Sunday, October 9, 2011

Learning

I have had to learn not to mutter "I hate my job" in front of my G.A. I think that sometimes it is traumatizing to her. I mean, you know when I'm coaching her on how to get into the profession and how wonderful her career will be when she gets here it is sometimes awkward. I don't hate my job per se, but there are just some days when the idiotic nature of the bureaucracy or the sheer wonton stupidity of a student is overwhelming. (How does this "mail" and "stamp" thing work?) My poor traumatized G.A. It will get better, I promise her. The RA's won't ALWAYS hate you and some day they will be somewhat grateful, but not yet, not today. Little do her bitter angry RA's know she's actually the NICE one, the meanness of job action and documentation comes from my puppet strings. Oh well. To my G.A., I promise a rewarding and fun filled career in the profession you have big dreams pertaining. To my other G.A. who is not going into Student Affairs…I'm sure your life in Social Work will be rewarding as well…if not miserable, more depressing, and filled with disappointment but with a younger generation.

My co-workers and I have a motto at our job. "Yes, it can always get worse." I always keep that in the back of my mind. There is no golden ticket to a land where it's perfect, I promise that to all professionals. Yet, there are places where there is a better "fit". I found a much better fit a year ago, that is why some of the elements are more amusing because the entirety of my life is not wrapped up in the work. The university still gets 50 hours of my 40 hour work week, but there is more balance, more hope, and more focus. Even if there is a significant amount of misery in transition and stupidity.

I think that I have encountered more mental health issues this past year than I have ever encountered before. There comes a point in your professional career where you realize you can't fix crazy. Sure, calling a kid "crazy" isn't the most professional thing, but we all say it in our heads. It's okay, try saying it out loud. Sure, your supervisor might get pissed, but it reminds them that you're not a counselor. I'm not a counselor. I don't have a counseling degree and I do not want one. I don't want to deal with crazy kids all the time. And it's not fun "crazy", but the vacant stare possibly will kill themselves or someone else at some point crazy. My mom always tells me there's resources on campus for those people and I should make sure they get there…then I remember…I'm one of the resources for those people. Having a supervisor telling me to "check-in" on one of these student's still doesn't negate the fact….they're crazy and in that bad way.

I laugh because the paragraph before, some people read it and go "my God, help them, you're a horrible person! Tell someone, tell the counselors!" To that audience, you don't know what the hell you're talking about. To the others who read it and go…"yeah, there's nothing you can do…" You understand, you know, there's that look that some students have. It's different from other students, it's a smell sometimes too, maybe the way that they respond to questions. It's different and it's not just the normal depressed student, or the angry student, or the drunk student….it's that special student who you know, given the chance, they could set the whole college on fire. Yet, they have their rights….and they have lit the match, but haven't done anything illegal with it.

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