Old (Job) Stress

One reason I ended up moving to the island and going back to school was The Job.

I had my Dream Job and my nightmare rolled into one. I was a parent educator so I worked with littles prenatal through age 11. Basically I had several curriculae I worked from and I would visit families in their homes to teach parents how to help their children learn. I got to play with toys and draw pictures and teach and bounce babies on my knee. It was great. I would also do development evals, work with child abuse and neglect prevention and reintegration and general parenting troubleshooting. I loved this job. My clients were awesome. I met some super cool kids, made a pretty significant impact in a lot of little lives, from child abuse situations to upper crust homes I was privileged to be a part of many families on a weekly basis.

The downside? The office. So, the job sounds like I should have been happily wearing my granola sandals and taking breaks to hug the tree outside the building. In actuality this was the most conservative group of people I’ve met in the helping profession, particularly dealing with child abuse and neglect. They were judgmental and mean about clients: both parents and kids. They were racist and homophobic. They deliberately encouraged backstabbing and gossip. The two progressive women in the organization left and it was turning into a very scary place.

Just to illustrate my point, I was given an official written reprimand for emailing my coworkers regarding auditions for The Vagina Monologues at the women’s center because it was offensive language. In a social service organization. So I can work with women who have been raped and with little girls who have been molested but if I use the word vagina… I’m obscene?!

The only reason I didn’t quit sooner was because I just loved the clients. I still keep in touch with some of them and I wish I could have made the job work but they were happy to see me leave and we all knew it. I never fit in there, which is probably a good thing!

So, why am I thinking about this wonderful/awful job? Because I had to call them to get a letter stating I’d worked there and what I did so I can get out of paying a student loan (YEAH!).

Just thinking about calling there made my stomach tie up in knots. My whole body was tense and I could barely make myself do it. I finally did call, was treated like shit (duh!) and still don’t know if the letter got sent. Now I’m dreading having to call again but mostly rejoicing that I had the good sense and courage to get the hell out of there while I could! I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything but I am glad I spared myself the ongoing stress!

Anyone wanna pretend to be me and call them for me??? 😛


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