Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sometimes When You Start Writing What Comes Out Is Not What You Expected

I meant this to be a subtle mulling over of greater desires in life, but I got real specific, real soon. I give you, Whoa Is Me. (Yes, Whoa, spelled that way, not woe. It's funny, so just go with it.)

Everyone is looking, searching for something. A lost button on a shirt, a soulmate, a cheap but functioning car. I am searching for a job again. I am also thus searching for what my professional calling is. I really, REALLY want to be done in the field I have been working for... oh god, eight years. The thing is, I am quite good at what I do most of the time. I work long hours, come up with super creative ways to address behavior concerns of kiddos with developmental disabilities, can train a new tutor like it was nothing, and build relationships with intention and empathy. The area I fail in time and time again is the nit-picking bits. The items I feel take energy and purpose away from the ultimate goal (independence and self-assurance for my clients) annoy me, frustrate me and ultimately, trip me up. The constant additional paperwork that the supervisors who forgot what it is like to be in the field all the time assign, the accounting for every last minute of all work completed in triplicate (at the minimum), and the expectation that you will learn all of the intricacies of policy and operation with no flaws whatsoever. And it's funny, because ultimately I actually love details. I love making sure everything is covered and taken care of. Generally speaking, I thrive on these elements, but when you are told to spend 75% of your time making direct visits (face to face with consumers), but are still expected to have all the tedious paper and electronic work completed without full compensation, one gets a little... grumpy. Now, it should be noted that my previous employer (yes, I was let go) was pretty much the best company I have worked for, but there are pervasive elements in the field of ABA that no matter how wonderful your company may be cannot be avoided. Nature of the beast, or something like that.

I will miss my kiddos. They were amazing, and well on the way of their loosely linked path to independence and personal success. Wildly variant, I learned the most from them over the years. I have loved them deeply, all the while playing the professionals role. Did they know? Brief glimpses told me yes, but the majority of the time I spent with them I was enforcer, trainer, teacher with a mission, etc. I have had a kid within five minutes of my arrival grab my work bag (3/4s of his body weight), drag it to the front door, and start waving goodbye. Yeah, love you too, you stinkbutt. But I would always stay and by the end of the session be giving tickles, making silly faces, learning how to put on shoes, playing appropriately with the Ironman action figure, or practicing saying "mama".

So it turns out I focused too much on ideas, hopes, and innovation and forgot to track my time perfectly. And guess in which area you are not allowed second chances? You got it right. And it was my fault so I have no one to point fingers at besides this miffed redhead. I hate to know my passion also sabotages my success. I asked point blank if my confession of personal strife (details withheld from readers because I said so) had effected their perception of me as well as the quality of my work so much that it was over for me. The answer was no. They didn't want to lose me and would have liked to have worked to develop me professionally, but when a company has a no tolerance policy...

And here I am, unemployed again and SO ready to do something... different. It is time. I have applied for a few positions already and will apply for even more tomorrow and the next day until I get what I am looking for. Okay, until I get a reasonable offer if we are gonna get real about it, but I do hope it is brand new to me and at least for a little while, fulfilling in a novel way. I need a tabula rasa to scribble my abilities on and see my marks, not anyone else's.

A girl can hope.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can see the future, and you will find an awesome job.

I stole your Prozac said...

Dear Anonymous, SAH-WEEET! Now if you could just tell me where I should apply for said job...