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Of Course It’s Free. You Owe Me.

It seems there’s been an outbreak of Entitlement Syndrome across the city in which I live. We’ve yet to determine it’s exact origin, but we suspect the pandemic began somewhere between 2003 and 2013. Symptoms include:

  • Expecting a paycheck for existing. 
  • Expecting a paycheck for procreating, and of course, existing.
  • Expecting groceries, utilities, gasoline vouchers, rent, and living expenses to be paid in full simply for, well, existing.
  • Inability to make it to your free doctor’s appointments on time or at all because you like to sleep in late. 
  • Fear of being independent.
  • Unwillingness to accept responsibility for anything at all.
  • Sudden outbursts of anger when you don’t get exactly what you want when you want it, regardless of the fact that you’re getting it for free.
  • Lying to government and healthcare agencies in order to obtain more free shit simply because you have a pulse. 

I am all about helping those in need. I fully support helping people who are unable to help themselves. I am not against, in fact I am an advocate of programs designed to help those who are truly in need. I would never, ever knowingly allow someone to go hungry if I could help it. I believe that all living beings are to be cared for regardless of their income or lack thereof. It is the attitude of entitlement that some people display that sends me into a fit of fury. I feel that if you are a physically and mentally capable person, it is your responsibility to earn the things that you have. Sure, we all like a little bonus here and there. I can’t say that I’ve earned every single thing that I’ve acquired in my entire lifetime. Know this, though – It is not my civic duty to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to make sure that you and your family live comfortably while I struggle to pay my bills. It is not my personal responsibility to bust my ass while you do nothing to help yourself. Furthermore, if you do get something for nothing, show some appreciation rather than “more more more”. I don’t owe you anything. Nothing. Zilch. The world owes you nothing. If you want it, get it. If you can’t get it, be grateful for what you do have. There are many people who are truly unable to do for themselves who would give everything they have for independence and self-sufficiency. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing numerous people who lack the very simple, physical capabilities that you take for granted, and they strive to provide for themselves and their families without complaint. Their struggles are real. They are grateful not only for tangible things. They are grateful for each waking moment they’ve been blessed to live and each breath they take.

I am astounded by the number of people that I come in contact with on a daily basis who think nothing of their sedentary, goalless lifestyles. It is infuriating that some people have absolutely no gratitude or appreciation for the luxuries afforded to them every day. I can accept the fact that some people don’t realize how good they’ve got it. What I cannot handle is being verbally assaulted because your freebies aren’t “enough”. Are you kidding me? Really?

It the blatant abuse of “hand up” programs that turns my head into a red, hot boiling steam-kettle.

“I can’t make my appointments cos I like to sleep late and I don’t like to drive all the way across town to see you. Can’t home health come see me in the afternoons so I don’t have to get up and go nowhere?” 

“No. Your Medicaid doesn’t cover home health, and with your diagnosis of low back pain, we can’t justify sending a home health nurse out to your home. You’ll need to get up earlier and try to make it here if you want to be seen.”

What do you mean, ‘I need to get up early’? I have a sleep disorder and I’m trying to get disability…”

Weird. Your H&P mentioned nothing of the sort. You’re 20 years old. Buy an alarm clock and a coffee pot like the rest of the world. 

“No, sir. You’ll need to come in for your appointment like everyone else.”

That’s ridiculous. Why don’t Medicaid pay for that? I should get home health. Someone better come out to my house and fix my back or I ain’t gonna come!” he argues.

Well, I’ll tell you why no one is coming to your home. You’re young, younger than I am and you’re able bodied. You don’t work, and you’re home all day and available to come to any appointment we give you. We all like to sleep in. I do, too. We still have to get up early and be productive citizens, so that we can pay for you, too. You’re able to party it up in 5 inch heels on Friday nights, yet you find movement of any sort absolutely excruciating when you arrive to my office.You’re non-compliant and you can’t seem to remember your home-exercises that you were given to relieve your pain. You no-show to 75% of your scheduled appointments and when you do show up, you’re decked out in a wardrobe that puts the entire contents of my closet to shame. The cell phone that you’re calling me from costs the equivalent of 3 of my car payments.  You’re paying absolutely nothing for the care that you’re receiving, and yet you refuse to participate in your own healing. You sit at home all day and collect money that you feel you are owed simply because blood flows through your veins. Okay, your back hurts. News flash – if you got your ass up off that damned sofa and DID something, you wouldn’t need home health. You’re sore because you lay sedentary all day watching television. Why on God’s Green Earth should we send someone out to your home? You’d probably sleep through our knock at the door anyway.

“Well, you need to make sure you tell the Medicaid Agency all my visits when they call. I need that gas money. You guys don’t have to tell them the exact dates…” I nod and check the computer. “Yes sir. They’re all listed. I’ll make sure they communicate your appointments to the agency when they call. Keep in mind that you failed to attend 8 of 12, though.”

And it never fails – the agency calls to verify appointments, and there are always at least 10-15 more appointments pending reimbursement that the patient never showed for. I receive a call a week later, usually with a lot of cussing and carrying on because “my check was short”. It’s not a payday. The system is designed to assist you, not to support you. ASSIST you in getting to your medical appointments for that back of yours that needs a free massage 3 times a week. Why are you screaming at me? You failed to make it to your appointment because you didn’t want to get out of bed that day. How is that my fault?

