Thursday, January 31, 2013

Because that's what it's all about

Earlier, taking 2 people who have been in a nursing home for years, (one who is about my age btw), to sign leases for their own apartments reminded me again why I do what I do. I think this was the first time I really saw the one smile and not just sit and cry to me, about how no one cares or wants to help. While they actually did cry again, these were finally tears of joy. With that said, I urge you all to appreciate what you have and to stop to think that not everyone is looking to get over. Some people just want a chance to have a somewhat normal life.

~My Facebook status du jour

Friday, January 25, 2013

Views of those in need

I don't know why, but all of a sudden, people who post anything negative towards those in need, and their perceived views of who is "getting over" are, well, really getting to me.

During the whole election this stuff didn't even bother me.

Maybe I just blocked it out, but more than likely I was just dealing with my own stuff like this and this.

In a short number of days though, I have begun to write people out of my life.

People I used to be good friends with.

I have found that I can no longer take comments and those god awful somee cards poking fun at or villifying the poor and vulnerable.

I am tired of people making comments about Sandy Hook being made up to support the gun agenda, or about how they are sick of seeing people on welfare spending their taxpayer money on the latest IPhone and drugs.

It is my personal belief that unless you live through hardship, you see hardship every day like social work professionals or you have to depend on a system (or lack of!) for any kind of help, you really are not going to understand how the real world works and will buy into these ignorant statements and "jokes".

But no matter what I say to stand up for people, I seem to be painted as the delusional one.

The person who needs to agree to disagree.

I work in home care so I know there is fraud that goes on, but more often than not, these people are few and far between.

And in many cases, big business supports this since they are making out financially too ;).

People have said to me, why even bother responding, because you can't argue with people who have these kinds of beliefs.

And I know that to an extent this is true.

But, if I can educate just one person of the realities of how things are, then I think it's worth the debate.

And it's also been worth it to decide that I probably won't be attending my high school reunion now, since I was on the fence about it before LOL.

Spreading the social work connection

A fellow blogger recently posted about a new social work forum they have created. I think it's such a great idea, and who couldn't use some more support in our ever-isolating field? For me, I have found that the best out there, usually has been from my fellow online peeps. I also personally love the name "Burned Out Social Worker forums". Ha, I think we can all frequently identify with that.

Here's the link. I think you must log on and join. Jump in and get some discussion going this weekend.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I'm being a wuss

It's cold and rainy and I even hear sleet going on.

Of course now I don't want to go to work today. Wish I could just roll over in my bed and sleep the day away.

But alas, that's certainly not reality.

It's social work law, of course, that the day I volunteer to go to a provider meeting, the weather is awful. Which means bad hair day around other super professionals and that I have to drive in this mess. I don't know which one is worse.

Please bear with me on my whiny Wednesday.

And maybe we can help each other through it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Misinformation, entitlement and unnecessary stress

While social work school was several years back, I still remember having drilled into my head the importance of A.) referring out a client to appropriate providers when their needs exceed what I can provide and B.) never telling a client something unless I am absolutely sure the information is accurate.

Especially when it comes to the systems of which we work, information can be complicated for someone with even a Master's degree and experience in social work to understand. As a result, there's often a great deal of "mis" information out there about services and supports a client may or may not be entitled to.

I was actually on the receiving end of this kind of example yesterday, and I quickly became "that mother" on the telephone as a result.

You see, on Wednesday night, I received a mailing that it was time to register my son for kindergarten next year, as the school district noted he is in their Pre-K program.

This is inaccurate. My son is not in Pre-K. We do however want him to be in Pre-K next year.

The only affiliation he has with the district at this point, is that he is receiving services through their CPSE program because of his special needs.

Yesterday morning, I called the student services department and the woman I spoke to kept saying to me "he is in Pre-K. He's on our record". I kept having to re-direct her, that no, he is not in Pre-K. But he IS receiving services through CPSE. I also indicated that I did not think he was ready for Kindergarten just yet, and I was pretty sure he wouldn't make the deadline anyway, since his 5th birthday is after 12/1.

After going over this about 4 more times, her response was "Oh, well than CPSE needs to meet to let you know if your son is entitled to Pre-K again next year.

My blood pressure was starting to escalate, and I asked her to transfer me to the CPSE department.

I've probably talked about her before, but the woman who answers the phone for the CPSE department was probably there when I was in elementary school. And I'm in my 30's now.

