Update 12

Well…Sorry I haven’t been around on here much lately. Work has been very stressful. I don’t want to type much, mostly because I cannot. Anyway…we had two kids run recently and they are in pretty rough shape. Everyone is now on real thin ice. One of our guys got fired and the rest of us have been getting basically interrogated by state licensing investigators. Nobody knows where this is going to go, but it sure is stressful.

I stay a little less stressed because I am looking toward my internship next year. I am still trying to decide how to handle my resignation because I do want to come back once my work and my degree are complete.

Anyway, that’s all for now. I will have more hopefully soon.

 

PeACE

 

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Update 11

Well..this shift wasn’t too bad at the start. I was taking the last day off, so that made it a little difficult to just sit there and count down until it was time to go.

The first day of shift went relatively well. I really don’t have anything to say about it at all. It was quiet. The kids were more well-behaved than usual. It was kind of nice. We also had visits going on, so I got cake and Dairy Queen and actually got to meet the parents of some of my kids on my case load.

Sunday was a different story. The kids were pretty much horrible all day. I couldn’t figure out why. To be honest, I was having a shitty day and I didn’t even care. I was ready to lose it on one of them. I was just having a sorry day. I felt all out of sorts and just didn’t want to be at work. I had spent some time before I even came to work talking with my ex about it because it has been an on-going thing and she is one of my closest friends. Anyway, the night just got progressively worse. At around 8 p.m., the power went out. This set everything out of sorts. Kids were just being straight obnoxious. Then, our diabetic started having a fit because he was low on insulin. Another kid was complaining about abdominal pains which we thought was appendicitis. Of course, we didn’t have any flashlights available, so I had to dig out all of the ones that were in my truck.  I ended up leaving at about 11 p.m., which is a few hours later than I had intended. It was frustrating, but I will manage just fine.

This shift was pretty rough for me. I felt awful the whole time and am still struggling through it now. I do not know what is wrong, but I want it to stop. I also have some frustrations with staff and it isn’t even the guys I work with. The other shift appears to be just flat useless. They don’t ever finish the paperwork they need to. They don’t take care of simple tasks that are required for our job. They basically make my shift harder because we have to pick up way too much slack. I am considering filing a complaint, but I am worried that I will be seen as the problem because I am the new kid. I am also now the coordinator for Narcotics Anonymous. This is good news because it means that I have successfully passed my 90-day evaluation, or they plan that I will. They would not be moving me to more responsibility if they didn’t think I was cut out for the job. I also found out that El Salvador may become an opportunity again, so that is always gonna be on my mind. I am hoping it happens because mission work is still my passion.

Prayers for that are greatly appreciated. I also would love prayers for the whole situation with whatever is wrong with me. Feeling depressed sucks. Especially without cause.

Til the next time

PeACE

Update 10

This shift was quite possibly the best and the easiest ever. First of all, three of our biggest problem children were removed and sent elsewhere. One of them went home with his family. Though I am happy he is gone, I hope he can find the help he needs. I doubt he will find it at home. Another was sent back to his home and will be committed to the state because his mother is unable to afford further programs. The third is in a psychiatric testing facility. It’s a shame because he can be a really good kid. However, he has a lot of the tendencies of a true sociopath.

Anyway, it was almost like nobody knew what to do in the absence of these three. It was almost eerily quiet the first day of the shift. We had no concerns and no real problems out of anyone. Nobody made it on Work Detail for the day. We even had a couple of boys level up. It is good to see their progress and their desire to lead now. To me, it shows that the program actually works.

The second day started out a little hectic. My supervisor was stuck on Jury Duty, so we were kind of floundering for a minute. In order to keep things rolling, I just kind of stepped in and took over. I basically made sure everyone was where they should be and made sure everything ran relatively smoothly. The day still ran pretty smooth. I also started stepping in to handle paperwork for Narcotics Anonymous. I am glad that I am given the opportunity to move around and start trying new things here. I have also started kind of working out on shift. Now, the hours are long and exhausting, so I cannot exactly put in a full workout. Instead, I try to get in at least a 30 minute or so walk around the property. It give me a huge burst of energy and helps me sleep at night.

On the final day, we got to talk with the big bosses during shift change. They really want to start building up a team among us, so we are going on some sort of team-building exercise on the 25th. I am just hoping it does not include high ropes because I cannot handle heights. Anyway, it was a great meeting because both of the guys over me commended me for stepping up and leading in the absence of a supervisor. I am hoping this helps me further my way through my employment here. Evaluations are coming up and I am a little nervous, but this gives me hope that mine will go well.

Anyway, it’s almost time to start another round, so it’s time to get packed and relaxed.

PeACE

Update 9

This shift felt like a bit of a mess. Our one biggest trouble-maker had to be restrained and his second was nothing but a problem the entire shift. I don’t have much to write about it because I was just not feelin’ work at all this time around. I have been feeling depressed and just apathetic about everything lately and it is beginning to worry me and affect me at work. I find myself being more and more irritable as I go on. I don’t know what is causing this, but I don’t like. If we talk and I come off short or distant, I apologize. I just don’t feel “right” right now.

Anyway, shift change was atrocious. The other shift is pretty much useless according to the one shift member we switched over. They do not enforce the rules, so the kids get away with whatever they want. It makes our shift much more difficult. Also, the Program Director was pissed because the owner and Program Administrator were there and the property looks like crap. He walked us around for about 15 minutes to point out all kinds of problems he saw. It is understandable, but also frustrating. We do not have the manpower to address these issues right now. One of us is always stuck dealing with the problem children, so the rest of the staff is limited as far as what they can do.

