I thought I would take a minute to update you all on what is going on in my corner of the world. I went to the meeting with the boss of the funding program and well………… below is the email I sent to my worker at her request after we talked on the phone. The head or owner of Triangle Resource, the company contracted to administer the funding and assist applicants with the process told me that he could not help me, I had to go back to my worker but to give him time to call her first. So I waited until Friday and called her and told her what he had said, that I had to make an appointment to see her to get my package done. When I called her she made an appointment for me to see her on the 11th, a full two weeks away. When I told her what he had said she told me he never did call her, she had called and asked for more black binders but he had not brought her any. I am sitting listening to her thinking, I will drive down to the flipping dollar store and buy you a black binder for God sake!! They cost a $1.00, $2.00 at Walmart. Come on!!!
She asked me to send her an email saying exactly what was said at the meeting. Below is the email I sent her on Saturday afternoon. Monday before noon I had a return email from her asking me to come see her this Friday and to get a letter of acceptance from the school saying I can start school April 7th. I have xx’d out names.
I am getting very frustrated with this whole process and beginning to feel as if I am purposely being sent on one wild goose chase after another only to hit another brick wall, in hopes I will eventually give up and go away.
I feel my case has been mishandled from day one. I know it is not your fault, you just started with the Triangle Office in Mission recently but you are the only one I can turn to for answers and hopefully some action.
I feel I am being patronized and I find it disrespectful and insulting. I am an intelligent woman who has always worked and supported myself until I ended up in an abusive relationship and my ex sabotaged my vehicle until I had spent every dime I had and charged all I could trying to fix it. Since leaving the relationship I have suffered two heart attacks and two mini strokes. The stress of living on $620/month, (which is absolutely impossible to live on) means that every month I try to survive on that paltry sum I sink further and further into debt and I have less and less help.
I see myself quite literally homeless within a month because I cannot pay my rent this month and am relying solely on the the compassion of my landlord to not kick me out.
I handed in my funding package at the end of November, xxx at the other office had told me that he would work on it on the weekend if he had to in order to get it done for me to start school. When I handed in all my research etc to xxxxxx she told me that she would transfer all my paperwork into the regulation black binder, write up her recommendation and hand it in to xxx the next day, two days at the longest.
When I hadn’t heard from her two weeks before Christmas I called and she said she had gotten it back (she had not called me to discuss it with me) and was looking through her calendar to see when she could fit me in for an appointment. I asked if she could tell me over the phone what the issues were and I could email her anything she needed. She told me that my rent was too high, my debt ratio was too high, that the committee wanted to know how I had survived for this long on $620 a month and now why I needed more money to survive. She said they didn’t like the name of the course I wanted to take (something you told me when I was in your office) and I explained the same thing to her as I did you and now xxx, who told me to write it in my rationale which I had. I emailed xxxxxx answers to all the questions she had plus emailed her copies of my rationale (again) and other things she said were not in my package which I knew were in there because I had a folder on my desktop called “funding” with everything that I had printed and put in the package. I sent it all again via email. She also told me that they would only fund $7500 towards schooling, no one had mentioned this to me prior, the course I want to take is not offered anywhere for less than $10,000. I called the school and they told me that if I got $7500 in funding they would carry me for the remainder that I could pay back at $50/month over two years. I informed xxxxxx, by email and was told she would add it to my package.
I informed xxxxxx that I had options as far as places to live, my brother lives in Coquitlam and I could stay with him or my son has a live aboard 36′ boat harbored in New Westminster he is not using because he is working out of town and I could live on it for the 32 weeks I am in school, reducing the amount of my travel costs. But I am not going to move onto his boat unless I know I am getting into school. To move onto his boat would mean getting rid of my furniture etc but I would be willing to do it in order to get my education. Eventually he is going to sell his boat but he would hang onto it in order to help me out. I cannot have him paying to moor his boat on the off chance I get into school. I am losing my options the longer this drags on.
I heard nothing back and called again just before Christmas and left a message. xxxxxx emailed me on a Saturday to say you were taking over my file and to contact you to discuss it. I called you on the Monday and you could not fit me in until Jan 14th. My classes started Jan 5th. The school was willing to let me start a week late but because of these delays I missed the start date and now I am looking at a start date of April 7th 2015.
When I went to see you on the 14th of January I got the very distinct impression you had not read my funding package, I know xxxxxx didn’t and after my appointment with xxx he admitted he had not read it either because it was not in the regulation black binder. Yet you told me I had been denied and if I wanted to reapply you could tell me what I needed to do. I was shocked, I had no idea I had been denied, I thought I just had to come up with some alternative solutions. You informed me that xxxxxx had handed in my package in the binder I had put it in and not written her recommendation and that handing in my package that way had actually hurt my case. and that is my fault?
You made an appointment for me to attend the funding information meeting on Jan 23 at 1:00, another delay. I complied and showed up at the meeting. xxx asked if I needed help getting my package put together and I told him I had it all together and was told by you to come and see him to discuss what else I needed to do. I brought up all the issues you and xxxxxx had mentioned and he kept saying to put it in my rationale and I kept saying it is in there. The questions about my budget I had sent xxxxxx never got in the binder but everything else was in the binder I had handed in to xxxxxx in November. Finally xxx admitted that he had only given my package a brief once over because it was not in the regulation black binder and he didn’t know what was in there. He then told me he had never seen anyone go the trouble I did with their package and that people usually hand in a pile of papers and that I shouldn’t be there, if my package was done I should see you and you should put it in the proper black binder. He told me it was your job and if you had a problem with it you could work elsewhere. I told him that you had told me to ask him for a black binder because you didn’t have any and he said, “She hasn’t told me she doesn’t have any black binders. She needs to call me.” (now I am the messenger?) He said I was wasting my time being there and that I was really close to being approved, to get the info into a proper black binder and you would write your recommendation and then he would look at it. I was shocked when he said I was close to being approved because from what you had said I had been denied.
