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(Time)   The Department of Veterans Affairs has so much paperwork, it's sinking their buildings   (nation.time.com) divider line 29
    More: Strange, Department of Veterans Affairs, inspector generals  
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4912 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Aug 2012 at 6:12 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-10 11:59:06 PM
The IG alerted VA headquarters to the problem, which has led to the relocation of much of the paperwork, and plans for better and safer long-term storage.



Yup... Exactly:

i50.tinypic.com
 
2012-08-11 12:30:50 AM

NewportBarGuy: The IG alerted VA headquarters to the problem, which has led to the relocation of much of the paperwork, and plans for better and safer long-term storage.



Yup... Exactly:

[i50.tinypic.com image 625x469]


I don't understand. Are you implying that the VA shreds their records? Because it seems like one of the departments that does a hell of a lot with limited funding and everyone agrees is a valid use of gov't resources.
 
2012-08-11 12:41:53 AM
You've heard the old joke.

You go into the VA hospital to remove a splinter; you leave with a massive paper cut
 
2012-08-11 12:46:29 AM

MacEnvy: I don't understand. Are you implying that the VA shreds their records? Because it seems like one of the departments that does a hell of a lot with limited funding and everyone agrees is a valid use of gov't resources.


It does seem ass backward. The most worthless people in the universe have offices and space in the capital building and the one group which everyone wishes had more resources suffers from proper funding.

Good thing the W included proper funding for the VA when they were calculating the duration and cost of his two quick wars.
 
2012-08-11 01:03:01 AM
FTFA: The IG alerted VA headquarters to the problem, which has led to the relocation of much of the paperwork, and plans for better and safer long-term storage.

farking says who? That's not reporting. What evidence is there for the relocation? What are the "plans" ? Who are the sources for this info and how do they know? One sentence with unattributed claims? What the fark is that? No cites or links?
 
2012-08-11 01:29:34 AM

Somacandra: FTFA: The IG alerted VA headquarters to the problem, which has led to the relocation of much of the paperwork, and plans for better and safer long-term storage.

farking says who? That's not reporting. What evidence is there for the relocation? What are the "plans" ? Who are the sources for this info and how do they know? One sentence with unattributed claims? What the fark is that? No cites or links?


Modern journalism, enjoy.
 
2012-08-11 02:22:31 AM
I just spent 2 years working a GSA contract at the VA scanning thousands and thousands of thousandsssssss of documents putting them into an electronic file management system and none of it was medical records and they went as far back as 1902. Then I sent the paper to the destroy bins.

/the job really should have been done by a disabled vet.
//One day Gen. Shinseki walked through the office I had no idea who he was.
 
2012-08-11 02:39:12 AM

borg: I just spent 2 years working a GSA contract at the VA scanning thousands and thousands of thousandsssssss of documents putting them into an electronic file management system and none of it was medical records and they went as far back as 1902. Then I sent the paper to the destroy bins.

/the job really should have been done by a disabled vet.
//One day Gen. Shinseki walked through the office I had no idea who he was.


One time when I was lost in DC I accidentally ended up in the Pentagon parking lot. I asked some guys in uniforms with huge ribbon racks who were walking across the parking lot for directions. In retrospect, I think I got directions from the Joint Chiefs.

/CSB
 
Skr
2012-08-11 07:00:54 AM
Picture in the article screams "Fire Hazard" to me : /
 
2012-08-11 07:14:50 AM

Sid_6.7: borg: I just spent 2 years working a GSA contract at the VA scanning thousands and thousands of thousandsssssss of documents putting them into an electronic file management system and none of it was medical records and they went as far back as 1902. Then I sent the paper to the destroy bins.

/the job really should have been done by a disabled vet.
//One day Gen. Shinseki walked through the office I had no idea who he was.

One time when I was lost in DC I accidentally ended up in the Pentagon parking lot. I asked some guys in uniforms with huge ribbon racks who were walking across the parking lot for directions. In retrospect, I think I got directions from the Joint Chiefs.

