While this Christmas I'm consumed with my own petty grief and frustration, I have to thank the people out there who have been so kind and spirited this Christmas season. I don't mean for this to be a lame post, but it truly helps knowing that there are such genuine people out there, while the Grinch in me still sees Christmas as the worst holiday in human existence. Such genuine expressions of kindness in the holiday season:
My borough: Sharpsburg, while cluttered with drugs and section 8 participants, is a cute little town. Maybe like two miles at most in whole, but it has a lot of spirit. I don't partake in any community activities, however, I see how close a lot of other people are. This morning I was in a bad mood (as always) and I was driving down my street and noticed that all of the parking meters at the end of the street (the only place with parking meters) had white plastic garbage bags covering them. At first thought, what in the world?!, but upon closer inspection
Next up: My landlord. Now I have a new landlord as of this month as I guess some larger company bought my rental agency. They sent met a $25 dollar Target gift card. Seriously, how nice is that? I understand that most people probably get better gifts, but again, such a nice gesture. I'm so grateful for that. The whole reason I got the gift card was because I paid my rent on time. Which is funny cause there were about 3 or 4 months when I was late, but I guess they don't care as long as I sent the late fee.
A very limited number of my clients. Now I understand that I'm just "doing my job", but like everyone, it's always nice to feel appreciated. I have a select few clients who actually tell me that they appreciate what I do and how thankful they are that I'm helping them. It's always such an insane feeling to know that people need you and that what you do makes a difference. Not to be cheesy or anything.... My one client that I've been with almost the entire three years is really close to me. I know that I mean a lot to her, which is weird, but she tells me that if I leave she'll be so upset and I know that she would be. She bought me a blanket (I told her I can't receive gifts from clients, but she always finds loopholes) and got me a bunch of candy. Just that she thought of me is so nice. And I have one client who doesn't have any money but she got me a free frosty from Wendy's and a cute little card. It's more meaningful when my clients actually think of things and don't just send mass cards. Or like when you're a teacher and kids parent's just buy you generic things because they feel obligated. The few clients who get me things actually think of me when they're getting it. How nice is that?
I have one client who, while she didn't get me anything, I feel extremely appreciated. I actually like her and her family a lot. Her grandparents are pretty well off and they live in a nice neighborhood. She went to Duquesne for Law School and she had, I guess you'd call it a "mental breakdown", whatever. So I'm working with her to get everything back on track. I helped her get her disability approved, which is a pretty big feat (because she actually needs it) and we're working on getting her extremely high loans forgiven. Every time I go over there, she and her grandma tell me how thankful that they are that I've been helping them and they don't know what they'd do without me. That's such a nice compliment. In a world where I hear how I'm not doing enough and I didn't get this or that done one time, it's so helpful to hear things like that. It really keeps me going. Which is odd since I'm not really a type of person who needs that confirmation. But it's so nice to hear.
It's really hard doing what I do a lot of times, and it's honestly not rewarding. I'd like to think that I'm good at my job, and despite what you'd assume, I'm very good at working with people. I'm very calm and I don't show my clients my emotions or my frustrations (almost all of the time, some times aren't great). I'd think I have one of the most frustrating jobs out there and I sure as hell don't get paid enough. It's really hard when I have some clients that make more than me and they receive all of these benefits because a lot of times their disability income isn't counted and it's not taxed. So their actual take home is more than I make. Not saying that I work particularly hard or anything, but still. When I watch people spend $200+ a month on cable and "struggle to pay their bills" when I don't even have cable and can't get any assistance. Not that I would ever ask for it, but still. I tell them things like "we need to look at reducing your cable bill" and it's like I asked them to kill their mother. They sit at home all day and are depressed and they need it. I hate this system that's been created. I don't know who is to blame, but something needs to change. I don't have any idea how to change it and I mean, it's paying my bills...I don't want to speak for all of my clients, but in the three years I've been in this job, I've had 100+ clients and I'd say about 6 of them actually needed to be on disability. And the sad thing is that the clients that I have that are the most affected by mental illness are the ones who are working or who are trying to find a job or some meaningful volunteer activity. Explain that to me? Somehow this system where laziness is rewarded has been created and I don't know if there is a way to fix it. I firmly believe that my job is necessary and that a lot of my clients couldn't survive without my help...but there are so many who just assume that I'll do everything for them and find them money whenever they spend too much on cigarettes and can't pay their rent. Little do they know, I'm not that type of Service Coordinator. I'm a lazy one too. I'm lazy and I don't believe in coddling people. You're an adult and unless you have a dual MR diagnosis, you will be making and scheduling all of your appointments. I will give you plenty of resources but you're never going to get off your couch and stop complaining about your back pain that is directly linked to you sitting on your couch until you do it yourself. That's another thing. I get that you have "fibromyaliga" because of your depression, but I'm not your therapist and I'm not here to sit and listen to you bitch about your depression. I'm really not sensitive and maybe I'm not cut out for this job, bu oh well I'm here and I'm getting a paycheck.
Anyway, this whole post was supposed to be about how grateful I am for those few people in this world who are kind and do things for others out of the goodness of their own hearts and here I go on a rant about how much my clients annoy me. Sorry about that.
On to better things...