I’m mad today. Really mad.
I got a phone call yesterday that set me right the fuck off.
See, the night before last, as is usual for Rainman, he stayed out until 1 o’clock in the morning. Then, when he came in, as also is usual for him, he has to wake Paul up for one stupid reason or another. Usually it’s something really ignorant like “I saw so and so – he wanted me to say HI to you.” Not really something Paul wants to be woken up for at 1 o’clock in the morning when he has to be up at 4. Well, Rainman came in the night before last, and woke Paul up. Paul got really pissed off and yelled at him.
Wednesday morning, when Paul got up and was getting ready for work, instead of waking Rainman up and getting him his coffee and getting him dressed and tying his shoes and helping him in the bathroom, he left him in bed. Didn’t wake him up, didn’t get him ready for work, didn’t make him his coffee.
When I got up about 8, I took the dogs out, did all my normal things, not even realizing that Rainman was still in bed. Honestly, it’s not that I would have gotten him up if I had realized he was in bed. Waking Rainman up, dressing him, helping him brush his teeth and making his coffee falls squarely into the category of “Not my fucking job.”
Around 9:30, the phone rings. I answer the phone to someone asking me if this was where Todd lives. I said “Yeah”, and that’s where the fun started. This lady on the phone continues with “Well, WE have a problem.” This is the point when I asked her “I’m sorry – who is this?” She explained that she was a social worker, and that WE had a problem because Todd had not made it to work this morning. I countered with “Well, Todd may have a problem, and YOU may have a problem, but how exactly is this MY problem?” As I am telling her this, I am walking down the stairs to see if Todd is even here. I find that he is, indeed, still in bed sleeping, and I make a mental fucking note to kill Paul when he comes home, because he obviously did this on purpose, and now, apparently, according to some lady on the phone, “WE have a problem”.
So, I tell the lady with the problem that yes, Todd is in bed sleeping, and she immediately starts to BERATE me. She says to me in this extremely snotty tone “Well, didn’t anyone get him UP this morning???” She then continues to treat me like I am this boy’s fucking Mommy or something – she starts to explain to me that “When you take a disabled person into your home, you have to accommodate them in special ways and you have a responsibility to meet their needs no matter what that might entail, and it’s IMPORTANT for you to realize and understand that this is your JOB….”
This is right about where I started to lose it, and when she mentioned “JOB” I took my opportunity.
I told this lady “Hold up here. Number one – Who the hell do you think you are talking to? I am a private resident here in Malone. I am not a halfway house. I am not an assisted living facility. I am not trained to deal with any special accommodations this guy may need or require, and this is *not* my JOB since I don’t get paid for this shit. If you, as his social worker, feel that this guy needs special accommodations, then YOU need to place him in a facility where his special needs can be met. Because that’s NOT here. Your lucky this guy isn’t on the fucking street – because his own Mama kicked him the hell out. And if you think this is like fucking pleasant for me – listening to his crying ass day after day, well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not. And furthermore, if you think his needs aren’t being met here – oh fucking well, how would you like it if I took his stinky fucking ass down to your office and sat him on your fucking desk – then you can make sure to wake his ass up tomorrow. How’s that?”
I didn’t even wait for an answer – by this time, I was in Todd’s room and waking his ass up – because now I’m fucking pissed and I don’t want to deal with this fucking bitch anymore. I threw the jug of laundry detergent at Todd to wake his ass up -and screamed his name at the same time. Luckily that did wake him up and I then threw the phone at him and said “Some bitch needs to talk to you.”.
He gets on the phone, and apparently the bitch asked him why he wasn’t at work, because Todd immediately says “Why? What time is it?” When she tells him, he starts crying. The same big “My dog just died” sobs I’ve gotten so used to over the past 4 weeks.
Then he starts making excuses “I can’t take a cab, I have no money, I can’t take the bus, I have no money – can you send the bus back over here? I’ll be ready. I can’t take a cab, I have no money…….”
Finally he holds the phone out for me and says “She wants to talk to you.”
I take the phone and she asks me “Well? Do you have a way to get him to work?”