/CSB


One night, when I was lost in DC, a bunch of really nice girls helped me. Poor things must've been chilly in all that pink fishnet.
 
2012-08-11 07:18:18 AM

MacEnvy: NewportBarGuy: The IG alerted VA headquarters to the problem, which has led to the relocation of much of the paperwork, and plans for better and safer long-term storage.



Yup... Exactly:

[i50.tinypic.com image 625x469]

I don't understand. Are you implying that the VA shreds their records? Because it seems like one of the departments that does a hell of a lot with limited funding and everyone agrees is a valid use of gov't resources.


Speaking as a Veteran it is not a question of limited funding (It would be hard to find a year their overall budget has not increased) but it is what they do with it. They spend a lot of money on bureaucrats and their paperwork.

Will also point out the making the VA its own cabinet level agency has done nothing to improve their efficiency just as creating the Department of Homeland Security has not really made us more secure.

Both did create a lot more government though, which was probably the real intent.
 
2012-08-11 08:01:25 AM

hasty ambush: MacEnvy: NewportBarGuy: The IG alerted VA headquarters to the problem, which has led to the relocation of much of the paperwork, and plans for better and safer long-term storage.



Yup... Exactly:

[i50.tinypic.com image 625x469]

I don't understand. Are you implying that the VA shreds their records? Because it seems like one of the departments that does a hell of a lot with limited funding and everyone agrees is a valid use of gov't resources.

Speaking as a Veteran it is not a question of limited funding (It would be hard to find a year their overall budget has not increased) but it is what they do with it. They spend a lot of money on bureaucrats and their paperwork.

Will also point out the making the VA its own cabinet level agency has done nothing to improve their efficiency just as creating the Department of Homeland Security has not really made us more secure.

Both did create a lot more government though, which was probably the real intent.


As someone who worked as a developer for the VA in the early 90s, yup.

Did a lot of cool and interesting things, but they were all really expensive.

Like one of the first CD-ROM burners. Size of a desk, not sure how much it cost, but it wasn't cheap.
 
2012-08-11 09:20:42 AM
The VA needs to go electronic.

/They lost my file once for 2 months
//It was on the receiving table
///Slashies!
 
2012-08-11 09:56:12 AM
Do none of you understand? The purpose of the paperwork, as is the case for all paperwork, is to discourage the applicant. If those wounded, scarred vets would simply disappear like they're supposed to, we wouldn't have this problem.
 
2012-08-11 10:17:39 AM

mciann: Do none of you understand? The purpose of the paperwork, as is the case for all paperwork, is to discourage the applicant. If those wounded, scarred vets would simply disappear like they're supposed to, we wouldn't have this problem.


I've been trying to push through that paperwork for over a year now, with no real progress to show for it. From what other vets tell me, this is not surprising in the slightest. In fact, it would have been more surprising if I had made any progress by now. I've also been told many times (even by people from the VA itself) that I should expect my claim to be denied at first, even if there's no reason not to accept it. It's practically automatic, and people generally need to appeal the decision to actually get any benefits. The widely accepted reasoning behind this is exactly what you said - to discourage veterans from continuing to seek benefits.

I hope you didn't think you were joking.
 
2012-08-11 10:38:34 AM

DrExplosion: mciann: Do none of you understand? The purpose of the paperwork, as is the case for all paperwork, is to discourage the applicant. If those wounded, scarred vets would simply disappear like they're supposed to, we wouldn't have this problem.

I've been trying to push through that paperwork for over a year now, with no real progress to show for it. From what other vets tell me, this is not surprising in the slightest. In fact, it would have been more surprising if I had made any progress by now. I've also been told many times (even by people from the VA itself) that I should expect my claim to be denied at first, even if there's no reason not to accept it. It's practically automatic, and people generally need to appeal the decision to actually get any benefits. The widely accepted reasoning behind this is exactly what you said - to discourage veterans from continuing to seek benefits.

