Friday, August 21, 2009

Life At The Youth Shelter...

Well, it has been an interesting week! Didn't get many hours in this week at the shelter, and to be honest, I felt like walking out on the first day.
I only worked for 4 hours on Monday and it felt like an eternity. What did they have for me to do?? Supervise lunch, make sure the kids did their chores...then nothing really. I just wandered around basically asking if I could help out. Sure, I could clean out a large room full of donated goods, which would only take about 3 weeks if I hurried. I was very dissappointed to say the least. I did not pay $14,000 for an education to be the lunch lady or the cleaner. Not to mention, morning is not my friend and to be there by 8 or 8:30 a.m. was a fate worse than death. I've been used to the afternoon shift for years. And to make matters worse, they only wanted me to come in that early to make breakfast!! No way...this is a 24 - 7 shelter and I decided to talk to her (the administrator) about doing afternoon shifts. After all, I'm free help and they can take advantage of that to a point, but I should be able to make my own hours. I decided to talk to the lady about it the next day.
When I got there Tuesday morning, one of the kids was standing outside, looking like 'ordered but not picked up', so to speak. She informed me that the shelter was completely on lock-down until 5p.m. and nobody could get in until then. It would have been nice to have been told this, but I wasn't. The poor girl was stuck standing outside for the rest of the day, and it was hot. We ended up driving her to a friends house. I realized that this was probably breaking some kind of rule, but too bad. I couldn't just leave her out there.
Now I was really annoyed.
I didn't go in on Wednesday, but gave them a call. She apologized for not informing me of the meeting. I told her that I would be busy until Friday, because frankly, I was pissed off. I said I would give her a schedule and would she mind if I worked the afternoon shift. She said, (thankfully) that would be fine. O.K. I was happy with that.
I decided I would work from 1 to 7p.m., Monday to Friday and a few times a week, go and help out in the various programs they have in the evening, such as Anger Management, AA and NA. That would fill in the rest of my hours. She is fine with that. Praise the Lord!!
Today I went in with some trepidation, as I did not want to be stuck in the kitchen all day again. I was thinking as I walked in, 'Be assertive, Tory. Insist on them teaching you the ropes!!' O.K. So, after I made the evening snacks, (a fruitbowl and dip), and being told I would be resposible for them every day, (crap!) I went to the front line and told one of the women, 'O.K., teach me about the intake process!' And she did!! I then read some of the residents files and spent some time talking to the kids themselves, one on one, in a casual kind of way. It was great! They were so willing to tell me about themselves, which I was surprised at. I thought they would be hesitant to speak to a newcomer. But, for each and every one I spoke to, my heart broke for them. Sad, sad, sad.
But all in all, it was a really good day. I'm so glad, as I really thought I would have to look for another placement. Something usefull, but today I believe was useful and I'm very happy.
I'm tired tonight, because I was getting used to my life of leisure at the 'love nest.' I don't work tomorrow, but on Sunday evening I'm going to help out at the NA (narcotics anonymous) meeting. I'm really looking forward to that. It is an open meeting and is mostly made of people from the community, not too many kids from the shelter go there. It will be a great learning experience.
Other than that, not much else is new. I'm still waiting to hear from the interview I did on Tuesday to see if they want me to do counseling for them. I hope they do.
That's it for now.
Take care.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Well, hello all. Been so busy this summer, but no excuses for not blogging. But I'm back. A lot has happened, so it may be a long read.
We're up at the love nest, and are having a wonderful time. I was supposed to have found my co-op before June 9th but it was impossible in such a small town, so it took me awhile and today I have started working in a youth shelter run by the Salvation Army. Not the area I'm looking to work in full time, but perfect for experience, you know how unpredictable kids can be. They are between the ages of 16 - 25. Should be interesting.
Tomorrow I have a interview to do Christian Counseling at the Salvation Army Church, part-time. That's going to be fun. So, my dreams seem to be coming true and by the time we get back to Toronto, in the fall, I will be ready to take a full-time post somewhere. Yay!!
Ashley and the grandbabies came up for a week 2 weeks ago. They are getting so big and I miss them so. Would you believe Scarlett is 2 already? And yesterday was Ariel's 7th birthday. We had a lot of fun and spent most of the time at the beach.
Beach, Beach and more Beach seems to be the theme this summer. NAI hubby had 2 weeks vacation and he, Holly and I went to a terrific beach about an hour from here. It was so beautiful but even with sun block, we all got a little too much sun. However, the next day while we were in the food store, Holly suddenly exclaimed, 'OMG, what's wrong with you?' I was going to tell her, 'My mother had DID, I'm riddled with anxiety, my ex screwed me around for 20 years and my feet hurt.', however that's not what she meant. My face had swollen to twice it's size around my forehead and nose. Holly, being the compassionate and loving daughter that I raised her to be, then started yelling, 'You're the Elephant Man!, which made NIA hubby walk away from us. Sigh....
We were going to go back to the beach the next day, but when I woke up I was still very swollen. Plus, just to top it all off, poor hubby had the beginnings of cellulitis which is quite serious. So, off to the hospital hubby and I went, hoping for a group rate. Poor hubby had to go back to the hospital for 3 days straight for I.V. antibiotics. As for me, they think it's an allergy, but have put me on antibiotics for a sore on my head. What a way to end poor hubby's holidays. Plus, we had made a big picnic for the beach for nothing. We ate macaroni salad, tomato salad and sandwiches for 4 days. Ugh..
I had my 51st birthday in July, (don't tell anyone) and I think it was the best birthday I've ever had. It was perfect in every way. NIA hubby and Holly outdid themselves this year and I felt very special..and old..
Anyway, it was wonderful and I must be getting old because I find myself reflecting on how great my life is these days. I really do. I'm overly blessed and soooo happy. All my relationships are excellent and satisfying. No stress in my life at all even with my new 'elephant man' look. Actually, it's getting better. At least my new boss didn't run screaming from the office, which could have been fun.
So, (I know I always say this, but) I will be blogging more often from now on as I would like to keep a journal, of sorts, about the early days of my new career, so I can look back and laugh at myself and how unsure I am at this point. And to see how much I learn and grow. But don't worry, I won't make it too boring, I promise.
Gosh, I've missed writing this blog. It has been great having it to just jot down the crap that goes through my head. I guess you all know that.
I'll write again tomorrow and let you know how I made out at work and at the interview.
Take care and thanks for hanging in with me.

P.S. I will post new pics of grandbabies on photo blog.