Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Preconceived notions, power trips, and yes, I have noticed

Perhaps more now then ever, I have been relying on alternative health practices - and practitioners, to improve my health both mental and physical. I see a chiropractor and now an acupuncturist, in addition to my "regular" doctors. The problem with seeing these additional health care providors is that it is not included in my health insurance coverage. And we do not have the disposable income for that "luxury" which we have deemed a necessity. So, we are definitely spending our savings on health care at this point - which is stressing me out. And today I realized that these practitioners may not properly appreciate the sacrifice that their patients make in order to receive their care and guidance. So the phone calls to set up follow-up appointments, while kind and thoughtful and part of the holistic care they are offering, is also a lot of pressure. It's like having a salesperson calling, because it really isn't a matter of "want". It is a voluntary expenditure that I would like to make of my ownfree will - a don't call me, I'll call you sort of thing.

On the outside, we look like we have it all together. Drive nice cars, "own" our own home (though technically, the bank owns our home), have clothes and food, and travel to the mainland from time to time. We don't look like we are struggling. But really, we just have good credit and (dare I say it) poor spending habits. Like a lot of our fellow Americans, we are over-extended and sort of stuck that way. So unfortunately, that time has come for me to get tough. To say "we are going to have to cut back on our visits" or just find alternatives, or people who are willing to work on a barter system.

Someone who doesn't need to worry about toughening up is the bitch I met this morning in a government office. Our government, here in Hawaii, is a bizarre mix of official and unofficial. There is a lot of back room dealings, and family benefits, and good old boy politics. Today, I had an unfortunate encounter, where I was trying to apply for something and needed to take a test, and the registration was for one hour in the early morning. The office is about 30 minutes from my house at the very VERY least, and with morning traffic, it was longer. And there was no parking. And so, even though I left as early as I could, by the time I got there and found a parking space (which was a fucking miracle in itself, let me tell you) and got to the office, it was almost the cut off time. I walked in, and the woman looked at me like I had entered some sort of inner sanctum instead of a government office, and asked if she could help me. I said I needed to register for the test, and she pointed at her clock (which was 8 minutes fast according to Verizon Wireless) and informed me that I had just missed registration, and I was out of luck. I almost cried. I was so tired, and so harried, and so stressed about taking the damn test, and had spent so much time and gas money already that morning, that truly, I thought I might lose it.

Then she handed me a slip of paper that she told me I should read so I knew what time I needed to be there. I pushed the paper back, and said "I know what time I need to be here." and turned around and left. She was SO pleased with herself, and I was SO pissed off. Here is this government building, that does not provide ANY PARKING (not even a paid long-term parking lot anywhere) and does not allow pre-registration, telling me that I need to get clear about what is expected of me. I am a taxpayer. I want to pay them to take a test, to get permission to WORK, and they are going to get all shitty like that ? It was just so cold for an early morning encounter. I am sure they see people like me all the time, and i understand about times, and rules, and that if you make exceptions for one person you have to make exceptions for all - but I spent a very long time on their website, and there was NO information about parking, or any hint that the entire process would be this complicated. It didn't say anywhere, even on the page about the test that listed the times, etc. the address of WHERE the test was being given - I had to GUESS that I needed to go to the administrative office.
I already have an issue with this department - I think they have WAY to much say, too much control, and make some decisions that seem to be full of contradictions. Rules are unclear, enforcement is patchy and can really overstep some bounds at times, and in general, they seem to be on a power trip. Beginning with the woman a the front desk. She saw me walk in, and may not have realized (or didn't care) about the lengths I had gone to, to be there this morning. I hope I never get to the point where my job is being cold and rigid. I think that might be the lowest depths of misery.

No comments: