Thursday, July 30, 2009

How may I help you?

Some days as an “employment specialist” are really, really hard. When your job is to help people “eliminate barriers to employment”, “increase work-place social skills”, and “set goals and follow through with them”, it sucks to have an OFF day.

I can’t lay down in the corner of a grocery store at a consumer’s job and take a nap. I can’t complain to a consumer that I just almost called in sick this morning because I didn’t want to talk to anyone, or that my monthly paperwork is way behind, or that I can’t concentrate long enough to write a post-it note, let alone a full page “Action Plan”. Instead I smile and try to be encouraging and sympathetic, while brainstorming any and all ways to help the person get or keep a job.

On the other hand, when I talk to people whose barriers and challenges to moving forward in their lives include time-management, stress management, budgeting skills, follow-through, motivation, depression, anxiety----I almost have to laugh at the irony of it all. Like I should be helping anyone with this stuff…look at my own life!

Maybe it makes it easier to hear the hard stuff from an “employment specialist” who knows what it feels like to be in that place. Someone philosophical once said “We teach what we most need to learn.” If so, I should be super smart, efficient, responsible, and pretty damn close to perfect very very soon.

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"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time . Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult." --E.B. White