This story makes everybody ‘Grouchy’! Is there no end to the VA’s internal scandals? The initial story hit the press after it was disclosed that the VA was using the Sesame Street character ‘Oscar The Grouch’ to depict their sample Veteran in their employee training flick. ‘Oscar The Grouch’ “LOVES TRASH” as he sings about Trash (watch the vid), and lives in a trash can. Apparently, when it came to producing a training video for their employees that are responsible for interacting with VETS to help the VETS with their benefit related issues, VETS are equated with ‘Oscar The Grouch’.
There has been so much ‘blow back’ from this story getting out, that “Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald ordered a system wide review of the agency’s training programs after the Philadelphia VA benefits office compiled an employee training guide that appeared to depict veterans as Oscar the Grouch.” CLICK HERE for this part of the story.
And for good reason, here are some quotes from the initial story, quotes from attendees of the training video;
“A slide show presented to VA employees last week portrayed veterans as the grumpy Sesame Street character who lives in a garbage can. The training guide also described veterans as possibly having unrealistic expectations, and advises staffers to apologize for the public “perception” of the scandal-ridden agency.”
“In one slide, a sign reading “CRANKY” hangs from the rim of Oscar’s garbage can. In another, Oscar’s face is accompanied by the words “100% GROUCHY, DEAL WITH IT.”
“The presentation included tips on how to tell if a veteran is nearing an “outburst,” including being accusatory, agitated, demanding, or unfocused, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. It was delivered to VA staffers in advance of two town-hall meetings to be held for veterans in Philadelphia on Wednesday.”
“Army veteran Christian DeJohn, who works at the Philadelphia VA office, said he found the training session “condescending and patronizing” toward vets.”
“What struck me at first was the choice of words — it talked about ‘managing’ and ‘dealing with’ widows and veterans,” Mr. De John said in an interview. “You ‘deal with’ a cold or a flu. Where’s the respect, the simple human decency?”
What gets me about this story is that the VA’s own internal management personnel would equate the VETS contacting the VA for help with their benefits as ‘Oscar The Grouch’. Not an outside third party vendor, but the VA itself. Mind blowing to say the least.
CLICK HERE to read the entire source article.