When Curly Fat started at the agency, I judged her based upon a few short conversations. I got my panties in a bunch because she pointed out my short-comings with eating and smoking. I wanted her to mind her own business and just work. I also judged her, what with her tongue ring and love of tattooed men.
This pretty much my M.O. whenever I meet someone new. I see everything negative about the person, and don’t take the time to get to know them. In a snap judgement, I dismissed CF as someone that I did not want to get to know or even speak to. It was the bitch inside of me talking.
This doesn’t happen very often, and I certainly have thought twice about putting it in writing, but I WAS WRONG. After my vow to be nicer and not shut people out, I gave CF another chance. I started to actually talk to her, to get to know her, to not just be the bitch that I usually am.
This actually made sense, because most people do not like me when they first meet me (“you were scary” or “you’re intimidating” or “you were rude,” etc.). I hate that and here I was doing the same thing to CF, not really giving her a chance.
So after a few days of careful work-related conversations, I decided that possibly I was wrong. CF is SMART and she just KNOWS shit that no one else seems to know. She is an excellent judge of character and she is just TOUGH. There is nothing I enjoy more than someone who is like me. 🙂
As a preface to what I am about to say, I should explain —
I am all about the job-match, not just placing someone anywhere for the sake of them being employed. Because, really, that’s what we’re supposed to do…it exponentially increases the chances that someone will stay at a job long-term and that’s what this is really all about.
That, and knowing that your client is HAPPY and EXCITED to go to work, not dreading every minute of it or being in a job that they don’t understand how to do or that makes them anxious.
That’s what makes you feel like you’ve done something awesome, and it lets me sleep at night, knowing that I’ve done the right thing, instead of playing the numbers game that my agency plays.
Back to CF…
She was in the office yesterday when I was meeting with one of my drug-addicted felons, who was expressing extreme discouragement with her job search. We have been working at placing her somewhere where she can use her exceptional artistic abilities, because that’s what she really wants to do, but she informed me that she is really desperate for a job and thinks she should go work fast-food, the last-ditch job of anyone looking for employment.
Instead of giving in like ALL of my co-workers would have done and helping her get a job at McDonald’s, I talked with her about her other strengths and barriers to employment, hoping that we would discover something that would be a good JOB MATCH, and not just find a job for the sake of having one.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand a client’s (and a case manager’s) desire to be employed immediately, but that is not my job and that’s not how it is supposed to work. I am basically the only one on the team that sees it that way. The agency plays the numbers game and it’s all about how many jobs you get your clients and what your employment percentage is. It’s not about doing what is best for the client — for them to find happiness and fulfillment in a job.
This, of course, makes me somewhat unpopular among my colleagues. My attitude is that they can sit on it.
I digress. After my appointment with my drug-addicted felon, CF began talking to me about federal programs that she knew of that she had even USED before that assist exactly this population (drug-addicted felons) and sounded completely awesome. She said that she would look into it, because these were programs that I had never heard of, and I didn’t know why.
At closing time yesterday, CF came into the office to pick up her briefcase and whatnot. I was there talking to a case manager and I quickly wrapped up that conversation so I could talk to CF.
We ended up talking for over two hours and only left when we realized that the cleaning crew had already cleaned the entire building and was leaving the building. It was an awesome conversation and I think that my clients are really going to benefit from the partnership that CF and I plan on developing.
There ARE federal programs out there to help my drug-addicted felons…they are just not being used for whatever reason. CF and I are going to get to the bottom of it and start placing people in good job matches like crazy. I’m pretty excited.
Watch out Barbie…two superstars are on the rise and your parking-lot attendant positions that you job develop with your big boobs and long blonde hair will look like shit once we start placing people in the best job matches THIS TEAM HAS EVER SEEN.
By the way, I’m changing Curly Fat’s name to Curly Snap, because that’s how I feel when I’m talking to her…
“Hey girl. You go girl. Snap snap snap!”