Academy vs. the Office

July 8, 2008

Today I went to Academy (training) for the morning, then left at lunch to go to the office and do some real work. And it really was quite the contrast. The morning was laid-back, I was very passive, mostly relaxed, and almost bored, wanting the clock to go faster. There were a couple of things that I did learn that I might use sometime, but I didn’t really feel guilty about leaving at lunch.

So I hopped in my car and drove across town to the office where I met up with a colleague and we went to Blue’s house for a homevisit. We got there on time, which was important for my colleague because Blue is rarely on time. We met the CASA there and I was glad that she came along (and is on the case). Blue and her “fiance” (looks too young to be a fiance to a 33 year old) did not answer the door at first, although we could hear them and the CASA had already said hello to them. They finally let us in, looking frantic, saying they just broke a glass and were cleaning it up.

Now, many past roommates can attest to the fact that I am not a particularly clean person. I am not disgusting, but I am nowhere close to being a neat freak and can stand a bit of dirt and disorder here and there. In other words, it takes a bit for me to say that something is dirty. And this house was dirty. It didn’t look like they had ever vacuumed (and I am someone who thinks you only have to do it every month or so), the furniture and rugs were all stained and filthy, and it was a bit in chaos. And this was a planned visit (about a week’s notice). There is no way that it was clean enough for a baby or toddler to be in.

Blue talked for the hour, throwing out story after story. A couple of them, either the CASA or the caseworker challenged her on, but not too much. I think everyone can see that this is going to trial, and really, that is the best place for everything to come out. (And when I say trial, I mean a trial to determine if the kids should become “dependents” of the state, giving the state more longer term authority. This, however, does not terminate her parental rights – that comes a bit farther down the road if deemed necessary.)

To top it all off, Blue stated that she would blow off a job interview to go to her visit with her son (which she also knew about the previous week). However, she didn’t show and her very cute 4 year old was very disappointed that he did not get to see her.

After that I got a bit slammed by work. A new referral (allegation of maltreatment) came in on one of my new kids who is living with grandparents. So I was talking with the CPS workers about it and what they saw (not much). There was also trying to track down a provider that I haven’t heard from at all and finally getting the voicemail of her supervisor. There was writing a letter to a criminal court on behalf of a client and her lawyer wanting me to put more and more in there while mine was telling me to keep it short and simple. There was trying to rearrange visits that have not been going well with a different client. And finally doing a homevisit on my own of the little girl with the new referral (which had already been planned).

And it was so different at the office than Academy. I was moving a hundred miles an hour. I was doing about 5 things at once and being pulled in lots of different directions. It is like being at a busy urban ER on a Friday night. Except, the work I don’t finish, still has to be done at some point. Unlike the ER, there is no one coming in on the next shift to make sure everything is done. It is just me, trying to get it all done. But there are aspects of that that I like – as masochistic as that is.

And I think I will leave the office politics, staff changes for another day. Sigh.