Posted in Story Time

Queen of the Mountain, Introduction

I decided to take a detour this week, and this idea popped into my head.  It is developing slowly, but I am in love with the idea.  Let me know what you think.

Keep on pushing,

Visionary Trailblazin’

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The sound of the howling wind made this night eerier.  She sat watching the television, oblivious to the creaking noise in the old wood floor.  Slowly, the door to her bedroom crept open.  She finally noticed the door, and the shock of the tall, dark figure glued her to the bed.  Frozen by fear, she couldn’t yell or move.

“Do you know why I’m here?” said the dark figure.

She shook her head no.

“Has no one told you how special you are,” he asked.

Something seemed to click at that thought, and even though she was scared, she responded, “There’s nothing special about me,” she said.

“Well, I beg to differ, my queen.  I have come to escort you back home,” he stated.

“How did you get in here? Who are you?  If you’re here to steal something, take what you want and leave.  I am not going anywhere with you,” she said with false bravado.

“My queen let me help you remember,” he said gliding slowly towards her.

“Stay away from me,” she said fighting to get to her phone and mace.

Unfortunately, he reached her before she had a chance.  Slowly, he reached out his hand, placing his joined index and middle finger to her right temple.  Something strange began to happen.  She saw a soft haze cloud her room.  It was slowly transformed into a lush forest covered with ancient trees, and the most unusual flying insects she had ever seen.  To her surprise, as the images became more evident, she realized that these were little people.  Fairies!  Suddenly, the vision disappeared, and she was back in her room with the dark man.

“I don’t understand,” she said to the dark figure, now, more confused than scared.

“Well, you are the queen of the mountain,” he beamed, “We are scheduled to leave tomorrow afternoon.”

“I can’t just pack up and leave my life here.  People depend on me here,” she responded.

“That’s exactly why I’m here.  Your people, on the mountain, are depending on you too,” he responded.

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Posted in Just a Thought

Social Work Field Placement

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Social work is not a field for the faint of heart.  If you chose social work as a career to strike it rich, you might need to rethink your goals.  Anything is possible, but…you know.  If someone told you it was the field for you, make sure you agree.  Social work, at its core, is caring, sharing, empowering, connecting, educating, and advocating career field.  Social works’ mission is NOT to take children away from their families.  The brave men and women who strive to be effective change agents, often, work with unfunded mandates, low salaries, irate clients, ebbing and flowing funding sources, hazardous environments, etc.  So, when you decide (or when the profession chooses you), aim for the stratosphere.

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A significant portion of social work education involves the social work field placement experience.  I want to provide some tips and tricks that may assist you in finding the placement and experience you seek and avoiding early mistakes (and maybe some tears).  These tips can work for Bachelors’ and Masters’ level social work programs.

If you are about to embark on the field experience journey, here are some things to consider, as you prepare.

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The Beginning

  1. Verify you are in a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The CSWE establishes the guidelines and standards for social work education programs.  Visit their website for more information: https://www.cswe.org/Accreditation.
  2. Make sure you take all required courses necessary. Yes, research and statistics can be difficult, but you will be grateful for it when you attempt to conduct an evaluation of a program.
  3. Chose your focus (schools, medical, veterans, trauma, families, communities, policy, etc.)
  4. Look for agencies within or related to your chosen field. A rule of thumb is to, initially, pick 3-5 agencies.  Be aware that some social work programs require you to select from their established list.
  5. Research the agencies you pick
    1. How long have they been operating?
    2. What services do they provide?
    3. What other agencies/companies do they partner with?
    4. Where does their funding come from?
  6. Contact the social worker at the agency (unless your program liaison says otherwise)
    1. Find out if they have any open slots for social work interns
    2. Schedule an appointment
  7. Prepare for your interview
    1. Review the initial information you gathered
    2. If they have an annual report or a website, read it
    3. Develop a list of questions for the interview
    4. Prepare for their potential questions
      1. What brought you to social work?
      2. How familiar are you with the agency?
      3. What type of social work or human services experiences do you have?
      4. What are your short-term and long-term goals?
      5. Tell me about a challenging situation you faced.

Wrap-Up

Even if theses questions are not addressed in the interview, these are questions you should consider.  The social work field experience provides you with a fantastic opportunity to develop your skills.  This is your chance to make mistakes, learn what you’re good at, and combine what you have learned with practice.  So, just breathe and get prepared.  If you found this helpful, leave comments, like the post, follow the page, and share.  Any feedback you can provide is appreciated.

Keep on pushing,

Visionary Trailblazin’

 

 

Posted in Just a Thought, Story Time

Top Secret: Co-Workers

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So, today, I just wanted to talk about office shenanigans.  Now, let me put this disclaimer out, these are strictly the musings of the writer.  There is no evidence-based research behind this.  These are my random experiences.  Now, if any of these cases appear to resemble specific people, places, or things, I can neither confirm nor deny their likeness as being a part of this post.  So, let’s dive in.

