The already disgraced Department of Veterans Affairs has found a way to make itself even more unpopular with Americans, and particularly with Veterans after depicting them in leaked training materials as Sesame Street’s cantankerous homeless bum Oscar The Grouch.
While the President continues to vow to reform and improve the veterans’ health care system, the VA office in Philadelphia has been forced to issue an embarrassing apology after the internal training guide, titled “What to Say to Oscar the Grouch – Dealing with Veterans During Town Hall Claims Clinics,” was obtained by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The guide contained an 18-page slide show which compares disgruntled or disaffected Veterans to the grumpy garbage can dwelling green creature.
According to the Inquirer, one slide in the presentation features the word “CRANKY” hanging from Oscar’s garbage can, while a second shows the character alongside the phrase “100% GROUCHY, DEAL WITH IT.”
The internal guide also also advises VA staff that veterans can be demanding and unrealistic, while instructing employees to be ready to apologize regarding the public “perception” of the agency.
The guide also contains pointers on how to tell if a veteran is about to launch an “outburst,” suggesting that staff should look for behaviour that is accusatory, agitated, demanding, or unfocused.