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How about a little frank advice...(please)(64 posts)

How about a little frank advice...(please)AllisonHayes
Jun 17, 2002 7:32 AM
It seems like I have generated a ton of controversy for myself for the following reasons:

1. I have an offbeat sense of humor that some seem to like yet seems to irritate others.

2. I am take a stand against those who "flame" and "bully" others because, to me, that kind of behavior is uncalled for and I would think those on this board would have higher standards--only to find myself the prime target of their attacks.

3. I have been criticized for posting too much, being verbose, trying "too hard," looking to be "stroked" and not having "substance."

There are those who find what I write "refreshing" or "creative." I try to bring an original perspective to everything I do as well as have a lot of fun while doing it. That is who I am. I am also a very supportive person. However, this situation has me in a dilemna.

So, should I:

1. lay low
2. change my style (and to what)
3. post shorter messages
4. ignore the critics (i.e., just don't take the bait)
5. and what about "defending" someone else--yes or no or what?


#4. keep doing what you are doingmr_spin
Jun 17, 2002 7:44 AM
On an internet forum, there will always be someone who will criticize you. No matter how right you are, someone will find something to complain about. 2 + 2 = 4? Not in a base three numbering system. 2 + 2 = 11. If they can't complain about content, then it's length, frequency, tone, etc. Oh well. The cardinal rule always applies: you don't have to read it.

I am surprised to see you post this. There are far more annoying people than you, including probably myself. You are so far down the list, it's not even close.

Doug said something the other day that is true for most of us. You find yourself posting way too much and you force yourself to stop for a while. I do that, and I think all of the "regulars" here do it too.
We'll just feed 'em to the lions...AllisonHayes
Jun 17, 2002 1:03 PM
I still think your reply to MikeC's post was one of the funniest I have read. I still laugh each time I read it. Great stuff!!!!

From the MALE lion perspective (remember, the females do all the hunting)...

Hmm, what? Is that a zebra?
Lioness #2, go check it out!
Not a zebra? A Gnu? Damn Gnus. What's Gnu? Heh heh. I gotta get my eyes checked.
Hey! No snickering, ladies.
You, lioness #3, come scratch my tummy.
Alright, that's enough.
Huh? Wha? I hear Hyenas.
Ah, now there's a new scent. Lionesses #1 and #2, check it out.
Oh, hey, good job lionesses! What do you have there? It kind of looks like a zebra. And it was as fast as a zebra? Faster? Huh.
I wonder what "Acqua & Sapone" means. Very strange.
Alright folks, let's eat.

mr_spin "I need a poet, a scientist, an African..." 5/14/02 9:31am
forgot about that onemr_spin
Jun 17, 2002 1:49 PM
You can sure tell the days I'm bored at work!

After I posted that, I realized I should have called all the lionesses "Elsa." A small refinement that is not really funnier, just cleaner to read. Lioness is a tough word, especially in plural. Ah, but who really remembers Born Free anyway?
I wouldn't change a wordAllisonHayes
Jun 17, 2002 2:16 PM
after all, the imperious lion wouldn't bother with calling anyone in his harem by name would he? :)
#4 and #5DINOSAUR
Jun 17, 2002 7:51 AM
#4.....those of us who have been posing here for a couple of years have learned to avoid arguing or debating with other folks. It's a no win situation as someone always wants to have to last word. No one is perfect and no matter what you say someone will disagree with you. Just continue to post and don't worry about it. #5 is good also, don't be sucked in....don't let them chase you away...
I guess it IS a learning processAllisonHayes
Jun 17, 2002 12:32 PM
DINOSAUR, you are so cool at netting it out! I guess I am not used to such violent disagreements and base behavior. But I have never been interested in internet forums until this one. thx!
try #6Starliner
Jun 17, 2002 8:26 AM
6. humor the boys with more pictures of Laetitia
ooh la la, eh?AllisonHayes
Jun 17, 2002 11:24 AM
Why was everyone so enthralled with the CC one anyway? I am glad someone saw the humor....:)
Underdogs and poetsrideslikeagirl
Jun 17, 2002 8:35 AM
Don't change a thing! @%&* 'em if they can't take a joke.
and joke 'em if they can't take a @%&*. ; ) (nm)Sintesi
Jun 17, 2002 9:27 AM
Now that's attitude!!AllisonHayes
Jun 17, 2002 11:17 AM
Maybe we need to have a poetry slam for all the underdogs around here. :)
#4 and #5weiwentg
Jun 17, 2002 8:36 AM
the critics can go to hell.
yes, your sense of humor is not normal. neither is mine - it's a bit morbid, which is worse.
I would say don't worry about it. the only person accusing you of narcissism is our good and dear friend lazywriter. who, as we all know, is one of the following: a) 14 years old, b) suffering from a personality disorder, c) otherwise having issues, d) a troll, or e) an ass.
ABnormal humor too, eh?AllisonHayes
Jun 17, 2002 12:26 PM
But, as rideslikeagirl stated, "Don't change a thing! @%&* 'em if they can't take a joke."

