Thursday, September 30, 2010

Look, Their Jobs Are Hard Enough Without Your Sniveling

This sign can be found at the jury room in the Pierce County Courthouse. I think we need to adhere to the law per the sign because let's face it, who EVER wants to be in a courthouse.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

He's EVERYWHERE! He's our prosecutor and HE'S EVERYWHERE!


I just went to get some medicine today at Ranko's Pharmacy in Tacoma and there he is AGAIN! It's Mark Lindquist, our county prosecutor. He's tall, he has piercing eyes that make you want to behave, and he's all over the place. He was on the cover of our arts magazine not that long ago. I did not write a hot check, Mark! I paid with a debit card! Okay? Back off! LOL


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

So You Want To Be A Social Worker Of Some Sorts? Read This!

Dear readers, all nine of you, sometimes life hands you lemons and although you want to make lemonade, you just can't muster the energy to do. My last job was so horrible that at last week's training to be a peer support specialist, my new aquaintance, who by the way wears dark glasses so you can never see his eyes, asked me to tell him to write about the worst job I have ever had. I wrote out two pages about my last job. It was a horrifying experience to write it out on paper.

I was hired last summer by a local social service agency to be a caregiver. I actually liked my job. I like it because I naturally like caring for people. What the agency did not tell me, is that the client they placed me with had gone through about twenty-four caregivers in the last year due to her deteriorating mental health. Now, you would think the intake sheet indicating she had been married four times would have been warning enough, but being the wounded healer type my therapist informs me I am, I  took this to mean she just had not met the right man. Her fourth husband reportedly shot his head off in front of her one night shortly after she qualified for his social security benefits. The law says you must be married for ten years to qualify for those benefits. I am not going to speculate that making it to the ten year mark was paramount in his decision, nor conclude that she may have actually shot him, because that will just result in an increase in my medication dosage, which seems to be increasing daily.

My client was fairly violent verbally. "You better not make me mad," she said. "You don't want to see me mad," she repeated. She told me about her four children and how they would bury objects that she hit them with in the back yard so she'd have to find more objects to beat them with. I just kept ignoring her and making her lunch and stuff. At one point I even got down on my hands and knees and cleaned her filthy carpet with a sponge. It was filthy because she had had an accident in her Depends. She wore them constantly and mostly, from what I could ascertain, because she was too lazy to get up from her chair to use the bathroom. She didn't want to miss a second of her soap operas.

It was about the time I inquired about the locked box by the side of her chair that things really went downhill. I wondered why she had a locked square box. I was actually stupid enough to ask. "It's just papers, dear," she said. While she was in the bathroom, I found out those papers consisted of a heavy single metal object that slide side to side. I quickly put the said object down. I then asked her where the key to the box was. She said it was around her neck at all times. "It's money," she said, "I have to hide money from the state or they will disqualify me for services. Don't say nothin' to anyone." I said I wouldn't. But damn, that was the heaviest metal object money I had ever encountered. The next day the heavy metal object had been relocated. I could not find it anywhere.

Then came time to fill her medisets. I could not do this task per my state mandated training course which said only nurses or nurse delegates or family members can fill the medisets. So I refused to fill them. She began a course of abuse that lasted until the last day of my employment. It culminated with her throwing her bath water and the table the bath water was on into the television set. I cleaned up the spilled water, replaced it, and gave her a sponge bath. She never bathed claiming she was afraid of drowning although she later said she had a history of participating in water aerobics. This puzzled me. When she asked me to go get her mail downstairs, I took all of my belongings with me because she had been shredding my state mandated paperwork which consisted of writing skin condition reports. She said I was saying nasty things about her on those papers. I finally just let her read the papers in an attempt to get her to stop shredding them because I was tired of rewriting them. I wan't writing anything nasty, just reporting the condtion of her skin.

When I returned from getting the mail, she raged at me about taking my belongings with me to get the mail. What she did not know, is that I had alerted building security and the building social worker that I was pretty scared. I said I did not know where the heavy object in her locked box had been moved to.  The social worker had contacted the crisis team in the meantime and when they came knocking on the door to evacuate me, my client was screaming at the top of her lungs. "Who is at my door? Who is at my door?" The social worker said to get out of the apartment immediately as I was in immediate danger. I was told to not even go back in for my purse or anything. Well, I did bravely dive back into the apartment for my purse.

Then, when I reached the first floor and the safety of the social worker's office, I began to hyperventilate. When my supervisor finally arrived, she didn't even ask me if I was okay. She said I had generated a lot of paperwork for the agency and had not followed protocol. I asked her what that protocol is. I later read their entire manual on protocol and there is nothing in it about what to do when one's personal safety is in question. There is only information about client safety from us, the lowly paid workers. And I must say that most of the workers for this agency don't even speak English so how the heck would any of them even know what their rights are anyway?

