One Happy Disfunctional Country

by Dax

I used to write a lot about this shitty country, the lair of the immorals, corruption, egotism, idiots, drunks, and the mafia that sits in our parliament. The reason I’ve been quiet for so long is that I have nothing left to say. Daily news speaks for itself. The failing social security, desperate people without money and future, while the government scum is buying computers they don’t need, passing law that helps them (and similar scum) prosper personally and is generally taking away lives of people they should serve. The untouchables have risen to power on the wings of their corrupt minds that are now having a feast, prospering at the top, shitting on the general population below.
But let’s talk about healthcare. Some pretty nasty financial cuts are necessary to make this country going. The top scum is exempt. They even get a raise on salaries that are 10 times as what a well off normal citizen is making. So healthcare is getting a make over. Since there’s not enough money to fund the astronomic salaries of government officials that mostly shoot breeze and indulge in high profile corruption, many of prescription medicines will now be paid for. An ambulance as well. And it seems that doctors will lose funding for specialization so we’ll be even worse off than we are today. And how are we today?
Let’s see. My friend brought his very ill mother to the local emergency. They told him to go home, because the doctor had to go to another town, because they are short of doctors there. And this is not the outback, Alaska, Siberia or any other remote place. It’s Slovenia, Europe. And it’s just around 20 km from the capitol. It’s the developed world. Slovenian way. Our city has more shopping malls per citizen than most cities in the world.
And if you think the capitol is any better, think again. Their ER is something out of an African hospital without the heat. Everything is dilapidated, most of it is from the seventies. The ceiling is in really bad shape, dented or with holes, hosting cobwebs here and there and dust everywhere. No air condition in many important wards… It’s a disaster and a colossal shame. The main national hospital is a disgrace. Signs for elevators have more people drawn on them that even fit in the elevator. The little shoebox elevators hardly carry two people.
People here tell stories of their marathon visits to the ER just waiting to speak to the doctor, tests and the final mile – getting the results. Four hours, seven hours etc. that’s what we call emergency.
The other day my grandma had to see a vascular surgeon and was sent to the Ljubljana ER. In a completely swamped ER full of ill people and those that think their head will fall off if they cut their finger, my 91-year-old slightly demented grandma, who can’t stay awake long and aches all over, suffered, argued nervously and cried from five p.m. to four a.m. That’s eleven hours. Emergency.
But she can sit. God forbid she needed to lay down, because the entire hospital doesn’t have one empty bed. In fact, people with broken spine have been left sitting and waiting for hours.
In a horrible display of how outdated the clinic is and of the quality of very bad, but cheap food that we import while local farmers are dying the clinic recently had to move their patients to another hospital, because they don’t have any beds left. That’ how many ill people overwhelmed them. A lot of times, patients are put on beds in hallways. Everything is packed with sick people.
My friend’s mom has hernia. She’s had it for a long time now, but the proverbially incompetent Slovenian general physicians didn’t get that. When they finally did, they sent her to Ljubljana to surgery, under “speedy”. Well, that “speedy” term here means three months to half a year. Imagine having cancer. You die before you get to the doctor. So those three months pass and she gets a call. They have nowhere to put her, so her surgery will be rescheduled. They don’t know the date yet. They’ll call her.
What’s wrong? The hospital is an anthill of sick people, stumbling over each other. Are they really all that sick to need hospital care? Is it the old infrastructure that cannot keep up with the growing population? Is there so many more sick people? And why are there so many that come running to the hospital when they feel slightly ill? I guess the degeneration of mentality, the effects of paranoia feed from the media and general lack of sanity is brushing off on hospitals as well. Or is it the food?
The construction of the new ER should begin by now, but was stopped. For the same reason mentioned before, when the typical Slovenian mentality brushes off on healthcare. Too many ties between heads of the ER and the construction companies were found. Same old story. And in the mean time, go somewhere else. Try not to die first.

Maybe you need a job. Maybe you’re registered at the unemployment office where they’ll try to find you a job. But will they even try? Here’s how it goes. You are self-employed for a year, because after sending out about 300 job applications you have a snowball’s chance in hell you’ll get a job over all the relatives and incompetent cheap or free labor. You don’t even have money for a short bus ride, but you have to pay for social security (a very very inappropriate term for what it really is). You can ask the government to help you out with those monthly payments. After all, it’s 300 eur/month. But considering what I said about the upper layers (shit floats) keeping all the money for themselves and their dirty business, the little people are often left helpless. So of course not everybody can get that support. Even here, the criteria is a result of this unequal distribution of finances. Someone without money for the bus is required to have important international projects and achievements before they can get the support. Domestic achievements don’t count because we simply don’t value our country, and I’m not surprised at all. So the grant you were given a year ago to start your business, evaporates into the unchartered waters of national finance, while every struggle to get work is refused by the greedy, stingy system that does not base on quality or profession, but on friendly ties, connections, relatives, and above all people who are willing to work almost for free while their bosses buy themselves another top class BMW. At the end of the year, you have a lot to show, despite all, on national level, which is a great achievement given the circumstances. But nothing in the eyes of people who can’t even imagine (and won’t) what it is to not get payed at all. Because you don’t have international achievements, an impossible demand, you are denied support, while still obliged to pay for social security if you’re self-employed. So you quit and land at the unemployment office. For a couple of months, you are entitled to a compensation which is some small percent of what you were making while self-employed. So let’s say 20% of nothing. The office has 30 days to decide how much of this compensation to give you. And here’s a nice scenario they’ve come up with. They stall for 30 days, then they send a notice that you haven’t provided them with your annual tax return information, which is something they should get themselves. But it’s convenient to wait. Amazingly even the Revenue Office doesn’t understand what it is that they want, because the tax return for the year before hasn’t even started being mailed to people, and the 2010 tax return isn’t good if you had your business only in 2011. So basically, they want the tax return that in the best possible scenario would arrive at the end of March. If you’re among the first to receive it. If not, it can arrive at the end of summer. And of course that 30-day period for calculating the compensation starts running then. This is how our country works.

