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Social workers...

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by coineineagh, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    When I was a kid, I was sent to live with a foster family for several months, because my mom was suffering from severe depression. The first family I was sent to by the social workers was dreadful; I was treated like child labour and all my possessions were taken away. It was the only time in my life I prayed to God for help, because it felt like there was no one who could help me.
    I guess God's answer was 'wait';), because it took months before the family was deemed unfit to operate as a foster family. And it was neighbours, not the social workers, who finally discovered it.
    Then I was sent to a brilliant family: They gave me loads of treats and gifts, making up for the bad times with the first family. All this time, my mom was trying to prove to social workers that she was fit to take care of me.
    My mom and a social worker came to visit again at my new foster home. Yet again I was asked a simple question: Do I want to return home with my mother?
    But this time was different: I was blinded and bribed by the pampering I got with that family. So I answered 'no'. It broke my mom's heart to hear that, although later she understood why I said it: Partly because of the gifts, partly because I had started to feel attached to the family too.
    The strangest thing happened: I finally got to go home with my mom!:hmm:

    Years later, my mom told me what the social worker had concluded that day: My mom no longer had control over me. I wasn't afraid of my mom anymore, so it was safe for us to live together again.

    It was the most preposterous thing I had ever heard. And it made me so mad:mad:, to think that I was forced to endure that horrible family in the beginning. All because some social worker had a ridiculous idea in her head, and was deaf to the things I said. All the time I begged her to take me away from that first foster home, she only heard what she wanted to hear.

    It taught me to be very cautious of social workers and the like: They are convinced that whatever they believe is true, and are used to having power over others.

    Now as an adult, I chose a carreer in security. I guard buildings, far from the manipulations of psychiatrists or social workers... or so I had hoped. Over half the buildings my security company guards, are centres for the homeless! This is social worker central. At first it didn't bother me, they came across as friendly and personable. But it's when you're in a disagreement that their true nature reveals itself: They treat me as if I'm unreasonable as a force of habit, and think they can screw around with me because I'm just security.

    A couple months ago, I had a conversation with their team leader about something that happened at night during my watch. He voiced some criticisms which I accepted, and seemed to listen to my story as well. When he said he'd send a report of our conversation to my office, I wasn't worried, because I knew we had talked about it.
    In reality, he had already written a despicable report, and subsequently sent it straight to my companies' director, a man I had never even met! It stated among other things, that I probably made racist comments to clients, that I was unfamiliar with security procedures, and that I was probably sexually harassing the female clients there. It took an extremely eloquent and diplomatic letter written by myself, to get him to even partly be open to the possibility that he was having a bad day, and that it might have coloured his words. My boss pretty much understood what was going on, and I was never bothered about it.

    But now it's happened again. Clients have complained about me, and one of the social workers simply transferred all the allegations to my office. Tomorrow I must report in, to hear about these complaints and allegations for the first time. I'm going to make a big deal out of the fact that I wasn't spoken to atall (and rightly so), and that it isn't proper procedure when handling complaints. But I fear it will be dismissed as nitpicking.

    Today I went and added a legal expenses insurance to my insirance policy, because i'm getting worried about my own safety. Usually, when I have problems with clients (mostly psychotic homeless kids), the social workers protect me because they realize that the friction is caused by my upholding their rules. But those times that they choose to support the clients instead, my work office is disappointingly quick to agree with them, because they aim to please (them). So all I had left in case of unresolvable issues, is whatever support I could rely on from my union. But I have never tested this safety net...

