For the past weeks every time I hit a wall with a case, I kept hearing “move on and keep going.”
Everyone told me that I came to work at a great time because school was off, court was slow, that I was eased into my cases and not thrown in, that I was lucky because my caseload was low (14 families and counting) and that my situation wasn’t so bad. At the end of the day rather than finding solutions and hope, I ended up feeling frustrated and inadequate, I thought I just had to work harder until I could master the job and truly see and feel the advantage I, supposedly, had over my colleagues.
Everyone belittled my frustration by telling me how bad their situation really was: “I’m the one overloaded, you should be thankful, your job is easy” and then sometime in the middle of this crazy month, it hit me; it wasn’t about me being inadequate or getting more comfortable with the work; comparable pain was not the answer, it had nothing to do with my situation and I don’t know how I let it get to me. Suddenly I realized there is a big flaw in the way things are done. I asked around to see how people performed their work and realized that most of the people swear by “you do what you can and move on”, that’s the way it is because there is just too much to do. No wonder I was feeling backed up and frustrated, I really want to help my families move on but with the right tools and outlook on life.
This job is not about moving cattle from point A to point B, it’s about being able to support families through tough times and really meeting their needs so that they can move on in the right direction and not get lost on the way. The system asks too much from the workers and the agency, every time I come with new ideas to help in a case I’m struck with the realities of budgets, suspended payments, lack of resources or simply “we cannot afford for you to spend so much time on this.” I refuse to allow these walls to close in on me, I will keep trying to find alternatives and loopholes and if not now, in the future, I hope I can help the system change.