I Never Thought I'd Become a Welfare Queen

Ms. Salaam, What readers must realize is that your article is just your opinion; nothing more & nothing less. Visiting the welfare office on a few occasions does not qualify you as a welfare queen. Sounds like you are hoping to be awarded a crown or some other prestigious title. Good luck with that. I am a County of San Diego employee & let me be the first to tell you that we do not lead glorious lives. We're all trying to make a living just like everyone else. We are not paid on commission based upon how many clients we serve or grant benefits to. What you must understand is that we have very specific rules when it comes to giving out benefits. Yes, the system is not easy & it's not intended to be by any stretch of the imagination. Heck, if the system was that easy, everyone would be applying for benefits. What disturbs me the most are the nicknames & assuming comments that you make in reference to my co-workers. Your comment that Smoky "could drink any man under that table" has no relevance to your situation. Try not to be so superficial & maybe that will open your eyes to the fact that we are all human beings. What makes us all beautiful in our own way is our differences. If you see someone on the street who is bald, do you refer them as 'Baldy'? How do you know that person isn't undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment? One of these days your name calling is going to get you in trouble. I am grateful for my job. I enjoy what I do for the County & for the thousands of people who come through our doors every month, you have no sense of decency or humility. Most of our clients would prefer to work, but there are those individuals who only know how to receive assistance because that is how they were raised. I can tell you first hand that for every bitter & self-centered applicant, such as yourself, there are hundreds of clients who are grateful, respectful & humble for the services we provide. I will apologize for one thing - I'm sorry our lobby doesn't meet your high expectations. Your comment about our "old television that sits inside a grubby cubbyhole behind a dirty slab of acrylic" should be replaced. Could you imagine if we had a 42" Plasma with Direct TV & a Playstation 3 in our lobby? You would be ripping us for spending taxpayer dollars on unnecessary items like that. What I have come to realize is that nothing will satisfy you. Either way, we can't win in your eyes, but I'm going to let you in on a little secret - we are not trying to. Here's some free advice, Ms. Salaam. Having your article published labels you as a freelance writer. The last time I checked, freelance writers receive income from having their articles published. I'm also aware that this is not your first article to be published. I advise you to make sure you claim that income otherwise that could be a determining factor in the amount of assistance you receive. Keep in mind; you do have a choice in the matter - you don't have to apply for benefits.
— January 9, 2010 8:57 a.m.

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