Saturday, November 27, 2010

Can I Rant For A Moment??

I guess I just need to vent for a moment, so if anyone is not in the mood, feel free to skip this post!!  It won't take long. I try not to be political in my blog, and this isn't blatantly political, but some might feel it's hedging on it.

I don't know if most of you know, but I'm self employed and have a private practice as a mental health therapist.  When I lived in San Diego, I made pretty good money and since people generally have money in that area, I didn't have to deal with insurance companies and took cash pay clients only.  But, I made a decision to move to a more rural setting on my little 5 acres where I was happier and took a chance with private practice in an area that was socio-economically depressed and has a low population.  My days of cash pay are over, and I happily decided to apply to all the insurance panels and jump through their hoops to receive much lower pay with a lot more paperwork. 

The last 6 months have been hard.  Really hard.  Some clients up here can't even make their copay.  Some clients, because they are in  a lot of chaos in their life,  no-show on me/their appointment and then don't return calls when I attempt to collect the fee for them cancelling without notice.  I see some people for a very low fee or almost no fee because I like to have a couple pro bono spots and like to help those who are in need when I can. 

A disturbing part of my private practice are on some kind of public assistance or trying to get on public assistance.  I have nothing against this when needed.  I've had people come to see me just because they wanted me to fill out paperwork so they could get disability.  Most of these people that I encounter, with some exceptions, are cheating the system.  They are able minded and able bodied people who just don't want to work.  That, too, is frustrating.

So, I'm doing my best to keep my financial head above water.  The last 6 months have been tougher.  So, here's my real rant.  I got a summons for jury duty last week.  "Oh, my", I thought.  "There is no way I can go to jury duty - I can't afford to lose any time working".  Keep in mind, as a therapist, I can't hire anyone while I'm gone and it's just money I don't earn and I have no way to recoup it.  I'm mean, I'm scraping together the mortgage these days!  It's tough.  So, I fill out my form the county sent me and under the excuse section, I apply for an excuse based on the fact I'm self employed and am on the edge myself financially and am not able in my work to have someone fill my spot.  I got a card back from the county yesterday in the mail and it read, "SAN BERNARDINO NO LONGER EXCUSED THOSE WHO ARE SELF EMPLOYED".  What?  In this economy?  Are you kidding me?

It really seems like those who are trying to make it on their own (not just self employed, but anyone) have it harder.  Sometimes I just get frustrated and pouty and feel like those who don't want to do much get a lot back from the almighty government, but those who try and be self sufficient are having a much a harder time.  So, what am I supposed to do?  Here I have to give up a day of work which is REALLY going to hurt me (I haven't taken a vacation in over 6 years aside from an extended weekend), and with Christmas, property taxes, quarterly self employment taxes approaching, this is not good.  And, I would most likely not make my mortgage payment if I got picked for a jury!  I know that if I were myself, I would be picked for a jury.  So, do I go in there and lie to preserve my financial state?  "Hi, I am trying to move out of California because I think the system sucks here (well, that part isn't a lie) and I think the problem is all the Mexicans, blacks and gays and white trash."  Well, that would cover most groups up here, I think and would most definitely get me out of jury duty.  But, how creepy is that?  I can just imagine it then - the jury person (the court is just a few miles away) goes around telling the locals that the mental health therapist in town is really a bigot.

So, I'm angry and scared right now.  I'm angry at the system that they don't make exceptions for those who are self employed and can't work otherwise.  I'm angry that in this economy they recently CHANGED their policy and only now don't make exceptions for self employed.  I'm angry that I pay a lot of taxes and don't ask my government for anything and when I really need some understanding, I'm not given it.  I'm scared cause financially I'm in a tough spot and this is gonna make it really tough. 

So, that's my rant.  Am I out of line here?  Any thoughts?  Argh....!!


  1. I don't have any clue what to say except that I hope you are able to work it out. It hardly seems fair.

  2. As you know, Sylvia, my husband is also self employed. I can absolutely relate to your frustrations. Your time is literally your money. Sometimes it does feel working hard and playing by the rules isn't paying off.

