Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jumping Through Hoops

A meeting was held between the job developer and myself. We both showed up with an uninvited guest. I came equipped with an advocate whose primary function is to keep me from exploding in fury and the developer with the VESID counselor in tow who "wanted to see" me.

Many things happened during this meeting. Apparently I had met with the VESID counselor in November and we had spoken about going to school for computer repair. I do remember getting a list of questions in an e-mail regarding this and filing the questions under "totally overwhelming and just not able to get started on researching and answering." These questions allow the VESID folks to distinguish between VESID customers who are able to do the required research in order to get VESID to finance a bit of edumacation from those of us who have brain injuries and aren't able to do the extensive interviewing and looking up stats in order to get VESID to finance a bit of edumacation. [This talk of edumacation may be a moot point as I tried taking an online course in computers and stopped doing any of the related assignments after the second or third week]. At any rate, I thought the last time I had met with the VESID counselor was sometime in the summer. And thus I didn't remember to call the VESID counselor in January "after the holidaze" because I don't remember us meeting in November. I believe the VESID counselor when she said we had met-- I just have no recall of it. If I was able to locate last year's appointment book within the disorganized heaps laying around my home, then I would at least have something in my own handwriting showing that there was such a meeting.

Consequently, when the job developer called me whenever she called me to set up the recent meeting and she told me that my employment plan now says part-time work with animals like in a shelter or something I was willing to accept that. Whenever it last was that the job developer and I had a meeting I believe there was a discussion about that. Over the phone, the job handler allowed as how she would go with me to seek out volunteer work related to animals and that she would go with me to get me into such a place. Please bring the names of three animal places you would like to work at. I did.

Once the VESID counselor came into the room though, things changed. Due to funding, this cannot be. They cannot help me get volunteer work, even as a pre-requisite to seeking employment. They can get me "work tryouts" or assessments cleaning animal cages and whatnot. And wasn't I wanting to go to school for computer repair anyway? That was when I found out that the VESID counselor and I had met in November.

Along with work tryouts there was some talk about:
* a "new" t.b.i. day program,
* and t.b.i. residences,
* and the usefullness to them of having reminder notes [I have tons of lists and charts and notes but the problem is I don't remember to look at them IF I remember where they are],
*and a guy doing t.b.i. in private practice at his home evenings,
* and make an appointment with so-and-so regarding getting people in to help me organize and clean my house that isn't based upon Medicaid funding which I don't have.
I became overloaded within twenty minutes but the meeting lasted for forty five minutes.

I told them-- the VESID counselor and the job developer-- three times that I was overloaded with information. The VESID counselor informed me that she wanted me to ask questions if I didn't understand something. I was at the point where I was catching only isolated words of the conversation between the two of them. After the third time of stating that I was overloaded and adding that I was done and had to go, the meeting was brought to a close.

Once in the parking lot, the advocate commented that she was getting overloaded in there-- and she doesn't even have a brain injury. She also said that these two were not "getting" me as far as she can tell and some other things like that. Their whole focus was to push me into working (even as a "cashier" or someone who puts together uretha catheters-- I can't imagine myself succeeding at either occupation). Meanwhile, a friend of mine who lives in the same town was found a volunteer position by the job handler and a couple acquaintances several counties over were both directed by their job developers to do specific volunteer work at specific places related to their job goals.

At any rate, the job developer is supposed to contact me about the next deal-- work assessments cleaning up after animals-- at some point. For those of you whom VESID or O.V.R. has proven useful, that's cool. This has been years now of non-useful for me. I who used to access services and develop resources for others to utilize have been unsuccessful at utilizing services my own self. Ain't that a kick in the head.

sapphoq healing t.b.i.

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1 comment:

  1. All I can say is that I thank God that you had an advocate in there to confirm to you that it was overwhelming. In these circumstances especially with state employees the job is to overwhelm and then blame the person in there, for being overwhelmed. At least this way you had confirmation of the tactic. I personally think you should try to get a part time in a library if part time is going to be your thing. Library or book store would serve you well because the spike I know is just geared that way. TBI be damned, when you get your feet set they are set and you can research better than Fox News when you get moving :) .. Good luck on your follow ups .. JC