I hope you didn't think you were joking.


It is the same for almost everything. Social Security disability is another tough one ans ask any health care provider what it is like to try an get reimbursed by MEDICARE or TRICARE. There is a reason many health care providers stopped doing business with either.
 
Skr
2012-08-11 10:49:20 AM

DrExplosion: mciann: Do none of you understand? The purpose of the paperwork, as is the case for all paperwork, is to discourage the applicant. If those wounded, scarred vets would simply disappear like they're supposed to, we wouldn't have this problem.

I've been trying to push through that paperwork for over a year now, with no real progress to show for it. From what other vets tell me, this is not surprising in the slightest. In fact, it would have been more surprising if I had made any progress by now. I've also been told many times (even by people from the VA itself) that I should expect my claim to be denied at first, even if there's no reason not to accept it. It's practically automatic, and people generally need to appeal the decision to actually get any benefits. The widely accepted reasoning behind this is exactly what you said - to discourage veterans from continuing to seek benefits.

I hope you didn't think you were joking.


The pisser is at least a few of the veterans I've known really haven't been in the proper mental state to wage another battle through bureaucracy and paper filing. Thankfully they've had a few people close to them to pick up the torch but I hate to think about the ones that have no one.
 
2012-08-11 10:51:38 AM

fappomatic: Sid_6.7: borg: I just spent 2 years working a GSA contract at the VA scanning thousands and thousands of thousandsssssss of documents putting them into an electronic file management system and none of it was medical records and they went as far back as 1902. Then I sent the paper to the destroy bins.

/the job really should have been done by a disabled vet.
//One day Gen. Shinseki walked through the office I had no idea who he was.

One time when I was lost in DC I accidentally ended up in the Pentagon parking lot. I asked some guys in uniforms with huge ribbon racks who were walking across the parking lot for directions. In retrospect, I think I got directions from the Joint Chiefs.

/CSB

One night, when I was lost in DC, a bunch of really nice girls helped me. Poor things must've been chilly in all that pink fishnet.


One time in DC I saw a white man. I really did.
 
2012-08-11 11:03:24 AM

MacEnvy: Because it seems like one of the departments that does a hell of a lot with limited funding and everyone agrees is a valid use of gov't resources.


What? Because I'd swear the VA gets a bonus based on how many vets they screw out of their benefits.
 
2012-08-11 11:08:17 AM
Hello computer...
 
2012-08-11 11:31:10 AM
Been out of uniform for 9 days after 21 years, 3 months, 6 days(but who's counting?), so getting a kick, etc...
I have been pleasantly surprised at how the VA process has been working. I would venture to say most issues are a lack of follow through by the claimant and/or not understanding the processes AND then doing them all the way or speaking up if there's an issue. Yes, yes, but my friend, cousin, uncle,.....they have issues with paperwork. How did they manage to even join the military in the first place?
A lot of the people that I personally see biatching are ones who mentally shut down and can't comprehend more than a one page form, unrelated to any trauma. If we didn't have these processes, with the checks, balances, and verifications required, the opportunity for waste, fraud, and abuse would greatly increase(Katrina pre-paid debit cards, anyone?)

/USN ETC
//Daughter on second year of using transferred GI Bill benefits, through the VA. So seamless and easy I didn't think it possible and bugged the shiat out of them to verify. All monies hit exactly when they said it would. Process was some paper and website work, 3-4 phone calls. Done.
///Using the BDD program right now; again, all appts, processes, etc..ALL going exactly as they said it would, when I do MY PART.

/ Can't please all the people
 
2012-08-11 11:31:44 AM
I read about people who survived the Death March of Bataan and they were denied benefits.
 
2012-08-11 12:20:02 PM
It's problems like this that I could help with; I've been applying to work in the VA for well over a year in all sorts of records and clerical positions. I know how to scan documents and organize paperwork.

