Inexperience or Incompetence?
I know that I have high standards and I know it interferes sometimes with my ability to relate to people…But what I have no tolerance for is incompetence. Dinner tonight seemed steeped in incompetence. There is a new direct care person here and her lack of experience is glaring. I suppose that is not the same as incompetence, but it really felt like it. By the time we had to process at the end of the meal, I was absolutely past my boiling point.
It started with pre-dinner. I was sitting on the floor with Polly and looking into part of the kitchen area and watching the New Gal filling the water pitches for the meal. She placed them in the hand washing sink to fill them. Now, the whole point of having a hand washing sink is to keep yucky germs away from the food prep sink. So, the idea of her filling the water pitchers at that sink was disturbing to me. And as she was scooping ice, she had her hand on the counter right at the edge of the sink. When she put the second pitcher in the sink, she stuck her finger under the water as it was running into the pitcher to test the temperature. I just cringed. Then she took them to the tables. I contemplated my options, get water from the bubbler for my meal, make sure I knew what pitcher was contaminated by her finger, or just say “screw it” and let it go. I opted for the latter. (Yes, I can let my germ phobia go sometimes.)
And then we got to dinner. Now, I wasn’t too irritated yet by the New Gal, but that quickly ended. The dinner was “family style” which means that there is a demo plate set up with portions on it to model how to serve yourself. We are supposed to eyeball the demo plate and serve ourselves accordingly. If we don’t serve ourselves enough, they correct us so that we are making the right portions. I am almost to the point where I will start portioning my own meals (training me up for the real world) so, I was paying extra attention to this. But I was frustrated because the meal was nachos and it was heaped on the demo plate and sort of impossible to gauge. And my peers were also feeling the pressure. Someone asked a bit about the portion and the New Gal said, “It’s about 12 tortilla chips.” <eye roll> She isn’t supposed to tell us! The other DC person gave her a reminder….But what did the NG do? When a peer expressed concern about the portions of toppings, the New Gal said, two spoonfuls of this, one spoonful of that, etc. So…the whole point of practicing self-portioning at the meal was shot to Hell. I was sooo irritated.
And if those two things weren’t enough, the final frustrating act of the New Gal was to not call out a peer who left a lot of food left on her plate. Technically, I am not supposed to pay attention to other peoples’ meals and really I was mostly paying attention to see what the NG would do. I don’t actually care if my peer left food (except that it means her ED was in overdrive and so I felt bad for her.) But the fact that the NG was seated right beside that peer and didn’t call her out on the leftover food? I was beyond frustrated at the obliviousness.
Oh…and she spent the whole meal sort of looking off in the distance, zoned out and pretty disinterested in what was going on. I guess it’s no wonder she didn’t catch my peer leaving so much food on her plate.
These aren’t the only ways that I have not been impressed by this person over the past few weeks, but this was the icing on the cake. She is not going to make it on my safe-person list. I won’t approach her for support, I won’t trust her with things and I really hope I don’t end up at her table too often. There may be some hope for her, especially if she can get some extra support and training, but I just can’t do trust with someone who I consider to be a high risk.
Besides feeling so frustrated about her, the meal also was frustrating in terms of toppings and how we were expected to eat it. Like how do you eat lettuce on your nachos with your hands? And what do you do about the black beans that are rolling all over the place when you are eating with your hands? It was sooo irritating. And my frustration almost got the best of me, I was really tempted to just refuse to eat it. And I contemplated taking the supplement instead, but I really hate supplements. Rock and hard place. I opted to eat the nachos though as refusing food just because I was mad about how it was served would not be productive.
And since I am complaining…They serve the saltiest food here! Seriously, I don’t really care of salty food and it seems like the foods here are salty and saltier.
Okay…I think my rant is over. Sometimes, it is just nice to get it out of my system.
This morning, dh and I had a long conversation about what the options are for me if my insurance cuts me from the residential level to the partial hospitalization level this week. (Partial hosp is a step-down in treatment intensity.) Finances are the main issue since we have no money. There is the option of me staying on longer in the residential program, even if I am at the partial hospitalization level, if I pay a “boarding” fee, which is very expensive.
Dh said that we will do what we need to do to keep me here. I have talked to him about how the program really seems to be working for me and helping me and he really wants me to stay and get as much out of it as I can. I want to stay too…Maybe just for a couple more weeks at this level, but I think it will be an important couple of weeks. I don’t know where we will get the money but he seems to think we can figure it out. Really, it will just involve us accruing more debt, for which I will feel guilty. I need to have a less expensive mental illness!
In an ideal world, my insurance company will keep me at the residential level and we won’t have to worry about finances….Keep your fingers crossed that it will work out that way.
I know I am in the right place for me right now but I wish I was home. It is not so much homesickness (which was really hard for me for the first couple of weeks) but more of just wanting to be in my familiar world with my family and my dogs and my tomatoes and blackberries and the piney-woodsy smell of our yard. I miss the mountain and the city and everything in between. I miss my own blankets, my own bed, and my hummingbird feeder. I just miss my happy and safe little world. I am too far away from home.