Friday, November 12, 2010

How do you NOT vent about work?

My co-workers and I tend to gather daily for a bit to just vent. I think this comes with the territory of being a social worker, and can be very therapeutic.

However, my reason for raising this question is that we have a new social worker starting next week. The plan is for her to take over some of my cases.

I don't know anything about her, or her background, but I sure as hell don't want to scare her away. A lot of the stuff we talk about can be very intense and is really not "fixable".

So do you think we should all just keep our mouths shut around her? I don't like to sugar-coat anything, and if I am having a difficult day with work, my stress can show.


  1. Where is she coming from? Is she new new, as in this is her first job in the field? Even if that is the case, she'll have done some student placements, so the trials and stresses of social services will not be entirely unknown to her. That is to say, she's likely heard this kind of venting before. I think that's why we have the term "debrief" in our professional lexicon.

    If I were you, I'd just try to focus on providing some balance - share the positive side of your workplace, and some of the success stories to compliment your venting.

    Hope you get the relief you need from shedding some of your caseload!

  2. I tend to agree with Nectarine about keeping a balance. I've been in similar situations with new staff and would tend to be more positive in the beginning and probably mute most rants. This doesn't mean I wouldn't share difficulties or challenges, but I wouldn't rant at first (particularly in regards to specific clients). This is also because I know myself and know that people need to know me before I start ranting because I can get pretty heated and don't want it to to scare a new coworker or promote negative atmosphere. First impressions set new staff's opinions of work environment and they don't have to necessarily see all the nitty gritty and so called harsh reality from the get go. So I very slowly ease into rants and only having worked with a coworker for several months.