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A System Set Up for Us to Fail

August 11, 2014

The one problem with starting my new position on August 11 was the BEV review, without which, I could not continue to receive Medicaid, as the job does not provide benefits, and, for example, Oxybutynin ER costs $189 out of pocket (not to be confused with Oxybutynin, which Target sells for $5, and doesn’t work on me in any dosage).   I called the rescheduling line (718-254-0400), and they said that they could postpone the BEV review, but not allow me to have it earlier.  I was given another line to call (718-752-7001), but the woman who answered said that she couldn’t help either.  She gave me the lines for Ms. Espinal (718-784-6900), and her supervisor, Thomas Lucas (718-752-7979).  I left a voice mail with the former.  I got the latter on the line, and he asked me for the 718-752-7001 number and then told me to call him back in twenty minutes.  Twenty minutes later, I called him, and he said, in a very condescending voice, “I don’t reschedule appointments. Thank you. Goodbye,” and hung up before I could get another word in.  When I was at HRA to turn in documentation, the receptionist told me that I could not reschedule the appointment earlier.  The worker to whom I turned in the documentation spoke to someone there, and got the same response.  She said that she wasn’t going to send me to the fourth floor without Mr. Lucas’s OK, and that it was extremely important to make my appointment on Monday.

I called my contact at the staffing service and said that there was no way to reschedule this appointment, because seven HRA workers had said that it could not be done, including the supervisor.  My contact at MFY Legal Services, whose specialty is benefits, said that the reality is that their software does not allow them to move the appointment earlier.  I finally got the OK to start Tuesday at 11:44 AM Friday, but then at 3:50 this afternoon got notice that the position had been canceled.  I believe I lost the job because Thomas Lucas is too lazy and unprofessional to do his job properly, and will continue to believe so unless something other than the move of my start date to Tuesday is the cause of the end of the position. Thus, I have another piece of evidence that my homelessness is entirely the fault of others.

Today, I also received notice that I was past due on my student loan payment.  When I logged in, I discovered that no one had bothered to tell me that my July 8 unemployment deferment had been denied because I am no longer receiving unemployment benefits, so I had to submit an economic hardship deferment instead.

This reminds me of the Rutgers situation I learned about from Occupy meetings.  A married couple of professors at the highest non-managerial pay rate at Rutgers has too much student loan debt to live in the middle class part of town, so the university hires professors from Europe and Asia, whose educations were paid for entirely by their home country’s government. They don’t want to have their professors living in lower class neighborhoods, and instead of paying more, they simply look elsewhere for their hires.

If the United States government weren’t too busy kowtowing to the wealthy crybabies who fund them instead of doing the will of the people whom they supposedly represent, all student loan debts would be paid by the government, and all education going forward would be paid by the government the way it is done in social democracies such as Germany, Japan, and India. At the very least, they need to repeal the unconstitutional law that prevents discharge of student loans in bankruptcy.  The link in the previous sentence links to my commentary on Moe Tkacik’s Reuters article exposing this unconstitutionality. She (Moe is short for Maureen) and I met at an Occupy meeting in early January. I asked for permission to quote some things from her e-mail to me, but she never responded to give me consent, so I never did so. She said in person that she thinks that the reason I can’t find a job is because employers today want employees who are malleable, sycophantic, and shallow, and that these traits are impossible to fake. I never thought of, nor was I raised to believe, that being sycophantic or shallow as positive traits, and I don’t think that I’m not malleable. She gave up her journalism job (top paid at her firm and a name journalist in the D.C. area) because working at a restaurant paid her more. Until she learned of my leg and foot neuropathy, she thought that I should get a job at a French restaurant since I speak French rather than Spanish, which is pretty much essential these days for any restaurant job. She said that I was essentially fucked because these jobs are impractical in my condition. I looked up success rate for Lyrica and Gabapentin, and it turns out it’s only around 60%, which means I’m not exactly weird for these medications not improving my condition. I guess the one good thing about not having this job is that I can go to physical therapy, although the physical therapy I received in 2005-6 did absolutely nothing to improve my condition–only chiropractic did that.

What we have is someone with connections whose only job is to sit back and get a paycheck because he has connections (Lucas’s LinkedIn profile mentions he was in a rotary club in Houston prior to becoming a supervisor at HRA) choosing not to work and costing me a job. This is a clear-cut case of why my homelessness is a systemic issue based upon the choices of the rich.

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