Originally Posted by u-dog
I think that you are a lot of things, Daniel. Stupid is not among them.
I am coming off of TWO extended interactions with low level, overworked government functionaries. One in the US Department of education and one with Medicaid.
I speak as a well educated middle-class white (presumably straight) man used to being able to make any system dance to my tune because of my priveleged status. Believe me when I tell you that I know how to work a bureaucratic system. These two extended interactions (over the course of 6 months in each case) nearly reduced me to tears of despair. Polly had to physically restrain me from pounding my forehead against a cinderblock wall. Joseph Heller and Franz Kafka together could not have written a story that was as bizzare as my experiences. In each case the problem was finally resolved to my satisfaction SOLELY BECAUSE ONE INDIVIDUAL FUNCTIONARY DECIDED THAT THEY WANTED TO HELP ME.
If I had never found or appealed to that person's desire to help... I would still be going round and round. Short of hiring a lawyer at great personal expense YOU CANNOT FORCE THEM TO DO ANYTHING THEY DO NOT WANT TO DO.
Consequently, the only strategy that will work is treating people in a way that they are enticed into GIVING A SH*T. The problem with people who are underpaid and overworked and who get shouted at by officious, frustrated people all day long is that they do not NATURALLY GIVE A SH*T.
The rules don't mean shit. policy doesn't mean sh*t. justice doesn't mean sh*t. Your rights don't mean sh*t. "should be" doesn't mean sh*t. The only thing that matters is whether the person you are talking to is motivated to help you or not.
The fact is that in any disfunctional system THERE ARE LOTS OF VICTIMS. The vulnerable person is one. The family member responsible for the vulnerable person is ANOTHER victim. The underpaid overworked, powerless caseworker is ANOTHER victim. If you erroneously identify one of the other victims as a perpetrator you are well and truly f***ed. Only if you make common cause with the other victims of the disfunctional system do you have a whisper of a prayer of getting what you want.
That is my experience. That's ALL I'm saying.
I don't want to fight either.
You're not really interested in what this woman is facing.. And you have no experience in dealing with a son- with his situation, would that be correct?
I get it now: it's all about you
Oh yeah......I agree...one has to find the person who is going to help one. But it HAS NOT been established that this social worker is going to do that. And IF she cannot do that, or is willling to do that, what do you suggest?
More sweet talk?
Maybe that will work, but what if it doesn't? Then what? What if RedNeck has to hire a lawyer to get her son out of there? I really don't think you are thinking HER situation through- you're too damn busy with your own.
Redneck came here because she has a serious issue to deal with.
Your situation (and I mean your dealings with " low level, overworked government functionaries") does not apply to everyone else's my friend.
You are assuming way to much- perhaps- because you are dealing with too much. (Hey! It's great you were able to find someone to help you: others are not so lucky. Others DO have to talk to lawyers and/or sue- God Forbid. But that is how change happens for many, because ONE is willing to go the distance for everyone else. And if that isn't Christian, what is?)
I disagree with you: policy means a great deal, especially as to who - and what - agency is setting it- and who is overseeing that policy being carried out. That's why we all go out and vote. That is why constituents who can't get the services they need- or are entitled to- call their local or state representative. That kind of action can move mountains in some cases.
I'm not saying anyone has to be 'screamed at' - to use your words (and clearly- that is how you felt- or wanted to act considering the many times you wrote the word 'shit') or demean anyone. I believe you are projecting somewhat here. All I'm saying is that one has to find out what the facts
of the situation are before one can
do- or get
- anyone to do anything.
And one last thing: you are dead wrong about certified caseworkers who know their business. A child can be taken away from his/her parents by a caseworker. It happens every day. They are NOT powerless. In fact, they can abuse their power.
Clearly: you felt the victim in your situation. I'm sorry about about that, and that you had to go through a great deal to right matters. Acknowledged. But how about let's keep some perspective on who's concern is being addressed?
Still standing my ground.