Right away she started on the same schtick, with the entitlement piece and the CPSE committee needing to come together about my son. With her crass response, you'd think I was asking her to split her weekly paycheck with me because that is where the money would need to come from to send my child to Pre-K "again".

At that point, I asked to speak with the woman who is in charge of the CPSE department and Assistant Granny sarcastically responded by saying "Dr. W is in meetings all day. I will take down your number and see if she can call you back. But remember you need to have a meeting to decide if your child is entitled to Pre-K".

Now enter my ranting about administrative departments of childhood educational institutions with friends and family for the next hour. Disclaimer: Teachers I love. Teachers this is not directed at you ;).

In any event, Dr. W did end up calling me back not too long after.

And she told me that both women were wrong in the way they presented information to me.

She indicated that as I thought, DS did not make the cut-off date for Kindergarten anyway.

She also stated that Pre-K and CPSE had nothing to do with each other (although I think in some peoples' minds, they do since both cost their own money for services).

She added that Pre-K registration is not until April, either, and the packets have not even gone out yet.

Lastly, she said she had been reviewing my son's file that week since he recently completed an OT eval, and shortly, she would be scheduling a CPSE meeting to discuss the results.

She ended the call by saying that if we had any problems getting DS enrolled for Pre-K to call her up again personally.

I guess where I am going with this, is that dealing with issues like this can be stressful for parents. And upsetting for the client on the other end of the phone who is facing some kind of problem they are seeking support for.

It is not helpful when people respond with inaccurate information. Or reflect their own feelings about who should and shouldn't be receiving something.

I know what it's like dealing with annoying people who have a strong sense of entitlement. I am aware there are days where they all blend into one super-sized pain in the you-know-what. But there's also a time and a place where our thoughts need to stay inside our heads (or inside our computer blog).

Life would be a lot easier, if instead of trying to fudge an answer (or give a response that may be accurate in a different scenario), we just told the person that We (or XYZ person) would get back to them shortly with an answer to their question.

Still not always the answer we want to hear, but certainly better than getting the wrong one, or the wrong one mixed in with our own jaded feelings about clients.

On that note.......


Thursday, January 10, 2013


I've been stressed out lately.

I think people around me often have a profound effect on me.

I need to remember this sound advice.

I also need to get back to my mat.

It's been another crazy week.

This weekend, I want to try to hit up 2 if not 3 yoga classes.

How do you deal when people all around you are gloom and doom?

Are you influenced by this kind of behavior?

Positively or negatively or both?

Happy almost weekend!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

a little positive for the new year......

by Hanne Blank

Happy New Year to you. I’m glad you made it.
I’m glad, because I know what that means.

It means that every time you thought “I can’t,” you figured out some way that you could. Oh, not a way that you could always do the exact thing that made you stop in your tracks and go “I can’t.”

Though sometimes you did exactly that, ’cause you’re that kind of rockstar badass.

No, you figured out some way you could get close enough for jazz. Or some way you could change the conversation, or finagle things so that something to which you could say “I can” could fit where the thing that made you say “I can’t” had been.

Some days that means that you just find somewhere to sit still and keep breathing while your world falls to ashes and the minutes pass.

Some days you do that with your eyes closed. Sometimes that’s what you can.

But you do it. You did it. Every time, all year, you did it, whatever it was.

You found “I can.”

You did it while you found out that the Beatles lied to you and love isn’t all you need. You did it while you bled and while you cried.

You did it while you wondered where the money was going to come from. You did it while you learned the hard way that a loss you choose is still a loss, not just the losses you didn’t choose.

You did it in line in bureaucratic offices and medical clinics and at the post office. You did it while you made an impossible decision. You did it when you were beyond caring. You did it when you cared so much that doing anything at all was terrifying.

You did it while you did things you knew were going to hurt. You did it while you hurt yourself, on purpose.

You did it while you were exhausted, while you absorbed that news, while you listened to that diagnosis, while you waited to hear something that would change things you weren’t going to be able to ever change back. You did it while you rode the train. You did it while you drove home. You did it while you dialed that phone number that time, and waited for “hello?”

You did it in the dark and you did it by your wits and you did it alone, because all of us ultimately do. You also did it in broad daylight and with the help and love and strong backs of others helping to make it possible, because all of us ultimately do that, too.

You did it the way only you know how. You did it. You found “I can.”

You did it as many times as necessary.

We both did.

Well played, my friend.

Thank you.

Happy New Year. May the worst day of the upcoming year be only as bad as the best day of the one just past, and may you always find the way to “I can.”