I continue to seek treatment for the trauma this has caused me personally. It has just brought to surface a whole lot of issues for me. I take Klonopin now. I started out at 1mg per dose, but am now down to .5mg per dose because the 1mg. dose made me sleep for about twelve straight hours. My ageny fired me of course for not following their non-existent protocol. Oh, and I had to have them sign paperwork for my health insurance indicating I have MS. So they fired me forty-eight hours after that. And also the night after I was appointed to the city's disabilities commission. I am certain this is all just a coincidence?

The main thing is they still have the client on their caseload so they still get state money to care for her. And so I imagine that daily workers go in, figure out the situation is insane, and never go back. So dozens of caregivers go in and out of this apartment. And one day she might shoot one of them. But hopefully in the ankle or something rather than a life-threatening shot. That way the worker will get some time off, a worker's compensation payout, and perhaps some retraining in a better paying job due to the ankle injury. Then we the taxpayers will all have to pay to have the client institutionalized which is where she belongs anwyay.

A laid of mental health worker for the county, by the way, informed me that this client has a decades long history of suicidal and homicidal ideation with the community. That's just super. And her Depends are paid for by the taxpayers as well. As well as all her medical and all the crisis teams calls she makes daily because she says her life is so awful. And all her psychiatric hospitalizations. Still, it must be cheaper to keep her in her apartment versus placing her in a therapeutic environment? She had been out of heart medications for months, by the way due to previous caregive negligence? Family negligence? Or did someone want her heart to fail? Novel to come shortly. It will be a murder mystery involving her Cherokee Indian heritage, the Great Depression, how to pilfer the system your entire life and how co-signing on loans for your drug addicted daughter who never pays them back actually works for Wells Fargo Bank but not so much for all of us who have to bail the banks out for making these loans. -Alison Whiteman

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Was Talking To Some Lawyers Tonight.....

No, no, no, I have not been arrested again. I was at a memorial for Jay's friend at the Washington Athletic Club in downtown Seattle. The attorneys all work in Tacoma. I merely suggested that on their breaks they visit Mad Hat Tea Company in downtown Tacoma for some creative relief. Jay said something smarty pants like about the tea house being populated with slackers.

Well, I am a slacker of sorts. As a disabled middle-aged woman I find myself about as employable as a toddler. That said, I think I left the attorneys wondering why I know so many attorneys in Tacoma and so many people in law enforcement in general. Well, let them wonder.

I think my explanation about my involvement in the civil rights movement for disabled and mentally ill offenders was sufficient explanation. I informed them I had just completed forty hours of training to work with the mentally ill as a peer support specialist. But let's face it, who is going to hire a middle aged woman with MS. Oh well. It's nice to dream. And dream I do. And dream I might do right now as I am going to sleep. -Alison Whiteman

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Peer Training Is Going Well. If You Want To Be Cleared Of The Demon Delusion, Though, You Must Come To Us

Demons may exist, but if you see them all the time and think people are splashing blood in the bathroom of your business as a result of their possession, it is highly likely they are just messing with you because of your extremist beliefs.

If you or anyone out there reading this wants help to get out of any religious cult, call the crisis team in Pierce County. There are lots of nice folks who will hook you up with temporary housing, assistance, counseling and the like so you may adopt a more sensible outlook on life and regain some balance.

Have a blessed day! -Alison Whiteman

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pasado's Safe Haven A Sanctuary For Animals

Right here in the Pacific Northwest we have a sanctuary for animals who have all kinds of needs. It is Pasado's Safe Haven, named after the donkey who was harmed by human beings the details of which I am going to skip because I have not taken my anti-anxiety pill this morning.

Look, Pasaso's safe haven offers all sorts of services for animals to include free surgeries for people with documentation of public assistance and low cost for all others. They have spay stations all across the region. At the present time, we do not have these for people, although a decrease in indiscriminate breeding among people might not be a bad call, right? I am not going to take a stance on the right to life on this web site as I do not wish to get pelted with rotting fruits and vegetables. Let's stick to animals.

If you want more information about spaying and neutering, contact Pasado's at http://www.wesnip.org/ or 360-733-6459 or here: http://www.pasadosafehaven.org/  -Alison Whiteman

Monday, September 6, 2010

The National Foundation For Wheelchair Tennis

I had no idea this organization exists. My tennis career may not be over just yet. I can still play for about a half hour on my feet. My backhand continues to be my best shot. Check these folks out! They do a lot of good work in the community! -Alison Whiteman


http://www.usta.com/Play-Tennis/Wheelchair-Tennis/Wheelchair/

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Brother Called Me A Flaming Liberal

If you doubt me, check out his blog at http://www.toomanymornings.com/ and read the comments section on his recent article about grammar.

