|Posted on August 8, 2012 at 11:10 AM|
I watched people with pleasant personalities become cold hearted working with the system and not wanting to loose their jobs. I was put in that position. We are all handicapped in some way. And the system is not made for us, that is what makes us handicapped. In this case it was the elderly. Now I had a special spot in my heart for the elderly. My grandmother was my first and biggest hero.
I had moved on from being a receptionist to being a financial worker. I had learned that policy was not always made from the needs of the people on welfare but on the needs of running a system that was political. I would listen to desperate people who had not been able to feed or house their children being accepted on the system but they had to wait one to two weeks, sometimes more, for the check to arrive in the mail. Every time I asked the auditors to cut a check they refused without a blink of the eye. Then all three of them got jobs elsewhere or promoted elsewhere. We got three new auditors, and they were gentle and empathetic. I would get a very desperate client and they would cut a check. It was a dream come true overall. But I noticed they were getting more and more hardened until they just out right refused and were as cold as the last ones. I asked them why. They said because every time they cut a check the state officials would ream them a new one. It was not neat and clean book keeping. The job had changed their hearts.
But this was not the problem that got to me. I did not feel cornered, I would give out information on food banks and shelters and call it a day. What was irreconcilable was the medical program for the elderly. When I would set up food stamps for others I noticed that the elderly would go without medication to pay other bills. They did not want to fault on their bills. I would tell them about the medical programs and set them up so they would be healthier and live longer. It was a wonderful feeling to help these honest dedicated people.
But a book keeper in higher places came up with a new policy to save money and he could not see the consequences. And I could not reconcile with it. I knew they would go without medication and would get sick, weak, and some die. I did not have the heart, or lack of it, to live with watching the results.