Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Not sure how much I will be on here this weekend. I am headed out of the burbs to the countryside for a couple of days. I don't really get too involved with the craziness that is NYE anymore, but still wanted to take a moment to wish you all a very happy, safe and healthy holiday wherever you are and however you may be celebrating (or hibernating if you're like me). Also sending thanks to all of you for taking the time to follow and share on my blog throughout the year. Here's a little bit of Pinterest love headed your way!!

Source: via Social on Pinterest

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Inappropriateness du jour

What are some things people you come across at work are currently doing that totally drive you completely batty because they are so inappropriate?

Can be either at your place of business or someone you need to deal with who also works in your field (there's no discrimination when it comes to wrongful behaviors on behalf of the one with power).

Of course I'll start with my gripe du jour......there's this "nurse" who makes me nutty every now and again. She doesn't work for my agency (thank goodness), however, is supposed to have a standing appointment every week with our mutual client for the same day and time.

At least once a month, SHE will arrive way early for their meeting, get pissy-issy that the client is not there (because obviously, SHE is ready to go home and the client should be there waiting for her with bells on) so Ms. Professional starts calling everyone and their brother (even agencies who no longer work with this man--hell, I no longer work directly with this man) claiming he's not being seen and is non-compliant with treatment.

Not wanting to necessarily get her fired, but to be a good advocate for the client, I have attempted to file complaints contacting her management about miscommunications with time when I was the actual social worker on the case, but didn't even receive any kind of acknowledgement from her agency that my messages were received.

Maybe they were, and are being dealt with internally, but I guess I will never know.

Anyways, this is just something that annoys me about working in our field that I needed to gripe about today.

It also provides a lot of food for thought about how already vulnerable people who depend on our system are being portrayed by the ones in authority.

I remember when I was a lot younger and just starting out in the field, I held a few case management positions where basically I just had to show up and hope the client was there. Many times, they were not, since of course, they were not expecting me. And back then, before I had the experience, education and training, I have now, I sorta perceived the whole "non-compliance thing" going on too.

There is definitely a difference though between a client not following treatment recommendations and us as helping providers just wanting to go home early ;).

I hope you all get to leave work early today, or at least relish the fact that we almost made it through another hump day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

You know it's going to be a GREAT week.........

when you get a message, the day of a holiday weekend, for a brand new client, one you have yet to write a plan for and have bits and pieces of background info on saying:

"I need you to call me back ASAP. My child HAS to be out of his temporary living situation in a couple of weeks. I really need you to get on this because he CANNOT be made to be homeless."

Gee, thanks. Now I know what MY stress is going to be for the New Year.

(And I can't help but think that the family may have known this info when I did the intake last week but withheld it from me thinking I would not take the case otherwise).

I guess I'm just a moody social worker this morning.

Now I get to call them up and remind them that we are NOT a crisis housing program and that they (like it or not) will need to make temporary, alternate arrangements (i.e. allowing the client to stay with family which was pointed out by them as an option at their intake ;).

Happy social work Tuesday-day-after-a-holiday-weekend all!!!

What "crisis" is on your plate this morning?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Help wanted & a question

I know the economy is tough out there right now, so I am always trying to help a fellow social worker out. If you or someone you know is looking, my agency is interviewing right now to replace one of our case managers who has been offered a great opportunity elsewhere in Social Work Land.

Clients on this particular caseload are located in both Brooklyn and Staten Island. Requirements are preferably a MSW (or similar professional degree) and 2 years of case management experience with the disabled, or a BA in a human services related field and at least 2 years of case management experience with people with disabilities.

Obviously, things like time management, multi-tasking, working with challenging clients (or more often than not, their challenging family members)as well as ability to write sometimes long-winded reports are also requirements of the job if you follow my blog :)

Do you know of any good employment opportunities in your area that you would be willing to share? (Anonymously or not).

Feel free to post on here and I will re-tweet periodically, or maybe even start some kind of new employment section on my blog if there's enough interest.

Have a great evening everyone. I can't believe it's almost #socialworkMonday ;).

Busy Sunday

Much to do today friends!

Waiting now in anticipation for my son to return from his sleepover with his grandparents so DH and I could shop and attend a party last night.

Attending noonish yoga. First class back in almost a week (Yikes! I've been seriously slacking).

