Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The king is dead* and the chessboard reshuffles uncomfortably


Dear Powers-That-Be,

First off, can you just concentrate your energies on leaving well-enough alone, please?

You know, like, if it ain't broke, don't fix it?

We'd been at it this way for many, many years before you found yourself promoted and will be left with the legacy of your poor decisions for many, many years after you retire.

(We all might sympathize with your unspoken desire to leave some mark before you fade away into the sunset, but screwing around with a unit that for years has been a *high performer* makes no sense. We're not doing it wrong, for godsakes!)

Secondly, if you must insist on change for its own sake, please respect us enough to ask for our input. We and our clients will be directly affected by your penny-wise and pound-foolish decisions.

And if you think, as you seem to, that our clients don't need the direct, hands-on services of a social worker, well... it's been entirely too long since you've done fieldwork yourself.

Spend an afternoon with one of us on Bangs Avenue, dodging stray pit-bulls and drive-bys and the young mom who finally finished school and wants to work at home as a daycare provider. The state won't certify her there, though, (all those bullet holes in the siding) and she's got no money to move with. Plus there's her severely handicapped son who gets excellent services in his current school district.

Or on Springwood with the elderly lady who's days away from being put out of her house because a bank foreclosed on her landlord. She's got nowhere to go and I needed the time this week to wheel and deal with the bank to get her a cash-for-keys offer so she'll have money for a security deposit on a new place.

Instead you sent me to training to learn to do my secretary's job.

(As if I have the time to wear any more *hats*.)

Maybe sit at my desk for a day and explain to any one of my mentally-ill AND chemically-dependent clients (who call at least once a day, by the way) why I can't be there to help solve their current life-crisis-of-the-day because I'm too busy filing and making photocopies of contracts and chasing down repayment agreements because you insisted we don't need a secretary to do those things.

Oh and Mr. G. is off his meds again and dumpster-diving for leftovers. Maybe his Food Stamp worker will handle that.

(If building management doesn't evict him first for being a nuisance.)

You can't insist that we're doing a good job and then assiduously go about dismantling us.

(Jeesh!)

Please don't insult us or our clerical staff by acting as if we're all interchangeable and replaceable. I know as much about bookkeeping as Louise knows about social work.

(I take that back. Louise could do my job in a minute, but you'd have to pay her a lot more than you do now.)

Lastly, don't you dare mess with our Christmas Party.

Sincerely,

A chessman; a mere cog in the wheel

*Phil is fine. The rest of us, without him, well...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tuesday staff meetings do this to me. I apologize.

14 comments:

MevetS said...

And I thought back pain was bad ...

(IMPNW!)

LauraHinNJ said...

Steve: IMPNW?

MevetS said...

I Much Prefer Not Working!

:-()

LauraHinNJ said...

Ah.

;-)

KGMom said...

What a difference a year makes--I remember your tribute to Phil retiring.
Some people just can't be replaced.

MevetS said...

And I forgot to mention, nice picture.

;-)

cindy said...

You need a Luka fix, and so do I.

Jayne said...

Isn't that how it always seems to go? Those who know nothing about the reality are the decision makers? I hope everything works out Laura, and applaud you again for all you do to make a difference.

bobbie said...

Don't apologize. Get it off your chest. I've known so many bosses in my time, who just don't get it. Don't - or won't.

Beth in NYC said...

I hear ya, Laura! (and that's all I can say :-)

Floridacracker said...

OMG, this sounds like education with slight variations on the details.

Hang in there.

NCmountainwoman said...

When I was among the "Powers that Be" I required each of my managers to spend one afternoon a week going down the ladder with their staff. They were required to set aside an afternoon every week to "follow" each of their direct reports and observe them doing their jobs. That completed, they were to follow the people who reported to their direct reports. They continued this process until they made direct home visits to see exactly the kinds of homes our nurses, social workers, therapists and aides were visiting on a daily basis.

It gave them greater insight into the REAL process of home care delivery. They began to understand how "restructuring" or "reorganizing" and other decisions made within the office would affect the most important persons...our patients.

Perhaps you could suggest such a process so the "Powers that Be" actually understand what each person in the organization does and what a valuable and unique contribution each one makes.

EcoRover said...

Sounds like a rough time at the office. Interesting how when the economy is bad, social services budget is the first to be cut--just when people need help the most. Mrs Rover is an MSW and though she has worked for non-profits, they usually depend on gov't funding too. Universities are seeing big cuts too--even though enrollments are at record levels. Our faculty & staff unions agreed to zero raises for the biennium; and then our Regents decided to give the university presidents $75K wage hikes. WTF?

Luckily, there's still lots to be thankful for with family and the natural world.

dguzman said...

Sigh... tough day. It's always frustrating when the biggest problems arise not from our duties but from our "superiors" who have no clue.