weiwentg, you really have some good leadership skills: keep up the good work, it shows in your posts.

btw, I particularly found your post, "What is Israel doing wrong" to be very thought provoking and insightful.
thank youweiwentg
Jun 17, 2002 5:55 PM
that's very kind of you.
in my case, to adapt to society, I had to restrain the sense of humor. it usually doesn't surface now; this isn't necessarily bad. I think, though, that your humor is far more socially acceptable, and will not need to be put underground.
Set your own standards.Len J
Jun 17, 2002 8:56 AM
This is an Internet Forum, it attracts a very diverse group of people, that is both its attraction & its problem. You have to choose what you want out of it & let go of the rest.

A wise person once told me that I didn't have to keep fighting somone who was a jerk, I had to trust that everyone else saw them for who they were. In addition, I didn't have to prove to anyone else who & what I was, who and what I was was clear by how I behaved.

As far as what you should what you think is best. Be clear on why you are doing what you do & be honest in reassessing your own motives.

I personally try not to feed the trolls. The only "defense" I do is against Hate & personal intolerance. I leave the trolls to bottom feed.

BTW, the people you seem to defend don't need it. Constructivly (since you asked) it sometimes seems that you enjoy inciting one particular troll, believe me, most of us are aware of the color of his stripes. I would ask you a more pertinent question: What is it about him that seems to "push" more of your buttons? If you can figure that out, you will be well on your way to answering your own question.


BTW, I enjoy most of your posts.
bottom feeding trolls--you nailed it!AllisonHayes
Jun 17, 2002 11:40 AM
Yep, I have said all I intend to this particular troll! Learned my lesson well...

Hey, that was great you had a chance to meet MB1 & Miss M. Sounds like you made some friends and truly enjoyed the day.

Keep us posted on your job searching efforts; use your time to get energized, reflect a little bit & enjoy your family.

Jun 17, 2002 9:33 AM
Carry on as you are - life's too short, especially given:

1) It's the internet - it's not real life; and
2) Lots of people would be very different in the real world on the same subjects, so a good deal of it's fiction anyway.

Variety - more the merrier.
Jun 17, 2002 11:28 AM
I wouldn't change. If you recall, I am one of the folks that criticized you. If others don't like what you post they can skip it, like I do. You will get those who are compelled to say something, like I have, that may not be very nice. What I wouldn't do is fill up the board with an endless back and forth (I know you are but what am I?) with lazywriter, who although I agree SOMEWHAT with what he says I don't often like how he says it. Honestly, I find your posts a chore to read because they are so long and have little substance, so I now skip them (this one excepted of course). For example, if you want to call lazywriter a snake, call him a snake, don't write 6 paragraphs playing off a popular fable, where one sentence will do. I just don't have the patience for it. I hope you see this as constructive...
Jun 17, 2002 11:30 AM
I contradicted myself. I started off saying "don't change" then gave suggestions for change. D'oh!
The "endless back and forth" responses are overAllisonHayes
Jun 17, 2002 12:12 PM
Thanks for the honest criticism.

