(Featured Image Credit Goes to GoodFreePhotos- “Blogging screen background on MacBook”).
I still remember the day when I was at the office, at my desk, and thinking to myself, “Can I really handle this job?”. Over the course of two months, January and February, as a home care case manager, it seemed as though I was performing my job duties as expected. I was attending my consumer visits, writing up my narratives, following up on my phone calls and emails, and providing my supervisor updates on follow up I completed as well as follow up that still needed to be worked on. My supervisor thought the work I have been doing was great and that my notes and narratives were excellent. One of the best moments as a case manager was when a consumer came home from the hospital and had no food in the house, and the consumer did not get Meals on Wheels. With the approval of another supervisor, I went out to get the consumer some food, and I brought the food to the consumer’s home. The consumer stated that he was very grateful and that my generosity was kindly appreciated. I should state this happened on Valentine’s Day. I learned from this position that the best case workers are the ones that go above and beyond to be compassionate and empathetic towards others in order to address their critical needs. I considered this to be my “Golden Moment” of case management. The average caseload that a case manager usually took on ranged between 85 and 95 consumers. My caseload was 97 consumers.
Unfortunately, toward the end of February, due to medical reasons, I tried taking a couple days off as I started to note that I was struggling to focus and concentrate on my caseload and my visits. The beginning of the next week, I come to find out that I was behind on emails, visits needed to be rescheduled, and even a narrative was late and out of compliance. After speaking with my supervisor, the manager of the home care program, and the HR manager, all whom explained the expectations and demands of the job, I had to make a decision to either remain with the position in the hopes of coming from behind and meeting the expectations and demands of the job, and risk leaving on bad terms with the possibility of being able to overcome adversity, or, make the decision to resign from the position altogether and leave the company and the position on good terms. Given my health status, and, the facts that the workload associated with the position was going to continue to increase and get rigorous, I decided to resign. I did what was best for me, and, what was best for the company. When I made my decision, and told my parents and siblings the news, my father was stunned, and my mother bursted into tears. My sister also bursted into tears as well. At first, I experienced feelings of sadness and disappointment, and for a day or two I felt like I failed at something. However, I learned and realized I was not a failure, and I did not quit for no reason. In fact, several employees and managers commended me for my valiant effort in trying to take on what is considered one of the toughest jobs in the world of social work, especially where the job requires a lot of multitasking, prioritizing, time management, flexibility, and the ability to adapt to change in the context of consumer statuses, visit and service updates. Eventually, I went on to take on building my own blog and website in order to try to become a great autism and disability self-advocate to people who need information and resources in order to provide hope to those impacted by disabilities such as autism and thyroid disease, and this is where I started to get oriented with WordPress as well as learning to conduct audio recordings of disability and health related topics. The insight I gained is that just working with older adults and doing case management for them was not something I could handle. Sometimes, especially when you can take time away from work, it can help to also gain insight into more strengths and talents that I have to see what direction these qualities can take me. I hope that the next job I find will be one in which I can be happy and successful knowing my strengths and talents can be utilized in some way.
What is of importance behind this learned experience? Never be afraid to try new opportunities, even if people start making assumptions that those opportunities are too hard for the individual, or that the opportunities are too easy for the individual, especially when the individual has a disability or a medical condition, or both to deal with. Perception and reality are two distinct notions. Perception would say something on the lines of, “Well, this individual resigned from this position and only worked for two months. This individual does not prove to have any stability.” Reality would say that, “Here is an individual who was resilient and persevered to the best of its ability in trying a new opportunity. The individual had the courage and the strength to admit that this new opportunity was not the best fit, and this individual is to be commended for its efforts in trying to make an opportunity work. The individual shows a great deal of character.” Also, life does not always go according to plan, or, as expected. The key to success in this kind of situation is being proud of taking on a hard situation to the best of your ability, to recognize your limits as well as strengths and talents you acquired from the position, what you learned from the position, leave with grace and gratitude, and then, move on to the next opportunity. The past cannot be changed, but you have the ability to act and control the present, and to prepare for what the future holds.