Friday, July 24, 2009

Pet peeves and general rants

Happy Friday!

Do you notice how people are never quite happy with the weather? It's always either too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry. Luckily here in Illinois if you don't like the weather just wait a day and it's bound to change, or so they say. It's been an unseasonably cool July here in Chicagoland. Personally, I am enjoying this bought of slightly cooler, drier weather. I know it's July and it should be 90 degrees with 100% humidity, but hey, I don't have a pool, a boat, or a million dollars to spend air conditioning my house. Plus I just love being able to sleep with the windows open!

On that note, just a few general rants to start off my Friday. Today is the last day for some of my co-workers. About half of the people initially who were given lay off notices were called back due to changes in the state budget, which was a blessing. However, for those leaving today, the feeling is bittersweet.

On another work related note, last week I experienced a week long bought of severe burn out. I heard long ago when I said those magic words "I want to work with kids" that there is a high rate of burn out for clinicians working with children. Last week I felt it--in my aching neck and shoulders, my exhausted body, my short temper, my cloudy mind. My patience was very low. I just wanted to say to parents, "sorry, your kid is a brat, what do you want me to do about it? maybe if you were home more, maybe if you didn't have 5 different boyfriends in 5 years" or "sorry, your kid is hyperactive. You shouldn't have smoked while you were pregnant" (I believe research states this is true, but if not I have enough anecdotal evidence to back this one up) and I wanted to tell a few of my kids "quit whining! grow up! tell the truth! take a bath! bullshit! or WTF???"


Not so therapeutic. Luckily, I never expressed any of these thoughts to my clients. Though, for some of them, hearing the brutal truth may be what they need....therapy is so weird sometimes! I work with kids for several months, maybe a year. Sometimes I see them grow and change, if I am lucky I see their parent grow and change too. Sometimes I see change, and the parent insists there is none. I hear the same complaints week after week, I listen, empathize, give suggestions. Nothing changes. Are we wasting every one's time? I even asked a client and mother this last night. They never said yes. If anything, I try to help a kid recognize their own strengths and talents. I figure even if my client and their parent continue duking it out at home hopefully he/she will remember someday that someone helped them to see the good they have inside. Everyone has some, I do believe that.

On a less serious but more acutely annoying note, I HATE when I leave people voice messages and they either never call me back or they call back but CLEARLY didn't listen to my message. So annoying! You see you have a message, listen to it. Parents of my clients do this all the time!!! I leave messages with appointment times, and clearly they didn't listen to it. I have learned to never leave my parents voicemails on their cell phones. I have shown them each like a hundred times how to check voicemail and they still can't do it. So I leave them a message on their old school home answering machine, which they still barely check, but at least know how.

Also, I HATE when you go on interviews and they say they will call you to let you know when they have made a decision. In my experience, this rarely happens. If you are lucky, three months later you get a form letter or email that says sorry, someone else was better qualified, but best of luck in your career search. I HATE even more when you email or call and leave messages with the people who interviewed you, who say at the end of your interview to contact them with any questions, and they never respond. I guess I wouldn't want to have to call someone and say "sorry, we didn't hire you" but at least you can send a nice, impersonal email! Silence often speaks volumes, but I would rather just know for sure to move on. However, recently I did get a return message from an interviewer that someone else was hired, and I told her that I really appreciated her calling me back. And I did.

Another major pet peeve--bad spelling of common words and misused grammar. I am talking simple grammar, like using words like there and their incorrectly. Or when my boss sends out memos or emails with misspelled words, Word and Outlook do have Spell Check. I know how famous people like JFK supposedly were horrible spellers and still succeeded, and I don't expect people to know how to spell words you would find on the GRE vocab test, but seriously, come on! It drives me a little nutty!

Anyway, so I guess I should get back to work.


  1. This post is awesome. No wonder you and I are friends! :)