And, I will try to make my posts shorter where it makes sense to do so.

As for substance--that will take some thought. Does humor count where there might be a lack of substance? :)
i have a question....gregario
Jun 17, 2002 11:34 AM
what do you do for a living? i'm curious. I'm guessing either something artistic or you're a social worker.
I am a peddlerAllisonHayes
Jun 17, 2002 12:02 PM
Seriously, I am an acct exec selling computers in life sciences, healthcare and insurance. I get a chance to hang out with really bright technical people who design smart card technology, the hospital-of-the-future and next generation web-enabled services. My job is to sell what these people design.

In real life I have an artistic & creative bent--but that doesn't make me any money :(

wow, I was wrong!gregario
Jun 17, 2002 12:10 PM
you obviously spend a lot of time formulating your posts and you have empathy for others so I was headed in that direction....
very wrongMJ
Jun 18, 2002 4:31 AM
do you actually know any social workers?

most people who don't know any social workers think they'd be real nice people who just want to selflessly do good - nothing could be further from the truth - in dealing with the bottom of the heap you get pretty tough pretty quick and have little time for sympathy or empathy - in fact sympathy and empathy can actually prevent a social worker from doing their job effectively

I would think that a frustrated white collar worker or someone who doesn't spend much time looking 'real life' in the face is far more likely to have empathy
uh, yeah i do, do you?gregario
Jun 18, 2002 6:21 AM
my sister is a social worker, Masters in Social Work, currently Director of Rehabilitation at a Hospital. Before that she couseled folks. That's why I asked, Allison reminds me of her. Very emphatic, shows concern for others. Very liberal politics.
uh, yeah i do, do you?MJ
Jun 18, 2002 8:06 AM
I was a social worker for five years before ending up now as a lawyer - I've never worked with as many people who were genuinely 'hard' and still professional as my old social work teams - (I would include myself in that group as well) - the soft ones burn out - empathy is useless for sustaining a career on the front line as a social worker - people who go all mushy and empathetic aren't any use to anyone in need

for the record a front line social worker would class a 'Director' as 'Management' - the more degrees the more removed from dealing with clients - and also for the record 'Management' are never considered to be social workers by front line social workers who deal with clients - though to be fair titles are generally meaningless in any career path and maybe your sister is working front line work as a Director - I remember most people in Management insisted they were still social workers when they wre actually administrators and in fact rarely saw clients - they work necessarily at a higher level...

politics is an entirely different discussion - most people who work in the caring professions (management or front line) are indeed liberal - though I find that amongst other like minded professionals there is a short hand communication when discussing matters, usually work, which outsiders would term decidedly right wing

not having a go at you (or your sister) but it continually astounds me that people think social workers are altruistic, full of good intentions and can manage to scrape together empathy at the drop of a hat when in fact the opposite is true in my experience - maybe my experience is the exception
True emapthy is...Kristin
Jun 18, 2002 9:37 AM
Here's what webster says it is:
Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives.

I believe that what you are referring too as empathy, I would probably call co-dependance. True emapthy has nothing to do with going all mushy and getting soft or being manipulable (to create a word). When other people can stir up emotions in us that cause us to feel so sorry for them that we no longer do whats best for them, but rather what they want us to do, then we are being manipulated and have poor boundaries. I think that is an indicator of disfunction not of empathy.

On the other side of the coin, I also believe that many of those who justify being "hard" as social workers are equally as disfunctional as the mushy codependants with no boundaries. The hard ones often have MANY walls and use their rough edges to defend themselves. These should not to be put on a pedastal. (This is a generalization and not meant to point a finger at you MJ. I've never met you and don't know anything about your heart.)

