Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Trouble With Oddny

Earlier today, I glibbly asserted in the comment section of a fellow Norwegian ex-pat blogger's blog that half of Norway's problem was the absurdly short, barely 5 hour school day. I didn't say it exactly thus, but whatever. I meant it at the time. And sure, why not? I might as well stand by that statement. It makes about as much sense as anything else I might pull out of my ass at any given moment to account for and condone my ongoing discontent.

Sooooo, if short school days are one half of the problem, this woman, then, must be the other half:
Okay--maybe not her personally, but certainly what she represents.

The picture comes to us today from our local paper, BergensTidene. The article, which is featured on the front page, is actually a pretty interesting one discussing the upward trend of health fanatics in the mid- to upper classes. It's basically arguing that, these days, the status symbol of choice among the elite, rather than a flashy car or a big ass sailboat, is a toned and healthy body.

Fine. I think this trend was well established donkey's ages ago, but whatever. Oddny (uber-norsk name of above woman) is used as a prime example of this trend because she once tipped the scales at over 200 pounds. Then, one fine day, she decided to go for a walk. And hey presto! However many years later (I don't think it ever said how long it took) she's thin, fit, and climbing every mountain in sight.

Grand. I'm happy for Oddny. I really am. As a runner who started out barely being able to run 200 yards without inducing 'episode' worthy heart spasms, I applaud absolutely anyone who commits to their fitness hard enough and long enough to gain that level of endurance and drop significant poundage along the way. Good on her!

No. What really chaps my hide about Oddny here, is the very first thing the article says about her--in large, bold print no less--is that Oddny is 'uføretrygdede'. Forget the pronounciation on that one, it doesn't matter. What's important here is the meaning. Let me explain. We Americans don't really have a word for 'uføretrygdede', because we don't have a social system which would allow for such a creature to evolve. But what it means is this: Oddny has been declared medically incapable of work, indeed, she's so incapacitated that the welfare system has had to envelope her into the bountiful cushion of its loving embrace, and is me again...FULLY...covering all of her health and living perpetuity. The rest of her life people.....if she so wishes......and I'm pretty sure she so wishes.....

The ariticle explains that early in her life Oddny was excused from ever working again because of "a back illness" (it doesn't explain which one), and yet....and yet!.....there's Oddny climbing mountains, lugging a heavy backpack across wet, slippery terrain, and bragging about all the summits she's seen. With a 'back illness'? Srsly? How fucking busted would Oddny be if this article appeared in the States, and there she was living high on the hog off some bogus insurance settlement?

Oddny. Dude. You're fooling no one with that sore back shit anymore. GET. A. JOB.

..........said the jobless blogger from the quiet comfort of her blogosphere.....

Oh. And Norway. Dude. You're digging your own grave with this uføretrygd shit. Dial it back a bit, 'kay?

P.S. Please do not take this rant as a denunciation of socialized medicine or welfare in general. It's not. But such glaring and obvious abuse of a decent and needful system of support hurts my eyes, galls my liver, and vexes my very soul. I just had to share. That's all.


Amy said...

I want to move to Norway! 'Cuz sometimes I have this thing where my knee hurts and I have to ice it and lay off the high heels for a week or two. Do you think I could get on this system because I'd be a big fan of not working again. Ever.

Anonymous said...

But it is perhaps partly a relief to see that all the comments under the article from other readers of BT have much the same take on it/Oddny as you, or any other normal person (though I must say, I think yours was much better/more amusingly written)

Corinne said...

Sverre said her next assessment should be rather interesting. Either that or she's a mental case and is too embarrassed to let people know.

I say in the States she'd be tarred and feathered by her insurance company.

JEDA said...

Amy--Yes! That bum knee definitely sounds like a likely qualifier. Especially if you explained in your application that you were saving that knee for your 5K training.

Anon--Is that you Melissa? The last comment I read before I copy and pasted the picture and the link WAS fairly scathing, something like "Du gjør meg kvalm!" But I also read several saying, "Aw, but why must we focus on whether or not this nice lady has a job or not? Look it...she's hiking!....she must be so nice...." Morons.

Corinne--My husband suggested the case worker might have deemed her too stupid to work, and was heroically protecting the work force from her. As likely a reason as any other, I guess...

Anonymous said...


No, Anon's comment was not me...not enough periods....actually there isn't any on the post.

Erik has a bad back, but can hike, though not with a heavy back-pack (if we hike it's without packs). That Norwegian word, is basically 'disabled'.

But really, that Oddny with that god-damned smug smile gives people who are on that disability payment (like E) a disservice.

PS. Norwegian school day is an American's child wet dream.


JEDA said...

I'd say 'uføretrygdede' is much more than 'disabled''s more like 'disabled with full, life-time benefits' and it does not exist in the states. The closest you might get is a war vet who's been given 100% disablity status. But even then--Mark, if you're out there, help me out here--what that vet would get isn't enough to live indefinitely off of for the rest of his or her life.

Also--the Norwegian school day is a joke. I don't care how great the kids think it is. It's a bloody great waste of time.

Anonymous said...

The uføretrygdede basic pension is 5-7 thousand a month...but you get additional money based on how much you've worked in the past and how much you've earned. I'd like to know how much Oddny gets. E said 'disabled', but I guess it's interpreted here differently.

Yes, the Norwegian school is very much a joke. You have incompetent boobs teaching English who are just ignorant sluts when it comes to my language. Did you also know that there is even a school that begins at 10:30, so that the students aren't as tired, and get 'eased' into the week. WTH?!!!

ME-tired and grumpy from shopping with a 10-yr old wearing roller shoes.

Anonymous said...

I read 'uføretrygdede' as 'receiving permanent disability pension'. The problem is that the permanent has become glued to the pension, rather than the disabilty, even if the disability has apparently gone (as with dear old Oddny). Feel that she should get at least 3 kr a month for living with that name, though.
Used 4 . in this comment, just to show I know what they are

Return to Norway said...

Just pisses me off! Should be a reassessment of uføretrydga every bloody year if you ask me!!

It's as stupid as transvestites getting boob jobs paid for by the NHS in England - because it causes them psychological trauma to be trapped in a man's body......

Anonymous said...

Well with an income of 121,620Kr I doubt she'll be living too high off the hog.

There's a nasty habit of just leaving people on long term sickness payments once they're past a certain age. It keeps the unemployment stats low and makes the government look better.

The problem is probably that she was uførepensjonerte before 2004 and so it's hard to pull it back. Waht I don't really get is why people choose to live as a social client (as my norsk dame calls it).