Make it stop (spinning)

There are days when the office feels like a nuthouse and others, like today, when it’s almost a nice place to be. Of course the weather was gorgeous and the thought of sneaking off to the beach occurred to me more than once (it’s Friday and payday, after all) but I was glad to sit at my desk and make some headway, one ear listening to Justin Nozuka and the other to the silly raucous banter that goes on during a typical Friday.

Because we social workers all have different field days, the office dynamic changes from day to day depending on who’s in. Fridays are a favorite office day for me; I like the mix of people. There’s just 7 of us, plus the clerical staff, so it’s relatively quiet, especially compared to Tuesday’s when all 18 of us are there. I loathe Tuesdays: for their noise, the incessant phone ringing, the emergencies that have popped up over the weekend, my phone blinking with 25 messages after spending Monday in the field visiting clients.

This week was a crazy upside-down week for me. I got a lot done and finally got the nerve up to ask for help with all the stuff I’ve been behind with. Two new social workers who’ve joined the unit since me needed practice and were glad to have some of my work to do.


I hadn’t really dealt with my voicemail messages since last Friday. I finally, painfully, listened to them all, all the way through, today at about 3. Amazingly, most of the *emergencies* of the past week had worked themselves out without any intervention on my part. That was a valuable lesson to me. Sometimes procrastination pays off.

The lady who’d first left a message over the weekend, full of so much hostility that I simply slapped the phone closed mid-message on Monday, called today to say that she had worked it all out and actually solved one of her own problems for a change.


And then she thanked me for my help.


Seven of my clients have moved in the past month (each move requiring a telephone book’s worth of paperwork). Three are about to be evicted for non-payment of rent (in each case, both the tenant and the landlord seem to think I wield some magic wand to make it all okey-dokey and one wants my help in running off to Arkansas to avoid a court date). Two families have bedbug and/or roach infestations. One tenant, a hoarder, insists on my help in finding a new, bigger place in which to pile up his crap. The roof fell in on the apartment of another. A landlord complains about the expense of replacing bullet-shot windows and siding. Another’s adult daughter will be released from the psychiatric hospital this month, pregnant, with no place to live.

But all that’s for next week.

Now it’s the weekend.

(In case you wonder, I work for this program and not, as I sometimes imagine, this one.)

And, no, I haven’t posted this pic upside down. It was taken in the fall at the Cape May hawk-banding demo and the red-tail was twirling around in the speaker’s hand, spinning in circles, and paused feet-up for my pic.

7 thoughts on “Make it stop (spinning)”

  1. I can’t begin to imagine the issues you are expected to resolve on a daily basis Laura. Wow. Hang in there and know that you make a difference to so many.

  2. Wow. There are not a lot of people who could do the kind of work you do. It sounds incredibly stressful! But it was very interesting to read about.

    On my old job, we could work flextime and come in any time between 6 and 9. The later I came in, the more problems had solved themselves before I got there!

  3. Glad you clarified about the red tail–I did think you purposefully did it upside-down to make your point.
    Hmmm–ever get the sections 8 mixed up? I bet you are tempted to at times.
    Enjoy your weekend–no phone messages etc.

  4. Rabbit’s Guy: You think?


    Liza: I plan to, yes.

    (Part of what we do on Fridays is laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.)

    Jayne: Yeah… it’s not much fun, usually.

    Rurality: Ha! I would love to do flex-time, really. Mornings aren’t really a strong point for me.

    KGMom: The phone here is never answered!

    My day job makes me really miss my night job and students.

    John: Yeah… me either. I don’t plan on visiting either of them anytime soon!

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