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Mar 24, 2014

Tax Dollars, Public Assistance & Drug Testing

There is a thread on Facebook discussing the above topic.

I do agree that people receiving public assistance should have to adhere to a standard criteria to remain eligible; however, the majority of the people who bitch about public assistance possess very limited knowledge of how public assistance operates, the details of participating in the program, and the details of the lives of the people who qualify for the assistance. Some of the bitchers questioned what difference did the detail of one's life have on the situation since the circumstances of one's own life has no relevance in maintaining one's job (mainly regarding drug use) but, if they did make it a point to educate themselves on the details, they just may seem less ignorant and they just may have a different viewpoint.

As someone who works in an industry that constantly scrutinizes the details of a person's life to determine eligibility, it is easy for me to see how short-sighted people are. Most of the people don't know that there are plenty of agencies who do exercise more stringent monitoring, such as random drug testing, as part of the eligibility standards for public assistance. Most of the people don't know that there are a great number of people receiving public assistance who are employed so their 'tax dollars' are also contributing to the benefits they receive, as well as, other recipients. They also don't realize the closeness of the percentages of people who receive benefits by race (i.e. 39% white, 40% black, 16% spanish) and by social status (i.e. avg 12% suburbanites, avg 22% city). Most of the people don't know that there are plenty of companies that do not drug test all of their employees. Most of the people don't realize that most recipients are not long-term recipients and clients are always cycling out. Most of the gripers are so caught up in their tax dollars supporting other people that they fail to consider ALL of the people and projects their tax dollars are already supporting  that are much more worthy of scrutiny than public assistance. They fail to consider WHO is addicted to drugs (i.e. consider our armed forces member who have been cast away by their "country" once they have used them up). They also fail to consider the bigger issue that may be created if people who utilize public assistance, who test positive for drugs, no longer have a way to support themselves. I mean, the solution isn't as black & white as "you test positive, you lose your benefit". What happened to considering additional aid to help free the person from that habit? Yes, I understand that substance abuse therapy, for hard drugs, is usually not available through your job but your job is not a welfare agency nor are most of the companies a public service so, of course, you cannot expect your employer to follow the same guidelines and/or offer the same services as the health & human services offices. With that said, as a human services organization, rehabilitating people with various issues is part of that service.




Mar 17, 2014

With Friends Like This...

I'm at a point where I can share this story now that my friend and I have had a conversation about it. It's just a thought process in purging all of it from my mind so I can move forward without any baggage.

About three weeks ago, I went to a local bar to listen to a few bands with a group of female buddies. I had to fly out to Idaho for work the next morning and thought about opting out but, since my business trip was short notice and my friend-girl had purchased the tickets weeks prior, I decided to just stick it out. I will skip the details of how full and tiring the day was and how I had to wait for them, outside, in quickly dipping temperatures for a lengthy amount of time. We'll go straight to the latter half of our  time at the establishment.

After running into one guy several times indoors, he and I were able to really connect in conversation on the smoker's patio. During this conversation, he gave me his number. After we parted ways there, we ended up reconnecting inside after making our rounds. Once the main band started performing, he invited me to go right up front with him. I declined but suggested he take my friend-girl since she was a big fan, which he did.

Thereafter, they returned and he and I continued talking for a bit then we all started branching off. My friend-girl told me that I needed to fuck him and I was crazy for letting him walk away. I explained to her that fucking him was not my priority and I would contact him when I got back and we left.

When I got up a few hours later, I responded to a text he had sent me and my friend-girl started texting me, as well. My friend-girl had a blast and asked if I had sent the guy up front with her then she proceeded to tell me about their foreplay session on the dance floor. In the midst of this conversation, the guy asked me for my friend-girl's number. I commented that she was just telling me about their time on the dance floor and that I would check with her on the number. She decided it was a bad idea to share numbers and I relayed that to him. He tried to smooth  things over by letting me know that he was still interested in me and explaining how much of a stand-up guy he was and would have never had the interaction with my friend-girl had he known the details about her. I commented that I didn't think any of that was relevant since he didn't make the effort to find out the details about her and nor did she offer. He and I chatted a bit more but that was the only day we communicated after that night.

Fast forward to the present...

My friend-girl asked if I ever hooked up with the guy and I told her I didn't, wouldn't and I didn't have his number any longer. She explained that she felt bad about it and she really thought what went down between them was at my insistence. She relayed to me that the guy had told her he wanted to fuck her that night, unbeknownst to me. I explained to her that I had been irritated by various aspects of the entire situation but I got over it since I didn't have any claim on the dude and he obviously had  an interest in her from the start. After continuing to insist that I should/should've hooked up with him and how well-endowed & skilled she thought he was, I let her know that I don't take second place to anyone and the whole thing was foul so I would never hook up with the guy.

In the midst of this conversation, she told me that she had added him as a friend on a social website after she saw he had commented on a  thread that was going on about the band and he added her but he hasn't spoken to her since that night.

Now, to me, none of it makes sense but, as I said, this is just a thought process. It seems odd to me that my friend-girl  says she feels bad and said it was a bad idea to share numbers but then turns around and sends him a friend request. That's just like giving him the number and contradicts everything she's said. I've come to realize that my friend is sketchy when it comes to the attention of men. Actually, I've known this for a while but I've never verbalized it. She really does want the attention and, thus, the trouble she claims she doesn't want but she's passive aggressive about it. There is no other explanation for the contradictions.

