Sunday, January 29, 2006


I think I get this from my mother. I don't remember her ever standing to fight. When things got tough, we had to move. No matter what happened, big or small, a change of scenery was the cure. And it would work, for about a year, and then there we were, packing our shit again.

And I find myself in the same place for probably the longest time in my life. I have now been in Bemidji since 99. To reflect on it is amazing. It really is mind blowing to me. The same streets and neighborhood. The same people, more or less.

But it isn't, anymore. Maybe the trees all look the same. Certainly the snow covers the same ground it did last year. But the place is changed, to me. I came here full of promise, the first year of a first generation college student. I was naive, full of myself, and unsure of what I wanted to do, and what that meant.

Now I am unsure of myself, and sure of what I want to do. I want to move. I NEED to move, it seems. The desire is so strong I actually got in my car today without a destination in mind. I ended up driving back here, laughing at myself, and then sitting down to write.

And then I starting thinking about my mother, and the reason she acts the way she does. I won't go into it, it still doesn't make sense to me. Parts of it will come through, from time to time, on this ill named blog, but that's the best I have, for now.

The interesting thing is my thoughts of her brought me back to me. Am I doing the same thing? I know it has been 6 years, but am I just fleeing? Rational thought tells me "no". What I am doing is leaving the next nest I set up for myself. Leaving my safe zone and actually, finally, getting out into the real world. But I am not always rational. I just quit my job without having a new one, for the first time in my life, and I have to wonder why I would do such a stupid thing.

One of my bosses (I have two, how cool is THAT) REALLY got to me on Friday. I had a lot of files to catch up on. The bosses went through the files, and found what was missing. At least, they thought they did.

It turns out most of the stuff was in the files. Some of it was in the wrong spot, some of it was just sitting RIGHT THERE where it was supposed to be. I had a lot of it on my PC, and I must have forgot to put it in after the meetings.

And I don't mind doing it, or redoing it. Honestly, that's just part of my job. The thing that really gets me is Linda EXPECTED me to know what needed to be updated when, and how. The problem with that is I had NO TRAINING. None, when I started. I did a job shadow to see what the people under me would be doing. I was told to read through the files (I did). That's it. So when a meeting came up, the bosses would ask for this or that to be done, and I would do it.

But several files need yearly updating, and never make it to a meeting. That means no one knew they weren't getting updated, and I did not know they needed it. A good example is the "New Client Intake Form". The name suggests it should be done once. That's right, you got it, when the client first comes into our program. No, no, tardo. Instead, it is to be updated yearly, or when any information is changed. Parents' addresses, meds, and other pretty important stuff is found on there. It makes sense to update it. But would you know to do it, based on the title? Nope. Yet I got yelled at for not having it done. I mean, c'mon. And Linda doesn't actually yell, she annoys. She just repeats it so many damned times you want to stuff a dirty sock in her mouth just to get her to shut up. I would much rather get yelled at, called stupid or ignorant, than be patronized. One time, that's all you have to tell me.

But that's not the bad part. Here it is. There was a file I asked her about. "Why did you tell me to make a new one of these?" I queried. It was fine, she agreed, "where's the list I gave you." I showed her. "Well, this wasn't in here the last time I looked." But it was, I have not added anything...All the files that are new are in this folder, I have not three-hole-punched them (I am starting to get angry, but I keep a nice voice)...No, this wasn't in here, you must have moved it...Why would I do that, and say I didn't?...You must have, this WASN'T in here. WHY WOULD I LIE ABOUT IT AFTER GIVING YOU MY NOTICE? WHAT THE FUCK COULD I POSSIBLY GAIN BY LYING?

See, I live by a pretty fucking simple rule: Don't lie. Not to yourself, not to other people. Not even when it will help you. ESPECIALLY when it will help you. It gets too damned easy to do it again, and again. I did that for a long time. My mother does that. I won't do it. It helps, a lot.

SO when someone accuses me of lying I cannot say to myself, "Well, she's got you there, old friend" NOPE. I just get mad. I have never given them any reason to think I was lying. In fact, I have come out and told them of everything I have ever done wrong, most times before they find it, or care about it. I ALWAYS own my mistakes. I explained to her that I was wrong for not having the files updated, even though I did not know they needed it, because that was part of my job and I SHOULD HAVE found out. To add this insult made me sick.

Then it continued. One of our clients has been going to work dirty. He explained it was because I was not down there with him in the morning. That is a lie. He lies, a lot. They know this. On his report, it even says he lies about what he does and does not do at the job. Right there, you have to think, "This guy is mentally retarded, and a liar, maybe we should not take everything he says at face value." Makes sense? Of course it does. Unless you are harping on your supervisor. Then he is telling the truth, and I am lying. I stand with him EVERY morning and actually watch him get ready. He says I don't. She believes him. Again, I have never given any reason for her to distrust me, or my word. Yet, there it is. He also said we talked about him moving out. Why the fuck would I talk with a mentally retarded person about moving out of my program? Ever? Well, I must have, she reasons, he wouldn't just make it up.

So, as you have already read, my job sucks. My town sucks, and I STILL feel like I am abandoning everything. Seriously, I am not looking for a bunch of comments saying, "No, Josh, you are totally justified" because I KNOW I am. But I still feel like I am not. How does that happen to an intelligent person? It just doesn't makes sense.

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