    Clients (the other names i have for them wouldn't pass the autocensor) often challenge me, saying they can do what they want because they have excellent attorneys. Usually I can set these threats aside, becase I know what I'm doing is justified, and I can rely on support from colleagues. But when the social workers seem to go after me, I worry that the clients may actually be right in their claims.
    I'm a big guy, and can beat the poop out of any of these scrawny kids. That's why i loved my job; it's really easy if you aren't bothered by the antisocial scum that walks around the place.
    But my patience is wearing thin, and I'm surprised that it isn't actually the kids that bother me, but the social workers!
    Whenever there's a disagreement, they attempt to go over my head. It's a force of habit, because they are used to their conclusions having disciplinary consequences. Sure it's fun when they reveal their low opinion of me, that I can blast them out of the water with well chosen words:D. But one of these days, I might encounter a determined one that will stop at nothing.:mommy:


    That was a long intro story, so I'll spoiler it. Anyway, the point I want to make, is that I'm not too keen on psychiatrists and social workers. They seem to live in their own world, making nearly baseless assessments of other people. Their behaviour leaves a lot to be desired, and I often doubt that what they do can't be done better by a layman. Perhaps they have too much contact with the insane, and it's altering their own perceptions..?:skeptic:

    Also, I'm shocked how often they seem to exhibit more sympathy for serious criminals than they do for victims. This refers more to stories in the news than my own. LKD's example of Vincent Li was really striking. Could you perhaps link it below, LKD?

    If you read the spoilered story, I'm curious if there's any advice you can offer, both in terms of legality, and in dealing with these people (social workers). I'm fed up having to be the one that apologizes:sosad:, when they are the ones who are making things difficult.
     
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  2. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    All I can say is that they have a *****y job with often small resources both in time and money to do much. Add to that the fact that most people they get in contact with are very difficult people and I can see how it can be difficult to keep the interest in doing a good job. This is by no means an excuse, I feel just like you do coin but it is an explanation. It is also afaik a fairly low paying job with little need for education so it isn't exactly the creme de la creme that is working as social workers. It is also very bossy people who work in that, they know what is best for everyone.

    As for psychiatrists and psychologists my experience of them is that it is very very often either people who couldn't cut it in "real" medicine or people who have sought out that line of work to get a better insight into their own issues.

    I must also add that you are a security guard, a profession I have even lower esteem for than social workers so it could just be that you have been a jerk and they are rightly going after you. :p
     
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  3. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Here be a link, coin, just for you! It's one of many -- once you're there, search within the Toronto Sun searcher (it'll be on the page somewhere) and you'll see lots of other articles. It was pretty big news across Canada.

    As for social workers, I think they are mostly hard working folks with a lousy job to do. Some of the bleeding hearts screw things up for decent people. Shrinks can do irreparable damage through their enabling BS, but some of them can also be helpful, if they are straight thinkers and not looking to excuse away every bad behaviour on the planet.
     
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  4. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG]
    Yeah I've heard that being said repeatedly by psychology students. It doesn't make this very poor science look any better.
    :rolleyes:Yeah, when there's something wrong in any building, the mere suggestion that cleaners or security may be responsible is often enough to make it truth in everyone's eyes. Not entirely without reason, coz some of my colleagues are a right bunch of clumsy chimps. They chit-chat about frequenting prostitutes, and recently a colleague had to report to the office for viewing porn at work. I don't find it entirely fair that I get the exact same reprimand as that guy; whatever I did wrong can't be in the same league as that!
    And I know I treat the clients decently and fairly, like I'd treat anyone. But when I have to say no to them, it makes them mad. Social workers should be aware of this, because it's their rules that I must enforce.
    Thank you very much:D. There are similar stories in Holland, but none quite as poignant as that one.

    joacquin, just to point out: I'm a building security guard, you know. So I'm required to look out for the safety and rest of the inhabitants (and myself) primarily. Enforcing the rules comes second place. Being nice to the clients isn't strictly required, but I do it all the same, as a common courtesy. You can't expect too much from me; I didn't train to be a specialist in sociology or psychology, nor do I want to.
    Perhaps the building just needs a social worker in the night, instead of a guard...
     
  5. martaug Gems: 23/31
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    Coin, you are doing a thankless job & getting the blame because you are an easy target.
    Truly sucks.
     
