Tuesday, April 26, 2011

one of those days...

Today I am bored.
Today I am just not interested in doing my job.

Yesterday our office was closed for Easter Monday. We didn't want to have to cancel or group, especially since it was cancelled on Good Friday as well, so 3 of us came in for the day. I got SO much paperwork done. It was wonderful. However, I kind of feel like I've hit a wall now. I somehow had no clients this morning, and being at my desk is just killing me. None of my clients have even phoned. Thank goodness i'm doing group this afternoon or I'd go completely crazy.

So, other social workers, how do you deal with the paperwork mountain, or days when things are quieter?
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Monday, April 18, 2011

days of non appearances

Today I had one of those days where no one wants to see or talk to their counsellor. My intake didn't show up, my appointment after that cancelled. World's quickest phone calls with a couple other clients. I used the time to attempt to clean my desk and run over to the pest control place with our latest trapped beg bug, but still, it would be nice to see clients once in a while...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

a less whiny post about bachelorette parties

So, I've had a lot more time to calm down and think seriously about this whole Bachelorette party thing from both a personal and more general perspective and I thought I'd share some of my thoughts.

For starters, my friend's bachelorette party is not going to be totally crazy or horribly sexual or anything like that. Some wine, appetizers, and conversation, perhaps with a few games at one of the bridesmaid's places, and then off to the bar for some dancing. Now personally, I hate the bar, I've locked up a few too many drunk people in my day (working in the drunk tank) to enjoy being around a whole bunch of drunk people, however, it's her day, so I suppose I will go.

In theory, I like the idea of a bachelorette party. It's a nice way for the girls to get together and celebrate the bride and mark the change that is about to occur in her life. You get to play fun games, maybe be a little bit "kinky" and let loose a bit. I'm all about that. I see absolutely nothing wrong with drinking a bit, eating a bit, and laughing a lot. I think it's great. For me, where it becomes a problem is when it becomes more than that, when it turns into something degrading, cruel and dangerous.

First of all, there's the degradation of both males and females. The male part is easy, we put up plastic penises (and by we, I simply mean females), we scour the bars looking for them in order to exploit them for drinks and/or money and we mock them. One might say that a bachelorette party is a way of expressing ones feminism and celebrate being female, however, I tend to disagree. I read about one game in which the bride to be has lifesavers pinned all over her shirt and men pay her in order to suck on her shirt, degrading to both parties if you ask me. The same goes for getting points for getting a man to buy you a drink, let you sit on his lap, or let you kiss him. Degrading for both parties. The entire idea of a bachelorette "gone wild" shows women to be drunk sex objects, rather than human beings.

Then there's the sex thing. These type of parties turn sex into a commodity, human sexuality into something to be bought and sold, won and lost, a subject to be joked about, trivialized and made into a show. And here's the thing, if you ask me, sex isn't those things. Sex is something precious and personal that happens between two (or I suppose more) people. Our culture says that sex is nothing, that it's just something that happens, that it's casual, that it's "no big deal", but I really don't agree with that. I think sex is something much deeper, much more meaningful, and leaves a deeper impression on people than our society would like us to believe.

Old fashioned as this idea may be, I believe that anything that happens at a bachelorette should be something that the groom to be would not be hurt, disappointed, or disgusted to find out about. That's not to say that there shouldn't be girly sharing, laughing, and giggling, and that some things should never leave the room, just as a general principle, if you wouldn't do it around your husband, you probably shouldn't be doing it at your party.

So, for any of you reading this who may at some point plan be a bachelorette party, take note. I don't want to go to a bar, I don't want there to be giant plastic penises everywhere, and I don't want to go trolling for men. What I want, is to spend some quality time with my girlfriends, have a lot of laughs, eat some food (cheesecake anyone?) and drink some wine.

(maybe some day I'll get around to talking about bachelor parties, although really, I have pretty much the same views on them too).

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Things I am

In a follow up to my last post about things I am not, I thought I should probably make a more positive post, and so, for therapeutic value, and your reading pleasure, a list of things I AM.