I had to wait in the waiting room for 15 minutes. Do I get a meal ticket?”.

No. You do not get a free meal ticket because you came to the doctor today. 

Why not? I should get a meal ticket for having to come see you today.”

I don’t get comped meals when I go to the doctor. Why should you?

I have Medicaid. They don’t pay for that? I had to wait out here in the lobby and I had to get up early today.”

No. Lunch is not on us today. 

I don’t think I will ever comprehend the “helping me is not enough” mentality. Give me more, more more, right now, but don’t expect me to work for it, and damned sure don’t expect me to appreciate it. Give me something for nothing, and don’t you dare expect me to help myself. 

What a shame.

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Just Like Mom Used To Make

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I would like to thank Dunkin Donuts for a dining experience reminiscent of meal time at Mom’s house. Who knew that some 15 years after leaving home and heading out into the great, big world of adulthood, this establishment would hold true to the old saying, “Just Like Mom Used To Make”? When I arrived yesterday morning, I was famished. The posted menu with all of it’s combos and pictures really made my mouth water, so much that I could hardly contain my excitement for the breakfast feast in which I was about to partake. That’s when I saw it, in all of it’s golden, flaky glory.

Combo #16 – Chicken, Bacon and Cheese Croissant with Hashbrowns & Large Drink.

Holy Cannoli, I’d never seen anything so breathtakingly delightful! I’d stumbled upon Saturday Morning Breakfast Heaven. Fantastic! Unable to further contain myself, I took my place at the counter.

The young lady who took my order was truly a treat. While I’ve never considered reverse psychology as a marketing strategy, I will say that she employed this new method without hesitation or restraint. “Is your tea home-brewed or is it instant?” I asked. “You don’t want that,” she answered. “Is it bad?” I asked. “No, I made it…” she replied. Her uncanny ability to assess my personal tastes without even having to look up from her cell phone was as close as I’ve come to mental telepathy in my 35 years on this planet. Let’s give credit where credit is due. She knew I probably wanted the tea, but sensed some hesitation in my voice. I get it. Tell me I don’t want it, and of course I’m going to want it even more! Kudos to you, young lady! “I’ll take a large sweet tea.” I continued with my order. “I’d also like the #16 – Chicken, Bacon & Cheese Croissant, please.” She hurried me along toward the end of the counter. “Your order will be up shortly.”

The wait was not long. I’m still reeling in shock that the young chef was able to create my food items in less than five minutes. After all, he put an immense amount of thought and effort into creating my meal. Not only did my meal come out after a few short minutes, but the young man preparing it took the liberty of deciding what it was that I really wanted, and what I did not actually want  or need. “Order 177“, he called out. I practically hurdled the booth the get to the counter. There it was, my chicken croissant, basking in all of it’s glory. 

Except it wasn’t a chicken croissant. There was no croissant at all, actually. I’ll admit, this threw me for a bit of a loop, as surely I had said “Chicken, Bacon & Cheese Croissant”. What was this before me? Dumbfounded, I asked. “Sir, I believe this may be the wrong order. I ordered a croissant, and this, well… I’m not sure what this is.”

He glanced down at the breakfast sandwich. “Yeah, it’s yours.”

I must be confused. “Well, no, actually I ordered the croissant…” I said as I nudged the sandwich closer to him.  He nodded again. “Right. That’s it right there, ma’am“.  He pushed the sandwich back toward me. “I made it on a hard roll for you instead of a croissant.” 

You did wha?

If ever the universe were to come to a screeching halt, it did at that moment, as cars crashed and glass shattered. Babies screamed and buildings crumbled before me.

“You did what?” I stumbled. I reexamined my sandwich. Sure enough, in place of my buttery croissant stood a hard, powdery roll. Atop the roll lay a single piece of chicken, some bacon, cheese and...what’s this? Sauce. 

Sensing the very real possibility that I may fly into cardiac arrest at any moment, the young man inquires, “Did you want the croissant?“. “Well yes. It is pictured on a croissant, and it is described as a croissant. Yes, yes… I would like a croissant. Could you tell me, please, exactly what is the sauce that is all over the chicken? I didn’t realize that it came with a sauce…” 

Oh, I added barbecue.” he smiles proudly.

“Does it normally come with barbecue?” I’m barking now. At this point, I fully expected Freddy Krueger to lunge over the counter. My breakfast dream had turned into a breakfast nightmare. This just couldn’t be.

No, I thought barbecue sauce would be good,” he replies, “so I just added it.

He pushed the sandwich back at me. 

While I can’t say that I was particularly pleased at the time, I finally see the big picture. Dunkin Donuts, you’ve trained your employees well. As a matter of fact, your entire staff played an instrumental role in reminding me how much I missed eating at Mom’s. You knew what I didn’t know all along. It wasn’t the golden croissant or the plain chicken sandwich meat that I was longing for. It wasn’t the sweet tea or the hashbrowns in which I delighted. It was that down-home, “eat what you get or eat nothing at all” feel from my childhood that I yearned. “Just like Mom used to make.

 

 

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