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  6. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG] If I cared atall about status or rewarding work, I'd have stuck with labwork, and tried out for a PhD. But I'm lazy, prefer living in Amsterdam than chasing research grants, and I chose security because it's really easy money. Most of the time anyway.
    The dutch don't refer to security as 'gentlemen-of-the-good-life' for nothing; I can handle the disrespect that comes with it. Who cares:p.

    The big difference between me and the average security guard, is that I only appear to be an easy target. The social workers misjudge my INT-WIS-CHA, because they aren't aware of my academic education. And the new improved version of me comes wrapped in two crispy layers of legal protection!:yum:

    Actually, since my new legal expenses insurance was just signed yesteday, it won't cover me in this instance. Meaning I may have to take this one on the chin again, if worst comes to worst. I'll know what the problem is in 10 or so hours, when I have the talk at the office.
     
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  7. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    The problem with social workers is that they're total experts on the things that they've never been through. They think bits of paper makes up for a lack of experience.
     
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  8. Nataraja Gems: 12/31
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    +1

    Totally agree with you on that.

    From my personal experience with social workers is that they think they know more than they really do about most situations. They go into any given situation with a whole bunch of a priori beliefs that may or may not necessarily be true or not, and they really dont like giving up those beliefs about the situations. If they went in without prejudging the situations then Id say they would do their jobs a lot better.

    Here in NZ we have had a lot of problems with Child Youth and Family social workers assigning kids to families that abuse them worse than their biological families ever did, in some cases even killing them. Seems that they just dont care.
     
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  9. Son of Bhaal Gems: 17/31
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    Yeah agree again, the best social workers should at least admit from the word go that they don't understand or have any direct experience with the situation they are dealing with EVEN if they had somthing similar happen to them because at the end of the day everyone is different and social workers have to deal with individuals... not statistics.
     
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  10. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    It's not the science that's poor, it's the students.

    I think this reveals the answer to the question of why this happens, and what quality of people you see in social workers and psychiatrists: it's an US versus THEM mentality, and everyone uses it to some degree. You get lumped in with all the other security guards because you're one of THEM. At the same time, you're lumping all social workers and psychiatrists together here because they're all THEM to you.

    In reality, there are many, many great people in all three of those professions, but you never hear about people doing their job right, only wrong. A psychologist will never get into the news for not sleeping with a patient, and a social worker will never get media attention for paying attention at work and caring about the kids. It's only the ones that mess up that get the news.

    The problem is that, in psychology, psychiatry, and social work, if you mess up, you mess up BIG. People messing up in these businesses can kill people, or ruin the rest of their lives. In security, if you mess up, it may just be that something goes unguarded or unwatched for 10 minutes and nothing happens to it, or that something small happens to it, or if you're unlucky, something really bad may happen.

    Knowing you from your posts here, I'm not 100% sure about this. You can be very quick to judge, make irrational claims, and slow to listen to criticism, just like anyone else. If you make a particular effort to be decent and fair, then ok, but if you just take it as "like I'd treat anyone", you may want to take a second look at your actions.

    My advice, if you don't do this already, is to cite the rule you're enforcing, do do it politely, like you're honestly trying to explain why you did what you did, not like you're rubbing their rules in their faces. My other piece of advice: a kind word can turn away wrath. Don't just be polite, be nice, be generous, be understanding, and be meak. Don't let them walk all over you, but don't stab them in the foot when they try. The first line of this battle is in how you interact with them on a daily basis. The trouble with complaints, legal issues, etc. result (at least in part) from that.


    Actually, I'd guess the problem is worse for those who do have experience.


    All in all, though, I approach this from very much the opposite perspecive of Coin. I know several psychologists, counselors, and lawyers, and they're all good, honest, respectable people who listen to criticism, accept judgement, and are generous with others. I'm not about to claim that's 100% of those professions, but there are plenty of both good and bad people in any job.
     
  11. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    Have you ever been in the hands of a social worker or psychiatrist NOG? I'm NOT trying to start a fight I'm just curious!
     