    And you may be surprised to learn that I, too, am incredibly disgusted by the amount of abuse/lying/cheating folks are willing to do in order to receive a disability and/or welfare check from the government, and would love to see some major overhaul in these systems to ensure we do a better job of making sure the people who need the help are getting it and the ones committing fraud against the government and the American people are identified and penalized.

    Unfortunately, like most laws, rules and regulations they have a tendency to penalize the masses for the dishonest actions of the few (morons).

    With all that said, these are tough times and the only way to get through them is to forge ahead. Do your best. Vent when you need to. You will get through this because you are one of the good ones and the universe takes cares of those who take care of themselves.

  3. Don't you just love it! I went thru the same a few years ago. Why can't these perfectly healthy people on welfare and disability do jury duty.It's like checking out at the grocery behind someone with their food stamp card buying steaks and I have chicken because it's on sale. They have nothing else to do. Just wait for the right question to disqualify you and go for it.

  4. I also am against people lying and cheating for gov't assistance and taking it from people that truly need it. But what in the world does that have to do with: Mexicans, blacks, and gays? Ok, I can see where the Hispanic community seems to get preferential treatment. Not sure about the black community since I live in a predominantly white community, but gays? What in the world?

  5. Oh! this I'm sure is a scary spot to be in and go figure CA won't allow self employeed off Mike was called to jury duty, he and another worker were the only ones working that day and you can't leave one person there( at the Coop) alone, because when you ahve to haul feed or fill propane who watches the till? He called and explained this to the judge and she said"To Bad, if you don't show up you'll be in contempt of court and I'll put out a warrant for your arrest. So he scrambles and finally gets Cortney and I to help out, so that the counter gall didn't have to be alone. Then when Mike and another man disagreed with the other jurors, the judge threw a fit and made them go back into deliberations for another two hour, still it ended up being a hung jury. Mike now teases the judge if she'd let him off maybe it would have gone the way she'd hoped.

    I agree about those on assistance programs that don't truly NEED it, what's happened is that because they are in the majority the ones who truly NEED it are being turned away< Grrrrr...> I have some knowledge in this because of Cortney's situation and trying to get her on SSI when she was going through all her medical stuff, we were denied! I look at it as it was for the best because now we're making it without the BIG strings of Government beig involved :o)

    So sorry for your situation, maybe when the interview you you can answer with some really off the wall answers and won't be chosen, although you'll still miss the one day*sigh*

  6. Leah, anonymous #1 (tammy?), Beverly & Kelle - thank you for the support! Sometimes just ranting and hearing some positive feedback and encouragement just helps, you know? Tammy, I like your advice to forge ahead - and thanks for the compliment. Again, this post wasn't so much about those who get assitance (and who don't need it), but more the irony of those who try to make it on their own getting seemingly stiffed at times by Big Brother.

    Anonymous #2 - I think you totally misunderstood my message. It may help to re-read it. My statement about Mexicans, blacks, gays and "white trash" was meant to be tongue in cheek... as I said right before that sentence, I'd have to "lie" to get excused. It was meant to throw a little humor in as well. I'm sorry you misunderstood me. Bashing groups of people is not my style. :)

  7. You know, I was just speaking with a therapist (not, sure could use one some days...) who has been in the business for over 20 years - he nearly said the exact same thing! Low pay - barely making it.

    Sista friend, don't feel stuck. Explore your options. If you did, explore them again - and again, and well, you get the point. You are a bright, educated woman; you have a fantastic partner; you have, YOU... YOU have a goal. Things are really crappy now (and sorry about that, I'm feeling for ya here) but you are a homesteader - roll up them sleeves and fight the odds.

    Probably you already tried the online companion site for jury duty... But, if you didn't head there. Mr Farmer was denied an exception - I went there and appealed. It was accepted - no jury duty for Mr Farmer. Ask for a delay, if you haven't already.

