Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Snark Was A Boojum

Thanks friends for your kind comments. I should have put the Comments Barred sign up but I forgot.

I have completely lost the art of blogging, I'm afraid, but can't resist sharing with the world, one great insight I have been gifted with just recently.

Listen: the people who write the forms for official claims, have gone to the same school (probably Hogwarts) as the people who write the algorithms for computer helplines.

You know how if you need to call a helpline, they won't proceed unless you can produce some godforsaken ID number, which is invariably located at the back of the tower unit or underneath the laptop/monitor/keyboard?

Right, well, claim form designers have the same training. I have been attempting to extract some needed money from a Certain Organization, to do with my disability; seduced by the come-on that it's my right to have a bit of the folding to offset the disadvantages conferred by a caring society on those of us less handy (pun intended) than others.

Why in hell do they always want to know those little details that involve a grunting search in the depths of the documentation? Grunting because you think you've extracted every little thing and put the stuff away again, then you come to Question 98 subsection 99 and have to get it all out again.

For a start, to prove you are native-born British these days, seems to involve the most abstruse questions about When and Where; I am just waiting for some bright Civil Servant to start asking Why.

(Well, my dad mistakenly thought it would get him and mum a Council House, is Why, but that was many years ago and there's nothing to be done about me now, I'm afraid.)

Furthermore, these forms are designed by sadists. There is always one question to which, if you give the wrong answer, up comes the Go Straight to Jail pointer: "You Are Not Entitled To This Benefit!"

Yes, but couldn't you have asked me that question before page 20? One is tempted to send the form in anyway, just to make some Established creep waste his time working all the way through it as well.

Jeez, I've spent years urging other crips to take advantage of their rights: "Why not just fill out the form? You've got nothing to lose; they can always just say No," and all the other bromides. Now I am beginning to realize why people blow up in flames and sink in despair.

And another thing: all these questions: I don't remember any such inquisitions during the years when I was paying money into the system. About all they ask then is, Are you breathing? coupled with, What is the maximum we can screw out of you?