Just as President Obama is promising to reform veterans’ health care and restore “dignity” to the system, the Veterans Affairs office in Philadelphia is apologizing for depicting dissatisfied veterans as Oscar the Grouch in an internal training guide.
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.