Then I will hopefully be able to get in some more holiday shopping.

I picked up our Christmas cards last night so I have to focus on getting them addressed later too.

I hope I can get it all done!

What are your plans for today? Is it a lazy Sunday or a crazy one?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fill in the blank............haven't done this in awhile

1. My most favorite "little thing" is cuddling with my son in the am before work, and then probably enjoying those first few sips of coffee in the morning before all the crazy begins. During the work week, I also have a ritual where I stop in at the Panera near my job and just have some coffee, breakfast and gather all my thoughts together on what I need to accomplish for the day. (I realize I wrote about more than one thing, oops!)

2. I'd give anything to run into a windfall of a couple thousand bucks right now. I'm not asking for a lot. Just enough.

3. I can't believe some things that people share online. We really need to be careful y'all.

4. The one thing I'd like to achieve today is DS having a day with no meltdowns.

5. The last thing I want to do today is go outside. But I have to go pick up my paycheck.

6. If I were writing my own blank today, it would say: What are your goals for the upcoming year? Me: Pay off some debt, save more $$$$ and maintain a Bikram practice at least 3 days a week (I have been slacking on this lately. A lot).

7. My favorite candle scent is hmmmmmmmmmmm............depends on my mood but generally anything from Bath & Body Works. Candles are a special treat to myself.

Happy Friday all!!! We made it!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's okay

to not want to have to do certain things for work.

to be moody before I get my first cup of coffee.

to be annoyed that I was up early and the car rental place doesn't open till 7:30. And then I need to wait for them to come pick me up.

to play yoga hooky because I have a cold.

to get frustrated with my son sometimes.

to have not started my Christmas shopping, and have no desire to either.

to not buy anything major for anyone and just give them pics of my son.

to dress all in brown today. Matches my mood! (And it's the color of coffee!).

to not have anything else much to say.

Almost Friday everyone.............can you believe we made it through another week?!

Road trippin'

Source: via Mollie on Pinterest

Renting a car this morning (to avoid putting more miles on mine!) and headed Upstate to meet with 2 potential new clients.

I am not really in the mood to drive today. (Although I rarely am when it comes to this aspect of my job).

Wish I could fast forward and it would be tonight.

I am sure once I get some coffee in me and on the road, I will be okay though.

I always am.

What are things you have to do for your job every so often that you're not crazy about?

Do you like traveling for work? Do you even have to?

Monday, December 12, 2011


Oh, Monday. Why do you always have to come so fast?

What's up on your plate for this social work Monday my friends?

Very busy days ahead for me. Several intakes and I have to drive Upstate to meet with two potential clients later this week.

Gimme gimme coffee!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Office Christmas Party

I went out last night with our entire office.

I definitely see people in a different light when they are out of the work environment.

Dare I say I may even feel a little better about them?

Anyways, I am so glad it is Saturday and the weekend. Coffee and time to relax. What are your plans for any down time over the next couple of days, my friends?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Too much to handle?

Despite the economy for many people, a couple of our programs at work are really thriving. We have gotten many, many referrals, which for me, means that I am always busy. I am constantly out doing intakes, and I never stop writing service plans or coordinating client discharges.

It has gotten to the point though where I have so much to do, and not enough time in a week to do everything. Especially writing my service plans.......

My boss wants to have a discussion later today on how we can tackle some of this work.

Obviously, hiring an extra set of hands would be much appreciated, however, that may or may not be an option.

I did email my supervisor that perhaps after the holidays I would be willing to set a couple of weekends aside to just go into the office when no one else is there, to write some of these things.

I don't know though..........that can open me up for some new expectations (and not to mention added stress!) down the road.

I work at a for-profit though, so turning down new cases is really NOT going to be an option.

Assigning some of the work to the other staff *may* be a way to go, but I really don't think my boss wants to travel that route either, because the case managers really have no time for this, nor, have many of them been trained in this area.

Thoughts? Suggestions? A strong drink to send my way?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Another co-worker ?

I recently blogged that I don't really need to be in the office to do my job. The only reason I go in there, is because as a rule, I feel a lot more productive and I like the socialization piece, when I am not in the field, writing or dealing with client issues.

Anyways, recently, one co-worker in particular (who has a completely different entry-level role, "staffing cases") has started to make comments to clients and co-workers and even ME yesterday, that "I'm off" if she doesn't see me in the office. She also gets extremely annoyed if I do not answer the phone.

