Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"The Hardest Part"

Whenever I tell people I'm a social worker, they automatically respond with, "Oh, that must be hard." I'm never quite sure how to respond to this statement. I feel like I've built up a pretty big emotional wall when it comes to work and a lot of things that should generate a reaction don't really get to me. At times I deal with things by trying to find the humor in them. I'm pretty sure when I try to explain this to people they think I'm a cold-hearted freak. So, usually I just shrug the "that must be hard" statement off and try to change the subject. Let's face it, working with drug addicts and their children doesn't necessarily generate the dinner friendly conversations.

The last two weeks at work have definitely tested the strength of my emotional wall. I've definitely cried more days than not. We had a couple of emergencies come up, and I had to do an emergency removal of two little girls from their grandmother's home. I couldn't believe how hard it hit me. I tried to keep the tears in while the girls hugged their grandmother goodbye at 10:00pm at night before I took them to their new home. After they said their goodbyes, I drove the girls to their new home. I was really focusing on not getting lost, and I ran a red light. My boss screamed, "Melissa, it's a red light!!" and immediately the little girls caught on to what was going on. We were attacked with an endless supply of red light comments -- "Ms. Melissa, did you just run a red light?" "Ms. Melissa, are you going to go to jail?" "Ms. Melissa, are we going to get hit by another car?" bla, bla bla... I tried to distract the girls by talking to them about different things, but I eventually got distracted, and quit talking because I had gotten us lost. One of the girls broke the silence by saying, "Ms. Melissa, please don't run red lights because then you'll go to jail, and you won't look so cute when we see you on Mondays." I couldn't help but bust up laughing as I thanked her for the advice. It's comments like this that definitely make the hard part of my job worth it.

6 comments:

Mary Ann said...

That part of the job must suck but I am sure there are some many other rewarding things.

Davis said...

You do look cute on Mondays. And Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Thursdays and Fridays and Saturdays and Sundays.

Annie said...

I liked that story. It made me laugh.

Nat Attack said...

You do have great work stories--I told someone just yesterday about the time you were driving kids to visit their parents in jail and went the wrong way on a one way. You tell them so well!

Breona said...

Wow. I,m interested in more work stories..I guess its not always 'ethical' or probably allowed most the time? Well,that would be tough! But better for everyone in the end.

Ali said...

haha..i love that! What sweet girls..