Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Today I appreciate

being back in the comfort of my own home.


a fairly quiet and productive day at work.

gainful employment (*even though there are some things still frustrating me).

burgers from scratch for dinner (*if DH ever gets around to moving our grill out from undercover).

Tazo tea.

cash on hand.

filling my fridge up again with fresh dairy.

smoothing things over with my co-worker from last week.

a basement that is on it's way to drying out again.


a house still standing.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I can really relate

thanks to Hurricane Irene, to the loss of feelings of control many clients face when they are feeling extremely dependent on others.

I understand now the feelings of stress and anxiety that come along with not knowing when something is going to happen for you.

For me, these feelings are based on my not being at my home in almost 4 days, and my not knowing when the major roads that lead me home will re-open.

I have experienced a strong sense of gratefulness that I am in a not much worse-case scenario, such as having a tree fall through my house, or the whole thing completely flooded, yet, I still long to get back to MY life of normalcy in MY own little corner of the world.

Until this happens, I am still going to feel stressed, anxious and upset that I have no control over my situation.

I also am angry over people's comments who didn't take this storm as seriously, or were not affected by it, therefore, don't think it's a "big deal". Sound familiar when it comes to other major issues we are facing in our society today? ;)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Am I a social work Mean Girl?

I know I have recently spoken about how I work in an environment without a lot of supervision.

I am often seen as the social work "go to girl" for everyone and everything, without officially holding the title of supervisor.

Recently, a new, younger person was hired who does not have a lot of experience.

I have pretty much been "set up" to be the person they go to in lieu of OUR supervisor, when I really do not have the time, nor do I really WANT this responsibility.

Anyways, things came to a head yesterday.

New employee is extremely confused regarding my role, their role and just feels extremely frustrated and unsupported because it seems they want me to be able to sit down with them frequently to show them the ropes and provide them with a lot more training then they feel they had initially received at hiring. (They expressed that they were TOLD that I was there to "help them").

Their voice was raised at me and they did shed some tears.

I am feeling extremely stressed out over this and like I am the "Mean Girl" for not being able to provide what they are looking for and so obviously need. The office air has gotten tense enough to cut through with a knife.

After things came to a head, employee did call to apologize and I said not to worry; I am not taking it personally that THEY'VE been set up this way.

I don't really know what else to do at this point, however.

I did email my boss to request a meeting.

We may be getting another supervisor in the future, but that takes time too.

Friday, August 19, 2011

All in a social worker's week

Here are some of the things that I accomplished, both on and off the to-do list this week:

1.) Made it to THREE hot yoga classes.
2.) Met a client's mom finally.
3.) Looked at an apartment for a client (didn't end up working out).
4.) Looked at an apartment for another client (should end up working out).
5.) Followed up on a client hospitalization and discharge.
6.) Wrote THREE revised service plans for clients that are about 20 pages each.
7.) Held a team meeting.
8.) Dealt with 3 serious reportable incidents. (There's something about the #3 this week!)
9.) Coped with a flood and the clean-up in our basement.
10.) Laundry.
11.) Cooked.
12.) Cleaned.
13.) Grocery shopped.
14.) Got back bloodwork results that said nothing so made an appointment to meet with my doctor next week.
15.) Began another Initial Service Plan.
16.) Began coordinating discharge planning for a client coming into the community from a nursing home in a few weeks.
17.) Relaxed in Panera Bread 4 mornings this week :)
18.) Took care of my son and my husband.
19.) Watched a little bit of TV.
20.) Got a little bit of rest.

This weekend I am also going to a BBQ, trying to get at least one yoga class in and I also want to color my hair.

Social work question of the week

So having worked in our field for awhile now, I have noticed that there are people in it for a variety of reasons. Some for good, and some not so good.

People on occasion who provide services to our clients will make the work all about them, which in most cases, ends up doing more harm than good.

Unfortunately in our line of work too, participant teams are not made up of all social workers, or staff members who can see when they are doing something wrong to a client.

So bearing these things in mind, how do you deal with workers who are in there and providing more harm than good to the client?

How do you address it when a staff's actions (or sometimes lack of!) begin to sabotage the person's progress?

What if just documenting this and/or getting rid of them are not necessarily realistic options? (i.e. you or your agency does not supervise that employee; the client and/or their family WANT this staff to remain on the team, there is no one else to send to this particular client, etc.)

What do you do in these kinds of situations?

Can anything be done?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Social work stress, be gone!

Well, when I checked in earlier this week, I was very highly stressed out if you couldn't tell.

Since that time, things hopefully are headed on the up and up.

What set me off initially, was that my agency has recently hired a couple of new employees, one who is very young and new to the field, without much experience.

(Not that there is anything wrong with that, because we all had to start out once upon a time)

and the fact that there was still no supervisor and my boss told the newbies that if they needed anything, go to ME, is what upset me.

The one actually contacted him to say that she had a lot of stuff she needed someone to sit down and show her, and she did not feel like I had the time for this.

His response was that I had to make the time.

Of course I stewed for a bit, and then came up with a plan that they could come to me if needed on a certain day each week, and then of course they could contact me if it was a true emergency situation they needed help with.

I presented this plan to my boss, and he was fine with it and also let me know that he actually is in the process of hiring a supervisor. The news just hadn't been publicly shared with the team.

So, with this said, I am hoping that he is really going to be true to his word.

I honestly don't mind helping out from time to time, but I gave up social work supervisory positions for a reason...........I just don't want the stress associated with them and I am not a good manager of other employees in general.

I ended up moving my desk in with the one new staff too earlier this week, and that has kind of helped because I think with my close prescence, she feels a lot more supported.

So we shall see what happens........we all want someone who we can go to for support, and we all want the new staff to stay. Supervision is definitely critical for these two things to happen in my opinion.

Right now add on to this, that I am also semi-in charge because my boss is on vacation for the next two weeks.

Wish me luck that I keep my sanity!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thought of the week

........if we just put one foot in front of the other eventually we will complete our journey, but we tend to make things more complicated than they need be.......

Taken from this new blog launched by another social worker.

Check it out. Looks like it's gonna be a good read.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Some days

just remembering the fact that at least I have a job is the only thing that gets me through.

Well, that and the fact that tomorrow is another (hopefully) better day.

It is definitely a much needed back to the mat kinda night.

I will have much to post about later this week when I get another free moment.

Right now, trying to just focus on the little things that provide me with the most pleasure..........what about you?

How has your week been going?

What are some of the little things that have been helping you get through?

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Headed back to work this past week was almost like I never left LOL.

I was able to get a lot accomplished though, despite coming down with an evil summer cold.

Because of my feeling like total blah, I have had to miss yoga every day which totally sucked, but I know me, and I will get back into my 3-4 classes a week routine soon enough.

In fact, I am hoping to push through a class later today if DH gets home in time from work.

Not too much else is going on otherwise. I can't believe it's August and the summer is almost over.

That's okay though. I love fall too! Lots to do, yummy seasonal food to look forward to and I can also wear sweaters, long-sleeve tops, boots, skirts and skinny jeans again then!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sink or swim

Do you work in an environment with limited supervision?

Does this effect your work negatively?

Do you feel you need a great deal of supervision or are you comfortable working very independently?

What are some solutions you and/or your co-workers have come up with if getting a new or additional supervisor was not an immediate option?

How can you provide support to new or in some cases younger or inexperienced employees who are feeling frustrated or overwhelmed?

Especially if you do not have a lot of time to offer them help and guidance yourself?