The fact is that everyone in this world is broken. To compensate we build walls, lack boundaries, wear masks, and play roles in order to cover and hide from ourselves and others. The fact is that most people are content to play thier role and live life as best as possible through their own set of circumstances and pain. And why not, in order to take off our masks, quit the role and fight disfunction, we must wade through craploads of emotional garbage. We must lay bare our broken souls. But there are a precious few who choose to don the hip boots and step in--these, over time, will possess true empathy. Because they had the courage to live in truth; they know the way and can teach others.

I believe that true empathy is as strong and bold as it is soft and gentle. A truly empathetic person is able to guard their own boundaries while sincerely seeking a "best" solution for the other person. Self sacrifice without receiving injury. True empathy is a mark of high character.
Jun 18, 2002 11:49 AM
true empathy is irrelevant - as is my heart - to helping anoybody as a professional - though I appreciate you are making a point about something...

of course the many walls (and there are many) are defensive - it's only natural - I'm not particularly interested in recounting the horrors that I'm anaesthetised to...

I would say that those who do not build walls, play roles, suffer through disfunction, and hide are in a broken world - and generally disconnected from reality

true empathy is not involving yourself or your hip boots in other peoples problems or deigning to teach people - it may surprise you to know that most people who need help don't like that they need help, don't recognise they need help and rarely agree with the provision of help offered by others - they certainly don't want, need or appreciate sympathy from a social worker (haven't you seen ER?)

IMO true empathy is caring on a personal level about someone and attempting to place yourself on a personal level in someone else's shoes (though even that is ultimately impossible) - true empathy does not exist outside of a personal relationship - it has no bearing on any professional relationship

as for truth and knowing the way - well I know that when I rode home at the end of the day on my $1500 mountain bike after making people homeless, taking away their children (and other such gems) that my truth and somebody else's truth are probably measured by different criteria - truth is, I didn't mind the rain... nor do/did I mind admitting that I don't have a clue about what the truth is not could I ever be as presumptuous as to tell somebody else what it is or imply I could

what people in need need is not a well meaning hippy(?) who can sacrifice while avoiding injury - they need someone to make a professional decision based coldly and objectively upon the information that is presented without reference to a client's or their emotional baggage - a professional decision that will do them the most objective good - (as you said the best decision) - strong and bold soft and gentle maybe, but that's not my experience: it's normally deeply unpleasant on many levels - at its core the most base strife/conflict imaginable

such a professional decision is not a mark of a higher character it is the mark of someone doing their job
Respectfully, I disagree with everything you've written here.Kristin
Jun 18, 2002 12:10 PM
My experience leads me to think quite differently than you do about these matters.
and I would have to disagree, tooweiwentg
Jun 18, 2002 5:36 PM
empathy is perhaps one of the best things since sliced bread. I think having empathy is part of what makes us truly human. we have enough hard-asses in this world, thank you very much. I say better to be mushy and all that than to lose touch with that basic part of our humanity. your cat or dog can love you in their own way, but can't empathize with you. the Nazis didn't empathize with the Jews, the Israelis and the Palestinians don't empathize with each other, the US often doesn't empathize with the Muslim world (and admittedly, vice versa).
I think you misunderstoodMJ
Jun 19, 2002 12:48 AM
here it is put simply -

empathy is good

empathy from a social work (caring professional) is not good
OK, I misunderstood. but I still disagree - see Kristin's postweiwentg
Jun 19, 2002 5:07 PM
Respectfully, I disagree with everything you've written here.MJ
Jun 19, 2002 12:34 AM
and while I respect your (personal?) experience - my professional experience leads me to my conclusions

that's the funny thing about working with people in need - everyone, though usually the (genuinely) well meaning, has an opinion about what the professionals should do - and most of the opinions, though well meaning, just aren't applicable or relevant

