Thursday, February 01, 2007
D.P., a guy I used to chum around with is a smart and clever guy. He has a great sense of humor and a huge belly laugh. He reminded me of a big laughing Buddha.
He receives social security checks which I never understood. He usually held a job and other than being a little weird about women he seemed ok. In my early days I was as liberal as they come. Social services are the price we pay to live in a civilized society was my motto, (actually it was, 'another one over here barkeep').
DP had a guy who he used to be friends with as his payee. Essentially what a payee does is have the SS checks sent to him, help the recipient with a budget and basically make sure that all the money doesn’t go to hookers and crack.
DP felt the guy was screwing him over and asked me to take over this role. I was fine with it, although I did tell him that I would take these duties seriously and that he needed to consider that before he got me involved with it.
I was planning a party at the house on Hays for a friend of mine who had just had their second child, DP was co-hosting this party because he is good at organization and food preparation. We had a great day going to Cosco, and planning the festivities, etc. As I said DP is a smart, funny guy and a joy to spend the day with. Afterwards we would go to social services to arrange the change.
When we got to social services I had to be interviewed, DP immediately changed. He started talking to the social services rep in a child’s voice and he kept saying “I don’t understand”, at one point he started to almost cry with frustration. …”but the guy my last guardian stole my money.” It was all an act. It was complete bullshit, DP was working the system and he did it shamelessly, profitably and very well.
I still believe that social services are the price we pay to live in a civilized society but I would be curious to know how many people milk the system. If you want to be uplifted by the struggle of people to get better and then depressed by the number of people that work it, go to a dependency 12 step meeting- Zoiks.
DP and I eventually had a falling out over his budget, as was to be expected, and he had me replaced as his payee, which was fine because I couldn’t help but feel like an accomplice. I’m still pretty liberal, but I am less naïve than I once was.