Tuesday, April 13, 2010

At the mercy of government officials

I’ve just been at a meeting with my caseworker at the social security office, another government caseworker and my ‘mentor’ at the government work-clarification-program.

The reason for the meeting was that my doctor had sent my caseworker a letter expressing her worry of what the program was doing to my health situation. Apparently she presented a wish that I was to be taken off the program completely at least for a while, that my fibro had worsened too much since I started with the program. I did not know about the letter from the doctor, although she did look horrified by the state I was in when I last saw her.

I had a phone call with my caseworker last week telling her that I had to stay home for two weeks because I was too ill to get to work at the doctor’s order and during that phone call she went on and on about the importance of working short days, but EVERY day.

My mentor had been told to come with me so he and I discussed this and other things and thought we were fairly prepared for the meeting – government workers and their love for rules, duties and paragraphs etc.

I swear, a cockroach has more worth and rights in the eyes of government officials than a person receiving national insurance. And reality has as little to do with their world as common sense seem to do.

I very nearly ended up with loosing the job at the culture center – where I actually have a chance of getting a steady job regardless of how small a percentage job I can manage – to be forced to take any job at a whatever firm nearby so I could work 1 hour every day, just so that they could get a better chance of MEASURING my abilities.

I asked what job could be done in only 1 hour in order for them to measure any ability at all, whereupon they told me that the job was secondary, I wasn’t supposed to do any job, I was only supposed to meet up at a workplace and stay there for 1 hour every day 3-5 days a week…

Please, somebody explain the logic of this, because I cannot for the life of me understand what can be measured other than a pre-determined notion that I am too sick to work. And that is exactly what they have told me again and again won’t happen.

It’s an ‘every which way but win’ and ‘catch 22’ hellish nightmare!

I mean:
1. What employer would hire a person who could only work 1 hour a day?
2. What job can be finished in only 1 hour and if not –
3. What job is so unimportant and insubstantial that it is of no importance when it gets done, or if it gets done at all?

At last my mentor pointedly asked them to explain to him how they could justify punishing me for showing the will to work and mustering the effort of doing a good enough job to create a realistic chance of a steady job later on, even with the health cost it obviously and visibly demanded of me, with taking away that chance in addition of killing every last ounce of motivation just so they could better fit me into a pre-set statistic

…it didn’t get ugly, but it wasn’t far from it and it definitely would have gotten ugly if I hadn’t had my mentor helping me.

Eitherwho, the ‘final’ conclusion was that I was to continue working at the culture-center 3.5 hours 2 days a week until the end of July. What happens afterwards I don’t know, that would be decided then…

The good part is that I can continue to work at a place where I do an ‘actual’ job that is needed and appreciated. The bad part is that I haven’t really gotten any further than I was 3 years ago. My yearly income has been and is below the poverty limit after Norwegian standard and will remain so until I am either deemed disabled either fully, or a set percentage. And now it seems I will remain in this limbo existence at the complete mercy of know-it-all caseworkers for at least half a year longer…