Some great news came out of shift change. Our three biggest problems are being removed. The Program Director told their parents that he is basically tired of their kids and they will all be gone by the end of my next shift. Pretty exciting if you ask me.

I am also getting back into a workout plan. I hope this will help kill this depressed feeling I have been having. It will be rough because I will lose another hour of sleep every night, but I think it is for the best in the long run.

Until the Next One

PeACE

Update 8

Well..this one sure is getting out late. I am typing this while on a “break” at work about the previous shift. I don’t have much to say because my memory doesn’t stretch back that far. It was a decent shift. We lost one of our team members when someone quit on the other shift. However, we picked up a woman from Georgia who used to work in boys’ outdoor camps, so I think she will fit in well here. It is kind of frustrating, however, because the five we had were just beginning to gel as a team and now we have to switch everything up. Also, we no longer get a break from the dorms at night. Since we have a female on shift, there are only four of us that can legally sleep in the dorm, so that kind of sucks. But, I guess I will manage just fine.

I had to do progress report phone calls for my primaries this shift. I waited until I got home which totally ruined any prospect of getting sleep. I only got in contact with one of the people on my contact list which is really frustrating, but I cannot force them to pick up the phone. The parents that did pick up are very odd. From the way they talk and the way they express themselves about their children, I get the impression that they are abusive and that bothers me. I took that to my bosses and now just have to see where it goes.

Anyway, nothing really stands out about this shift, so I guess I will end this one now. It has been a fun learning experience so far, even though it is so stressful. I hope to continue in this field for a while and keep moving up the ladder.

 

PeACE

Doug

 

 

Update 7

Well, this was by far one of the most stressful but fun shifts yet. I cannot explain it, but I just felt anxious the whole time. I couldn’t relax. I just felt stressed out the whole time.

Wednesday was exhausting. Mostly because I had just come in from Tomball after spending time with family. I was just beat. Work was simple. There is more of a routine during the week, so the kids are more in line than usual. We did have one try to escape, but he didn’t really get anywhere. He then pitched a huge fit about how bad this place sucks. Good news is that he is leaving soon.I also had to run to the health dept. to get a TB test as well as shots for a handful of the boys. It went well enough, but I still get nervous having to take a large group alone. I get uneasy because some of them want to run.

Thursday was more of the same. The boys did a good job on their weekly lodge chores, so they earned a free day for Friday. This is good news to all of us because everyone gets to sleep in. The kids we relatively well-behaved because they knew how easily the free day could be pulled. Staff was on edge though because we had difficulty keeping an accurate count, so we had to keep stopping and re-starting everything.

Friday was nice at the start. We got to sleep in until 9 a.m. because of the free day. The kids didn’t have school or anything, so we got right into the activities. There was basketball, X-Box, Horseback Riding and other activities to relax. Then, the big boss brought up plastic sheeting and soap and baby oil and made a huge Slip-N-Slide for the boys and followed that up with ice cream floats. It was nice to be able to go easy on the kids and just enjoy the day. I also had to take two trips to the health dept. to get TB tests read for the boys who got them on Wednesday and nobody ran. The night was rough though. It got way too loud and I tried to clear the bathroom of everyone acting up. One of the boys got pissed, so I put him on Work Detail. He then cussed me out and continued to scream, obscenities at me from his bunk for 30 minutes. He even tried to attack me, but he was surrounded by staff. He calmed down enough that I could sleep in the dorms that night,  but I have not spoken with him, so I do not know how he is doing. Sleeping in the dorms sucked because the A/C had not been turned down and my fan died after about an hour or so. I had to lay there sweating until 8 a.m. when I could get up and leave.

Saturday shift change was short and sweet. No issues to address, so I didn’t have to waste hours there.

 

This job is pretty frikkin’ sweet, even with the hiccups. I can’t wait to see where this goes.

 

PeACE

Update 6

This past shift was pretty good. I was surprised how well the boys acted and worked. We only had a few on Work Detail, so staff was not spread so thin this time.

Thursday was a simple shift. We didn’t have any huge issues out of anyone, but I got to spend some time working with a few boys one on one. It is pretty cool having a couple of them who look up to me and come to me when they are struggling. Of course, I try to encourage them to speak to others as well, but I am always willing to help. The two that constantly come to me are struggling with anger management. Since I have been down that road, I am pretty well-suited to tell them how to deal with anger. I still struggle, but I have it under control.

Friday was a nice day. I didn’t have to do Work Detail, so I wasn’t sweating my ass off in the sun all day. We also did a full facility General Inspection or G.I. During G.I., everything is turned upside down and cleaned from the ground up. The place was spotless just in time for Saturday visits. The kids even worked so well together that we allowed them to stay up late to watch a movie.

Saturday was a busy day. We had family visits and that always taxes staff. We also had a Father’s Day campout planned for about 8 of our upper level residents. That took away two staff members and we were all very apprehensive of how that would work out. It was very evident and we ended up having to have a staff sit down to re-focus ourselves. As it turned out, everything went off without a hitch and we had a pretty good night.

All in all, this shift was pretty good. We are still learning to work as a team while trying to maintain personal sanity. We had to have a meeting with the Program Director where he gave us a few observations and tips on how to work better together. I hope we can all manage to do it because we work together well and I really enjoy a job for the first time ever.

Until the next one,

PeACE