Confessional/Work-1/2

Jason

As i have stated previously, my job is to provide services for people with disabilities. This is something I have been doing my entire life, as I have a family member with a developmental disability. As well, I have been trained by people who also had an abundance of experience working with basically every type of mentally disabled person you could think of. As a result, I take a lot of pride in my job and am very good at what I do.

Being good at this job and continuing to have work, however, often come into conflict. See, when we provide services to a client, we provide services based off of a system of goals and these goals are in context to making the individual independent, meaning they no longer need our help. Meeting these goals can be tricky, but most of the time, meeting the goals has to do with not what I do with the client, but what the people who live with the client do.. Thus, your ability to meet these goals, largely pertains to the teaching ability you have.. Because, I only get a certain allotted amount of time with the client, maybe 40 hours a week, maybe 40 hours a month, unless I live with the client, but otherwise, those 40 hours a week and 40 hours a month do not match up to the hours that the people who live with the individuals spend with them, thus, the individuals predominately follow what the people who spend the most time with them do.

Training these parents to actually work with these people who have mental disabilities can often be very tiresome, because obviously, these individuals are their children and to a certain extent, there is this idea that the parent should be able to raise the child whichever way they want.. So, in essence, being said as sensitively as possible, being a worker, means correcting their mistakes.. Because, if they were not making mistakes in the first place, there would really be no need for us, the workers, outside of providing respite for them, for, lets say, if they wanted to go on a vacation or what not. We call this negativity stemming from the home or school life, ‘Behaviour Management’ and often, the client gets the blame for doing said negative behaviour, when really, we should be looking for where they learned the negative behaviour from.

A great example of learned negative behaviour is racism. When you put a black baby and a white baby in the same pen, they do not fight with each other or call each other “Niggers and Crackers”, they just play.. But through the babies being around other people who have learned racism from others themselves, they begin to adopt this mentality of racism.

With this being said, as I have stated, working with these parents can be troubling, because they are asking us to rid the individual of these negative behaviours, so that they can continue to stay at home with them, when in reality, these negative behaviours are almost always being caused by them and when we take into account this idea of “This is my child, I can raise them the way I want!” we, as workers, find ourselves in an endless cycle of negativity.

This endless cycle of negativity, is something that agencies, who employ individuals, such as myself, LOVE. This means endless cash from government contracts, because the negative behaviours will essentially never end. Now this is where workers like myself come in, who actually have the ability to end this cycle of negativity, through proper teaching, communication, being relatable since I know what it is like to have a family member be disabled and have also watched my parents deal with this issue for over 20 years, I know what to expect, what not to expect, when to expect it and so on. Workers like me, who actually perform the job, are very problematic, because we teach these families how to work with their children properly, thus, eliminating the need for us, as workers, to even be there in the first place.. Then, the client leaves the agency, the money dries up and the agency begins secretly pointing fingers at us and saying “We cannot allow this individual to continue to work with our clients, because we as a business will go broke!” <— A fair point, i understand.

In this place, we find conflict then. I am constantly conflicted against the agencies I work with. I do to good of a job. This is where the problem lies, why I cannot find any work right now, with the agency I am currently with. They see my ability to work with these people, as a negative thing, rather than a positive thing.

I do not have an education in this field. I cannot advance past the ground level. I want to work with individual’s who are much harder to deal with, but lacking the education, I cannot move forward. It pains me to say it, but I do not think I want to be in this field for much longer, because of these types of politics involved. I know working with harder individuals, who are even violent, which I have done in the past, will be taxing on my skills, but I am positive I can adjust, but again, without the education to back those skills up, I am left hanging by my own thread.

Right now, there is an individual in the library I am in. They are here everyday. The staff with the individual, is believed to be helping this individual, when in reality, all they do is just sit in this library, doing nothing. The individual cannot read or write, so the individual just sits here watching the staff play on their phone all day, until it is time to leave. This guy, is the bread and butter of the agency. They love this guy. This guy makes them money and will continue to make them money for the foreseeable future, through ensuring that the individual learns nothing, does nothing, meets as few goals as possible and makes the parents believe the individual is incapable, rather than teaching them or showing them things that they can do to help the individual’s progress.

They say the system of mental health in Alberta is broken. They say, that it is simply riddled with mistakes and errors. This is the type of service that caters to the mental health plans in Alberta, to make these people like fucking slaves to the system, so that everyone around them can profit off of their misery. I find it disgusting, but I suppose, if I do not fall in line, I will continue to find no work. On the bright side, this position is fantastic for foreign people, who can barely speak English, because the position literally requires you to do nothing with the individual.. That is the only good part about this.. So foreign workers, come to Alberta, find employment with these agencies and whatever you do, be as fucking lazy as you possibly can, to ensure you have a job tomorrow.

 

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