Batshit Crazy Bosses and Other Reasons Working in Social Services Sucks

So here is the deal. My bosses were batshit crazy, in my opinion. I could even say in my professional opinion, but the DSM IV doesn’t ACTUALLY list batshit crazy as a mental illness. I think it should. Because they were. I shit you not. And just for the record, I think asshole, should be in there under personality disorder. That would cover my first supervisor, we will call him Mr. Smith, who got promoted after several months of making my life a living hell. Surprised he got promoted? Me, no not really.

Batshit crazy would describe his alleged, I said, ALLEGED, mistress who was then promoted into his empty position and of course, then became my supervisor.

This is not the blog or rantings of a disgruntled employee with a blog. THIS is a blog of a past employee  who was verbally abused, treated rudely, (okay maybe redundant), threatened AND can fucking write. I also have some serious things to say. So STAND THE FUCK BY. And prepare to be entertained.(Evil laugh here). Bahahahahaha.  The great part is that I don’t have to make anything up. It’s all true. .

I want to make it clear that I don’t hold any grudges or have any hostility towards my past employer. Okay, that part wasn’t true. That one sentence there at the beginning of this paragraph. lol. The rest is true, though. So seriously, stand by to be amused or whatever. Especially any of you who have worked for batshit crazy bosses,  you know, in my opinion.

I was working in a nonprofit, as a case manager. For those of you not familiar with the term, case manager it’s very similar to being a social worker and IT SUCKS. No, not the job, the way you are treated by your supervisors. Well, in my experience and absolutely at a few places that I worked, and at one specific place.

 I actually loved many things about my job. I am a helper. I help people, or I try. I tried and tried for years. I loved working with my clients. Most were really good, kind people, dealing the best they could with a mental illness like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or depression. They were living the best lives they could. I respected and liked them. If you had the honor of knowing them, you probably would too.

 The first four years of my job had its ups and downs. It was stressful and often hard, working  with people in pain, helping people with their private battles, but also sharing in their progress and triumphs.  I had a great supervisor, and that made all the difference. I still respect and love this woman. Nothing I say in this is against her, nothing.

However, I do have some things to say about  the time period when the agency decided to make changes that resulted in two of the worst years of my professional life.  The Department of Children and Families, (DCF) made sweeping changes in the rules regarding  how case management was to be done. Our agency responded by changing everything in ways that made perfect sense, by making the transition as smooth as possible for the clients and the case managers and other employees, being as supportive and understanding as possible, listening to all of our concerns, responding to them in a mature and reasonable way, and working with us every step of the way.  THERE SHOULD BE A SARCASM FONT because they did just the opposite.

When I say they fucked up EVERYTHING, that it seemed like management sat down and figured out how to make it go as badly as possible, to make it as confusing, inconvenient, and stressful as it could be for the clients and the case managers and everyone else,…… and then did it that way, I shit you not.

They moved our offices which included our desks, phones, and some computers,  THREE times in one week because they put new carpeting in one room after another. Rather than do this on the weekend, or close the office for a few days, they had us move from room to room, trying to work, while they did this. That was just physical plant issues.

I got a new supervisor as did many people. At first everything was fine. Then I disagreed with him and nothing was the same after that. I was not rude. I am not a rude person. I am direct. I do state my case.  I simply disagreed regarding a housing issue for a client, advocating for my client as was part of my responsibility, and my supervisor did not like it.

Then the next thing I knew I was sitting at my desk one night after five pm, which I often did to get the ungodly amount of  paperwork done. I was documenting away and my boss, Mr. Smith sat down in a chair behind me. He said and I quote, “I would hate to have to write you up for not making your units.” He said it seriously and in a threatening tone of voice.

We’d had a meeting maybe that day  or at the very least that week where all the case mangers and other employees that worked in our department had complained about being threatened with being written up for not making the recently increased number of units  (billable units equal money for the company) and all the supervisors had agreed they would not threaten us or write us up for this.  This included Mr. Smith, yet here he was, threatening me.

