Monday, October 19, 2009

Hanging on

Things have been fine since diagnosis. I've been managing it with medication and a change in eating habits. It's not so bad--haven't really thought too hard about soda. I've also lost a little weight and I started building up my bikes so I can ride again.

I think back to 2005 when I lost about 45 pounds in five weeks. Those days are gone. It was fun while it lasted, but now I have to make changes that I can live with for the long term. I feel pretty confident I can do it.

Work It's pretty tough because I'm transferring on November 16th. But I'll get through it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

On this day, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

At some point, I turned thirty one.

I was at Court last Friday and yesterday (Monday). It wasn't that bad of an experience, but it wasn't a ton of fun either. I understand why people are intimidated by it.

So the big news is that I'm being transferred to Emergency Response over the next month. It'll be more investigation, and no more of these cases that are never-ending. I have mixed feelings about it, especially in light of the people I'm leaving behind who aren't transferring, but...a job's a job.

Have a lot of thoughts, but probably need to get more sleep. I slept at 9:30 and woke up at 3. I can probably get four more hours.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm getting beat down by work. There's some stuff that I'm just not good at--and those are the things that they're asking me to pay more attention to. And while it's good to improve, there isn't a lot of time to work on improving stuff. I guess that's what a government job does to a guy.

We've been in the news a lot lately. I can see both sides; in the situations where a kid died, we didn't have the necessary information to make the best decisions. But though that may be true, it doesn't excuse the fact that we're supposed to protect kids and one died. I do understand that when we're under intense public scrutiny, we have to cover ourselves and take care of our own. But on a personal level, I know that nobody feels okay with what happened.

I've closed a few cases in my year here--none have gotten to the adoption stage yet (I inherited some cases that were in the process, and they finalized while I had them). But a couple of them are heading in that direction. I waffle between feeling a little angry that these people couldn't get over their own stuff for the sake of their kids; and feeling very sorry for them. I don't want to turn into one of those jaded people who doesn't give a crap and just fills a seat and collects a paycheck, but...well, it turns out that not becoming that is a lot harder than I thought it'd be.

There's this awesome lobster/crab place a block away from my house. I kinda want to be dating someone so that I can take her there.

I'm going to sign up for a SCUBA class. Might as well add another pricey hobby to my life.

Monday, August 10, 2009


My Internet at home got cut off. So I'm here at work, on duty, waiting around to cover for people who are out in the field or whatever. I took care of some of my own work in the morning so now I'm taking a break. I can't leave the office though so I'm also looking out for someone to cover while I get lunch quick.

Work is a pretty good metaphor for life. It's not even a metaphor, in a way, because you're at work at least eight hours a day. So it IS your life. But I mean it in the sense that at least half of work is extraneous bullshit that you have to do just because that's what a job is. Yeah I guess most of life is exactly like that. Probably because of human depravity or something.

I'm going to try and be better with money, so that I won't need as much of it and can maybe enjoy my post-job life someday.

Monday, July 13, 2009

In a few weeks, I'll be spending a morning and having lunch with the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. Not even in my dreams.... I just hope I don't screw it up.

I've had three consecutive four day work weeks. This is a fiver, and it's a little hard to deal with. Just seems super long. Brought some work home with me tonight too.

Most days, I try to think of it as "just a job", which seems to work. Something's weird though, because the things I consider to be part of my job are the same things that my clients take really seriously. I just try to be compassionate.

Think I'll go to the Hat tonight. Then the gym. It's too hot outside so hopefully they'll be blasting the air conditioner at the gym. Tomorrow night I'm going for drinks with some coworkers. Super mellow.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I dunno what I believe, and does it really matter?

Work has been going. That's all I can say accurately because there's never any real progress--once you get done with one thing, another thing comes along to take its place.

During the month since my last post, I was the subject of a complaint by a parent. There wasn't an official review or anything; mostly because the complaint was baseless. I've gotten to the point where I feel that my first responsibility is to the kids. As long as I'm doing what's best for them, I can handle anything that parents or others say about me. So far, my superiors at work have backed me up on this. This parent is sneaky too. She's basically transient, meaning she has places to stay, but no permanent living arrangement. The other day I got a voicemail from her and I left her a message at the number she left. A few days later she left a voicemail saying that this was the second time she was calling and that I needed to address her question. She left a different phone number. Not my fault if you keep moving around and can't get your messages. I'm not easily angered, but this lady gets on my nerves. And it's not only the complaint letter or the insistence that I'm not doing my job; there's other stuff that I can't really get into. In the complaint letter, she demanded that they assign her case to a different worker. Be my guest. See how much other people are willing to tolerate your BS.

Teen mom has really turned things around. Unfortunately, this does not necessarily mean that she'll be getting her kid back. This is my struggle at the moment. I want her to get the kid back, and she's doing all that can be reasonably expected. Her attitude has changed a lot; even my coworkers have noticed it. She's in an anger management group and seems to be learning from it.

The thing is this: she has a history. A long, dramatic history of psychiatric hospitalizations, running away from foster placement, and defiant behavior. Can I blame her? She's been in the system since she was a baby. Nobody's consistently stood on her side or encouraged her to do better. And can I blame them? Every time a kid runs away from placement, the social worker has to fill out tons of different forms to satisfy all of the policy requirements. Group home or foster family agency staff has to write a report of the incident and inform a bunch of different parties. It's a whole lot of work above the whole lot of work we already have.

Maybe it's because I'm new, but I try my best anyway. When I think of how many times this girl has been wronged, it seems like the right thing to do. While I was looking through her file to find some past reports, I realised that I was looking through her entire life, summed up in three and a half boxes full of papers. The roller coaster of doing poorly, doing better, running away, being mistreated, doing better, running away, and so on.

Somebody needs to do right by this girl, and I guess it's going to be me. Maybe. The problem is that this is a situation where the girl's history may prove to be a significant barrier to reunifying with her child. A lot of her past indicates that she's a dangerous person and likely an unfit parent. I can see how some people have already written her off; over the past sixteen years, this girl has demonstrated a pattern of behavior that's destructive to herself and others.

But I see her now a few times every week, and really believe that she's changed. She's still lacking in social graces, and she's still kind of manipulative, but overall, I feel like I'm working with a different person from the girl all those other people wrote about. I think I would argue that this dramatic change, especially in light of what she's been through, shows that she's now capable of being a parent. I'm not ignoring all that stuff in the past, but if she can get treated for it, and has ongoing community support, shouldn't we return her kid to her? How long are we supposed to hold that stuff against her?

But what do I know, anyway? I've been at this job for just under a year. Our Department was responsible for at least ten child fatalities last year. The tides have turned, causing us to be more cautious than less, because kids' lives are in the balance.

I said earlier that my responsibility is to the kid. In this case, it's two kids. There's one who's not old enough to protect herself, and one who's trying her very best to show me that she can be protective. She's resilient and determined and strong. But does that mean she can be a parent without my help? That's what I'll have to decide by October. And I really don't want to decide.