My dad is a Vietnam vet, and he's retiring in October; he works in the unemployment office, specifically helping veterans get jobs once they leave the service. I know I'm not qualified to do what he did, as I have a completely different skill set, but I'd still like to help those who have served in some capacity.

/The pic in TFA is very unsettling; documents should never be handled like that
//I'm amazed the floor of that building held up as well as it did with that sort of load
///What genius decided the 6th floor was the best place to keep documents?!
 
2012-08-11 02:26:59 PM

mykicks: Been out of uniform for 9 days after 21 years, 3 months, 6 days(but who's counting?), so getting a kick, etc...
I have been pleasantly surprised at how the VA process has been working. I would venture to say most issues are a lack of follow through by the claimant and/or not understanding the processes AND then doing them all the way or speaking up if there's an issue. Yes, yes, but my friend, cousin, uncle,.....they have issues with paperwork. How did they manage to even join the military in the first place?
A lot of the people that I personally see biatching are ones who mentally shut down and can't comprehend more than a one page form, unrelated to any trauma. If we didn't have these processes, with the checks, balances, and verifications required, the opportunity for waste, fraud, and abuse would greatly increase(Katrina pre-paid debit cards, anyone?)

/USN ETC
//Daughter on second year of using transferred GI Bill benefits, through the VA. So seamless and easy I didn't think it possible and bugged the shiat out of them to verify. All monies hit exactly when they said it would. Process was some paper and website work, 3-4 phone calls. Done.
///Using the BDD program right now; again, all appts, processes, etc..ALL going exactly as they said it would, when I do MY PART.

/ Can't please all the people


ah, a yeoman. someone who's used to endless miles of bullshiat and made a living of ridiculous loopholes and assfarkery.

let's put it this way. their insistence on paper results in a LOT of paperwork just simply being lost. after everyone else in the chain insisting that my paperwork was all processed but nothing coming through, i finally called up(and got through!!!!!!) the center in kansas. i laid out to the call center worker that i wanted to talk to his boss. i got to talk to that person's boss. i got as high as i could.

i then spent an hour and forty-five minutes absolutely REAMING that person's ass after he told me i didn't exist in the system. partway through someone magically 'found' my paperwork. if he thought i was incensed before he learned otherwise.

within 15 minutes of that, i had a massive rush expedite on my application.

right before hanging up he confessed to me that he hadn't been yelled at so creatively and thoroughly since he was in the navy. he then asked 'so your last name... any relation to, ah...'

'yeah, that's my father.'

'the apple didn't fall very far from the farking tree, did it?'

*dialtone*



/i admire your effort but you're going to have to kiss ass elsewhere if you want to snag a VA job buddy.
//honestly you should have been kissing their asses BEFORE you retired.
///but i wouldn't expect a clerk to think that far ahead. you're so busy kissing the asses around you and trying to keep your job to think about the future much.
 
2012-08-11 02:50:25 PM

buttery_shame_cave: but i wouldn't expect a clerk to think that far ahead. you're so busy kissing the asses around you and trying to keep your job to think about the future much.



Moron,
What part of " USN ETC" did you not get? .........Electronics Technician Chief(EXW/SW if you care)
//No kissing ass for a job, especially with the VA-have more than enough offers one week out that I am having to pick and choose. Why you think I would choose Fark to grease up a potential employer says way more about you than me.
/// Maybe if you AND your father apparently weren't so pleasantly memorable, you'd have done better in life. All i was saying that my experiences so far have been awesome, yes the efforts could be modernized, but after serving any time in the military and THEIR bureuacracy, you should be able to navigate the VA. Of course, with you, it's always someone else's fault, even if you see it coming.
 
2012-08-11 02:54:53 PM
As a software engineer working on building the VA's new electronic VBMS system, I am getting a kick out of this. Going to have to send this article around the office Monday.
 
