Thursday, November 06, 2014

Better Living Through Technology!

I've been hearing today about the greatly-improved NEW COMPUTER SYSTEM at the state's Department of Human Services -- the people who bring you your foster-care subsidies, Electronics Benefits Transfer cards (they used to be called "food stamps") and utility-shutoff emergency funds, among a hundred and one other services.

SO WHO CARES WHAT COMPUTER SYSTEM THEY USE? -- that's the question on everyone's lips.  WAIT 'TIL YOU HEAR!  This new system is so super-efficient that whenever there is a hiccup in the system, the benefits recipient AUTOMATICALLY GETS CUT OFF EVERYTHING, INDEFINITELY.  This would tend to explain why client after client at my own agency comes in with armloads of paperwork, weeping and gnashing their teeth because they DID EVERYTHING THEY WERE ASKED, THREE TIMES, AND IT HAPPENED AGAIN ANYWAY. 

BUT WAIT!  THERE'S MORE!  When the system cuts you off, because someone typed in an incorrect Social Security number or misspelled a name, you also get -- not one -- THREE randomly-assorted letters.  One tells you what benefits you qualify for; one tells you that your screwed up your paperwork and need to resubmit everything (in Sanskrit) and wait another 45 days for an answer about your eligibility; and a third announces that your services have been terminated.  That even beats out my mortgage company when it comes to eccentric communications!  Wow!


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