it's funny that people totally discount the professional experience and education of 'caring professionals' because they somehow know best (based upon what?) - I call it 'meddling' - on what basis have you rejected my professional experience? I'm not taking shots or trying to flame you - I'm just a bit surprised that you (and others) would ignore everything I wrote - it'd be like telling Dinosaur how to cuff people or deal with a car in a high speed pursuit; or tell Doug how to present a court case or draft a brief - it's very curious indeed

what you wrote, and therefore presumably believe, seems relevant for friendship and close personal relationships

however, such views for a social worker, in my experience are untenable, unprofessional and destructive - if you mentioned any of that (from a social work point of view very patronising) stuff in my old office you'd be out on your ear faster than a client could bring a claim of discrimination

if you want to find out what people in need need from professionals read an intro. social work text book from a library - you may find that you are confusing effective professional communication skills with empathy
I'm curious........Len J
Jun 19, 2002 4:36 AM
to explore this a little. A few questions:

1.) Do you think that the "lack of sympathy or empathy" you describe in professional social workers is a result of hardening in order to survive the day? In other words, is it a survival mechanism that protects them from the "Horrors" they are exposed to daily?

2.) My experience is that those people I know who got into social work did so out of a genuine place of caring, consequently, it is difficult to reconcile your experience with the people that I knew who persued (& were seemingly successful) this path. How do you reconcile that?

3.) Does the lack of empathy & sympathy you describe result in a formulary approach to problem solving that ignores the unique "human" component of each persons problem? Your description gave me a picture (in my head) of a group of social workers dealing with cases, not people. It sounds like a processing plant devoid of compassion. Is this really what it is?

I'm not trying to attack or flame, just trying to get my mind around the implications of the reality you describe.


I wish I'd read this beforeKristin
Jun 19, 2002 5:45 AM
I'd posted my last response. This was very well done. I responded defensively, and I feel badly now. Chalk it up to lack of wisdom I guess. Though I supose that will come with time and white hair. Thanks for posting.
Well, I have the time.......Len J
Jun 19, 2002 6:08 AM
but thankfully no white hair.

My response came less from wisdom than from genuine curiosity. It sounds to me like MJ has experience that is different from part of my view of the world, I'm just trying to integrate his experience with mine in order to understand better.

I enjoy this type of thing.

Empathy vs professional behavior & desensitizationAllisonHayes
Jun 19, 2002 5:52 AM
(First, I find this an excellent and thoughtful discussion. Good points have been made, good questions raised and some healthy disagreement thrown in too. Kudos to all--if only this could become the norm.)

Medics in WWII became desensitized to the horrific wounds in the battlefield but demonstrated tremendous empathy and courage in treating the injured, making hard calls, setting up instant triage resulting in life and death decisions. In the book, "Flags of our Fathers," one particular medic never talked about his efforts and heroism: the pain was too much to endure. He did, however, dedicate his life to serving the community and lived the rest of his life by always showing empathy to others.

I agree with MJ that "hard calls" need to be made on a routine basis. What we have is a system that may be somewhat effective--but is far from perfect. Case workers overworked; insufficient resources; limited followup; people caught in a complex economic, psychological, criminal, social morass. What MJ describes would literally destroy anyone bringing their personal feelings into the job.

The criteria or guidelines used to determine appropriate action may or may not solve the problem for the individual, but addresses a larger, social need. As MJ said, "most" people needing assistance probably are better served by an objective and impartial professional.

It is probably the rare case where it is possible to explore mitigating circumstances, to show anything more than professional compassion.

I believe what MJ is describing is the real world, it is not pretty and it is not easy. People probably do become desensitized as well as burned-out.

This does not, however, take away from--nor diminish--our individual responsibility to demonstrate compassion and empathy.

