Friday, April 28, 2006

End of Month

End of Month has historically been, for interviewing workers, the busiest day of the month.  Every Food Stamp recertification is due on the last working day of the month.  When I first became an advisor, the average cases due on the EOM hovered around 15, and most of those would be 'no shows' and those cases where the client had not returned information.  Prior to this, even though we interviewed full caseload- we had TIME to do those cases throughout the month- so that the last day of the month wasn't overwhelming.
Now?  Notsomuch.  Many advisors are SO overwhelmed with work that NONE of those cases get done until the actual due date because there just isn't time to do anything that isn't due.  Many people had between 40 and 60 cases due today.  DUE IN ONE DAY.  People unfamiliar with how a case is worked, you can't do a case in 2 minutes.  Many times, finishing a case can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes- provided the information provided is accurate and legit.  Add 20 to 30 minutes for incomplete information that requires the Advisor to call for more information, etc.  This means that ideally you can do approx 6 cases an hour. Nevermind the fact that the clients are calling you throughout the day to see if you are going to get to their case (yes, I am ma'am- if I could just get off the phone and stop answering this same question over and over)  This is doing the case with the bare minimum- no time to go back through and recheck the info, no time to repeat what's been done......even doing 6 an hour, that means if you have 60 due- either you are going to work overtime, OR you are going to do sloppy casework to just get it done.  Most of us that have worked here for any length of time don't WANT to do anything sloppy.  But as advisors, we are being put in a position of choosing to get it done timely and quickly- or get it done right.  It makes me crazy.
Morale is low.  It's been low.  The most dedicated employees- those who have always been the 'rock' in the office for everyone else are overwhelmed to the point of tears (in some cases).
The clients do not UNDERSTAND what is going on.  I'm not talking about clients in Pilot offices- I'm talking about clients who are still in SAVERR and are paying the price for the poor planning when it came to laying off most of your workforce- they don't understand why they can't get Same Day Service anymore.  They don't understand why they have to wait to get their case completed.  Old world?  Sometimes clients could turn in information one morning, and have Food Stamps the next.  Now?  No time to do that. 
Phone interviews are the culprit in many of these problems- given the fact that 99% of the time a phone interview must be pended and therefore delayed.  Before, when they all had office interviews- many clients would bring more than enough to finish the case right then, right there.  Everyone is happy- worker has it completed, client has their benefits.   Now- since we've been told to schedule EVERYONE with a phone number on their 1010 for a phone interview, there is a delay.  I guess we gotta get them ready/prepared for dealing with folks over the phone and having to wait.  It's NOT client friendly AT ALL.
No one cares, do they?

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