Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Non-profit work has its downsides.

I have no office.

This wasn't exactly as I expected it. There are a finite number of spaces that are assigned to counselors who have been there longer, but none of them are there full time. The newer counselors then grab their spaces on a first-come, first-served basis. So here's the problem:

For the past three weeks, I get there about 9:30 in the morning, and discern what space(s) I can use for the day, and then claim it.

So I've had this incident happen twice now: I got there early, put my stuff in an office/cubicle thing and then came back with my client 15 minutes later and another counselor, who I will hereforafter refer to as Weasel, was sitting there with a client.

My books and laptop were still on the desk in front of her, and my jacket was on the back of the chair, and she just looked at me, and said, "there's weren't any other spaces available".

just so you know, gets there around noon because she homeschools in the morning. Well, I don't care; as far as I'm concerned, tough fu**ing luck if you don't get there early enough. (There are several good reasons I call her weasel behind her back. Unfortunately, I just know I'm going to accidentally call her weasel one of these days. I just know it.)

I didn't want to make a fuss in front of a client, so I took my things and sat with my client out in the group room, where people continuosly interrupted us and asked if they could, "just hang out" in the group room. During my private therapy session. Uh, NO, you can't "hang out".

The next hour, there was a group session, so me and my next client were relegated to the outdoor smoking area. Luckly the client was stoked, because s/he smokes, but it was still pretty unacceptable as people were wondering through on the way to their cars.

I went in during a free moment and basically threw a temper tantrum with the director and said that we should make the whole idea of "first come" clear at the next meeting, but Dr. W doesn't like confrontation, because the very same day the handyman who works at the center started measuring unused space to put in walls to make two new offices. I've claimed the corner office.
Seriously. I raised my hand at the next meeting and said, "I call corner office!"

Actually, it's because it's in the corner, away from two loud swinging doors, and more private. It also has a window and a cabinet I can lock. The locking thing is big because there are some supplies that I'm going to bring from home that I can't reliably use at the center, and there is a weekend intern clinic and I don't want--ew--interns touching my stuff and using my supplies.
Yeah, I know. "Have pity, you were an intern once." Oh, whatever.

Being a champion of the poor means that, I guess, I get to become one of them.

Hopefully, my space will be completed soon. Then maybe I'll do some cheap dorm-room chic. I could go curb-shopping for a door and a couple of cheap filing cabinets to make a desk. I'll steal the extra chair out of Mini-baboo's room that functions as a resting place for Clothes That Have No Home and use that, too.

Maybe I'll grab my favorite local fashionista and we'll do a shopping spree at Target and do a whole dorm-room makeover thing. Except not with zebra stripes. I want to sooth my clients, not throw them into a seizure.

The "walls" will be 8-foot tall plywood, and there's a leak in the ceiling in the corner where my office will be, but I don't care. I still want it.

Oh, and I'll have to run an extension cord over to the next room, but I don't care. I still want it.

Yeah, not-for-profit sucks, all right.

But it's all still worth it, which gives you an idea of how much I hated my old job.



  1. Make a small sign that says "This is my chair and I will poke your eyes out with a stick if you try to take it over"

    Then in the morning when you claim your space, everyone should get the idea.

    Glad you like your job. I hope these clients of yours use your help to become great.

  2. Sounds like your co-workers missed the seminar on "boundaries". Glad you staked your claim!

  3. Set a "weaseltrap" by placing your things on the desk as usual. But be sure to put a whoopie cushion on the chair so when she sits down with her client it sounds like ... well you get the picture. Make sure the whoopie cushion has your name printed on it with sharpie pen..."Property of Misty.."

  4. LOL at mike and Karen. some people just feel so entitled, don't they?

  5. Love the dorm room style idea... you have to get the mini fridge though... you will be the envy of the office! (the interns for sure...)


  6. loosen the screws out of the chair so when she sits down she busts her butt.

  7. give her some raw eggs and a note: you suck.


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