Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why the Government frustrates me...

I'm a public servant, employed as an 'education therapist' in the Department of Education. Working for the Government has its ups and downs, but mostly it's downhill...

--> Good medical aid
--> 4 months paid maternity leave
--> Pension fund

  • I inform them they're paying me too much, they FINALLY recitify it (after I followed it up extensively) by handing me over to the GSSC without even having the decency of telling me so.
  • I pay back their money (which I never touched, since I KNEW they would come back for it, giving them the FULL amount BEFORE Tax was deducted).
  • A year later they start deducting money from my salary on a monthly basis to retrieve the money which I already paid back a year earlier!
  • It takes me to go in to the District Offices and put a stop to this, take all my documents to prove to them that they're illegally deducting money from my salary.
  • They stop the deductions after taking a considerable amount of money from me.
  • They put in a mandate to give the money back to me --> sending it through to the GSSC with a tracking number and all...
  • I've followed this up for the past 7 months - wanna know where that piece of paper is that just needs a signature??? In between all the other 7 billion pieces of paper of other hopefuls on the desk of the head of the GSSC, minus a tracking number so you can't check up on their progress... (compliments of the GSSC, NOT the Dept of Education's fault, I must add)
  • I'll maybe ONEDAY in the VERY FAR FUTURE (heck knows WHEN) get my money back - TAXED... NEVER the full amount - because, guess what? They can't give me the FULL amount in my hand written out on a cheque. Oh no, they HAVE to pay it into my account, sortoff as an 'extra', which will be taxed. Thus my money will be taxed twice... Nice, uhh?

So there, that's why I'm ABSOLUTELY frustrated with the GSSC at this point in time.

The reason the Department of Education frustrates me? Apparently therapists don't need money, they don't need Occupation Specific Dispensation. As long as we don't have job descriptions in this Department, they don't have to pay us for all the work we do which is not specific to therapists' realm of experience / training . As long as they don't pay us OSD, they don't have to worry about the fact that we're struggling to get our required CPD points because we simply can't afford it to pay so much for courses which they can't provide to us since the GSSC won't pay if something has not yet been delivered... Once again the GSSC seems useless. You have to PAY to get CPD accredited, thus you can't PROVIDE a service before it's not been PAID for, because you won't be able to guarantee that the service being provided for will be covered by the GSSC. CATCH 22!!!!

Therapists in Education gets paid less than Teachers in Education (employed by the Department of Education, not necessarily those employed by School Governing Bodies).

  • Education thinks we are Health's responsibility, and vice versa. FACT is, Dept of Education employs us, they should pay our OSD.
  • Why is my 4 your BSc degree not equal to a teacher's Diploma or Teaching Degree?? I.E, why do I get paid LESS than a teacher if we both studied for 4 years, or in my case if I even have 2 years post-graduate training????

I want to help people who can't afford private services, but with such poor delivery on the Government's side, I tend to think that I should go work privately because in the end maybe my sanity relies on my ability to help people on my terms... I worked HARD for my degree, I worked HARD for my post-graduate Diploma and Certificate. I'd like to think that I work HARD at my job and that it's noticed and rewarded.

Sometimes Quality of Life outweighs Quantity of Money and Benefits... Maybe it's time I realise that...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Friendly Four

I am always excited when people realise just how rewarding it is to give to others. To recognise that there's a need other than one's own. To actually act upon that need and get out there, do something for that someone in need.

My niece (age 10) saw a need to bless others around her. She just has that kind of personality, and I think her love language(s) according to Gary Chapman might just be "Acts of Service" and "Receiving Gifts" (although she also Gives Gifts). And so started her mission to get friends together so that they could serve others by making things which would ease their needs.

Yesterday 3 of the Friendly Four got together for their first official 'meeting and made and packaged chocolates. They dropped these off at an old age home later in the afternoon. The people were SOOOOO appreciative, and I really think that they brought some sunshine to each and every person they interacted with.

I just want to congratulate my niece on her selfless actions and spontaneous personality which allowed her and her friends to let this 'club' come to life!

Thank you, Zoë, for wanting to make a difference! Jesus sees your actions, and I'm sure He's moved by it!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Catching up...

Can you BELIEVE that we're already in the 3rd month of this year?!?!?!?! CRAZY!

So far this year has presented itself with loads of ups and downs...
  • Kids that don't listen to you when you SPEAK to them, annoys me to no end (not referring to my nieces and nephews). Kids who choose to pick fights, and then also prefers to avoid the fact that they are the common denominator in all fights, really is like stepping on my sciatic nerve and grinding it with your boot's tip.
  • The Government in general seems to be useless, especially the GSSC - they're quick to jump on the bandwagon and force you to pay back money that they wrongfully paid to you and you actually informed them about it. But when they've taken your money illegally, it's PERFECTLY FINE for them to take longer than 6 months to sign a sweet piece of paper to give your (rather big amount of) money back.
  • Missing my parents a lot, have not seen them in more than 3 weeks - which is a lot for me!
  • Missing my baby brother to no end - last year this time we made plans to visit for the weekend. We visited, and JUST after the weekend we found out I was pregnant...
  • Missing being pregnant, and not having a baby to show after being excited... and frustrated at the process of falling pregnant again (having to sort out a huge cyst on my right ovary and getting the MMR innoculation, now having to wait before we can try again).
  • Being stuck at my work / home for most of the week without a car - ugh.... just REALLY wanna get out!

The pick-me-uppers in my life:

  • My husband wakes up EVERY MORNING at 04h55 and starts to run a bath, then makes me breakfast and Pink Nesquik Milk before leaving for work.
  • Seeing my husband smile from EAR-TO-EAR about his new job, and experiencing him coming home with a little skip in his step, instead of dragging his feet because it never ends..
  • Hearing Thinus' key turn in the front door at night :-D
  • Chatting to my family, my parents, my brothers, my sisters, my nephews and nieces.
  • Making plans to visit friends, being frugal and hopefully saving some money in the process.
  • Visiting with my family and friends on Tuesday, Thursdays and sometimes Sundays.
  • Going to church.
  • Practising Lancet with our interschool-team, and getting rid of pent up energy, frustration and showing all-round appreciation for kids who try their best, never mind the TONNES of odds stacked up against them!
  • Practising for the revue / musical production at our school - these kids are amazing, REALLY! They try so hard, and succeed in things I, for one, can definitely not do (I suck at coordination).
  • Baking, baking, baking and some more baking...
  • Reading any available quilt-blog on the internet, downloading patterns for clothes, bags, quilts etc.
  • Planning our trip to Bloemfontein as well as the other trip to the Western Cape for a wedding at the end of this month.
  • Talking to my parents on the phone at 06h30 in the morning to discuss things like a person's sagittal plane and how exactly that cuts you up i.e. anatomy.
  • Being grateful for amazing people around me.

Okay, that's me. I've caught up. Hope the rest of your week's a good one!