Today was day three of the new job, and I wanted to jot down my impressions. Getting the job was astoundingly easy, in spite of the fact that they neither advertise their services, nor any job vacancies. So, it’s kind of like the old fashioned speak-easy. I found out about it when I was cruising around looking for apartments. I noticed a small apartment complex with five brick duplexes. I was knocking on the office door, when a maintenance guy drove up and told me that this was a group home, not an actual apartment complex. I just assumed that he meant a group home for developmentally disabled adults, so I asked about the job and he told me where to apply for it.
In a couple of days the supervisor called me and set up a time for an interview, but when I arrived she didn’t ask any questions such as: “If you saw a fellow employee stealing a paper clip, what would you do?” Instead, she handed me a pile of new-hire paperwork, and told me that I was to start class on the twenty-third. Then, as I was leaving, she said, “I’ll see you on Saturday!” I didn’t think that I had blacked out at all during our conversation, but just to be certain, I asked, “What’s going on Saturday?” She said, “Oh, you’re working 8am to 8pm, both Saturday and Sunday. Just show up here, and somebody will show you what to do”.
I thought of 50 questions on the drive back to our apartment. I didn’t know what to wear, or what to do about lunch and supper, or what would be expected of me, I wasn’t sure that I would be able to ‘handle’ the client’s behavior, or whether the staff would like me, etc…
But, it all worked out well. Surprisingly, the clients turned out to be every bit as smart as me, for the most part. They were just seriously mentally ill, and some of them were dangerous. About a third are Schizophrenic, and three of them hear auditory hallucinations. We have a woman who took a gun to her kid’s high school because another kid was bullying him. We have a guy who stabbed his sister with a knife (twice), in Walmart. But, they’re all heavily medicated, so it’s cool.