Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Poop House Chronicles (Part Three): How fun for me!

When last we left off, the poop house ended up on my case sheet under false pretenses. I protested this. I was told to take it up with my supervisor. Luckily for me, I had come to the office to meet with my supervisor in the first place. So I met with my supervisor.

"So, how's your case load?"

"Shitty. Now literally."

"What do you mean?"

"I got conned into taking the poop house, and I don't want to set foot in there... Julie has had that case for two years. TWO YEARS! And JULIE can't get them to do anything, I haven't even been here six months, I sure as hell won't be able to get them to stop living in squalor and screwing up their kid's life if Julie can't get it done!"

"Well, I'm going to tell you to just tough it out for a little while. See what you can do with them. Just give it a shot. I know it's going to be unpleasant. But just tough it out for a little while and see how it goes."

"I don't think you understand just how bad I don't want to try on this case. I've had unpleasant cases all along, and I'm not trying to pretend that any of the cases that come in through those doors are by any means pleasant, but this is beyond me... And saddling me with this... This is just begging for trouble."

"Well, there aren't any trainees to give it to, although, I don't think a new hire should be doing this case..."

"I'm barely out of my 'probationary period,' I'm not that much better off! You're right! Give it to someone who has been here long enough to have health insurance, because they're going to need it!"

"You have health insurance. You can do this. Just try."


"Try it. I bet you get further with them than you think!"

"'Try it,' you say that like a mom trying to get her kid to eat brussels sprouts for the tenth time, when the kid didn't like them the first nine times either. The only thing is that THIS ISN'T EVEN GOOD FOR ME, AND I CAN ALREADY TELL YOU THAT I DON'T LIKE IT."

"If you don't see any results, we'll transfer it in a month."

"A MONTH? That's so cruel!"

"Take it or leave it, that's the offer. It's staying on your sheet, and if you want to keep working here, you'll do the job."

"I hope you don't think I'm going to walk around pretending like I'm ok with this."

"Nope. Do what you have to. Just do the job."

Just do the job they told me. Only a month they told me. I would later find out I'd been lied to again... But that's a month later in the story.

In the meantime I admittedly sulked for a little while, and then I called their state case manager. As it turned out, it was someone who had gone to high school with me. To protect the names of the innocent, we'll continue referring to the case as the poop house, rather than by the family name, and we'll call the state case worker Dave.

"Dave! What's happening?"

"Liz! What can I do for you?"

"Well, I've got a case with you... The poop house."

"OH. I'm sorry."

"Not as sorry as I am."

"Yeah, you will have to be there a hell of a lot more than I will... That'll suck."

"Thanks so much. ...So what do you want me to do here that Julie wasn't able to accomplish in her TWO YEARS on this case?"

"Well, to be honest with you, I don't know... I mean Julie had a chore list for them, and so I guess just make sure they are keeping up with that... Maybe introduce some hygiene into the routine. I don't know, just make sure the kid is alive and fed and do what you can."

"You do know the state of the house don't you? There's no way that that house is an acceptable environment!"

"Yeah, I've seen it. I've smelled it. I've done whatever I can to change things for them... And I know it's awful, but technically speaking it meets minimum standards, so it is what it is... Ideally I'd like to get out of there in a couple of months, provided that nothing major happens between now and then."

(That last little caveat in the speech sealed my fate.)

I hung up with Dave, and went to talk to Julie.

"Julie! Why did you dump the poop house onto my case load?"

"Lizzle, they gave that to you? OH I AM SO SORRY!"

"Well, tell me what I need to do to get anything out of them... I am not thinking anything is going to change, but give me your sage advice here."

"Well, stay on top of their chore list. I had them tape it to a cabinet so they'd see it every day, that never did any good, so basically you have to go in at random times and unfortunately you've got to stand there and go through all the chores listed one by one and make sure that they get done so that you can document that they did them."


"Gross doesn't begin to cover that place!"

"I know, but I lack the vocabulary to really say anything about what it really is."

"Nobody has that vocabulary."

"Thanks for the help... And I hate you for dumping this on me!"

"You're welcome!"

And with that, I went home to do a little more sulking. I sulked for about an hour, finished out my standard work day, and went back home to sulk some more... Little did I know that this would be my last standard work day for quite some time.

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