…to a new family dynamic over the past few weeks. T left for a “visit” with mom, and now lives with her parents, R is being homeschooled while we wait for the court date to arrive (where hopefully Jay will be granted shared custody). For a boy who probably never enjoyed school, homeschool is a big struggle. The classes don’t fit his needs and testing for an IEP takes time. We see the frustration building in him as he tries to complete his daily lessons. We try to reassure him that all we want is for him to try his best. If he does that, then we don’t care about grades. At this point it’s just about learning better study habits and work ethics.
Work has become more difficult and stressful for me. I need my job. I love working with the kids (most of the time), and I’m learning so many great skills that are helping me at home. The drama at work brings back bad memories of high school though. I feel like I’m a pretty good employee. I work hard, am self motivated, I know what my bosses want from me, and I try to live up to their expectations. I’ve only worked for my boss around 2 months longer than the others I work with. My boss and I being the newcomers, I knew there would some issues, but I didn’t know how many. I’m requested by others, which I love, because that means I’m doing something right. My boss trusts me to do my job without wasting time or being on my phone. I see a need, and I do my part to fill it. It’s simply common sense in my mind. My coworkers all feel jealous and have made their jealousy known to myself, my boss, her boss, and others…many others. I don’t feel like I’m getting special treatment, but they see it differently. I’m given extra responsibilities based on my work ethics, and because I ask for them. My coworkers don’t see this. I feel like I’m always under a microscope with them. I’ve learned a lot of great techniques from my coworkers. I try to show appreciation to them for helping me when I need it.
I have certain lines I won’t cross on the job. I will not be behind a partition alone with a child, and I won’t go into the boys bathroom, because in my line of work lies are often told by children as a means to control the situation. I’ve had children threaten to tell their parents that I hit them, called them names, said they stupid, etc. My response to these threats? “Please do!” I can safely respond this way because I have witnesses to attest to the untruthfulness of these claims.
I had a recent incident that involved a young man going into the boys bathroom by himself. After he had been in there for quite some time, I knocked on the door, pulled the door open enough for my voice to be heard inside, and asked the boy if he needed help. He indicated he was on the toilet and didn’t need help. After another bit of time passed I asked a male employee to go check on the boy. He said the boy was on the toilet but completely undressed from the waist down. I thought to myself “Great! Now how am I supposed to handle this?”
With my boss waiting with me in the hallway we decided it was time to have another male employee clear the bathroom so I could go in and help the boy. When I finally got the all clear I got a look from the male employee that said “brace yourself!”, and I went in with the employee and found the boy had been waist and elbow deep in urinal and toilet water. His clothes were soaked and I was the one that would have to clean him up. Over an hour of him kicking and screaming through the cleanup process. I was exhausted, missed my lunch break by over an hour, and I felt like I couldn’t get myself clean enough. I told my boss that I was leaving the boy with her so I could take a timeout. The loudest thought in my head after that incident was “If they’re still jealous of me after this, then I’ll gladly go get one of them to handle any future situations that are similar to this one.”
The environment I’m working in is becoming more and more unbearable as my coworkers hostility towards me grows, I’ve decided it’s time to put a stop to it. I’ve conferred with my boss, and am scheduling a meeting with her boss. None of my coworkers should be concerned about days that I have scheduled off, what my work schedule is, what my assignments are, or what I do during my lunch break; after all, I’m not concerned about theirs. I don’t clock in early, and I dont sit around on the clock. I have to stay late more often than not, and it’s not by my choice. I don’t always get to enjoy a full lunch break, and I go to work regardless of how big my migraine is, or how crappy I feel (unless I’m contagious). Not my coworkers though.
I am doing my best to show up to work everyday with a smile on my face, leave worries of home outside of work, and be involved and engaged while I’m on the clock. It is difficult, but not impossible.
Update: My patience at work is beginning to pay off. Staffing changes were made and it was made clear to everyone involved that it is only because of my boss and myself that we have the program available to help the kids, because of the 2 of us we have a strong foundation on which to build. Things are looking up, although we are still seriously understaffed.