Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thursday Rant

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life
as by the obstacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed.

Booker T. Washington

Thursday sure has rolled around quickly, hasn't it?  I'm not complaining.  Another work week is almost over.  Tomorrow evening is our graduation ceremony for those clients who completed the program. It's always a tearful time, and this will be the last one I participate in.  Graduation is for those who accomplished something while in the program, even it is only to maintain abstinence and good attendance.  This year I have S. who managed to battle his heroin addiction and go to school to become a barber.  Later this month he takes his test for certification.

J. has been in and out of prison his entire life, and he openly admits that this is the longest he has been able to stay out without being violated.  He had found full-time employment, has reconciled with his family, and will be moving into his own apartment in July.  O. has spent many years on the streets and in the shelter system.  He finally has his own place.  N. was a terror when he first entered the program.  In fact, I'm the only one he never cursed out. No one thought he would make it.  But, here he is, a year later, and everyone loves him, and, when he speaks in group, the newcomers take out a pen and write down what he has to say.  He has become a true role model.  D. came to the program from parole.  He, too, had had a problem staying out of prison, as well as some serious health issues. He not only complied with the work program he was placed in, but did so while taking care of his medical problems.  Today he is stable and ready to work a real job. 

The only damper on the whole thing is J., who has done absolutely nothing, and I mean NOTHING.  His attendance has been atrocious, and there is no way to tell whether he has been drinking or not because I never get to see him.  He misses his psychiatric appointments and doesn't appear for his 'shot' in a timely manner.  He's  not made an attempt to do anything, so when my boss asked if I wanted to graduate him, I said, "No, he hasn't earned it."  So, you can imagine my chagrin when I was informed that he'd been placed on the graduation list.  Why even ask me if if my opinion didn't matter? 

When I said something about it, my boss said they, and the housing director just wanted to move him on to a mental health program.  Well, why didn't they just tell me to complete him and move him on?   Isn't that hypocritical and unfair to those who worked hard to get where they are now? It's also unfair to the client.  We teach our clients a new way of living. So, what are we teaching him when we reward him for doing nothing?  And what am I supposed to say?  I have to give a little speech about each of them and their successes.  What do I say about him?  They've really put me in a delicate situation.  To be honest, the man is nice, he's just unmotivated, and I don't want to embarrass him in any way.  So, what am I to do?  Any suggestions will be helpful. 

Thanks for listening. 

It is never too late
to be what you
might have been.

George Eliot


  1. Wow, I don't know what to say - I doubt there is much you can do, and it's going to be hard for you to write something positive about him. Considering his track record, he may not even show up for graduation. I bet you'll be glad to be out of the "system" soon!

  2. Read and re-read. All I can come up with is are a very nice person.
    Yeah I know....I wasn't of any help to you Mary. Sorry m/f.

  3. Maybe your boss and the housing director can suggest something, eh?

  4. Mary it sounds like you
    have assisted most of the
    clients on to a better life.

    Take pride in your success.
    As far as the client that
    you are not certain what to
    say about, pretend you are a
    politician for just one day
    and double-talk your way out
    of that. lol

    good luck with the graduation
    hugs and blessings

  5. What a wonderful feeling it must be knowing that you took part in these people's successes. As for "J' perhaps concentrate on those areas you do like about him, i.e. being nice because I bet a lot of people don't have nice things to say about him.

  6. Everyone has some redeaming qualities about them even when we can't see them...I'm sure if you think about it Mary, you will find them. Good luck! Perhaps wishing him well on his journey will mean something to him.

    Last Graduation eh? I bet you are proud of how far you've come and soon to be leaving it all behind. :)

    Blessings my friend,

  7. Hi Mary....I read this post today...and the first thing that popped into my mind is the program is "about progress not perfection"....just the fact that he even shows up occasionally is a credit to him....I know this may sound silly...but both you and I know that the "first" thing you have to do is show up. Just sharing my thoughts from one recovered to another. (O:(O:



    BTW.....I send you an email....hope you got it.