Work

I don’t often discuss my work online and that really has a lot to do with the privacy of my clients. I work in the field of social work. More specifically I work for a residential girls treatment facility. Ours is a therapeutic facility (not boot camp) for “troubled” teen-aged girls. Just to give you an idea, I work at the Campus Facility which houses approximately 68 girls in 5 “dorms.” Note the private school terminology which is specifically designed to make our clients feel as if they are not in jail. We also have 3 community based homes, 2 of which house girls, and one for boys. Most of our clients were recently released from psychiatric care and are in need of continued services. I used to work in the dorms, on third shift, and often picked up additional shifts. This was a tough job. I loved it, don’t get me wrong, but getting cussed at or threatened nearly every day could wear on your nerves very quickly. Unfortunately its often easy to forget why you are there, and how much these girls need us, since they work very hard to keep from forming strong attachments.

Now I have the best job of all. I am a Youth Counselor/Transportation. That means that I have an office that I work out of, a regular (mostly) schedule, and my contact with the clients is outside their daily routine (read, I don’t get cussed at very often anymore). I enjoy my job even more now, and I often get to spend time with the clients that is fun.

I’ve told you all that to share this, I received this email recently and it was just such a great “pick-me-up” that I wanted to share:

I know you hear “thank you’s” and “we appreciate you’s” a lot, but I want to say a special “Bless you” to you for all of the hard work you do to help our girls. You are much more than a ride to the school, or a ride home, or someone “staffing” a kid that we don’t know what to do with at the moment. You are someone that our girls feel comfortable and safe sharing news about their pass, or worries about their family, or one I just heard – that you help the girls relax and take a break from reality by playing the radio and singing as loud as you all want:) I’ve heard you have a really good singing voice by the way, and should consider entering the talent show next year 😛

Please know that those moments you have with our girls really do make a difference.

That was sent to me by one of our Program Managers (she used to be the Therapist across the hall from me). It really made my day. I swear I work with some of the best people!!

In case anyone is curious, I had taken a client (16 yo. girl) to visit her mother who was in jail. She was initially upset because we wouldn’t let her take a bunch of clothes and food for this visit, and she really didn’t have a lot to say on the way down. I was however, able to get her to open up a little, and I let her choose the music she wanted to listen to.  It turned out that this young lady had an affinity for the “Country Legends” and we listened to a station that was dedicated to that for just a little while. (She hadn’t made this confession right away). On the hour and a half ride back, however, we listened to this station the whole way, and she was very excited that I knew most of the songs. So we took turns guessing at the singers and we sang as we drove back.

I hadn’t really thought much of it. We had a good time, but I nothing that I would have thought out of the ordinary, until the next day when the dorm supervisor stopped by my office to tell me how much fun this girl had had, and that she had been talking about it all evening. What a wonderful reminder that “it’s the little things that count.”

Do something nice for someone today. It doesn’t have to be big, it still makes a big difference.

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