Being An Adult Is Tiring

So apparently I was so tired yesterday that I forgot to post at all. My only excuse is that I’ve been being a responsible adult all week and it wore me out. Sorting out unemployment payments, parenting payments, a rent assessment, a job-center interview and trying to budget for the Big Girl Bed my daughter needs and the new trampoline mat we’ll all go mad without took it out of me.

If you are the parent of a hyperactive toddler, or know one, may I recommend the backyard trampoline as an unbeatable aid to sanity? They can wear themselves out bouncing around, and pavement chalk works a treat on the mat, so they can draw up there too. This is excellent for the child whose creativity you don’t want to stifle but who cannot be permitted access to crayons, pens or pencils due to an uncontrollable urge to draw on the walls.

One thing I noticed as I was rushing around was the way that most of the people I was dealing with seemed to be willing to go out of their way to help me. Especially since in at least a couple of cases, I’d screwed up on providing information I was responsible for, so the problems were at least in part my fault. Most of the credit goes to the genuinely lovely employees of the various organizations, of course. Working for Centrelink and the Department of Housing has to be pretty thankless, most of the time.

But it did help, as one woman I talked to confirmed when I asked, that I have a good reputation with these organizations. I always overpay my rent a little to the DoH to build up a cushion for emergencies, which they love. I’m always pleasant to Centrelink employees, thank them for their help, and don’t complain about the long waits or hoops they make me jump through (at least, not to their faces or in any way that could get back to them). I try to get appropriate information to them on time. So when I screw up they’re understanding about it, rather than assuming I’m trying some sort of scam.

I am constantly baffled by the number of people who throw fits at Centrelink or scream curses at the receptionist at the DoH office. Surely if there was ever a time to try to attract civil servants with honey, not vinegar…! Anyone who’s worked in customer service knows that customers as a group are grasping, rude and deceitful, but it’s even worse when you’re providing a necessary service rather than a product they can take or not as they like. (This may explain why most Centrelink/unemployment offices appear to be staffed with a combination of tired, flustered saints and former prison guards discharged for unnecessary cruelty to prisoners.)

I cannot too strongly recommend being nice to people providing you with a service. Not only is it the decent thing to do anyway, but a little good-will built up with your landlord or your unemployment officer can go a long, long way if you run into trouble.

Now I have to go pay the electricity bill and oh crap I owed a write-up on choose-your-own-adventure stories to Kess two days ago.  (Revelations in real time! That’s the kind of raw honesty this blog has!)

In Which I Am Penalised For Having Common Sense


*~*~Warning – non-writing-related personal crap ahead. Check back tomorrow for something more interesting.*~*~

I don’t have much time or energy to devote to posting today, because I’ve already been to the doctor and still have to go to the physiotherapist and wait on a call from the psych unit.

Why? Because I am sensible. And forgetful.

Not going into excessive personal detail, I have two problems that impede my ability to do certain jobs. First and most problematic, I suffer from mild hypermobility syndrome, which means my joints are unusually flexible and basically means that I am constantly spraining and twisting and damaging and dislocating myself, which as you can imagine is just delightful (Did you know it’s possible to dislocate your collarbone? It is! And my giddy aunt, does it hurt.). After my fourth major injury in three years, my physiotherapist told me very firmly not to work in a supermarket or a job that requires constant heavy lifting ever again.

Note that my physiotherapist said this, not my doctor. Why? Because I am not stupid and don’t have money to waste. I learned quickly that my injuries needed attention from a physiotherapist, not a doctor. The doctor would at best immediately refer me to a physio who could actually help me, and at worst would screw around for weeks or months assuring me that my acute DeQuervain’s Tenosynovitis was just a sprain and to keep working, it would be fine. (I did. It wasn’t. I was in physiotherapy for months.) So I stopped wasting my money on going to the doctor and just went straight to the physiotherapist. The receptionist and I now know each other very well.

Which has suddenly become a problem because when proving to Centrelink (Australia’s unemployment services thingie) that I have a physical condition that prevents me from doing certain jobs that involve heavy lifting or repetitive motion, a physiotherapist is not acceptable. I need a note from a Real Doctor. So I had to go check in with the doctor and convince him to accept a note from my physiotherapist, which I now have to obtain, because the rules are stupid. I mean, I get them wanting proof that the problem exists, but it really bothers me that they won’t accept the word of someone who can treat it, only someone who can’t.

As for the psych unit referral, well… I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder about fifteen years ago. The doctor I saw at the time (who I was referred to by Centrelink, so they should already have this on record) told me that since my coping mechanisms were already pretty good and my panic attacks weren’t severe enough to make medication necessary, there wasn’t a lot she could do to help me. So I spent the intervening time polishing my coping mechanisms, identifying and avoiding or learning to manage situations that would set off panic attacks, identifying food intolerances that exacerbated the problem, ‘medicating’ myself with chocolate and herbal supplements and generally managing to get along all right. So now I have been informed that I need to see someone again to prove that I really have a problem because I am not taking medication and therefore cannot really be sick.

I am being penalized for coping too efficiently with my problems. Which kind of sucks.

Sorry about the downer post, will try to get back to writing-related subjects tomorrow.