Sandbox forum: Katie's Grumpy Thread

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Name: katie
Mulege, Mexico (Baja CAliforni (Zone 11a)
katiebear
May 30, 2016 9:41 AM CST
This thread is for me to vent about my thirty years of misinformation/problems caused by "my" retirement association, Alameda County Employees Retirement Association (ACERA).

My stomach hurts almost constantly and I don't sleep well so I hope it's OK to vent here.

ACERA employees incompetence has cost me about two years' income (Social Workers' disability income is not real great, as you may imagine) Thirty years of problems with the IRS and the humiliation of being blamed for their mistakes on occasion by an employee who actually talked "baby talk" to me.

This worker then asked for my helping in avoiding upsetting members of the Board of Directors because they really don't like it when retirees com to their meetings and address them. This after I had done just that. She was the cause of the problem that had brought me there, after asking for my help in not upsetting them she once again told me that I was responsible for her arbitrarily cancelling my medical coverage while I was in the midst of eight surgeries. Way to get my cooperation!!

I need to vent and to rant. When I cry I do it privately.

If you want to comment, please do not suggest I get a lawyer. While my contributions to ACERA pay for their team of lawyers to defend their incompetent employees, I have to pay for a private attorney and I don't have the resources.

Yesterday I wrote to Ellen DeGeneris as I have a wonderful fantasy of her giving these people the attention they deserve as they have not only lied to me, particularly about the IRS situation, but they have a judge who ruled that it's OK for them to lie to retirees!! It is really unbelievable gut true.

The situation is a lot like "The Emporer's New Clothes" They assure each other that what they are doing is OK and that anyone who opposes them is stupid or crazy.

MY goal here, besides venting, is to get help in writing a brief statement, about half a page, that I can pass out to anyone who might help. ACERA does a divide and conquer, I need a team. If I have a statement that I can give to media people or anyone else who might publicize this travesty it would help. So much has happened I tend to get lost in the details and my feelings about all that has happened.

Any suggestions on what to clarify or include are welcome.

If anyone wants to write to Ellen on my behalf, this is something she could do that would help a lot of people. And I don't want money, car, etc from her. I can see her saying, "They lied to you, cost you two year's income,, thirty years of problems with the IRS, arbitrarily cancelled your medical coverage (remember I'm disabled) while you were in the midst of eight surgeries and Judge ruled that you were not entitled to any compensation?" Yes, Ellen, that's all true. This is what our "service" organization has come to.

I realize that Ellen is a long shot but the up side of a thirty year history is that I have the documentation.

The woman who was my attorney has quit being an attorney and can't talk to me now as her experience with this was so painful to her. She now makes jewelry that she sells on Etsy.

My thanks to those of you who are reading this.

There is so much more: they cannot handle a change of address, they don't answer emails, they lose snail mail (and whine about how much they get - a great story here - later) give wrong information on the phone.

My mind is going into overload. If any of you are interested in this, let me know. I could use some support.

katie

Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
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MISSINGROSIE
May 30, 2016 10:27 AM CST
Katie
I am sorry you have this constant and unrelenting aggravation.
I have no knowlege or skills that can help you- I wish I did.
my feeling is that if this attorney ( who has retired ) and who you engaged has any research / paperwork or ability to bring you up to current ( at least where SHE left off ) she likely has a legal responsibility to do so since you paid her for services.

I get it that she is done -- but she is the most expert in the situation and should be willing, able, and perhaps responsible for helping you to write the 1/2 page you need.

My other thought is perhaps the states insurance commissioner has some oversight..not on all the issues ---like the tax..but maybe with the medical part.

ACERA is currently hiring a general counsel. I would wait for that person to get hired and write him/ her saying your piece about the errors in tax reporting as well as cancellation of your medical insurance while you were in good standing. He or she may have a legal responsibility to carry your complaints forward when he or she learns that you will seek remedy through any and all outside oversight state and federal agencies that "watchdog" ACERA's activities.

