Finally. Peace and quiet in my office at Society of St. Vincent de Paul after a day of non-stop meetings, orientations, client intakes, police sirens, Job Club class, emails, setting up appointments and data entry in between. Earlier today I was on the verge of just melting into a pool of mush underneath my desk. I knew how stressed I was when while in Job Club class, I had to read a sentence multiple time over before its meaning registered.
But, alas. The day is coming to a close, and though I still am up to my eyeballs in new paperwork from orientation and data entry of transitional employees from the past 2 years, I feel like a lot was accomplished. I am trying hard to not to overlook those moments when I helped make someone’s day just a little bit better. I understand how important it is to crunch data and numbers for the organization that funds our Transitional Employee program, but I am also aware of how it affects the way I interact with clients. Showing of all of our hard work here is imperative, however I try to not let it be at the cost of building authentic relationships with the TEs–or even just walk-in clients who just need some brief, yet compassionate advice, or better yet, to know that they are being listened to.
Tomorrow will present an entirely new day of new clients with new problems. Half-way through this job, there have been a fair share of moments where I felt like just shutting down. But I never seem to do. Perhaps its the reminder that all staff here at SVdP work so hard. Maybe I secretly thrive off the chaos and continual changes. But mostly, I think I hold it together by reminding myself that it’s my responsibility to be here, for my mentors, teachers and family that raised me to reach this time in my life. But all and all, when the day ends, I’ll be returning to a nice home in a good neighborhood where I can expect a warm meal on a table surrounded by a supportive community. The volunteer paycheck may not be very attractive, but I’m learning to live with just what I need.
Here’s” a story recently published about the work I’ve been doing.