Now, is this incident worth losing an otherwise great friendship over? Not at all. It's not the first incident but we are much closer now than we were at that time. Should I limit my interaction and interests when it comes to men when in her company? Maybe but it won't be without her being fully aware. Plus, I'm sure if it's something more serious, she would conduct herself differently since there are no issues of this nature between her and other women she hangs with who are seriously involved. :/ *aaannnndddd rreellleeaassseeeee*

Mar 13, 2014

USPS Can Lick Me Where?

I've had it with this particular branch. Though, it is within walking distance to my house, I will not be going back for anything. Not even to pull up to the postal box and drop a letter in. ugh!

Here is my note to the postmaster:
 
I attempted to buy postage for a time-sensitive package Wednesday evening from the automated center in this branch. When the postage didn't drop, I followed the instructions posted on the machine telling me to stick my hand into the postage drop to retrieve. Once that failed, I followed the second sign posted near the bottom of the machine telling me to hit the machine in a particular spot. When that didn't work, I left with my package and receipt, planning to return in the morning. When I returned to the branch the next day, with package and receipt in hand, I explained the situation to the postal worker at the counter. Not only did she not provide the postage I had already paid for but she told me that I would have to go through my credit card company for reimbursement of the charge to my card. I explained to her that the Greenwood Village branch, who has also had issues with their APC, provides the postage after they weigh the package to ensure it matches the information on the receipt. She responded that she didn't know what to tell me and asked if I would like to go to that branch. I told her that didn't make any sense being that my purchase and, thus, my issue is at the Sullivan branch. I commented that I obviously didn't need to use the APC machines anymore since they seem to be dysfunctional at several branches. The entire interaction has delayed the delivery of my package, in addition to, unnecessarily wasting my time since I had to call into work to make myself available for this particular visit. If the post office would not honor transactions that did not process properly on their APC; that is the most vital notice they should have had posted on the machine, which would have saved me a trip, instead of instructions on jerry-rigging. This was just the last incident with this branch. Though, previous experiences have resulted in small disappointments (i.e. being out of supplies, unkempt self-service, unfriendly & inattentive postal workers), a compilation of little things can build just as strong of a negative opinion as one severely bad experience. I will attempt to dispute the transaction on my bankcard.

Oct 13, 2013

Self Righteous or Prejudice...both suck

A coworker and I are usually at odds when discussing people with criminal records. Because we work in an industry that partners with federal agencies, there are some criminal backgrounds we just cannot accommodate. This is understandable. I get it. However, I also understand that the people with these records have been convicted of a crime AND have served their penance for said crime and, therefore, should not continue to be persecuted after they have adhered to all guidelines and completed their term set as punishment for this crime. As I explain to my coworker, what makes the person who has been committed of a crime and punished for it any different than the person who lives a life of crime with the good fortune of not getting caught? Why should we have a harsher view of the person who has served their time than a person who has yet to be caught for their crimes? My coworker is a bit self righteous in her viewpoints since she has never been committed of a crime nor anyone close to her and, she believes, that nothing they do or have done is worthy of being considered a crime. However, she doesn't realize that , if all things were equal, there are several actions she partakes in that would put her on the side that she so opposes. Adultery still remains punishable by law. It is actually still against the law in about half of the fifty states and, its n't unheard of, for someone to  be prosecuted for it which involves fines and jail time.  If this law was as enforced now as it has been in the past across the Nation, she would have a criminal record and be subjected to the guidelines set forth in our industry.

We had a conversation about sex offenders and murderers where she asked if I would have an issue with a person convicted of these crimes living next to me and my kids. Without any hesitation, I told her that I wouldn't. Who lives next door to me is of no consequence as I raise and monitor my children even without the knowledge of a convicted felon living next to us. Why isn't it a big deal to me? Well, one, I have experience and have been exposed to more than one of each...some very close to me. Aside from a person's crimes, there exists an individual and there also exists more to a story than what a background check can give you. Also, with that experience, I understand there are many people around us who are dangerous and malicious who do not have criminal records. I know that I have done things that were crime-worthy but I don't have a criminal record either. I'm less concerned about those who have been convicted and more concerned about those who have not been.

I do understand some people who have been convicted of crimes are truly unstable individuals but, once again, there are many more unstable individuals who have not been convicted of a crime. Bottom line is...they both need the correct type of help which doesn't include being shunned or barred from living decent life with basic necessities like employment & housing.

Sep 5, 2013

Separation Blues

My daughter and sister were in a car accident a couple of nights ago. They were a bit dinged up but no major trauma.

After checking up on them yesterday evening, my daughter followed up the conversation with a text. She asked if I would consider moving to Wisconsin so I could be closer to her. Now...how she settled on Wisconsin, I have the slightest idea. The minds of babes, aye?

Anywho...I told her that I am open to moving closer but I would pass on Wisconsin but I had been keeping my eye open for jobs on the east coast.

She responded that she was glad I was looking and how amazing and how much of a blessing it would be if she could see me every month or so.

:(

How endearing and stressful that is all at once.

I'm trying...

Aug 30, 2013

I Would Love to Punch You in the Face

I know this feeling isn't uncommon. I've conversed with several people over the years who admit to developing this strong urge...and it's not directed at any person in particular. It's a very random thing.

I seem to experience it more frequently these days. Maybe, in my old age, it'll become an uncontrollable urge and I will feel the exhilaration of acting out my instabilities. ha!

Aug 19, 2013

Happiness These Days

What brings me joy these days?

Being able to cook a homemade meal for my son and his girl...

Saving $45 on groceries...

Being able to unwind on Friday night in my bed with a good book...

Cleaning the kitchen counter...

Coloring...

Music...still...

Yes, I'm a simple one. :)