2012-08-11 07:12:52 PM
Ahhh, the article's photo brings back memories... I had a temp job one summer, between college semesters, at the Veteran's Hospital. I was part of a small group hired to work through a backlog of computer printed test results and insert them into patient's files. They were a couple years behind in filing(!) We were to insert only the latest test results, removing older ones, since the files were packed beyond solid in the shelves. You had to literally wiggle them back and forth to tear them free, and hammer them back in corner first. They were rapidly disintegrating. Most patients had a file as thick as a paperback book, but some of them had files that spanned a dozen volumes of dark brown folders, stacked somewhere nearby, if you could find them.

This room was the size of a gymnasium, and every spare inch of floor space was filled with tottering stacks of computer-printed test results. Under every table, chair and desk, along every free wall and down the middle of every isle. The piles were dusty and turning brown, even in the shadows. They explained that a lot of tests were probably repeats due to earlier results never making it to the files. We were told to start with the oldest ones we could find, separate the pages, and just start wandering the stacks. I noticed shortly that I was revisiting the same files often within printouts of the same time frame, so I tried pre-sorting them so I could process them faster, and save the wear and tear on the files. The white trash ladies who ran the office complained that I *looked* like I was doing less work, and made me stop that nonsense. They didn't understand even basic filing principles. They spent the whole day talking out loud in their low-caste grammar and did very little work other than answer the phone and pull a handful of file requests a day. (I was born a po' white boy, so yeah, I can say this)

Although I was the only temp remaining from the original group after a few weeks, I was fired, of course. The trashies told the agency that I barely did any work, and that I caused conflict with the staff. This staff they spoke of liked to play gamsies with me like hiding my lunch and water cup, openly guffawing when I asked her to return it, and walking around messing up my work. Attempts to bring this to the attention of staff resulted in being mutely ignored. Attempts to resolve this like an adult with the prankster resulted in the instant arrival of the other trashies, who stood around me like vultures, chortling and mocking me. Let there be no doubt; evil lurks in the bowels of the Veteran's Administration, just as it does in the executives suites above.
 
2012-08-11 09:16:05 PM
Paper--sinking the continent...
National Geographic, the Doomsday Machine
 
2012-08-12 01:52:26 PM

Austinoftx: Ahhh, the article's photo brings back memories... I had a temp job one summer, between college semesters, at the Veteran's Hospital. I was part of a small group hired to work through a backlog of computer printed test results and insert them into patient's files. They were a couple years behind in filing(!) We were to insert only the latest test results, removing older ones, since the files were packed beyond solid in the shelves. You had to literally wiggle them back and forth to tear them free, and hammer them back in corner first. They were rapidly disintegrating. Most patients had a file as thick as a paperback book, but some of them had files that spanned a dozen volumes of dark brown folders, stacked somewhere nearby, if you could find them.

This room was the size of a gymnasium, and every spare inch of floor space was filled with tottering stacks of computer-printed test results. Under every table, chair and desk, along every free wall and down the middle of every isle. The piles were dusty and turning brown, even in the shadows. They explained that a lot of tests were probably repeats due to earlier results never making it to the files. We were told to start with the oldest ones we could find, separate the pages, and just start wandering the stacks. I noticed shortly that I was revisiting the same files often within printouts of the same time frame, so I tried pre-sorting them so I could process them faster, and save the wear and tear on the files. The white trash ladies who ran the office complained that I *looked* like I was doing less work, and made me stop that nonsense. They didn't understand even basic filing principles. They spent the whole day talking out loud in their low-caste grammar and did very little work other than answer the phone and pull a handful of file requests a day. (I was born a po' white boy, so yeah, I can say this)

Although I was the only temp remaining from the original group after a few weeks, I was fired, of course. The trashi ...


As you have discovered the ranks of the civil service are rarely filled with or best or brightest but they are next to impossible to fire.
 
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