Monthly Archives: November 2011

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Christmas

This year my parents and myself went to visit my sister in the Chicago area for Thanksgiving. She had to work Friday, and I didn’t, and since my parents are retired it made more sense to go to her. We had a lovely Thanksgiving meal and then went to see The Muppets. If you are wondering, it IS good, and I felt that Jason Segal managed to keep with the spirit of the Muppets.

Yesterday, while my sister was at work, I hung out in her apartment watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and doing what I do every Black Friday: looking at Amazon lightening deals and browsing other sites. It allows me to avoid the crowds and shop in my pajamas. I managed to walk away from Black Friday with Season 3 of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a bluray of Inception, and (my biggest purchase) a 40 inch Samsung LED HDTV. Now I will be able to watch films in my apartment the way they were meant to be seen. Dinner that evening was at The Cheesecake Factory and my sister and I then went to see Like Crazy. That was also a good film.

Today we’re watching the Michigan-Ohio State game. I’m upset that we’re one point down, but hoping we’ll get it back. We head home tonight and I intend to listen to Christmas music on the way. I love Christmas, it’s my favorite holiday. Tomorrow I will decorate my apartment for the season and post pictures soon. Ignore the hole in the couch…I ordered a slipcover, but it hasn’t arrived yet.

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and will enjoy preparing for any holidays you celebrate this time of the year!

Social Work Versus Paper Work

When I was in undergrad, there was a lot of emphasis on the amount of paperwork social workers had to do and how little time they had to do it. I realized how true this was in my first internship, when myself and the other social work students were asked to do filing for the supervisors. It was a little like waving through a sea of paper and trying to make sense of it all. The internship was torture, but it made me decide that no matter how busy I got as a social worker, I would never ever get behind on my paperwork.

Oh, how young and  naive I once was.

There are days where I feel like I have to choose between the importance of the kid on the phone crying and the report that needs to get to court before the end of the day. Other times, I have five home visits that need to get done and files that have not been touched. There are deadlines for my paperwork and there are more important deadlines for making sure that children are safe and in the best place, bio parents are getting the services they need, and caregivers are also getting needed services. Frankly, it’s pretty easy to know which of these is more important.

I am proud to say that I’ve been meeting all timelines. As of now, I have not yet had a late report and I have gotten things into court on time once I realized what on time was (with the exception of the report that needed to get sent on a day that I was in court all day without my laptop…). I have made the monthly home visits for all of my children and the unannounced visits every quarter. I’ve also been managing at being the type of caseworker I wanted to be and called on their birthdays and met with them sometimes extra. I have consistently made contact with bio parents and caregivers. My Myers-Briggs J has been helping a lot with my job.

But there is one area that I have a hard time with: filing. I don’t know what it is, but putting papers in files makes me want to bang my head against my desk. I try to set aside a day a week to do it, but that rarely happens. Today was my filing day and I ended up giving up part way through and making phone calls.

I got into social work for the social side of it. I can handle reports because I’m writing, which I love, and I’m writing about my clients, which to me relates to social work. However, when it comes to actually getting things into the files, it’s mindless and only exists to keep things in order. I have a system for what happens with papers before they’re officially filed, and it’s fine for me, but it’s apparently important to keep my files updated.

Anyone else a social worker out there? How do you handle the paperwork part of the job?

My Car Saga

Okay, to fully appreciate the story of my car issues over the last week, you have to understand that I have only ever been in one accident. This was shortly after getting my license and during my first Michigan winter. I slipped on black ice and my car slid off the road. No report was made due to the damage not being bad enough for a report and the cops arrived on the scene from another accident and left the scene to go to another accident. It was a bad night. I consider myself a decent, if not good, driver. I also love my car, who is named Mohinder. He is a 2007 Ford Focus that my family has had since December of 2006.

On Monday of last week, I was rear-ended. It was a situation where someone was tailing me and the person ahead of me slammed on their breaks. The situation was one where there was nothing I could do to avoid it and I actually braced myself for the inevitable bump. Luckily, it was nothing more than a fender bender and Mohinder just got a little scratched up.

Wednesday, I was going to lunch with a coworker when I noticed my battery light came on. I began to slow down when I realized the light then turned back off. After playing around with my speed for a bit, I realized that when I went above 40 mph the light came on and it turned back off when I went below 35 mph. However, it did not do this on the way back to the office or when I went home, so I didn’t worry too much. I figured, since it rained that day, it must have gotten wet.

Thursday was the day that everything happened. It started when I was rear-ended for the second time in a parking garage. Once again, just scratches, but it was incredibly frustrating. Then, on my way home, the battery light turned back on and had more issues turning back off. I had class that night, but I called a friend and asked for a ride because there was no way I was going to use my car when I had no idea what was going on.

Finally, on Friday I took Mohinder in for a check up. Luckily, my multiple rear-end collisions did not hurt my car at all, but my alternator was running at 83%…apparently that’s bad…I know nothing about cars, though. After spending a good chunk of money on my car, Mohinder is now safe at home.

Hopefully, soon, I will post some pictures of my apartment…first I have to take pictures of my apartment.