Wednesday, July 16, 2008

grumpy tuesday

I had a grumpy Tuesday morning which started with a bad Monday night. It made me more aware then ever about how my mood affects clients. Interesting...

Anyway, Monday started off well, woke up at six, went to a friend's house for a youth retreat planning meeting, went out for ice cream! Went to work... Basically as soon as I got to work I felt sick. But, I went out on van patrol anyway. Half way through I stopped for some advil. By the end though I was just like "crap", how am I going to survive the night. I was soooo nauseous. One of our staff went home sick Sunday night, so I'm thinking "crap" maybe I have what she has/had.

I go down to IPDA (and I eat something, in case it's a "i had ice cream for breakfast" thing). Things are going fine down there, I do a discharge, and then I get five intakes in a row. Five. and not just in a row. I did five intakes in 25 minutes. Which is a lot. I was also interupted by some cops in police windbreakers looking for some guy who we haven't had contact with in four years. They told the other cops they "took priority". Maybe they did, but it meant I had to close everything I was doing and access a different part of the badly set up computer database. I didn't do any paper work till I was done with the intakes. Which has it's ups and it's downs. I almost passed out - I was dizzy, and begged one of the other staff to clean my cell from my discharge (yay for teamwork).

So I finish my turn in IPDA. Great. I tell my supervisor how sick I'm feeling and he orders me to take a break. I get distracted. I get reordered to take a break. So I sit down and eat and drink. One of the shelter cleaners (client) comes and asks for garbage bags, there's two other staff by the garbage bags. Neither of them do anything, but niether do I. SO one of our other staff comes in, client asks for garbage bags again. Staff get them, he thanks him, looks directly at me and says "cause all some staff do around here is sit on their arses". So I tell him he can't talk to me like that and he ignores me.

Fine, whatever. I'm annoyed, because this guy is well educated and not intoxicated, and he meant what he said. Some of our clients would say it in fun, or while drunk, I can deal with that, but not this. Especially when he has no idea that I'm dizzy or that i've been forced to sit down by my supervisor. So I mention it to my supervisor. He gets all defensive of me, and takes the client into the office for a little "chat". The client tells my supervisor that I'm the most patronizing staff member ever. Interesting. I'm not patronizing, I'm NICE. There is a BIG difference, and most people really appreciate it. I will have to watch myself though.

But, I was definitely in a bad mood, sick, tired, insulted, and now concerned about being called patronizing and a little annoyed that my supervisor did that. Oh, and I got reminded that people are only allowed one cup of coffee, so I had to work hard to enforce that. Everybody was swearing at me. It was a bad day. Oh, and it was raining. But I can't help wondering if the fact that I was in a bad mood to start with contributed to everyone's being mad at me. I mean, normally the clients in the coffee line do not swear at me. It just doesn't happen. I know my mood rubs off on clients, and so does my attitude. That happens with all the staff, and I see it on a regular basis. Even while intoxicated, people generally tend to respond better to people who treat them with respect (although it's a lot harder then).

When I was doing practicum only 2 days a week, it was a lot easier to curb my emotions while I was there and be happy all the time. Now that I'm working five days a week it's very different. I find that I'm having to work harder at it, and that I experience a greater range of moods over that time in general anyway. It's something I'm going to watch, reflect on, and see what happens.

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