We were contacted on our Facebook page by a reader we’ll call “Mr. Smith” (he asked to protect his privacy). Mr. Smith shared his story with us, and I thought I would pass it on to you.
There has not been a post to this blog for quite some time now. We were able to escape the clutches of the desert and live in a four-season wonderland! Autumn is in the air, and the weather is crisp in the mornings. We love it! Now that we’re out of Arizona, there hasn’t been that much to write about. We do like to make posts of encouragement on our Facebook page for those who remain behind, also wanting to escape.
So, here is the story of Mr. Smith and his struggles with life in Arizona:
My wife and myself moved out to Arizona in order for me to go to Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program. This private “not-for-profit” program lost its’ American Psychological Association accreditation as I was attending, meaning the degree was useless.
Both my wife and I planned to work with children so we started working for a group home. This group home was deplorable. The boys had to use one hand towel as their way to wash themselves and clean themselves. They shared one tooth brush and one bar of soap, between five boys. Additionally they only had a twin mattress on the floor and nowhere to put their clothes.
Both of us ended up getting hired to work for the Arizona Department of Children’s Services, which we worked for approximately two years. Let me get to that in just a second. After I had started, we had lived in an apartment complex in Surprise. A lady kicked my dog while walking hers and said, “Get that fucking mutt out of this apartment complex” My dog attacked her dog, when she kicked mine. I told her, let me put my dog up and we will go to the emergency vet together and see what they say. I put my dog in the Kennel and stepped out of the apartment door, lo and behold there were officers waiting for me. They stuck their foot in my door and told me to give them my identification. I asked if I was under arrest or under investigation. They denied I was and I told them I was leaving with a lady, I needed to go.
The field training officer said I was an asshole for asking and put me under arrest. They did not explain to me what I was arrested for or what the issue was. Upon arrival at the police station, I sat there for three hours, with them trying to question me without reading my Miranda Rights, while they tried to figure out what to charge me with. I declined to answer. They charged me with Dogs running at large and interfering with a law enforcement investigation. I was released to my wife with a court date two months down the road. This would have been a misdemeanor. I have no criminal record. I went and consulted with an attorney first thing in the morning. They indicated that with the dogs being on the leash, that they could not charge me with dogs running at large and since there were no dogs running at large, I could not interfere with an investigation that should not have occurred.
My attorney sent this over to the prosecutors office, who initially wanted me to pay for the lady’s veterinarian bill, before they would drop the charges (I found out the lady that kicked my dog called). I declined, saying there was no legal basis for them doing so.
After a few hours, the prosecutor came back and agreed. I received an order the same day, with the charges dismissed with prejudice as long as I agreed not to sue the Department. When I returned home, there was an eviction notice, stating that because I had been arrested (and signed a “Crime-Free” Policy) that I would be evicted. My attorney told them that the policy stated that I had to be convicted of a crime and they denied me due process by immediately evicting me. We ended up having to sue for damages and to get the eviction removed from our records. The lady that processed the eviction was fired.
On to my work at the Department of Children’s Services. During this time I saw some really messed up things. We had individuals that were supervisors that had us remove children for no reason, just best they did not like the family. Additionally, I ended up working some of my supervisor (and her supervisor’s) previous cases. There were over 400 cases, where they did not see the children and lied about it. Upon pointing this out to them, they fired me.
I never received a performance evaluation, never received a single write up, just given one of those “at-will” memos and given the boot. I never even saw human resources or the equal employment officer, but was fired by the supervisor I was trying to report.
This was the end of our stay in Arizona. We left and started working for another State government. We now have savings, 401(k), pensions, and money to spare, with all of our debt paid. Another thing to watch out for in Arizona is if you want decent internet, you are stuck with Cox Cable, which will charge $150 plus, because they can and the bill will fluctuate every month.
Additionally you have to watch out for APS as they will charge $450 plus for A/C in the summer (about half of that is “fees”). The people there are rude and very passive aggressive. I lived across the road from a lady for two years (after moving out of the apartments), who would never even wave back or say hello. My wife came home crying, because she thought she had done something to the people she worked with, because they were so hateful.
We were out there three years too many and made absolutely no friends. Its just funny, because once we moved to another state, we made a permanent friend the week we moved there. Sadly, there is a lot more, but I believe this serves as sufficient warning to those considering moving to Arizona. If there is one thing I can stress, it is to SAY NO TO ARIZONA!
Do you have a story to tell? Let us know!