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At some point in our work experience, we have come across people, and we have created long-lasting friendships and partnerships.  This post is not about them.  Consider this a humorous take on the, often, the stressful and irritating behavior of our co-workers.  Now, many of us find ourselves working in jobs (yes, jobs) that meet our basic needs but may not necessarily fulfill us.  However, we continue to hit the snooze button in the morning and trudge in to report, disgruntled, unhappy, and miserable.  Now, there are also many people who wake up without an alarm clock ready for another day to do what they were born to do.  Guess what most of us have in common? Co-workers!  Our co-workers come in all shapes and sizes, but there are those “special” co-workers that get under our skin just by opening their mouths, and others that make the day better.

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Space Invader:  Those who have no concept of personal space.  They will walk or stand too close and open closed office doors without knocking.  They stand over your shoulder (creepy) and insert themselves in conversations they have nothing to do with. They want you to think they know more than anyone else. Every conversation is not open for group discussion, and, no one is always right.

Storyteller:  Don’t be fooled by the friendly demeanor and appearance of this person.  They often bring gifts, coffee, candy, ink pens…you get it.  They are quietly buttering you up, waiting for you to tell them anything they can repeat to someone else.  Many times, this person pulls double duty, fulfilling multiple irritating roles, all at the same time.

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Tattler:  The tattler may be related to the storyteller.  They often bare gifts and will pretend to like you.  As soon as they think they have some juicy info, the tattler takes any information to anyone they believe will view them as the hero for carrying the tale.

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Investigator:  This person always asks questions (often irrelevant to the job).  Instead of just carrying the tale, they want to gather more information to aid in proving or disproving the lie.  They don’t always bring the tale, but they are famous for shutting people down.  They find the holes in all the stories and they don’t care about hurting people’s feelings in the process.

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Weak Link:  This person will appear to know nothing and do nothing, but they will be at work every day, taking up space.  They are carried, continuously, by everyone else on the team.  They offer empty, distracting, and meaningless conversation, sprinkled throughout the day.  When they receive an assignment, they stretch it out for as long as they can.  One day, they will be your boss.

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Cold Steel:  This person doesn’t break or bend.  On the surface, they are cold as ice.  Don’t ask them unnecessary questions.  DO NOT make them repeat themselves.  They will bite your head off and cut you with their evil eye.  (On the inside: Some of them are softies, but don’t test that theory).  They know their stuff, but they don’t waste time on foolishness.

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Mama/Papa Bear:  This person is the unofficial caretaker for all employees.  They know when you’re pissed, sick, or just, generally, not feeling it. This person can be cold steel, the enforcer, and many others if you rub them the wrong way.

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User:  This person will come in for work and refuse to acknowledge your presence.  As soon as they need you for something, they come up smiling and laughing, only to dump more work on you.  Often, it would have taken less time for them to just complete the task than it did to close the distance between your desks.

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Goofball: This person comes in, speaks to everyone.  They seem nice enough, but they are always joking, laughing, and distracting people from working.  They always seem to be moving around, and it’s a wonder they get any work done.

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Loner:  This person does not engage in any conversation.  They keep their head down, they don’t speak, laugh, or smile.  The only way they will engage with you is if work is involved.  They are not mean, just uninterested in unnecessary connections.

Enforcer:  This person knows their job, your job, and the boss’s job.  They will put you in your place when you’re wrong (sometimes, making you feel like you’re in boot camp).  When the weak link begins their unnecessary dialogue, they shut it down.  They may engage in an occasional laugh, but they are efficient in their delivery of office justice.

Sidewinder:  This person is smooth.  Unlike the weak link, they will let you know that they know everything, but, they may often be caught doing nothing.  They are resourceful and can justify everything they’ve done.  They are your best option for finding shortcuts.

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The Chieftan:  Of course, this person is in charge (maybe).  They are aware that everyone around them is responsible for the outcome of their evaluation.  Many times, this person has no real idea how to perform the duties of their employees.  They are good at micromanagement, helicopter leadership-hovering around the employees, creating hostile environments, and running great employees away.  They, often, have limited concern for the well-being of their workers and will deny any wrongdoing. They are good at taking credit for the outstanding performance of others.

Go-To:  This person has heard it all, seen it all, and knows it all, but they are humble about it.  Most employees ask this person for help when they run into difficulty.  This person can find the needle in the haystack and boost your self-esteem, even when you just asked the same question five minutes ago.  When this person takes a vacation, the chieftan (and most of the employees) freak out.

Ole Faithful:  They are related to the go-to.  They are fraternal twins.  This person has seniority but doesn’t flaunt it.  They work to be a positive role model, but they can turn enforcer when pushed.  They are the people that could run a 30-person operation by themselves and make it look easy.  When this person retires, four people must be hired to replace them.

Hopefully, you enjoyed a laugh about these co-workers.  I wanted to try something a little different.  Work can be stressful, the important thing is trying to find the funny moments.  Even in the worst situations, we have to fight to find the silver lining.

Keep on pushing,

 

Visionary Trailblazin’