And how do they work?
It is extremely rare that they would find you a job. Instead they rather put their efforts into trying to come up with what is wrong with you that you can’t get a job. They send you to some “advisor” or whatever, and this woman, who obviously has a job and egotistically thinks everyone can have it if they want, starts the conversation by: “You’re 32 years old and you don’t have a job? What is wrong with you?”
What comes next is an interrogation into your flaws with a premise that there has to be something wrong with you.
“Do you smoke pot? You drink a lot?” are common questions.
You describe yourself and how you work, and she demands to hear it from someone who trusts you as well. So now you go home and you have to come back with someone who will speak for you to this woman, and obviously, time has passed and everything stands still. Because she refuses to believe you. Her job’s to find something wrong with you and she’s totally dumbstruck when she can’t find anything. But they would obviously go to great lengths not to help you search for a job, because I’ve heard from a friend that he was even ordered to bring his medical records for her to examine in detail. The determination! If only they would take so much time and effort into helping you instead of finding reasons not to!
So finally, questions that prove how far from mind the main purpose of the unemployment office is.
“Do you have friends? Do they support you? Can’t they get you a job?”

I admit, if that was me, I would rip her head off at the first question, just to give her a concrete answer to what’s wrong with me.
But that’s the scum mentality of Sfuckenia, the popular renaming of Slovenia. You get that on all levels of society, government, business, banking, small business, companies, grants, finances, jobs… And while the example above is real, people with regular jobs who work as little as maybe a week per year have regular income plus benefits, because their mooooommmies gave them the job. Half the people in this shithole don’t seem to work. It’s all just meetings, coffee time, smoke, and go home early to enjoy something else. Half of people in this shithole would die before they worked entire days like some people. Let alone for money that doesn’t even cover regular bills. And these same people decide the fate of those who need help.

The high percentage of people with heavily derailed mentality is not only cause for concern, it’s also very very hard to live with on a daily basis. It’s very hard to trust anyone in this country. And since we’re losing all the sanity in personal relationships, that are also being heavily affected by growing egotism, it’s really difficult to live among these people and have anything to do with them. Finding good people is a lottery. Trusting you won’t lose them to this mentality is a challenge. And if you’re one of the people of whom I write above, seeing the future is almost impossible. It’s only believing, but even that is a challenge. Tensions grow, depression sets in and even the strongest bonds lose grip. Paralyzed and demoralized we do even less, because all effort is futile. Statistics speak for themselves. Why bother? In some cases they only use you. Like companies that look for designers. They give them test assignments, then choose some guy who comes in through other ties, and use your design. No rules, no values. Why bother.

99,99% choices here are made on the basis of egotism. Going hand in hand with ignorance. And arrogance. So why bother?
When it comes to work that I do, every effort is worth it if people recognize it. If it reaches them. That’s why we’re here for. But if it doesn’t reach them, it’s worthless. And in an egotistic, arrogant and ignorant environment, getting stories across is almost impossible. People don’t care for anything or anyone outside their social bubble, which is why we’re running in circles, repeating the same stories all over again, seeing the same stuff over and over again, emphasizing the same few issues on a daily basis. And it’s why so many people in this country are flat dumb. So I’m wondering why even try? The stories I’m doing now need greater audience and much more exposure and reach than the fishing stories. When we speak of Lake Cerknica or The Marble Trout, those are two positive stories that are on their way to a happy ending. My recent stories are those that have all the future ahead and I should be able to help make it better. Even awareness is enough. But sometimes and some people can’t even get that awareness going. For the reasons mentioned above. So why bother if there’s no result? These people don’t need photos on my fairly unknown website. They deserve a proper publication, an influential one, where their story would reach as many people as possible. But hey, they’re not some phony celebrity drinking his ass off and parading around topless, so they’re not interesting… So – again – why bother?
But I will. One last time. I’ll give everything one more time. And hope I can make a change. Hoping my story will make a difference. Last chance.

And yes, much of what I said is the reason this blog is so slow on updating and Dax Photo website is on halt. I’m in no hurry. Who cares anyway. I’ll update when I have photos from Syria… ;) No, seriously, updates are coming, but … just barely crawling. :)