If I had not questioned it and just walked out, that is where it would have stayed. There is something really flawed with this system and I am a more than a little annoyed.
I find it incomprehensible that I am doing everything within my power to comply with the rules and regulations, compiling all the information in a way that is easy to read to make xxxxxx’s job easier (she said herself she had never had a person put together a package that well and I had done her job for her) yet she was too lazy to take the time to do her part before leaving her job knowing full well she would be gone before I ever found out.
In fall xxxxxx told me to put aside my funding package because getting my disability designation was more important. I went to an arbitrator about being denied disability and was told I never should have applied, she could tell right away I was not disabled enough to be approved. In order to get disability a person must need assistance in their daily activities like getting dressed, cooking for themselves or be mentally incapable of functioning on any reasonable level, so disabled they can not work. It is not likely I would get funding for education if I am so disabled I can not dress myself.
Then I get told by you one of the things that worked against me with my funding package was that I my disability application was denied. That is kinda like an impossible situation isn’t it. I am really curious if anyone ever gets funding.
I am told I have to exhaust my ei benefits and not have a job in order to qualify for funding, I apply for funding and I am told I don’t make enough money to qualify, maybe I should get a job………..excuse me? xxx tells me they don’t want to set me up for financial ruin and I assured him that is NOT a concern, I passed financial ruin long ago and I am not going to be able to rescue myself without an education because I can not do what I used to to do because of health issues.
He says that maybe because of my health issues I won’t be able to work full time, even part time is better than welfare. And of all the careers out there, being a Life Skills coach is the only one I can think of where I could do it from a wheelchair and can do past the age of 64. It is the only job that I have transferable skills for, I have experience in, and has one of the highest projected growths. The counseling industry is expected to continue to increase well past 2020 where there will be a 2/1 need for counselors or life skills coaches. xxx said I was supposed to do a job search, are there people hiring in that field?, he agreed with me last time I was in a meeting with him that it was one of the industries with the highest expected growth. I have done all I can except redo the whole package again. I don’t do anything 1/2 way I always do my best, I handed in my best already so I am at a loss and totally frustrated. I am being treated like I don’t know anything and am just trying to bleed the system.
I have a feeling that if I went down to the east end of Vancouver and put a needle in my arm I would get a whole lot better service and attention. Is it any wonder women go back to their abusive partners when this is what they face when they leave and try to get on their feet. It is a sad state of affairs when a woman finds herself in the position of choosing homelessness or getting punched in the head.
I am sorry, I am angry. I feel like no one cares one iota about me as a person, no one has even had the courtesy to read my funding package. I am not going to waste my time telling my whole story again in this email. I am a 56 year old woman who has owned 5 homes in my life, two businesses, worked 11 and 1/2 years with the bank, 14 years in office management, paid ei premiums, property taxes, cpp, been a charitable kind person my whole life and I am treated like I am asking too much for someone to do their job. I know this sounds clique, but I am a customer, and Triangle is here to perform a service for me. Are they not? My funding package arrived there November 24th I believe, has passed through the hands of 3 people and it is almost February and I have to wait another two weeks to see you again. The miscommunication between you and xxx has cost me over a month in time where absolutely nothing has been resolved and I sink further and further down a dark pit I will never be able to claw my way out of.”
I can not believe the incompetency of this company and the unprofessionalism of talking to a client about the employees and putting the client in the middle between an employee and the boss, so amateurish.
I would much prefer to just get that job and forget schooling. Schooling will mean another 32 weeks of struggling on not enough money to survive and when school is done you are automatically cut off from support and have to reapply for welfare and go through a 6 week waiting period. If by chance I got the job I could do my education at night school, online, and I could pay for my own.
I have called the job twice and they have returned my call twice and we have played telephone tag. At first I didn’t answer their call because the call display said “Private” ever since JC hacked into my phone that way and caused so much trouble for me I don’t answer calls when I don’t know the number. I will check for messages and return calls if I know the person and if they don’t leave a message I figure they will call back or it was not important. The first time they called I missed it totally, the second time I listened to the message and called right back but no one answered. They had said in their message that they would be calling people they were wanting to interview at the end of this week.
I visited their website just to educate myself on the company and noticed several major things wrong with their website, one of their links gets an error page not found message. Then they have a website link that is supposed to provide information on Effects of abuse on children, children and divorce, Domestic Abuse etc. When I clicked on any of the links I was taken to a website that wanted my money, there was no information available, one link was a counselor who charges $150 an hour and is on the other side of the country, absolutely no free info. One of the links was a dating site of all things!!, It is doing more harm than good for anyone clicking on it. If someone is discouraged and looking for answers I can see it being defeating to go to a website there to supposedly to help them and they get directed to a dating site or a Quick Cheap Divorces site. All the other links were totally unrelated links to cheap hotels etc.
And then they offer a safety checklist and the only thing on it is a list of things you should have in a bag ready to take if you have to leave in a hurry. No tips on staying safe before or after leaving. I was going to offer my safety plan to them for free and tell them about the other issues but I didn’t want the first time they meet me to be when I am pointing out all these errors, so I was going to wait until after the interviewing was done. But then just thinking about it now I thought, well maybe I should tell them now and at least it shows I am proactive and want to help and I would be taking the initiative. What do you think?