Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I am so annoyed, so very annoyed!

Indirect discrimination against Disabled people!  I HATE IT!

Well I am really annoyed.  Like really.  One of our kids after school activities clubs, signed up for hosting an event which mine can't participate in (that's totally fine)but they wanted $500 cheque if you don't volunteer per child.  So ok $1000.  They never stipulated the hours required till it was time to fill out shifts.  So when they said I had to do 32 hours over a 4 day period, with a 7-5 and handicapped 3 year old I was like...... Oh OK.  So I diligently was one of the first to put my shifts down, and got up to 27-28 hours, maybe 30 as one was sketchy end time it ends when the jobs are done..., with the view of topping up should it be needed.  So all was hunky dory or so I thought.

Well today, Oatie and I had just got back from picking him up and my daughter had an entrance test to get into my elder son's school, and I went to check my email and came across the schedule.  Well apart from the fact that I said I couldn't do Saturday, and I picked Wed Evening, All day Thursday and All day Friday, they changed all the posts that I put my name for (quiet non shouting ones (I am a chatterbox so I do hope there is nothing sinister wrong with my voice as I do like to chat) but I can speak lots, just not shout/raise my voice.... so they changed my volunteer position to something I explicitly said I didn't want to do out right (I can't shout because of my throat, the lump is still there) so it would just be a disaster as how can I shout and call people if I can't Shout?  And then without asking me first, they put me on Saturday without my consent and then PUBLISHED and printed it, not like sorry, you HAVE to do Saturday... Nope... I accidentally clicked on Saturday and saw my name.

So they took away 8 of my 28 hours, so it looks like now they will claim they can cash my $1000 cheque... what's makes it worse was that I spent 3 hours contacting the Guides and Scouts in the area and my eldests school who do volunteering towards a youth award, and out of that I got one young lady who is doing 7 hours.  Which they wouldn't have even got the 7 hours if it wasn't for me.

Previously they said that child over 13 who volunteers adds to your hours say if you had an older child... now they say not!

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against hard graft (Hard work) but it has to be fair.  How can you take peoples hours away when you were first in line and then give you a day you didn't consent to?

My husband is going to be working full time and being Super dad collecting and picking up all 3 kids while I'm doing my "32" hours...

The day I didn't consent to?  Here's the thing... having a "Disabled" child...., who wants to look after them?  (other than you of course) Your Extended Family... NO!  Hey do you think someone wants a play date with them? haaaa!  NO, Oatie is a nice gentle polite soul, a really loving guy, but no one wants a playdate with him EVER!  Finding a babysitter... NO! They know I have a disabled child, I wasn't asking for special favours, I had put all but 4 hours on the sheets in times where my husband could be Super dad and I could find an intravenous drip of caffeine...and (spent 3hours finding other volunteers (not counted in the 28-30hours) but that doesn't count either).  (So I can't find anyone to look after him for the day I didn't consent to, as I tried to do that to do a sponsored run to raise money for cancer a few weeks back,)...So what do they expect me to do, stick Oatie on the pavement/side walk? When were they going to tell me they put me down for a day I was never going to be there for originally?

My husband re-arranged his work, appointments everything so we could do the days that we put down, it was one grid chart not like there was dupes...   And what was best for Oatie, we (his parents decided we'd take the brunt of the exhaustion) and let his routine be his routine and cause him the least amount of upset, he's doing so well, he doesn't need to be stressed and panicked and feel trapped being strapped in a claustrophobic environment)

The day I didn't consent to, I have been put on a "Walking about post", so how am I meant to "walk" with someone who can't! in a highly busy area where there are STEPS!  His stroller wouldn't be an option and he would just SCREAM.  If it was a stationery post where he could watch a DVD on his player or something I might be able to do it but how fair is it to strap a 3.5 year old in a stroller for 4 hours for something he's going to HATE!  I think that's cruel!  (hence I didn't want to do Saturday) and was prepared to do a 12 hour shift both days plus the Wed's night set up.

It has really upset me, as if it's not enough to deal with the prejudices against less physically able people, I thought that was rather insensitive, lets RUB your face in it, and give you a walking position which isn't even fathomable and cruel to even suggest, and then say sorry for the 'hardship', caused to anyone's who's shifts we've changed......, and take and change your hours that you put down first, first come first served, take them away, make you feel bad for having a child that no one wants to play with because he can't run, and then claim they will bank your cheque!  Just makes me feel sick!


  1. I have just had a rude reply back, which has made me want to cry, but I can't cry as if I do, I can feel the "lump" in my throat flaring up.

  2. I can't say i really understand the post, the notion of if you don't volunteer you have to pay seems absurd to me. Can't you calmly speak to the organizers and explain how you see things? Perhaps some change is still possible.

  3. This is a "punch in the gut" kind of experience. The insensitivity of this particular organization is outrageous. I have a feeling that it probably involves one very inflexible person who ONLY thinks about making the program work - forget about the individual families - "it's their problem to figure out how to make the volunteer hours work." Phil and I talk frequently about how the "playing fields" are not equal and there must be consideration for this as we live in a community and we are all responsible for one another. You deserve "special consideration" given Oatie's condition. It absolutely breaks my heart that he doesn't have play dates. I think that you are facing two things here: having a disabled child and not having roots in your community - with extended family around to fill in the gaps. I keep waiting for our communities to shine a light on these issues, to give us all a chance to be part of the natural ebb and flow of daily living. I just know that you won't take this sitting down, Mel and I know how tiresome it gets to always be challenging situations. Good luck, sending strength and love your way.

  4. Eric, you're right. They take a deposit from you so you volunteer. I was given 32 hours time to do in 4 days. I was the third person to fill in my shifts on Wed/Thurs/fri days of volunteering. I filled up 28 of the 32 hours.

    Then yesterday upon publication of the chart, the organisers rook my shifts away, so now I have 20 hours, gave a day I never wanted to do, a job that involves shouting (changed that without consulting either) and because I now don't have enough hours, they have threatened to bank my cheque.

    I agree it is absurd.

    Love Mel


  5. Dear Sharon

    You've also hit the nail on the head, as I did my bit squeezing in the hours if you have one child in the programme you only do 16.

    I just couldn't believe they changed and took away the hours so now I can't qualify for the 32 hours.

    Then to do what they've wanted me do the Saturday then involves finding child care for Oatie, which I've found impossible during the day. Which then made me realise how no one wants to play with him out of school.

    The volunteer I found from my eldests school, is volunteering on the Sat at the same time I am but a different post. She is doing 7 hours. And I was told if I found cover for Sat, but they've using cover I found already.

    Thank you for your love and support, just couldn't sleep last night, it's the total injustice as even if I did the Saturday I'd still be 7 hours short now.

    And also for your strength,



  6. Also Oaties missing out on 6 hours if ABR already if I do Sarurday he'll miss another 3!


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