Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hitting Home Part II

Today several people at my work got their 30 day notice. I was not one of them. In a twist of fate, luck, or what have it, my program was completely spared. Apparently the state will continue funding our program at the same rate as last year. But other programs were not as fortunate. Needless to say it was a tense and somber atmosphere. I feel lucky, but guilty at the same time, for staying behind and for also not feeling as grateful as I should for still having my job.

The worst thing I heard though was that over that past weekend, a former adult client of the agency committed suicide. Apparently, they were told last week that their services were ending and they felt they had no one else. I heard this story second hand, so I don't know all of the details. Whatever happened, it is tragic.

The whole situation is tragic.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hitting home

Last week at work the President of my agency called two emergency meetings. The first was to announce that due to the State of Illinois budget crisis, major funding cuts were looming and if passed this would lead to many programs being eliminated or reduced and possible layoffs. The second meeting stated with more certainty that 25% of the staff would be layed off and the announcements of who would be cut come this Tuesday and Wednesday. Pretty bleak news. Unfortunately it's happening all over the State, social service agencies are laying off staff or even closing their doors. The State can't balance it's budget and the current "solution" is to slash funding for social services. Everyone I have talked to feels that in the long run this will make things worse, ERs will be overflowing, mentally ill and disabled will be without services and out on the streets, chaos.

A co-worker said her supervisor hinted that our programs would be OK and survive the cuts. I don't know how to feel. I know several co-workers who have gotten all but the official news that their programs are being eliminated. If I stay, I will probably feel guilty. And I am always complaining about my job anyway, so being layed off and eligible for unemployment while searching for a new job might be a blessing in disguise. Of course finding a job will be hell, since I would be competing with thousands of other laid off social workers and counselors and would have to seek employment somewhere NOT funded by the state...

Unfortunately my husband works in social services too and his agency is facing the same cuts.
The bad economy is definitely hitting home.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A little bit of everything

I just realized I hadn't blogged anything yet in the month of June. I guess because in theory I have been pretty busy. Just some tid bits to get caught up:

--We have been having the entire inside of our house painted, this started so long ago I can't even remember when. The guy is just doing this on the side, he comes and does like two rooms, doesn't come back for a few days, comes back might finally be done today, which I hope. I can't wait to have the house back in order, and thankfully it's turning out great!

--Last weekend we went to Indy for a friend's son's 1st birthday party. Anywhere with cake and ice cream is great in my book. It was great to see my friends and we also got a good taste of a weekend with a one year old...

--The weekends before that my husband and I were on a movie kick. We saw Star Trek, X-Men Origins Wolverine, and rented Marley & Me and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Of all the movies I might have liked Star Trek the best. My husband is a Trekkie, not the kind that dresses up and goes to conventions, but he does know almost all of the episodes of the 4 series. Marley & Me was sad, as I was told, but somewhat disappointing, as was Benjamin Button. BB was long, slow, and reminded me alot of Forrest Gump, as Benjamin's character spoke with a slow, Southern accent and recounts his life time of intereting friendships and his one true love, but Benjamin's character was definitely less entertaining than Forrest. The time period when Brad Pitt is finally an attractive man and then a teenager did provide good eye candy. Speaking of eye candy, Ryan Reynolds is in X-Men Origins: Wolverine; he's usually in romantic comedies, so a super hero gig is a change for him, but his character still had his smart aleck-y humor. He is super HOT and unfortunately wasn't in the movie enough! He comes back at the end looking not much like himself.

--In more serious news, as is too common these days, we got the email Thursday that because of the state budget crisis, it is likely that funding for social service agencies will be drasticially cut, leading to layoffs. I don't know how secure my job is now, though maybe it's karma. I gripe and moan about it, I talk of job hunting and interviewing, but I guess I want to leave on my own terms and have something else in place...if you live in Illinois, think of contacting your senator and representative and tell them how much we need social services!

--I almost cried during a session this past week. That hasn't happened in forever, that my emotions started taking control of me at work. I have this client, a teenager, a smart, beautiful girl, dealing with some pretty scary mental health issues. Her family is great, so supportive. But she hates counseling, hates seeing a psychiatrist. I have empathized with her on this, I have tried so many ways to engage her, nothing. I come to her house, she whines, moans refuses to talk. That day it touched a nerve. I said to her mom I can't make her talk, and I have bent over backwards (probably an exaggeration) to work with her and I am frustrated and just don't know what to do, and that I recognize I waste there time and mine and I could be helping someone else who will talk to me. After that she agreed to talk a little, but she had a little smile on her face and I thought that brat! she is trying to test me! Plus he family is bi-lingual so there was alot said in their native language I missed and the sister translated partially. Ugh!

--So that's the main highlights. A hodge podge of everything. Oh, and my flowers are growing, I will put up pix when they start flowering.