Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Conversations with the worker

I talked to Evan's worker the other day. She has accepted the position of family developer. She would like to "keep" Evan as he is so close to moving into transition anyway, but she knows and I knows that if he has any crisis that requires time, she will have to hand him over.

I am not happy about her being the family developer. I am actually more than a little annoyed at the agency right now. The family developer is the person who teaches the classes, arranges on-going training, reminds me (again and again) to send in copies of my car and home insurance, notes from the doctor, take TB tests, and visits me every six months to make certain I have changed the batteries in the smoke detectors and haven't done any renovation on the house that I did not tell her about.

The problem though is that it seems to be a revolving door position. The person in the position when I started was there for two or three years, I believe. In the three or four years since there have been (let me count...) six developers. Each one seems to move out faster than the one before. If you are a regularly leader you know that I like Evan's worker and also think she is very young and inexperienced. She is good and shows the potential to be great, but she is young and inexperienced.

Shouldn't the developer be some tough older worker who has been through the trenches and knows what it takes to survive? Someone whose idealism has turned into tough, unrelenting realism?

The school for which I work just hired someone to coordinate accommodations for disabled students. She came to a faculty meeting the other day and said that when students hand us letters telling us what they MAY need, we are to smile and say that we will sit down with them and work out the details, no matter what we think. "Then you can call me if you want. I've been doing this for 20 years and have big, strong shoulders. You can rip me a new one if you want. I can take it." THAT's the sort of person I want to be the family developer.

But once again I remember that I do not run the world. I hope she does well in her job, but mostly I just hope that she stays.

Oh...I also asked her if anyone was disturbed that the multiple boyfriends in the house thing went as far as it did. Was anyone disappointed with me? Her response was, "Oh no...not at all." She then went on to tell me the responses of the out-going family developer (she's staying in the agency, just working a different job), her supervisor, and the very nice director of the division (who happens to be gay). Every one of them were very impressed with how calmly I handled it; how I did not get upset and let things escalate.

That was good to know, but what was less good was realizing that this issue was not just discussed in "peer review". It apparently went "all the way up." Yep. The whole division talked about it.


Of course I told you all, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

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