I spent one of the most disgusting mornings I’ve had in a long time.
As you may know I recently moved to a new state. The move was not job related so therefore you can correctly assume that I am unemployed. The unemployment is not the issue because I have been looking around at possible jobs. Not looking to hard mind you, but just looking around to see what is out there! I even have a few possible leads that I may explore at a later time. I am still actually still trying to learn my way around this new environment and have been very busy trying to get my gets successfully enrolled in High school and two different colleges, so I haven’t had the time actually concentrate on job searching. I will actually start my job hunt in earnest after the kids all get settled and started in school… (maybe).
Even though I am not employed as of yet I do need medical coverage for my family and I. So I decided to go down to the Texas Department of Human Services. Yeah… that was quite the experience. Disgusting and Dehumanizing and Degrading are the words that come to my mind when I think about this experience. I have worked for most of my adult life, actually since the age of 16 I have been a worker, so I have paid plenty in taxes, so I feel that if I need assistance, I should be able to get some! For goodness sake! I am not asking for a free ride… you know, pay my rent, give me food, give me cash, give me, give me, give me!! No, all I want is some freaking medical coverage!!
So I get in the building and look around at the sea of faces and I can already feel my attitude changing… Oh God why am I even here? There is NOT ONE person in this place who has a smile, my whole demeanor is changing and I just got in the door! I wade through the bodies and get to the desk where a sign says take a number. Ok I pull a number and it says… 982!! WTH!! Did I just hear them call 930!! Oh man, Oh man, Oh man, I can’t do this, I can’t sit here and wait for them to call 982! I am starting to hyperventilate (on the inside), I am kicking and screaming (on the inside), but on the outside my body slowly walks back through the sea of people to find an empty chair, all the while staring down at the number 982 in my hand. It is 8:30am and I feel like Carrie, like I am standing on a stage covered in pigs blood while everyone points and laughs at me… Oh God, I can’t do this… I can’t sit in here… I feel so degraded, and so dehumanized. This is so…beneath me! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I am better than anyone here, this is beneath all of us! There has to be a better way to get help. I feel like I am on display, I feel corralled, this sucks.
As I sat there for hours, waiting to hear them call 982, I looked around at the faces, and the different types of people in this hell hole and I thought to myself what if hell is one big fiery, social service waiting area! Aaaahhhhhh!! Inside I screamed some more! As I sat there and watched the screaming babies and bad behind kids running around, people try to not look at one another again I felt disgusted, not at the people but at a system which would degrade people all in the name of federal aid. People walked in looking bummy and homeless, others walked in looking like they were going to a day at the fortune 500 office, some looked scared, some looked pissed off, some looked clueless but after a few hours we all looked the same… DISGUSTED!
I finally heard the magic number…982! 982! When I got to the window, which was literally 2 feet away from the bank of chairs in which was seated hundreds of disgusted looking faces, the woman (who’s english wasn’t the best, and I had to ask her to repeat everything!) looked at my papers, signed something handed them back to me and said go to the next window for an appointment!! WTH!! It is 12:15 lady, what do you mean go to the next window for an APPOINTMENT?!? I sat here for more than 4 hours to spend 5 minutes at a window to get an APPOINTMENT? Seriously?? WTH!! Of course I screamed this on the inside as I slowly walked to the next window. The lady at the next window looked at my papers, and then gave me an appointment for next week monday. Thank you.
I sighed and shook my head and made my way back through the sea of people and made my way out the door…