(This topic is worth exploring further, perhaps in a new post.)
interesting questionsMJ
Jun 19, 2002 6:30 AM
1. yeah I think the hardening mechanism is a result of the exposure to traumatic situations. I think it is only natural and actually quite healthy. I understand that cop's, firemen, nurses, doctors, EMT's, etc. have a similar 'hard' outlook after a bit of time. I don't think it's a hindrance to the job or dealing with someone's needs. But the black humour associated with the job helps - as does exercise, drinking etc. The job is like injecting stress and adrenaline - any release is welcome.

2. I think most people who go into social work do go into the field with the aim of helping people. (It certainly isn't a field that attracts those that wish to be well paid!) I think that's why I got into it... Some people talk a good game about wanting to help other people - but have (often severe) personal problems they bring with them -in fact personal problems actually attract people to the job. It's the old gem about the only people who study psychology have psychological problems - it's often true for social work as well. A great way to avoid your own problems is to work with other peoples.

I think alot of people have that niceness beaten out of them and leave the profession. Alot of people go into social work 'management'. Some people toughen up and provide the care and support that clients need. It can be a real baptism of fire.

I bet you would be surprised if you overheard your friends' conversations at work with other professionals.

Ultimately I think you have only so much to give on the front line - look at any child protection team and compare the turnover rate to other professions - or even departments in social services. (Effective management is key here - though they don't have alot of people kicking in the door to work in social serivces.)

3. You are working with (unique) human components and that has to be kept in mind. But many problems aren't that unique - just like a doctor who has experience of performing a particular operation - each patient is different - but each operation is the same.

Social workers have cases not people. Though the decisions on the cases affect real people it is a decision making process, akin to a factory, that functions best for clients by looking at issues and needs objectively. (Think of doctors doing rounds or case conferences to discuss a patient.)

Clients don't want a friend in a social worker - they want a professional. It's not important that clients like a social worker (they often don't) or vice versa (client's are often difficult to like - nobody's a fan of criminals, violent mental patients or child molesters) - it is important that clients get appropriate services from a social worker delivered in a professional manner.

Compassion is using relevant statutory legislation to its full extent. Compassion is helping people help themselves. Delivering services to people in need is an act of compassion - but a social worker is merely an agent for society's compassion or lack thereof. You can't magic up services that aren't funded... even if they're needed

This is the tricky part that can often be confused with empathy - effective communication with people in need is the real skill in social work.
Thanks for the thoughtful (& thought provoking) response.Len J
Jun 19, 2002 6:45 AM
A few more questions.

1.) It sounds like you have to walk a very fine line between emotional engagement and objective distance, which side do the best social workers lean?

2.) What did you do when a particular case "broke thru" your "protection"? How bad did it get?

3.) I read a book 25 years ago by a family court judge in Philadelphia named Lisa Richette called "Throwaway Children" that touched me deeply. She also went to great lengths to stay as objective as possible in the face of day after day of unimaginable horrors done to children. Her outlet was a mission to not let society ignore these events and she spent a lifetime fighting for these children. The cause was her outlet as she dealt with individual cases. She still described going home at night and collapsing in grief. I always admired the courage she showed in going back day after day, year after year. What was your coping mechanism that allowed you to stay human, acknowledge the pain and still carry on?

Thanks for the enlightenment.

Thanks for the thoughtful (& thought provoking) response.MJ
Jun 19, 2002 7:44 AM
1. it is a fine line - and can be difficult to balance - it can also be difficult for clients to remember you're not their friend - even more so when you like them

the best social workers go in every day and do their job knowing their work is often futile and ineffectual - it's the equivalent of sticking a finger in a dyke and watching three other leaks spring up out of reach

I think everyone wants to do good work - and everybody has a different burn out/capcity to soak things up - self-preservation is the only way you can stay ion the game and actually be of any use - so I would lean towards objectivity every time - though everyone is different

