Tuesday, February 12, 2013

dVerse OpenLinkNight Submission: A Brief Conversation Between Two Social Workers

A Brief Conversation Between Two Social Workers

It was one of those days when Anna was wondering why she had decided to become a social worker.  Although, if she were honest with herself, she would have to admit that this problem was not only a social work problem. She also realized that she had hired Kim because Kim was thoughtful and took the Core Values seriously. However, Kim thought too much before acting. They had even addressed it in Kim's last evaluation. Of course, Anna did not write "You overthink shit, Kim" in the eval, but there was discussion of  "taking too much time to come to an appropriate decision." Maybe she had sugarcoated it. She was going to have to rectify that quickly.

"Kim, you overthink shit in a crisis."

"What? What are you talking about?"

"This is not the time to be considering the dignity and worth of the person..."

"Well, I think this could be argued as a social justice issue..."

"No! No arguing, Kim. Those are no longer oppressed and vulnerable people. They are no longer your clients. We cannot think of them as human being who have inherent dignity and worth. Those are motherfucking zombies, and what they want is to eat your brains. We are not going to let that happen, okay? You and Jake and I are going to secure the shit out of this place, and then we are going to figure out, quickly, how we are going to the hell out of here!"

Anna was aware that she was swearing too damn much. It was going to be a swearing kind of day.

heidi
drafted June 4, 2012

Submitted for dVerse OpenLinkNight: Week 83, which I hope is okay because it isn't poetry, but, with the exception of "how i met rachel" my posts over the last week have been damn depressing and I was in the mood for something funny. I also am very interested in critiques because I want to go a little further with this, but, it kind of ends for me here. I have left the few notes I wrote trying to get the story straight, and they are why I think that there is another story along these lines. Also it includes my favorite things, social workers and zombies. How kick ass would that story be?

Notes:
Zombies attacking social service office.
Client zombified.
Social Worker worries about ethical consequences of killing zombies (dignity and worth of the person).
Supervisor trying to help social worker through crisis while trying to not get brains eaten.

24 comments:

  1. social work is hard work...in counseling i worked with quite a few....and there are days you know it would be easier...and your conversation on thinking them as zombies or no inherent worth...oy...as funny as it may be its a harsh reality as well...i know a few...smiles.

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    1. Thank you Brian. Social workers and counselors are some of my favorite people who really seem to get looked over or misrepresented in stories. This idea came to me while I was reading some articles about social worke ethics.

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  2. It works well as humor. The abrupt switch from serious to surreal is comedic. I'd like to see the story expanded.

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    1. Thanks Ally! This idea cracks me up...I would like to take it further. I just hope I can do it justice when I add to it.

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  3. IF you want to expand this - which is definitely worth considering - perhaps you should develop the back story a bit. Who are Anna, Jake and Kim? Where are they and how did they come to be there? Why is Kim so indecisive?

    However, it also works well as the short story that it already is, and makes a valid point about the way social work clients are often viewed by the general public, and particularly the media.

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    1. Thank you for coming by and for the input. I have some of their backgrounds thought out, although not why Kim is so indecisive...that's an interesting question.

      It is also interesting to me that you and some other readers have commented on how people served by social workers are seen by society, the media, and social workers themselves. That is also another option I need to think about. I was just writing a scary story that I thought would be funny...but I will use a brilliant metaphor when I get one.

      Thanks again, and you did a wonderful job minding the pub!

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  4. I often have those 'swearing kind of days'...

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    1. Sometimes the nicer words just aren't good enough. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. respecting the dignity in each other, perhaps one of the hardest tasks we're called to...

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    1. it can be a challenge, but it is also one of those things we all need. i think that it is my favorite thing about social work. thanks for reading and commenting. hope to see you here again.

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  6. hummmm....maybe a little wordy for me? Wonder how it would read if you cleaned it up a bit? Social workers and zombies are OK.

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    1. hi annell! so you have presented me with a challenge...i think it might be fun to rewrite this two ways, longer and shorter. i reread it after reading this comment, and i think most of the beginning could probably go. thank you for stopping by and commenting. i really appreciate the input.

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  7. This was quite a conversation and story ~ My reaction is Why? What made Anna say those things?

    Definitely worth expanding it ~

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    1. thank you grace! i hate to admit it, but when i read your question, my first thought was "i don't know", and, if i want to expand, i should probably know anna better. i really appreciate your comments.

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  8. oh heck...i know quite a few social workers and how hard it can be...you have the people you still have hope for...on others you've given up already...not easy at all...

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    1. thanks claudia...maybe that is why kim is having such a hard time...she still has hope for everyone. i imagined her as just graduated and this as her first job. hmmmm...thanks for the input.

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  9. This doesn't seem sugarcoated to me.

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    1. thanks laurie, i try to save all my sugar for my sweet tea :p

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  10. When you work in the helping professions sometimes you need a sounding board. In hospice we often had a very dark sense of humor. It's called coping. As long as it happens with the appropriate people and NEVER with clients or patients.

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    1. we used to have a "word for the day" that we would try to use as much as possible when we weren't with clients...they were usually either "blue" words or had to do with gas...i always wondered if it was the job or if we all came to that job with the same kind of humor.

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  11. Good beginning to a longer piece...I would love to see it expanded to tell the back story or where the characters went from here.

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    1. thanks susie. i have an idea of where it goes, but i need to think a little more of where they came from. thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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