Stepping into the world of Social Work

How is work?

I mostly intend this blog to be about my experiences joining the social work profession, but since my current job is related, I don’t imagine anyone will care if I talk about  my position as a job coach a bit occasionally.

Things have become quite tolerable at work, despite my concerns over the first few months. I do see some serious communication issues and disagreements with my boss, but they’re far less frequent than they were at first. At the beginning of December or January, I finally became eligible for sick time and holiday pay, so that should help a bit as regards the wallet.

I’ve had the feeling in many meetings with my boss that we were speaking two different languages – nothing seemed to “click.” I do notice that as time has gone on, my boss seems less interested in “retraining” me and a little more respectful of the experience I bring to the table.

I now have 9 clients with pretty much enough authorized hours between them to make up a full time week. For anyone just stopping by, I have two clients working at an eyeglass warehouse, 6 clients in various positions at two different locations of the same home improvement chain, and one courtesy clerk at a grocery store.

The courtesy clerk is my newest; I was just assigned her in December. She has had the job for a long time and is doing a great job. She hasn’t been all that welcoming to me, to the point where I thought she was giving me the silent treatment, but my last visit we had a good talk and she expressed herself well as to what she wants from me – just one visit a week and possibly help finding a new job. Seems as if she was very unhappy about being scheduled to work most or all of the recent holidays.

My two clients at the eyeglass warehouse are doing fine. My challenge for one of them, who inspects returned eyeglass frames for defects, is that I probably couldn’t manage to do his job. I would miss too many defects! So it’s hard for me to give him feedback on quality issues. I’m a bit more comfortable making recommendations on how he can improve his productivity, but he’s a bit more resistant to that, so one small step at a time. The other employee is doing so well but welcomes my company and mentoring on a friendly level as I walk with her while she picks orders.

My clients at the home improvement stores each have their issues, but most of them are doing fairly well. Most of them at least appreciate my visiting and checking in with them a couple of times a week.

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