I’ve had one of those days.
My patience has worn thin and my stress-o-meter has peaked. I’m ready for bed but I’m also ready to rant. So let’s rant so that I sleep easy.
So, as a part-time thing, I agreed to help out a business I used to volunteer for a few years ago – last year. I didn’t know how long it would be for or what would happen but I agreed anyway as a favour.
So, 8 months down the line, I feel as though I’m unable to progress any further with the role. I decided today to discuss the issues I am having with the business owners and was really honest about how I felt. I don’t like people thinking I can’t manage so to go to them in the first place was a huge step – but I care so deeply for the kids I work with, I had to for their sakes.
And they fobbed me off and put even more crap on me. I came home even more mentally drained and stressed than I did going in. I can’t throw in the towel because these kids have started to trust me and open up to me, but I don’t know what to do about the lack of support I am receiving. When I told them about the problems I have been having, their response was ‘ah, yeah.. well.. that’s what it’s all about, just keep.. doing what you do, we know you’re very capable so just.. carry on‘.
Wow cheers lads! Excellent speech. Now where the hell is the help at?! Instead, they decide to put work placement students in my sessions – that’s 7 students – without having jobs for them. 7 students plus me and my assistant, who is also a work placement student with a learning disability, to run a session for two kids. Am I the only person that is seeing sense? What the hell am I supposed to do with 7 students – 4 foreign exchange students, 3 college students – an assistant that needs looking after and minding due to his behaviour and 2 kids with a learning disability.
Maybe I’ll feel better after some sleep but I will be going to bed deflated and confused. See the thing with my managers are – the session I run for them isn’t important to them anymore. They say it is but it isn’t – because it isn’t their main source of income like it used to be. I took over a failing/failed session that I left behind 2 years ago. In that time, what I had developed and created was passed from person to person and chopped, altered and changed to resemble nothing of the successful session I used to run. It had dwindled, lost custom and been put to the back of the pile.
When I took over last year, I was shocked and disheartened but I thought I could make a difference. I have, in ways, but not entirely the ways I had hoped. Maybe I don’t realise how much the session means to the kids, as I feel like I’m pulling teeth some weeks. But others, such as last week, where one of the kids actually came and sat on my knee after months of not coming near me, was so touching and meaningful. I feel like on a personal level, I have made such progress. The oldest confides in me, the youngest now trusts me. It’s so wonderful. Maybe the progress is in their self-development, not the session…
But the students thing has tipped me over the edge. They are literally dumping students on me because they don’t know what to do with them when they turn up. They accept the fee for taking them – ‘yeah great, we’ll see you tuesday!’ but on most occasions, they aren’t there to meet them and on every occasion, they don’t know what work to give them. They don’t have the work available to give them – so they just put them wherever. Like putting shit under your bed to be cleaned up ‘later’. You’re not gonna remember that stuff until it’s been there months and you check for something else and happen across it. Grrr!
You know what – ranting has actually helped me realise how important what I do for those kids is. They rely on those 2 hours a week, to be themselves and appreciated, not be one of 7 kids or the kid of a family in poverty. I owe them that. They deserve to be free to explore and grow. I provide them with that and I’m quite proud actually. There was a method in my madness, look at that. You just witnessed some self-development!
Just the issue of those pesky students to sort out now. Hmm.