2. the things that broke through my protection were usually when I was attacked or assaulted at work (which happened quite frequently) - one memorable (and bloody) suicide attempt also comes to mind as does drugging a client who was being committed to a secure psych unit - I relied on friends, drugs, drink, sex and exercise to get me through those things - but they'll always be with me - the support of my work colleagues also got me through difficult times - they are fantastic people - getting back in the saddle usually was an effective tonic as well

3. it may not surprise you to know that my professional coping mechanism was to fight the system tooth and nail on a client's behalf when we/I thought the system was wrong (morally, legally or professionally) or if we thought something should be provided to someone which wasn't being provided for whatever reason - if we, as a team were restricted from providing services which I/we felt were appropriate for a client I often referred them to appropriate lawyers who would come in and kick our ass on behalf of the client - helping people help themselves is great stuff - that would have been considered grounds for dismissal by some and doing my job by others

I often enjoyed the fight against what I could consider injustice as much as winning the fight.
Sound like heros! Thanks for the view. nmLen J
Jun 19, 2002 7:59 AM
Rebel with a cause...AllisonHayes
Jun 20, 2002 7:58 AM
..."I often referred them to appropriate lawyers who would come in and kick our ass on behalf of the client - helping people help themselves is great stuff..."

Hero's indeed!

"the support of my work colleagues also got me through difficult times"

Who helps the helper? This must be the hardest part.

MJ, thanks for sharing,

You've made some pretty big assumptions hereKristin
Jun 19, 2002 5:42 AM
Do you assume that everyone who disagrees with you must therefore have zero training in a relavant field?? Because, of course, if they did, then they would have to agree with you...right?

Well, wrong. I'm educated in both psychology and social science--admittedly undegreed at this time. I have been through the counceling gammut--and will continue in this gammut. Know many MANY people in the fields of both social work and clinical psychology. Believe me, I know the arena well enough. And I still disagree. Perhaps, there isn't only ONE way for people in the field of psychology to approach things. Can you not see that?

If I was in need to social services (indeed, I have been) then the last type of person I would want to meet is someone who is cold as steel and couldn't really give a crap about my situation. I've met all types...the mushy, the cold/disconnected and some that were sincerely heartfelt and wise. As I sit here now and take a survey of my experience with DCFS and other organizations and social workers over the years, I can HONESTLY say that it was the ones with empathy who helped me the most in the long run. If in no other way than to be a role model. Many of them demonstrated love and strength of character I had never before seen. They made me want to become a better person myself, gave me goals and a reason to live on.
re: assumptionsStarliner
Jun 19, 2002 6:17 AM
It seems that this issue is becoming a black and white thing, when the grey area rule would be more appropriate. I don't believe MJ is devoid of empathy, I think what he is saying is that when he was a foot soldier, he had to turn the dial down in order to make it through the day - and thus his conclusions.

However, as you alluded to, having "hard" boundaries can be difficult and dangerous, if one becomes entrenched within and unable to move out whenever it should be appropriate to do so. Lost in the space within...

I can't imagine ever doing this kind of work without needing a lot of ongoing healing for my own self in order to keep spiritually healthy and balanced.
Jun 19, 2002 6:36 AM
entrenchment is dangerous on a personal level - on a professional level it was a coping mechanism - work often affected my personal life in that regard

drink, drugs, exercise, sex, friends, travel and talking kept me going - it was hard to stay balanced - but I was honoured to have been able to work in the team - I learned alot

I'm glad I don't do it anymore :-)
You've made some pretty big assumptions hereMJ
Jun 19, 2002 6:55 AM
degrees or undegrees don't matter - working in the field is the only thing that matters... receiving services

but you're right - people have different ways of working in every field

it's not about not giving a crap, or being hard as steel or mushy - it's about making an objective decision about someone's best needs and communicating effectively - clearly the people who worked with you communicated effectively and did a good job - great stuff

