Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An Average Day at Work...A Rant or a Ramble???

The beauty of work depends upon the way we meet it, whether we
arm ourselves each morning to attack it as an enemy that must be
vanquished before night comes--or whether we open our eyes with
the sunrise to welcome it as an approaching friend who will keep
us delightful company and who will make us feel at evening
that the day was well worth its fatigue.

Lucy Larcom

Oh, my, yesterday was so busy.  I cannot begin to tell you how hard I worked.  I spent the day trying to get a handle on the paperwork. And with a 'huge' caseload, I find myself eating lunch and typing my progress notes between bites. Business does make the days go fast, but really now, there has to be a limit. My vacation in a couple of weeks is very much needed.  I know I missed visiting all of your blogs,  I do apologize.  One of my great joys of the day is visiting you, my friends. Work is just becoming far too overwhelming.

Many of the clients we've been getting lately are so 'needy'.  Most suffer with severe mental illness. It breaks your heart to hear what they have lived through, and yet survived.  These are the clients with dreams for a better future, and you hope and pray that one day they will be able to realize them. These are the clients who offer to help you across the street or to carry your bags. These are the clients that you want to hug and say, "It's all going to be okay now."  

And then there are the others, the 'entitled' ones, who feel that everything is owed to them, that it's up to you to do all the work for them.  These are the clients who sold drugs for a living, have never worked a day in their life, but the world is expected to take care of them. These are the clients who complain that the breakfast we serve them (cereal, toast, juice, coffee, tea) is skimpy.  And, why can't we keep the coffee going for them 'all day'. They also complain that soup, salad, and a sandwich is not a proper lunch. After all, 'their medicaid' pays for it.  Not so. This comes out of a budget we set aside to feed them. I guess you can say it is a gift, something we 'don't' have to do. Needless to say, both types of clients can be draining...the 'needy' clients because they 'genuinely' need and the others who demand so much of your time only because it is owed to them.  Ask them what they did to earn it, and they'll tell you that "my medicaid is paying you to do this for me." Well, who do you think pays for your medicaid?  So, I guess what they are saying is that I am paying myself. 

And then, there is your average client. They're there because they are mandated by parole, probation, the HRA, Children's Services, etc. These are basically the easiest to work with. They don't want to be there so they want nothing from you.  Eager to comply with their mandates, they follow rules and regulations, and attend their groups.  The most they might ask for is a referral to our internship program so they can fulfill their requirement to work.  

Finally, we have the 'revolving doors'.  These are the clients that enroll in the program, attend a few groups, wait until after you've gone through the entire admission process, which by the way is about 19 pages of paperwork, and then they are gone.  Our funding source says we have to give them 30 days to return, so each week a note must go in the chart.  If, by chance, they happen to hit the 45 day mark (attend two weeks or more, then disappear), a treatment plan must also be provided.  Add to that the discharge papers, and you have a ton of work to complete for a client who never wanted to attend the program in the first place. 

And then there is the paperwork, the never-ending pile that doesn't have a bottom.  I'm not even going to get into that.

Needless to say, this is the work I 'chose' to do, and I have no regrets. This is what I was born to do.  According to my past life chart, in another lifetime I was priest in one lifetime and an astrologer in another. I guess I am just following my calling. There is nothing more rewarding than working with a client and helping him\her to turn their life around. It warms your heart to see someone come in dejected and hopeless and complete the program with head held high and hope for a better future. There are times, too, that even the entitled client does a complete turnaround and actually thanks you for your help. These are the things that make all the hard work worth it. These are the things that keep me from giving up.

On another note, on the eagle site, we  had a Pip and a hatch yesterday.  Amazing sight to see. I was so busy I didn't get a chance to watch it first hand, but there is a wonderful replay on Youtube. Already this year almost 5 million viewers, and the eggs have just begun to hatch. I watched this site last year, but not until after the eaglets had hatched.  This is a first for me. For anyone interested the site is Decorah Eagles

Like the star that
shines afar,
Without haste and
without rest,
Let each one wheel
with steady sway
Round the task that
rules the day,
And do their best.

Johann Wolfgang
von Goethe


  1. Personally, I don't know how YOU or anyone, can do the work, you do. Your patience must have to be never-ending.

    But being human, none of us has a never-ending-supply of patience.


  2. Your work...takes a "special kind " of person.
    One with tolerance and patience of not only your clients, but the friggin paperwork.;0)

  3. It may seem at times that you have a "thankless" job. You and others like you make it possible for those of true need get help. To do that it seems you must deal with all the ones who make your job so much harder. A bouquet of flowers to you for your dedication to your chosen profession.

  4. In my book there are two basic types of people. There are givers and takers. Many times people are a combination of both. It's when they primarily of one nature that they are most noticeable. There aren't enough of the true givers to suit me. And to damn many of the takers, even if thier numbers are low.
    Seems to me like to many of the takers end up in our government or the head of the big corparations.
    I'm grateful that there are givers, like you Mary, who are in a position to help the ones that really want and appreciate the help. X.