Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Scooter" Works Here

I don't want to be a cheeseball, but sometimes I just can't help it.

I was leaving work tonight, walking to the elevator and out to the parking garage alone, 20 minutes after my day officially ended, thinking how much I enjoy my co-workers (except that One) and how much I enjoy going to work each day. Don't mistake that to believe that I enjoy my work every day. Sometimes it's draining and exhausting and overwhelming and it makes my cry, and the Very Last Thing I want to do is walk through those doors and see the mess of work that I left on my desk the previous night. But in general, interacting with the Good people I get to see each day is worth braving the Bad.

I like seeing the same people each day and laughing about the Insanity Du'jour. I like that each co-worker has a different personality and I like knowing what kind of conversation will come from interacting with each one. I like my supervisor. And my director. I even like the silly nickname I mistakenly incurred last week. I like knowing that after a year, and after trying to resign 6 months ago, that I belong there.

I don't think I've ever talked about what I do. I'm an investigator with Ch!ld Pr0tective $ervices. (Trying to hide it from search engines.) And last September, I became overwhelmed and felt that I was putting the children of my county before my own children. I was having more migraines and getting less sleep. I was obsessing over a mom I feared would harm her children and the lack of evidence I had to do anything about it. I was tormented by fear each time I had to testify in court. I dreaded the ring of the phone when I was on call and the sound of a police officer on the other end. I hated having to make decisions regarding someone else's family.

So Tim and I decided together that I needed to resign and find something less demanding and part-time so I could give my family the attention that they deserved. Except that my director would have none of that. She gave me one of her Famous Pep Talks and told me that I was a keeper and that she would create a position for me to prevent me from leaving. And she did.

So. Since October, I have been off the streets and in the office fielding every report of ch!ld @buse or negIect (being incognito again) that comes into our county. And during that time at my desk, I have gained confidence in my understanding of state child welfare code and in my assessments of child endangerment. I have learned when to give more of myself and when to not. I have learned when to go home at 4:30 on the dot and when it's important to stay late.

In less than a month, my position will be obsolete and I will be going back to investigations. I am strangely looking forward to it, grateful that when my position changes yet again, the people who make me laugh from 8-4:30, Monday-Friday (and after-hours on-call and the occasional weekend) will still be in my life, still cracking me up with our twisted sense of humor.

20 comments:

The Zoo Keeper said...

I'm so glad you have found a balance at work. Last fall was not pretty. The job itself is tough enough.

Jacky Art-D said...

You are a very good writer!
Respect!
Jacky

Anonymous said...

Paige, I just want to let you know that a child protection officer in our county, such as yourself, helped my daughter and I out a whole lot by investigating my daugher's child molestation case. She actually put the man behind bars, which was not easy to do because the man was her grandfather on her father's side. She and I made a phone call to my daughter's father's family and actually recorded them admitting to me that they had caught their father molesting my poor, sweet daughter.
If it was not for her and people like you, who work to protect children, she would have grown never seeing any justice at all, such as myself! Thank you so much for all you do and GET DOWN WITH YOUR BAD SELF!!!

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Mister Wilson said...

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Ordinary Reader said...

Hi. I've just been reading your blog and saw that you've read "The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime". I see we have a few other books in common too, but I'm wondering what you thought of Curious Incident. It's on my list of books to read (which is way longer than I will live to finish!). It is a book you would recommend?

Dhananjay Kumar said...

Inspiring blog for me.... I learned a lot here..thanks for the nice blogging :)

Seonho said...

keep your head up :)

People Locator said...

Balanced the official or personal life always actually they makes you a perfect or happy in life. I feel glad to see your balance.

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joven said...

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OneLifeLiveIt said...

You haven't been on for a while? Where have you disappeared too?

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Live More Now said...

Wow, I can't imagine doing what you do. But I am so grateful that you do it! Being in law, I can somewhat relate to dealing with other people's problems and learning what it looks like to not make them my own! (hard, but possible!)

I like your blog. Thank you for sharing!

Hindu Marriages said...

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Jds said...

I really like your blog. Sounds like we have some things in common. I'm an attorney, and I represent abused and neglected children. I also enjoy blogging, please check out my site @www.doestheinternetloveme.com and let me know what you think. Keep blogging

Ann-Marie said...

I did Child Protection work for 7 years--met some of the best people in the world-- coworkers, parents, Police Officers and even lawyers.
I am now home with my kids and some days I miss it--I still love to tell the stories of "do you remember that family who..." and laugh about all the crazy things we had experienced.
Sounds amazing that you had the opportunity to change positions to refresh yourself ;)