Friday, April 20, 2012

Transitioning Back to Benefits

Starting in the middle of January, it's been nothing but taxes, taxes, taxes. Erin and I have helped hundreds of clients over the past three months and we have nothing but taxes on our brain. The Ohio Benefit Bank tax module has dozens of screens and I am confident that we memorized every single one.

Now, in mid-April, it's time to start transitioning into benefits. What better way than to team up with our pals at the Lutheran Social Services Mobile Pantry. We made the drive down to Pomeroy and started talking to people in line for the food distribution.

Erin and I did great. We completed 11 applications in about two hours and spoke to all 180 people that went through the distribution. But, man, I was rusty.

I can't speak for Erin here, but I felt just a shade slower than my usual self. I had to look up things (income eligiblity requirements, Legal Aid numbers), that I can usually access in mere seconds. Of course, it's not like food insecurity takes a break between January-April. I don't get to ease my way back into this.

But then I was surrounded by a Zen-like feeling of calm. I was thinking of January. When January hit, I was a little bit slower when it came to helping clients submit their taxes. I needed to look more things up. I didn't every page memorized. But soon, with repetition and practice, I was back to my old self.

With taxes in our rearview mirror, it's time to switch gears. Soon, I'll be at full speed. I can't wait.

No comments:

Post a Comment