the office above the break room. I hope the “puppet” safety coordinator, “Safety Bob” sleeps well at night. There is blood on his hands because he didn’t have the guts to stand up to management. You’re a gutless COWARD Bob!

Cardinal IG showed me what it’s like to work for a company that puts their products before the safety and well being of their employees.

I used the username “Heglameister” when I posted here:

"The first method of estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him."
-- Niccolo Machiavelli

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