I’m fucking incredulous here. I scream at her “NO – I don’t have a way to get him to work – and even if I did, I wouldn’t take him. That’s NOT MY JOB. That’s YOUR job – why don’t YOU come and get him?”
Then she asked me if I had $2.50 I could “loan” him for the cab. I told her “NO – I don’t loan money, and I certainly wouldn’t loan it to him – he’s broke the day he gets his check because he doesn’t know or understand how to handle money.” I pointed out to her that it was Wednesday, and the guy just got paid on Friday – how come HE didn’t have $2.50 for a cab? He had no bills, he has no expenses, why doesn’t he have $2.50?” I told her that as his social worker, she should be aware of the fact that he is not capable of managing his money, and that he needs a payee or a conservator to handle his financial affairs. I asked her if she had ever even met this guy, or spent any time with him, and if SHE understood that he has the mental age of about 6 and handing a Social Security check to a 6 year old probably isn’t a good idea.
This is where Rainman is running around the bedroom, kitchen and dining room crying and sobbing at the top of his lungs trying to get ready for work – not an easy proposition without Paul there to help. He can’t get dressed, he can’t put his socks on, he can’t tie his shoes and he can’t make his coffee. So he’s running around shouting “Oh My God!” a lot, and crying. I hold out the phone so the stupid bitch on the other end can hear him and I say “Do you hear that? Does this sound like a guy who has the mental capacity to handle money?
Then she continues with the kicker – she says that a “meeting” is clearly necessary – so that she can address *her* concerns, and that I can voice mine. I tell her *again* – “Look lady, you are clearly not understanding my total lack of involvement and my level of give a shit. I rent a room to this guy, nothing more than that. I don’t care beyond that – I don’t even talk to the guy unless I absolutely have to – because he’s aggravating. I don’t wake him up, I don’t bathe him, I was told before he moved in that he was totally ambulatory and independent and that he was mentally normal. I was clearly lied to because he is none of those things.”
This is where she thought of something else – “Well, he has medications that he is supposed to be taking – is he taking those? Are you administering them?”
I asked her again “Do you know who you are talking to? I am not a fucking nurse. I have taken no courses in order to administer drugs to anyone. The state is not paying me for him to be here and to take care of him. And I am not babysitting anyone. How do you know if I am even here all day or all night to take care of him? Do you know if I have a job? What do you think my level of responsibility is, exactly? Do I have to make sure he gets to appointments, and do you know if I even drive or am able to do that? Do I have to physically feed him, because he can’t use utensils. Do you think I have to bathe him, because he clearly can’t do that on his own – and are you going to write me a check for all of this? Because I’ll tell you right now – he doesn’t earn enough to pay me to do these things.”
She then tells me – “Well, you can come into our office and apply for caretaker benefits…”
And I stop her with “NO – I don’t want to apply for caretaker benefits. Because I don’t want to caretake. If you think he needs that, then find him a fucking place to live. I don’t want to take courses to qualify. I don’t want the responsibility of this guy. I don’t want to wash his ass and get him dressed and make sure he gets up in the morning. I rent him a room. That’s where it begins and ends. If you have concerns – move his ass.”
Clearly nothing good was ever going to come of this conversation, she clearly wasn’t understanding that I AM NOT A HALFWAY HOUSE. And it was only serving to make me madder and madder that she was trying to saddle me with responsibilities that were clearly hers and hers alone. I don’t know when I started to swear in my responses to her, but it was at this point that she mentioned it. She told me I didn’t have to use “abusive language” to her, which only made me even angrier. I told her “Um – Look bitch, YOU called ME. This is MY phone, and I pay the bill, and if the abusive language upsets you, I suggest you don’t call here anymore. That would be one solution.”
She ended up hanging up on me when I pointed out to her for about the third time that she was trying simply to shift her own responsibilities to me, that she was the one who had an obligation to Rainman, not me, and that it was her job to see his needs are being met – not mine.
And when Paul came home I told him flat out that the next time he wanted to make a point with Rainman that he needed to make sure that it wouldn’t just make more work for me, and that I wouldn’t be fielding calls from crazy ladies. And I told him the next time he didn’t wake this fucker up in the morning I was going to walk to his job if I had to to stab him in the fucking heart.