Sunday, 8 July 2012

Top 5 Traits of a Beneficiary

Following on from the similar theme of identifying some typical patient characteristics, I will devote the whole post to people who are on "couch-sitting grants". No, I am not talking about people who just happened to be made redundant or the ones that came down with a debilitating illness in need of financial assistance. I am talking about the ones that seems to be getting the dole in perpetuity.

  • They are always in a hurry. They come into the pharmacy sometimes up to 2 to 3 times a day, they got no job, yet they always need to be somewhere like the road runner. Solution? They just have to wait in line like everybody else.
  • Sense of entitlement. "I am a human being, I deserve to be looked after by the government (whilst making no effort to look after myself), I deserve good (and free!) things and if I can't afford my cable tv then I will go on a current affair show and make a soundbite about how my eight children are not getting looked after"
  • Asking to pay later. "Cool, I'll pick up 3 months worth of bread* and come back and pay the $3 tomorrow." What's that? You don't do that at the supermarkets? Alrighty then, I'll have your drugs on my shelf until you can pay for them. It's nostalgic to think that it wasn't so long a go that I would readily let them "pay later" because I know how important the medicines are... until I got sandbagged enough times for the reality to hit me like a moving train.
  • They complain. Although not an exclusive trait, the complaints they come up with is baffling at the best of times. "Hi, can you please complain to PHARMAC that the Allopurinol tablets dissolve too fast in my mouth hence too bitter and even though it's quarter the size of a 10c coin, I am unable to toughen up as an adult and just take it so I can prevent the searing, unbearable pain in my toes."
  • Finally but not least, dirty biohazardous prescriptions. Even though it might've just been written today, it looks like they have gone home, used it to clean their pet hippo's butt after performing a satanic blood sacrifice over it. Makes for a lovely mental image doesn't it?

A disclaimer before I finish: I do appreciate that a pool of unemployed labour is inevitable in any variations of capitalism. So no, this is not beneficiary bashing and me telling people to "just get a job"; this is a mere observation of what I have encountered (and still encountering) on a daily basis.

*Most medicines in NZ are fully funded at $3 charge per 3 months lot, hence the analogy here.

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