Now you all must note that my boss has told me and other co-workers on my team who are social workers/case managers that we do NOT have to answer the phone because we don't have time for this (i.e. dealing with aides, reception, and phone calls that 99% of the time have nothing to do with us). We would NEVER get work done ever if we had to answer the phone since it rarely stops ringing.

Anyways, yesterday, Ms. Thing left at the end of her shift and had one of the other people in her role come into my office and say "We need you to answer phones the rest of the time you are here".

It really aggravated me. I ended up leaving about 5 minutes later.

One of our other case managers who works out of another office will not even GO into her office for this reason because the staff have literally yelled at her because of the phone issue(it's a really busy, stressful home care environment).

I KNOW though if I say I was told that I/we don't have to do this, it will create drama even though I know my boss will back me/us up.

I don't want to come off as holier than thou, because I know that's how this looks, but I AM also at a different level education and experience wise and none of the RNs and managers are expected to answer the phones and take messages either. (I have my Master's degree and have been a manager and supervisor before myself). Again, not something I can pleasantly point out to certain people........

My boss even made a comment because "someone" told him I was "off" last week because I was in the field doing intakes and working from home. He joked that I better "stop slacking off".

Basically, what it comes down to, is that I just share space with them. If clients and other agencies need me, almost 99% of the time they will call me on my cell phone. (Same for the other case management staff on my team).

How do you gracefully and professionally deal with co-workers like this? I am not completely ready to stop working out of the office just yet. Just driving into the parking lot lately though gives me anxiety because of this nonsense that goes on.

I share a space with another case manager and we often just close the door so we can focus on our work, but I know that makes the other staff members blood boil.

P.S. I also think some of this tension that has begun to escalate is related to the fact that in my new role, I have been bringing on a lot of new cases. I work at a for-profit, so the bottom line is to make money. Often some of the higher-hours cases are clients that are known to be difficult with a lot of annoying issues, so staffing coordinators often get stuck dealing with that on the home-care end. (Even though case managers are dealing with it too just as much).

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Blame Game

I don't know what it is about social work, but many times when something goes wrong with a client and their situation, it feels that instead of working together to address and solve the problem, many helping professionals put a lot more energy into looking to blame someone on the team for what went haywire.

Related to this, frequently human service workers get all defensive and take on the stance that "it's not my job" or "Sorry, but that's your issue now" or "we can't help because this is XYZ system".

I guess this goes to show that we as "professionals" really are not all that different from many of the people we serve who often want to blame us for every single thing that is messed up from their birth, to their future that has not yet happened.

I often stop to reflect about what could be accomplished if we all worked together, instead of against each other.

I also wonder if the things we face that we look to throw someone else under the bus for, are really as awful as we make them out to be?

What if we change the way we look at the problem by taking ownership for what's in front of us at the moment, and doing what we can to help.

Sometimes we are *gasp* only human, and especially with all we have on our plate as social workers, we can and WILL make a mistake or overlook something that will end up exploding into a bigger problem.

What are some situations that you have faced that you have gotten blamed for as a social worker or helping professional?

Were any really and truly your fault?

An oversight? Major screw-up?

How do you deal with being blamed for things?

So very happy. That is all.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My Christmas list (this week)

What's on your holiday wish list?

I am a simple kind of girl and am usually pleased with anything I receive.

So far, here are some of my faves:

New yoga tank/pants
Scented candles from either Yankee or BBW
Sweaters/tunics/sweater dress
Tank tops
Yummy shower gel or lotion (good brands)
A unique, colorful pillow
Something with butterflies or owls
An infinity style scarf
New sheets/blanket
Fun stationary/pens that I can use for work and home
Giftcards for B&N, Panera or Homegoods
A plant
Something with lavender

I may ask DH for an EXPENSIVE pair of boots. I am thinking Frye ;).

Random: Working from home 3/4 time or full-time

Any other social workers do this?

How do you stay focused?

Are you able to get a lot of work done or do you function better in a more traditional, office environment?

Any tips you can share?

December already?

Source: via Social on Pinterest

Source: via Social on Pinterest

Source: via Social on Pinterest

Source: via Social on Pinterest

Just a few things I have found that I love that remind me of December.