- Awake and dreaming
- a little bit Bossy
- a total and Complete Cat person (oh, and I'm a Counsellor)
- awake and Dreaming
- Excellent yet not egotistical
- Friendly
- loves to play board Games
- a bit of a Homebody
- Intelligent
- Joyful
- Kind, caring and compassionate
- Loving, learning, listening and leading
- becoming Mindful
- getting better with Nutrition
- Opinionated
- takes Pride in the things she's done
- not Quite a Quiet person
- Reader
- Shy Social worker
- Tenacious
- Usually on time
- Very Vocal
- able to Withstand a great deal
- i <3 Yoga
- a to Z of me. I feel as though I could go on forever.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Things I am not

Things I am not:
- A good housekeeper
- Entirely organized
- Good at sports
- All the creative

I am just not. I love my friend who is getting married, I love her dearly, and I am SO blessed to be in her wedding party. It is an honour to stand with her as she professes her love for her husband to be. However, I am NOT a party planner. The wedding shower was easy, because her aunts took care of it, although to be honest, I feel like I could have pulled that one off. The bachelorette party however, wow. It turns out none of the bridesmaids are good party planners. And my poor friend is upset, because she is worried that we're going to plan her some lame party. And in a way, so am I, but I also know that it's not the planning that's going to make the party, it's the people, and the time that's had. And I know if she goes into it thinking it's going to be lame, it probably is going to be lame. If she'll give it a chance though, I'm sure it'll turn out just fine.

Then there's the other part, the sex part. It's not that I'm uncomfortable with the idea of sex, because I'm not, and I think that there will obviously have to be some dirty, kinky, content, reading the party ideas online makes me sick. They seem to be all about women throwing themselves all over men, and I guarantee I am not sitting on any strange dude's lap to win a prize or trying to get random guys to buy me drinks, it's just not happening. Oh, and the alcohol part. The idea of any game which involves people doing lots of shots scares me as well, for a few reasons, not the least of which being the money. But then there's the whole I hate being around drunk people thing, and the, I think it's stupid thing, and the whole, oh yeah, I THINK IT'S STUPID. I have spent too many years working in the drunk tank to have any desire to get drunk, particularly in a large group of people, and I have even less desire to be around a group of drunk people. I got paid to do that last night for 8 hours, I don't necessarily need to do that for free.

On the other hand, I very much realize that this is NOT about me. This is so not about me at all, it's about my friend, and what she wants, and what will make her happy, and more than anything else in this situation, I want to make her happy.

edited to add: I can't believe how demeaning to men this entire thing seems to be. It's just horrible and awful and sickening.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The frustrations of a time limited program

I work in a program which is supposed to be a one year employment program for adults with mental health concerns. It's a great program and I have a great job. The one thing that frustrates me is that because of the way we're funded, it's only supposed to be a year.

In one sense, the limited nature of the funding means that we are constantly pushing ourselves to work hard as our contract gets renewed at the end of each year based on the fact that a certain percentage of our clients find employment. Unfortunately, our funding is not based on a percentage of our clients maintaining employment or finding the job that works for them.

Our program starts with four weeks of preemployment workshops/groups/classes, whatever you want to call them. They're half day and are supposed to help people get back in the routine of working. They're quite structured and we take attendance and have small homework expectations, mostly reflections. We cover things like stress management, assertiveness, problem solving, cover letters, interviews etc... It's great. The problem is though, that sometimes after the workshops there's a big let down and/or clients discover they aren't quite ready to commit to looking for work. They need more TIME.

Then there's the mental illness factor. I don't know about most people, but at least with my anxiety, while there are some patterns to it, there are also times I really don't see it coming. The same is true for my clients, and often what is needed is more TIME to stabilize. Unfortunately, the lack of stability often sees us discharging clients when perhaps the routine and support of our program is what they need the most.

And finally, for today at least. There's the employment support factor. We provide people with an employment support counsellor to help them keep their jobs. But lots of times issues don't surface in the first three or six months of a job, they come a bit later. Or people lose one job, get another, and don't have much time to work with employment support to plan how to not lose their current job.

This isn't the world's most coherent post, but I really wanted to get back to posting about social work, and this is a start!