Again..no skills here but if it were me these are the things I would pursue. May be a more effective and direct route than Ellen -who may never see your letter regardless of her desire to be helpful if she did know. She has many layers of people between her and her audience. She probably hates that but necessary because she is so popular.
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
[Last edited by MISSINGROSIE - May 30, 2016 10:38 AM (+)]
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stillwood
May 30, 2016 12:17 PM CST
Katie - I thought you had finally gotten all this sorted out (last year, or earlier - time goes by so fast). But apparently not.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
May 30, 2016 1:11 PM CST
Katie, that sounds like a real mess -- I don't really have anything to offer in the way of advice or assistance, except I did want to point out that the threads in the Sandbox get "cleaned out" at the end of the year (or the beginning of the next year), meaning that the posts from the old year are all deleted. I don't know if this is an issue for you... but if it is, you might want to write in a "blog" instead of here. Group hug
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Name: katie
Mulege, Mexico (Baja CAliforni (Zone 11a)
katiebear
May 30, 2016 1:12 PM CST
Well , I thought I was done with this until last year when I found out the ACERA people had lied to the IRS as well as to me. I tried without success to get some response then. I tried to let it go but I keep waking up at 2-3am ruminating on it.

I have copies of the legal documents but I've learned that the best way - often - to deal with a situation like this is to avoid a legal debate and go with a common sense approach. In this case, ACERA attornies succeeded in getting a judge to rule that it was acceptable for their employees to lie to a disabled retiree and said retiree was not entitled to compensation. Say this to a lawyer and you'll get bs legal mumbo-jumbo; say it to any normal human being and they will say - that sucks and it shouldn't be that way.

I appreciate the feedback. It really helps me to clarify my thinking and what my future action aught to be.

I realize that getting Ellen involved would be like winning the lottery but I keep thinking in terms of holding ACERA up to the public ridicule it deserves. There are lots of media people and any one of them who has an audience could help.

Posting here and getting feedback helps. Thank you.

katie
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Jun 2, 2016 9:28 AM CST
How is your letter coming along? It just seems that the IRS would be interested in the way things are handled by ACERA.
Name: katie
Mulege, Mexico (Baja CAliforni (Zone 11a)
katiebear
Jun 4, 2016 9:33 AM CST
Hi Everyone, Our internet went out all over the area about a week ago and then I left Wednesday and made a quick trip to Ca. with three others, I got my meds and few other things. The other three all got major business handled. I had NO problems with my stuff but they all did. However, all was done in record time and one of our crew drove all night and got us home a few minutes ago.

I did refer this to the IRS but haven't heard anything. I'm thinking a lot. Rosie's comments helped me to focus on what I'm doing and what approach I think will be most effective.

The dogs and I are having a reunion.

I shall return.

katie
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
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MISSINGROSIE
Jun 4, 2016 10:45 AM CST
Are you keeping the new puppy?

Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Name: katie
Mulege, Mexico (Baja CAliforni (Zone 11a)
katiebear
Jun 4, 2016 12:06 PM CST
Not sure yet. Her new owner-2-b- didn't take her or visit while I was gone but he is involved with the Frank Sinatra imitation contest which is a big deal so we'll see when that is over in a week or so. Meanwhile, Sugar stayed with Anita, my housecleaner, while I was gone and is now back and playing happily with Inky Dink. She's got a great mellow personality and I will be happy to keep her if Duane doesn't follow through.

I am trying not to get too attached but I sure do like the puppy love.

katie
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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gingin
Jun 4, 2016 12:08 PM CST
Do you have legal aid lawyers? and aren't they free, I think. If so, perhaps you could contact one of them. If there are others in the same boat as you then class action comes to my mind. Group hug Group hug
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Name: katie
Mulege, Mexico (Baja CAliforni (Zone 11a)
katiebear
Jun 4, 2016 12:26 PM CST
One of the Retirement Board members was a highly placed Legal Aid attorney and I had hoped for his help when He got on the Board. Dream on. If I'd been a child-abusing parent he would never have tolerated any of the many incidents of abuse I've taken from ACERA employees. But, as a Board member, he has become one of my abusers. After an email he sent me I referred him to a website about emotional abuse where the same thing he had said to me was given as an example of abuse. Good point here - people who are abusive, especially emotionally abusive, are usually convinced that they are not abusive. They are "helpful," pointing out your responsibility (they wish) in the situation, even as the enable the other abusers and add to their victim's abuse.

I have been reading up on the Public Defender site and may follow up as the P.D,'s are also Alameda County employees and have the prospect of the same problems should any of them become disabled.

I've also wondered about the possibility of a class action suit. I have no idea how many others have been subjected to some or all of the same abuses I have encountered and ACERA has a divide and conquer approach so one task I (or someone) will have is to find others. Considering the number of problems I have had over thirty years I doubt that I am alone. I also doubt that any ACERA employee or Board member is going to help.

