Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Rigging of Failure 8/23/08


a big shout-out to the unknown damsel

The stoopid saga of VESID sucks carries on. The job handler/job developer/employment consultant whatever has transferred to a different job herself. The VESID-sucks counselor (my third) is apparently absent from work due to personal/medical whatever. Consequently, I have once again attained the status of limbo without the use of drugs.

As damsel has pointed out in a couple of comments prior to this post, VESID-sucks has as a modus operandi the rigging of failure. Specifically and anecdotally only (based on googling various and sundry terms such as "VESID sucks" and "VESID horror stories" and "VESID complaints") one problem is the mindset to shove us into a job any job without much regard to anything. The other problem is the tendency of VESID helpers to declare many of us as being somehow falling short in the intelligence department and the blatant advice to lower our goals. Of course, if picking up pins with a tweezer and putting them in a container is a measure of anything at all-- the stoopid it burns-- then lots of people should automatically settle for a two year community college degree or a secretarial course or a job in retail or at a supermarket packing groceries. Sigh.

Anecdotally only, a good friend of mine was advised by his O.V.R. testers in another state that college would be an "impossible" goal for him to reach as well. Friend is brilliant. Friend went on to achieve 4.0 in college courses. See, the rub is that if any of our employment situations, college enrollment in courses or a pursuit of study, etcetera is not in line with what VESID sucks (or O.V.R. sucks) assumes is "realistic" based on our putting pins into a container using tweezers, they don't have to support it. In other words, I can be denied job coaching if the lousy little part-time job I have demands that I do something that VESID doesn't think I should do or am capable of doing. And folks who wish to obtain bachelor degrees or more can be denied needed funding by VESID or O.V.R. because the rigors of academia are a far stretch from what their stoopid testing shows that those folks should be able to do.

Could it be funding? The organization that is supposed to provide me with job development and job coaching services is getting paid more than three thousand dollars for one year of their non-services. (Just as soon as I provide a doctor's note indicating that a temporary exacerbation of vertigo into a two-week "attack" is now resolved for the time being and I can "return to work" which I don't have, my non-services can resume. Just as soon as someone figures out that I am on their caseload that is.)

VESID stands to benefit financially by talking people down into two years of college or a secretarial course versus bachelor's level studies and more. And VESID benefits financially by setting their counselors' objectives to get the disabled customers working (at anything) as soon as frickin' possible. To hell with our aspirations. To hell with what we want. To hell with MEANINGFUL employment. No love, VESID sucks, no love.

The three thousand bucks VESID has wasted on my non-employment this past year could have been used to send damsel to her very much wanted and sought after bachelor's degree. Ah, damsel wasn't even eligible for financial aid from VESID sucks and they made her take those stupid tests anyways. Those of us who are not totally broke don't get to have our tuitions paid. Books and twelve cents a mile was the last I heard. At the price of gas these days, twelve cents a mile is a bad joke. Considering that the professional VESID helpers are getting around three times that amount for their mileage, it is an insult.

Another two friends recently found themselves as "trainees" or whatever the fancy word is at a local sheltered workshop. Apparently, those of us who are judged severely disabled do get encouraged to spend at least twenty hours a week at one of those places. It's part of the process of getting the disabled into jobs. The two friends were told that this was now their best chance at gaining supportive employment down the road. Other avenues-- community college courses or a job developer calling them up on Fridays and nagging them-- failed to produce a job of any sort for my two friends. Who exactly refers the VESID failures to sheltered workshops? I still have not found the answer to that question. Neither the VESID sucks counselors nor the job developer have admitted to initiating referral. I asked. I searched the website for clues. No clear information was given. But I digress.

It is LEGAL to pay a disabled "trainee" less than the minimum wage at such places. Way less. The assumption is (based on "timed studies" often conducted with staff volunteers) that a disabled worker cannot possibly be fast enough or good enough to make the minimum wage. The disabled worker in a sheltered workshop is subject usually to piecework, pro-rated of course. If the disabled "trainee" is lucky enough to qualify for training off-site (welding or warehouse loading or potato peeling or newspaper insert stuffing or cleaning), the disabled "trainee" still will not receive minimum wage. Under the law, the workshop is not required to pay it. In effect, the "trainee" is furnishing part of the salary of the on-site rehab counselor (separate from the VESID counselor), part of the salary of the workshop supervisor, part of the salary of the off-site trainer, part of the salaries of all of the staff people who come in contact with the trainee. And of course, part of the profit of the sheltered workshop comes from the trainee's pittance because the workshop is able to low-ball other businesses when it comes to bidding.

Meanwhile, the absence of vertigo attacks is the least of my concerns. I continue to have serious problems which concern me far more than the fact that my world drifts to the left 24/7. As usual, anything worth having is worth working for. And I shall have to force my damaged brain to think of other options to reach my goals and other people who can point out some ways to proceed. There is a word for those people who are willing to help yet aren't professional helpers-- natural supports. All of this leads me to tentatively conclude that VESID sucks must therefore be the unnatural supports.

Oh yeah and VESID sucks: fruck you.

sapphoq healing t.b.i.

p.s. damsel, if you ever want to get in touch with me, my insanejournal blog (user name sapphoq) allows anonymous comments which are screened. Or, you can e-mail sapphoq. sapphoq has an e-mail account at google.