    I loved your rant! Rant all you want. You can stagger down that road that leads you to your dream but just stay on it. Fight, fight, fight. Fight the world, if need be... But remember what's waiting for you at the end - YOUR HOMESTEAD!

    You've got this sista friend... you've got this.


  8. Syl, Wish I could take it for you. Working for a HUGE company, we get paid for Jury duty as long as it takes.. I actually love Jury duty as it gives me a sight into a different world but I totally understand where you are coming from.
    Some little tricks are having it reschduled for a friday as they rarely call jurys on Fridays. Also, I thought I would be a shoe in for a jury and the one time I was questioned, really thought I was perfect for the case.. I was dismissed by one of the lawyers and still have no idea why.I was honestly kinda sad (and hurt in a wierd "why didn't they like me" kinda way). All the other times I went, I sat, read a book, had lunch downtown and then came home :) Fridays :) Hang in there Syl..

  9. farmer - thanks for the chuckles (your writing usually makes me laugh) and the encouragement!! i appreciate the time you took to respond. fight on!

    allene - thanks to you, also! your support is appreciated. yes, if i still worked for scripps, i would love to go to jury duty! change of pace, interesting and still get paid! well, it'll just have to work out somehow. thank you!

  10. That's terrible -- don't they have enough state/county employees, retirees, and what about all these unemployed and underemployed folks, to use in their jury pool. I don't know what to say, my husband is self-employed too, and so far he hasn't had to go. And don't they just have you call in as the first step? I'm so sick of a lot of stuff that goes on with all these cheaters and the fact that we have to join them to get something that we should just have anyway. Take care -- I'm sending good thoughts your way.--Inger

  11. The system...what a system?

    What you need to do is tell them you don't have child care and they have to dismiss you. I mean, hey, maybe the hens need hands on TLC that day!

    My husband is an RN at a state mental facility and there are staffers that sell their WIC cards for cash for half the value. They want the cash! The buyer gets twice the groceries for the price. I couldn't even dream up this stuff. They don't need WIC and they abuse it!

    I like the rant...step up and rant anytime! As long as everyone pays into the system and fairs from it I have no problem. The problem seems to be if you play by the rules you're gonna get burned sooner or later while the others just squeeze through the cracks of society. It stinks! I hope you can find a way out...

  12. Oh no! This just sucks! I can never understand why things have evolved they way they have here. It must be hard to see that happening all the time. My husband see's it every day delivering the mail, watching complete able bodied people run to get their welfare check, then run back to him two days later high as a kite asking when the next check will arrive. It is frustrating, and really wears on him. I can only imagine what it is doing for you. Now add this jury duty debockle? Wish SB County would still give the exemptions....

    We're here for you though! Rant away. I enjoy your visits to our little blog world, and wish I could be as supportive as you have been! You're a great, wonderful, beautiful person. Hold your chin up, and please don't be afraid to ask for some help if you ever need to. I'm sure there are other readers out there that would be willing to do whatever they can too.

    Hope your Monday is going a little better. - Jen.

  13. cottage - wow, selling their cards even? dang! crafty indeed. thank you for the support. i am going to get it postponed and then i'll be prepared to miss a day of work and will just make sure i do NOT get picked for jury duty cause i can't do that... unless the economy takes a sudden turn. uh, don't think so!

    jen - that is an interesting but disturbing story about your husband and mail delivery. whoa... i so appreciate your compliments. put a smile on my face! i'm ready to go out and just do what i gotta do! :)

  14. rant away!!!
    I guess in the nhs here in the UK we are spoilt as most people get to see a professional therapist if the need one ( though the wait is sometimes disguesting!)
    private therapy in the uk is common too, but I guess we just do not have the problems you guys have over there!!!!!!

    being rural, and oslated doesnt help as your client group perhaps is not as informed or as motivated as in the more urban areas......

    I have no ideas for you..... sorry... except a big hug

  15. I'm so sorry that you are struggling right now. I hope that it eases soon.


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