This is another good point and I hope others who read this thread will continue to offer suggestions as they help to clarify my thinking.

katie
Name: katie
Mulege, Mexico (Baja CAliforni (Zone 11a)
katiebear
Jun 6, 2016 4:23 PM CST
My mood about this has lightened in the last few days. I'm not sure why except that I do realize that thirty years of ACERA-induced depression is plenty and whatever part of me controls my moods seems to agree.

While I will check with Legal Aid once I'm back in Ca., for the moment I'm thinking about non-legal actions. I don't mean illegal actions, tempting as those thoughts may be. But I lost in Court to a judge who said it's OK for them to lie to me so I'm thinking more along the lines of public ridicule. If I could get some publicity for them - ridiculing their incompetence I probably would not worry anymore about the money. People like this hate to be made fun of so I'm thinking of the best ways to do so,

katie
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
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critterologist
Jun 8, 2016 6:26 AM CST
local news station or newspaper? especially if you could find another person or two who's been affected... and that might lead to a lawyer willing to take on a class action suit.

And you're right -- 30 years of something like this is awful, but you can decide not to let it rule your day. I'm glad your mood has lightened this week, and I hope the situation with ACERA will improve.

Group hug



I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: katie
Mulege, Mexico (Baja CAliforni (Zone 11a)
katiebear
Jun 11, 2016 8:01 AM CST

thank you. Jill. I'm glad to hear from an old DG friend.

What a week. I got a new computer but couldn't get it working. Then couldn't get the old one working. Tony came Monday morning and had to take his mother to La Paz for eye problems. He was gone for four days but I was expecting him to be gone all week so when He showed up yesterday I jumped up and hugged him. Mexicans don't hug much so he was startled but responded to my joy. I've had an upset stomach which has brought my energy down.

The good news is that my breathing continues to improve. I am still having some problems and I have to remind myself of that when I start to think I will never feel really good again.

Re: ACERA: I'm thinking of getting a cockroach costume from eBay and wearing it to all their meetings. Someone on CHN was talking about the effects of the loss of a village culture this morning.

My ideas for organization are coalescing.

I have a tropical almond seedling!!! And a seedling for a huge gourd.

And Tony is here.

katie
Name: katie
Mulege, Mexico (Baja CAliforni (Zone 11a)
katiebear
Jun 12, 2016 12:36 PM CST
I have tried to interest news media - no luck so far. When I decide to face them again I will first go to Sacremento to the AARP headquarters. I was also wondering about the Americans with Disabilities Act. Hard to find an attorney who is interested but I keep looking as a class action suit is probably what should be done. katie
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
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MISSINGROSIE
Jun 12, 2016 1:55 PM CST
There may be attorneys that specialize in class action ..
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Name: katie
Mulege, Mexico (Baja CAliforni (Zone 11a)
katiebear
Jun 30, 2016 7:10 PM CST
Woke u[ at 2 am with a stomach ache. Lots of this kind of stuff going on. Headaches, joint pain arthritis as I work to get a coherent story of lies and other abuse over a period of thirty years organized. Painful to think about, more painful to try not to think about. Tony and Anita both worked today. I did some gardening then went to town. Took papayas to tow friends and did my shopping.

Came home and explored the PERS website. They are the state agency that governs retirement associations. Another possible source to explore.

With all the bad publicity about Oakland police, this might be a good time to look at other corruption in Alameda County. Or maybe another dead end.

katie
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Jul 1, 2016 7:51 AM CST
Hope you feel better soon Katie. Glad you have Tony and Anita there to help you.

Fingers crossed that PERS is of use to and for you. Group hug
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
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MISSINGROSIE
Jul 1, 2016 9:17 AM CST
I agree. I hope this new agency can help.

They have taken so very much from you and I fear the body's response to stress is taking more from you. I hope you get satisfaction from all your hard work. You surely deserve it..they are criminals. But if yiu should come to a place where you can lay the fight aside, I think what they are continuing to take from you in your life forces will come to its end and you can be free of them once and for all.
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Name: katie
Mulege, Mexico (Baja CAliforni (Zone 11a)
katiebear
Jul 1, 2016 10:39 AM CST
Thank you both so much for your support. With neighbor Dana in Washington State for the summer support here is especially appreciated.

I just finished and emailed my primary report to PERS. Think good thoughts and send up a prayer or two.

katie

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