I met plenty of clients who had we met under different circumstances I would have bought them a beer or had a personal interest in them - but it's rare for someone who works at that end of the employment sector to devote any personal emotional investment to a client or a client's problems - it is a job - their job was to make you a better person

imagine if a doctor got upset everytime a patient died... it's the same thing

I'm not having a go at you or denying your experience - but I think your experience and my experience may reflect the nature of our personal and somewhat different experiences with social work. I brought up the original point(s) as it seemed to me that Gregario didn't have much experience of front-line social work.

my experience remains - social workers are the people least likely to be empathetic in a random group of people - my experience is that they are the least sympathetic
Very well said, I'm gonna remember this. Thanks nmLen J
Jun 18, 2002 2:40 PM
Post what you want, when you want to, and how you want to.bikedodger
Jun 17, 2002 11:39 AM
If someone is offended, then they have a problem, not you.

I someone is too offended, then they should not read any future posts by you.

you're fineDougSloan
Jun 17, 2002 1:01 PM
I think you're fine. Brevity is always welcome. Four and five are fine.

No matter what you do, someone will criticize.

My advice to you....4bykn
Jun 17, 2002 1:09 PM
Be yourself. If you cant be who you really are and be accepted for it, then the world of this forum has a problem. If you post something I dislike (hasn't happened yet), I'll just ignore it. A policy a few others would do well to emulate. If you have something you feel is worth saying, by all means say it!
See, most people like Allisyn (sp?)Kristin
Jun 17, 2002 2:31 PM
I got slammed a couple times out here too. I don't think its so much my problem as theirs. But I did back off from posting somewhat. The reason: I was getting stressed, and who needs to get stressed over a friggin internet forum. There's lots more important stuff for me to worry about in life. This ain't gonna be one of them.

Hey was the metric? I was bummed I couldn't make it. But its all for the better. I think I'm getting in one ride a week these days. Arg!
Hey, Kristin...4bykn
Jun 17, 2002 4:19 PM
You didnt miss the metric yet. It's this Saturday, and you're still invited.
*Sigh* ...62 miles?? I'm not sure I've ridden that muchKristin
Jun 18, 2002 6:53 AM
in the past 2 months. Unfortunately, I don't think I am gonna drive 3 hours so that I can ride 30 miles at 13.6 MPH. I wouldn't even make my enemy ride with me through that torture. What happened to me? Last year I went like a wild animal. This year... life happened I guess.
this is just an internet forumweiwentg
Jun 17, 2002 5:53 PM
damn straight. one poster here said that in the end, 'it's only electrons'.
of course, that doesn't always stop me from getting worked up.
this is just an internet forumWoof the dog
Jun 19, 2002 12:05 PM
Do you still believe in electrons?

yes. especially after being electrocuted. nmweiwentg
Jun 19, 2002 6:42 PM
re: How about a little frank advice...(please)harlett
Jun 17, 2002 2:29 PM
voice of the keen words
sense of humor to match it
our lass allison

4! 4!..once more... 4!
repeat the chant with me now!
4! 4!..once more... 4!

re: How about a little frank advice...(please)duhh
Jun 19, 2002 4:35 PM
You a stupid poet want to be. These two are terrible what is 41 to mean duh You write STUPID POEMS. One below is YOU pushing your lifestyle in our face. Find some place else to push it It makes much of us sick to read your gay acts here Do you even RIDE a bike?? I don't think you do why come here at all even
And the winner is . . .mickey-mac
Jun 19, 2002 6:20 PM
This guy wins the award for the most fitting board name.
And he always has the same agenda!Len J
Jun 19, 2002 6:32 PM
Ignore him lauren.

Thanks, harlettAllisonHayes
Jun 20, 2002 7:50 AM
It seems that MOST people understood what you meant by 4! (?duhh?)

btw, as I said before, I like your writing & your poetry.
Don't change a thing.look271
Jun 17, 2002 7:39 PM
Enjoy most of your posts. You can't please them all. Really enjoyed your posts on Letetia Casta =)
don't change a thingtarwheel
Jun 19, 2002 4:10 AM
you're a sweetie