Monday, June 9, 2008


I am NOT a maid.
I am NOT a servant.
I am NOT a gopher.
I am NOT a dishwasher.
I am NOT a stair master.

I am however, a university educated social worker with experience in the fields of addictions, mental health, domestic violence and homelessness.

Unfortunately, that stuff doesn't matter at work. None of it. I mean, I kind of knew what I was getting into, but kind of not.

I did 8 loads of laundry tonight. The laundry is in the basement. I washed dishes, dishes and more dishes. I filled buckets with clean water, I emptied buckets of dirty water. I folded those 8 loads of laundry. I bought junk food from the vending machine for people in the shelter who aren't allowed to go to the vending machine in detox (just this once, i said, trying to get on their good side). I opened client's lockers. I gave client's towels, pajamas, soap etc... I woke people up for group, I counted heads, I made notes. Did I have time to actually TALK to anyone?

I did 1 intake. I managed to spend 30 uninterpreted minutes with my intake. It was awesome. That stuff, is why I'm a social worker, and that stuff is why I have my job. The poor guy was scared out of his mind. From a small town, first time doing this, he's worried his addiction is going to kill him. To get to detox, you have to come in through the shelter. It's a pretty freaky place if you've never been in a shelter before. He was very intimidated. Talking to him, reassuring him, listening to him. That stuff is the good stuff.

Unfortunately, in this work environment, we don't have people to do all the crappy stuff for us. Which is good, in a way, it eliminates hierarchy to an extent. But really, if only I could have spent all the time I spent on the laundry with the people in detox.

No comments: