Friday, October 14, 2005

I work in the cuckoo's nest...

In case you needed further proof that I work in one of the craziest places around, I now give you some of the more noteworthy events of the last 48 hours...

I was yelled at (by a therapist, of all people) for the existence of boxes in the conference room that neither belonged to me nor were my responsibility. Theoretically, they were taking up room needed by the evening class. They were stacked under to coat rack. Apparently the seating arrangement in there is…um…different. She kept asking me questions about them in the hopes of wearing me down into saying "okay, I'll just take care of it." I kept answering them and doing what I was doing in the hopes that she would wear down and just deal with it. I won.

A man came in to pay his step-child’s daycare bill (overdue since July). We have it on good authority that he is…well…not a nice man. He became so angry at learning that the finance director was out for the rest of the week that he actually began to twitch. We have since decided only to speak with his wife.

My boss yelled at me that something I wrote in the newsletter didn’t make sense. I told her that I had copied and pasted it from something she had written. She continued to yell, saying that I must have changed it. I walked away as she was in mid-yelling-sentence….stupefying her into shutting up. It felt fantastic.

My boss yelled at me for not turning a bill into her earlier. I had just gotten it the day before. She told me I was supposed to actually turn it in before I got it… Huh? (Are you confused? I was…)

We had a suicidal walk-in (the first in my tenure at the agency). She had pills in her pocket and was extremely intoxicated. She told us that if we did not help her, she would go across the street to the park (I’m not sure where there is a park across the street, but that’s irrelevant) and OD. We sent her in to see a counselor immediately.

I returned from lunch to find a roundish bag sitting in the flower bed by the front door and tied shut. It is my job to clean such waste up. I was gripped with the fear that it might be a big bag of poop. This is a rational line of thought in my line of work. I understand from some of my fellow human-services workers at the Health Department that there is somebody in this community who regularly comes in the middle of the night and poops on the ground in front of their front door. No kidding. The police are involved. She said it was definitely “human feces.” I didn’t ask how she knew. P.S. I don’t think it was poop…but I didn’t exactly check. I did wash my hands after.

A woman who had called me crying two months ago saying that somebody had stolen her armoire and said they donated it to us called back again today. Previously when she called, she had said that the armoire had belonged to her dead husband and now that her children were dead too, it was “the only thing (she) has in this world.” Apparently, the designer she had hired to remodel the house had told her that she donated it to us by mistake and the owner wanted it back. Now. Right now. And she was prepared to call the police to get it. We had no such item (and have not received one in the last year). She then decided the designer had stolen it. Today when she called she said that she had prosecuted the designer who stole it, gotten it back, and now wants to donate it to us to sell at the resale shop. What the hell?!?!?

And, lastly, we had an elderly client leave our office today and decide to go out and sleep in her car in the parking lot. Unfortunately, she was looking quite unwell. And she fell asleep sitting up. Her skin was waxy-pale and her mouth had fallen open. One of the secretaries noticed her when she went out to get the mail. The secretary came inside and there was much discussion about who had to go outside and see if she was dead. In the end it was decided that our boss should have to do the pulse-checking because she made the big bucks. Turns out she wasn’t dead, just sleeping like the dead. She said it was a nice day and she had decided to sit and enjoy it. In her car. In our parking lot. Asleep. Whatever…

Some days it’s obvious to me why I take anti-depressants. What continues to confound me is why more people don't.

And now, I am off to my first-ever chiropractor appointment. I’m nervous that she will break my neck by mistake. I’ll let you know how it goes. I bet things are never as crazy there as they are here.

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