Well, he can call me names, but you know what? Mike was adopted. You know how I know? Mom and dad told me way early in our lives and said he came from The Humane Society. It's true. We could never go into airports when we were young because of the "no pets allowed" sign.

Mike was adopted. We love him, but he was dumped by his meth addict owners during a SWAT team raid on the family he lived with originally. The owners of my brother had no teeth left, were quite emaciated and could not care for him.

We tried to get Mike therapy but my parents were small business owners and had no insurance for such intensive care. Flaming liberal, my ass. Excuse me, I have to go to a Sierra Club meeting now. Peace To All! -Alison Whiteman

People Just Continually Shock Me

After nearly forty-five years on the planet and many trips through newsrooms I don't know why I am still shocked by the behavior of other human beings.

I even taught school and am still shocked by the behavior of other human beings.
I have had my car totalled twice by negligent drivers, one of them drunk and I am still shocked that drunk driving still exists.

I have been stalked by a DSHS colleague and even though that entire office turned their backs on me and let the abuse continue I am still shocked. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission dinged them pretty hard on that one.

I am still shocked a public official, Jeannie Darnielle, did nothing to assist me even though I was being stalked by that DSHS employee. She did nothing to assist me. Nothing at all. Now she is going to be reelected. My stalker employed five aliases among other things. She is going to get reelected. Why?

People still shock me. I guess this is a good thing because it means I have not given up. I still see the light in others. I still believe people are doing the best they can. This little light of mine, I am indeed going to let it shine. -Alison Whiteman

Thursday, September 2, 2010

No Sniveling Allowed Per R.C.W. 86.35.600

This sign can be seen at the Jury coordinator's office in the Pierce County courthouse. Let's be clear about this: sniveling in the courthouse in not allowed. The maximum fine is $50 but there appears to be no jail time involved. So you, and you know who you are, no sniveling. -Alison Whiteman

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Little More History On My Journalism Background

In 1985 I was hired by the now defunct Colorado Springs Sun newspaper to work as a summer intern. This was a libertarian newspaper which really did not mean that much to me, I was just happy to get a paid job as a writer. It was minimum wage pay so I worked a second job at my mom's retail candle store in the evenings. My then boyfriend said he admired my dedication to working so hard and for so many hours. He is an engineer. His father is an engineer. Does he think I was working all these hours because I really wanted to or because perhaps because neither my father nor I are engineers? Oh well.

Then then editor of the newspaper was in the midst of some kind of emotional breakdown. Unknown to me was the fact the paper was for sale to the largest rival in the city: The Gazette Telegraph. The editor would come in the morning singing show tunes and by mid-morning he was already screaming at reporters in a rage. I was never the target of his rages. I was the target of the obese reporter in front of me.

I don't know what it is with women and weight. Oprah is obessessed with the topic. She has eating disorder experts on her show continuously. It annoys me. I want to have my eating disorder in peace. I don't need to be pelted with her parade of experts and the like. Oprah, I hereby ban you from my house. You have been silenced. Anwyay, the obese reporter spent most of the summer making comments about my size. I was and remain fairly tiny. She also chain smoked. This was long before smoking was banned in newsrooms. I spent the summer thankful for assignments that got me away from her smoking and her eating disorder issues.

When I was a reporter in Eatonville, Washington on a small weekly in 1990, my editor had effectively alienated the entire law enforcement community. I would go to the police station to get reports and get pelted with infomation about what a beeeoootttccchhh my editor was. They said I was an excellent writer, which they said would result in my demise at the paper as she would be threatened by me and let me go as she had a string of reporters. I stayed until she said they could not pay me anymore and then I left. I was glad to be free of her leering bizarre jealous fests in which she questioned me and yet also told me I was a great writer. Sometimes she even gave me a byline for my articles and photos.

On a local weekly the publisher asked me to lunch to introduce himself to me. I was looking forward to a nice lunch. While eating, he informed me that he used to be a real sleazy man, having slept with many women. I informed him that I am a reading whore, having read nearly everything in site. This was an excellent subject change and the rest of the lunch was tolerable.

At a weekly, it was a total fun fest. The editor of The Tacoma Reporter knew I have a wicked sense of humor and he let me use it to its fullest extent. We spent one morning calling public officials and asking them when they were available to talk to us. The officials gave varying answers, most indicating they were not available at all. One even hurled an expletive, which I then quoted in my story. He later apologized to me stating Mondays are not his best days. Our article was headlined, "Why I Don't Like Mondays." My editor wrote the most consistent funny headlines.

Right now I am an upaid blogger. This is what it has come down to. My massage therapist says I am writing but for no pay. I told him it's like training for a race. I am in training for the paid bit. I will get paid again. Let me get in shape first. And I am giving myself my own byline. -Alison Whiteman