  12. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Social worker, no. Psychiatrist, no. Psychologist (and there is a difference), yes, sort of. I was raised by one, and I've been tested for several things. Never been to therapy, though.
     
  13. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    NOG, it sounds to me like coin is dealing with real dirtbags. Speaking as a teacher of kids who run the gamut from highly gifted to barely bright enough to put their underwear on correctly every morning, I have to say that your techniques work in the majority of cases. But there are those students who are either too stupid or too stubborn and coddled (and some of them can be highly intelligent) to listen to reason, politeness and basic decency. At that point, after having tried the techniques you mentioned, it becomes necessary to drop the hammer on them. Of course, then they'll go and complain to higher authorities, at which point you have to pray to God that those higher authorities will actually back you up rather than backstab you.

    Looks like coin is dealing with some backstabbers.
     
  14. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG] Well, the verdict is in. I went to talk at my office, and got to hear a damning criticism. It wasn't written by the social worker I suspected, but by their team leader again. The same guy who fed accusations of racism, sexual harassment and incompetence to my office about six months ago, came back to deal the finishing blow. When he appeared reasonable last time, he was just windowdressing. In reality he was gathering a portfolio of my 'transgressions' over a period of months, intended to also discredit me when he requested I be banned from the building. The allegations were misinterpreted, exaggerated, or downright lies. There was one complaint, where I was accused of letting a client into the computer room at night, which was so premeditated: I was literally ordered to let her in there by social workers, so that she would be distracted from a recent trauma! Quite simply, I've been framed. That determined social worker that will stop at nothing, which I was so worried about meeting? I had already met him:(.
    When I questioned his report last time, it must have planted a bad seed with him. It has taught me that acting stupid is actually the smart move; next time I won't expect any reason from social workers - I'll have to deal with complaints at the office!

    Fortunately the office was very understanding. Although they appease the customer, they understood perfectly what was going on. They were unaware of the correspondence I had had with the team leader a while back, but even without it, they know me well enough to see the complaints for what they are. :skeptic:They may very well have been appeasing me actually, because they can ill afford to lose a hardworking colleague.

    I promised my work office that I wouldn't contact him, and why would I want to? I feel like I've been assaulted by a gangster - why would I want to come back for more? I'm not good at backstabbing, and if the guy is willing to consciously lie in a report, then he fights dirty.:nolike:

    Heh heh, LKD, I hadn't even read your post, but we both used the word backstabber!:grin:
    Okay, bad choice of words. Yeah it takes a bit more effort to be reasonable with troubled kids, and I do try. I'm also aware that the carrot works better than the stick with them.
    But I upheld the rules strictly, leading to some real friction. Maybe I'm just too down-to-earth to be dealing with them. They require a finesse touch. But whether a social worker does better than a person who genuinely cares and feels for them, is something I really wonder about.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  15. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    You are doing the right things. From the sound of it, this guy has a real chip on his shoulder (is he short? Short men are generally grumpy!). As long as you reamin calm and keep being the bigger person, everyone will see this guy for what he is. At least you've got the support from your management.

    Don't forget, we're all here for you to have a gripe at if it get's a bit much!
     
  16. Nataraja Gems: 12/31
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    Woah dude that sucks. Seems like that guy is just out to get you mate.
     
  17. coineineagh

    coineineagh I wish for a horde to overrun my enemies Resourceful Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG]
    Ha ha ha, no Silvery, he isn't particularly short. He's below average length at most, wears circular glasses, and has a dark moustache and beard. He's rather anal-retentive, and speaks diminutively to people. A bit of a weakling, I think. So maybe he did have something to prove with me.

    The big joke is, that his ban will probably get me a posting at an even better building!:lol:

    Thanks for all your support guys!
     
  18. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Whoa! When Silvery asked if he was short I was assuming she was talking about the man's height - not his length! Furthermore, you actually know that he's below average in length! TMI dude!
     
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  19. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    I DID mean his height! Naughty naughty
     
  20. Nataraja Gems: 12/31
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    Sure you did ;)
     
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