I did not like being threatened with anything and especially in this manner.  I kept my tone of voice calm. I was good at that. I’d had years of practice working with teenagers, children, and adults. I was and am good at keeping a calm voice and manner.

 There was no one else in the room, although I shared the office with six other people. He had waited, in my opinion, for everyone else to go home. I did not know if there was anyone in the offices on either side of the hallways.

I turned around in my seat, a swivel office chair, faced him and calmly said, “I would hate for you to have to do that.”

He did not respond  and seemed surprised at my answer.

I do not like bullies. I never have. It felt like he was trying to intimidate me. I did not like that. At all.  He was a very tall, very large man. At that time I was thin, petite, and I am five foot , four inches tall. Even sitting down, he was much taller than me.  

He walked over to the doorway. He was standing far away from me at that point and he tried joking around. Then he said, “I haven’t been that bad so far, have I?”

I said, “No. Are you going to be?” I was making a serious statement. I said it calmly and seriously.

He again was silent. He looked surprised. He did not say anything if I remember correctly or maybe he jokingly said, “No.”  After a short time he  walked away, leaving the doorway, and walked down the hall and I heard the door to the outside close behind him. 

I can’t remember if it was before or after this that Mr. Smith sat down with me and a coworker, a man, who had been case mangers for well over ten years combined and said, I quote, “I don’t know what your job is, but you are doing it wrong.”

We both kept a straight face and said nothing. We are both polite. patient people and are used to dealing with unusual things. I mean, our clients often tell us about talking to people and seeing things that aren’t there, so this was just another day at the office. Literally.

Then, Mr. Smith spent the next thirty to forty-five minutes (felt longer) telling us how to do our jobs correctly.

 We listened politely and did not make eye contact with each other EVER,  because that is what you do when you need your job and you are a grown up. Also being a grown up can be really stupid.

Eventually, Mr. Smith was promoted and Miss Jones became our supervisor. She threatened to kill me over filing, she really did.

I laughed at her when she said that, not a happy laugh, kind of a shocked, scared, WHAT THE FUCK are you talking about crazy lady and are you kidding, kind of laugh.

Of course we were alone in the office at the time. Things like that ALWAYS happen when you are alone with your boss. She said, “Oh, you think I’m kidding? No, I would really kill  you.” Yep, I laughed again, but an angry laugh because I had been taking her shit for about a year or so at that time and I was done. Done I tell you. I didn’t want to fight her but I would have defended myself if I had to.  I also hoped that I would not have to use the small stapler on my desk in self defense because that was all I could see at that moment in time.

At that moment in time, I was afraid the bitch really had gone bat shit crazy, ummm, allegedly, in my opinion. I was afraid for my life. I would have SHIT myself if she had come at me, but after she threatened to kill me over filing, I’m not sure I would have been surprised. I’m just saying. Who the fuck threatens to kill you over filing? I mean, your boss or anyone, really  should not threaten to kill you, period. But you would think it would be for a good reason. I can’t understand how filing would ever come into it…….like, EVER.

I did not take my eyes off of her. I waited to see what she would do, in case I needed to defend myself.  She stared at me for a while. Then she walked out of the room. She did not try to kill me that day or any other, but that was some seriously disturbing shit. And that is an understatement.

 This same woman, Miss Jones, told me three weeks after my sister died that, ” You need to get over it, or get counseling.” I mean, I was doing my job. I just LOOKED sad sometimes. I mean, EXCUSE THE FUCK OUT OF ME.  I did not like her very much. Again, another understatement. 

Why did I stay there? Well, now, that is hard to answer. During the time I was there, I wanted to quit. Every day I wanted to quit during those last two years. I tried to find another job because financially I needed it in order to quit. Now, I realize I should have just quit and walked out the door, but hindsight and all

And keep in mind, it wasn’t just me. There were twenty or more other people working there, dealing with not the same crap, but crap. The company should be ashamed. I don’t think they are, but they should be.

