Sunday, February 11, 2007

" Tellllllllll me why ya gotta go and make things so complicated....."

I haven't had a good rant in a while, so why not?

First and foremost I want to say that I love my job.
I took a big pay cut going there, but hey, I love my job, so it all evens out, right?
Lately, I've been kinda frustrated.
And it isn't the job, it's the people.
When I first started last May, I was bound and determined to walk in there and be the best behavioral health tech ever.
Well, I crashed and burned.
I set really high expectations and was really hard on my self.
I'm sure that I was looked at as " too eager", but I was, so that's ok.
All I wanted to do was make a difference. Feel like I was doing something positive to help these kids.
I've come to grips that I am not quite Master of the Universe yet ( not until I'm 30), and I have areas that I need to develop.
Area 1. ) My Voice Tone
Sometimes what I say comes out more harsh than I mean for it to.
Area 2.) Having good Boundaries
I can't help but be "attached" to the kids I work with and care for them.

A co-worker told me that another co-worker thinks I have " horrible boundary issues" with the kids. That I get too personal, almost coddling the youth.
And I know that's true.
I've always been the mothering type.
I had a friend once tell me that I was trying to save the world bit by bit.
Maybe I am.

The woman that said I had bad boundaries has a very different teaching style than I do.
Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike her. I'm sure that if I had met her on different terms we'd probably be friends ( I like to be friends with everyone - I'm lame that way). But I don't feel comfortable giving her feedback and I know she doesn't feel comfortable giving me feedback.

So, how do I not be personal, but not robotic and harsh at the same time?
I've got to find a happy medium.

There seems to be such a clash between the "old school" and the "new school" staff.
People are burned out and the kids know it.
New staff want to quit because of the old staff.
I know what that's like cause I was totally there the first 2 months.
It makes me sad because we all have the common goal of helping these kids.
The good Lord knows we aren't there for the money.
And you can get easily burned out.
These kids aren't in a locked facility for singing to loud in church on Sunday, ya know? They have issues. But for the most part these kids are good eggs that have had crappy things happen to them or no structure.

We're supposed to be a therapeutic environment and the adults can't even get along and communicate properly.


Justin said...

Welcome to Social Services. 40% of the time the people helping are just as screwed up as the kids or even adults they are trying to help.
You're right most of those kids have had a crappy life, were treated like shit, and had the equivalent of Jeffery Dahmer and the Wicked Witch of the North (who happens to be strung out on Meth and crack) as role models.
I saw it at the Salvation Army, it doesn't suprise me it happens elsewhere.
Problem is, in most cases, they can't pay well. The people with talent and desire end up in upper jobs and have no direct impact on the kids, there are the people who think the children are the deamon spawn and treat them as such and never leave, and then there are the few people who do it not for the money, but for the chance to mean something. That is how the system should work, and never does.

Firebrand said...

Personally, since I would assume that several if not all of these kids had been lacking good parental role models, I would think that your approach would be better in the long run. I also don't see it as black and white...perhaps there's some middle ground that can be reached somehow...?

I know what you mean by getting connected with the kids. When I worked at ISD, I was totally connected to the boys I worked with and I think the management didn't like it. I suppose it wasn't the right place for me to be then, since I think it's important to be loving and connected with others in general. I couldn't just treat it as a "job"...I cared way too much for that!

Anonymous said...

I commend you and your work. I've always thought the Lord sent very special people to tend to our children...ESPECIALLY those who really need someone to reach out there hand and actually care!
God Bless You!!!