The two best days of the last two years were when I gave my notice and my last day. Well, there were other good days, when good, even great things happened for clients, but I won’t discuss those here.

The day I gave my notice, the woman had been so abusive for so long and she was still surprised when I gave my notice. In fact, this is what she said, “That’s the second one this week.” My husband said I should have responded, “Maybe it’s you.”

I told him that he said to be positive. He did, and I wanted to leave there and get another job so I was trying to do it right, be professional and all that.. Believe me there were many, many things I would have wanted to say.

A coworker on my same team had given her notice on Monday. I gave mine on Friday. We didn’t plan it that way but it was beautiful, absolutely beautiful that it worked out that way.

My last day on the job, I had dropped the key card that you use to get into the secured parking area behind our building into the no man’s land of the space between the driver’s car seat and the box between the seats. I had repeatedly tried to get my card out of there and failing that had thrown a hanger into my car to try again while at work that day. I knew  Miss Jones would want me to turn it in, and I knew I would have to try again to reach it.

When she asked for the key card, I told her this story. She had a habit of opening her eyes REALLY BIG when she heard something that just did not process at first. I always found it amusing and had occasionally said things to her, when she was being, in my opinion, a bitch, and I was so fed up I could not stand it anymore, just to see her eyes get big.  I wasn’t going for the big eye thing just then, but it was still good.

I told her I could go try again, or she could try if she wanted. I was surprised when she said she would come with me, but what the hell, it was my last day. We went to my car which was beyond messy. My husband said I treated my car like a purse, throwing all kinds of trash in it. Ironic considering what happened next.

My boss, for the last day, got in, siitting in the driver’s seat, me in the passenger seat and I watched as she used the hanger and fished for the keycard. It took her a while. Man, she was determined and it just amused the hell out of me. She finally got it. I laughed, not exactly a friendly laugh, and told her she would never forget me.

Then we walked back inside the office. She asked me for my employee ID. I did not know where the hell it was. I mean, I knew it was in my purse, but my purse was in much the same state as my car, only less trash, more paper. I am disorganized, but brilliant. And modest.

So I started looking in my purse as Miss Jones stood next to me, waiting. I grew impatient with her standing right next to me.  I was also embarrassed that I could not find it. I said, “Leave the office while I Iook for it and I’ll bring it to you when I find it.” She did. It was great. 

One of my coworkers looked at me in amazement after Miss Jones left the room. I laughed and dumped my purse on the table and eventually found the ID. Then I took it to her.

My last day ended without a great deal of  fanfare. At some point in the afternoon they had a cae for me and flowers. It was nice. There were employees that I had worked with that I genuinely liked. I worked with many good people for many years.

I cried when I hugged a few people goodbye.  One of my clients came to see me and I cried when I hugged her good bye. That job gave me the opportunity and the privilege of knowing some incredibly good,intelligent, strong, amazing and kind people.  I will always be grateful for that.

I will not be grateful for the abuse. That would be crazy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About jambiethoughts

My name is Jamie W. Bryant,. Sometimes I drop the W. I am a currently a 55 year old woman with a serious sense of whimsy. I was having a hard time describing myself but when a friend said everyone wanted to be a princess, men and women, I said to call me a Queen, Warrior Queen. I think Whimsical Happy sometimes Silly Warrior Queen Who Takes No Shit But Is Really Kind and loves to have fun but is really responsible might do it. It is long, however I have never been good at editing myself, in SO MANY WAYS, so there is that. If you still have no idea who I am, well, read my blog and try to figure it out. I can be serious. I can be silly. I love to make myself and others laugh. I speak real shit. I believe everyone should be treated with respect, and I will if you will. I calls them as I sees them. I sometimes swear. Gasp! I do not swear when I am in the presence of children, but this blog is for grown ups. You have been warned.
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