First Post Grad Job – False Start

Okay, I am armed with a Master of Social Work degree and I am determined to do the most good with it.
Job hunting is like dating. I swipe right and left and set up interviews to see if I can find a relationship where my specific history and skill-set is needed. As for me, I started out looking for 3 things.

  1. Not too long of a commute
  2. Clinical Supervision hours
  3. Decent pay

And just like my dating life, I managed to compromise on all of these which led to disaster. I also learned that I need to ask for more. 

In the future I will know to ask about the ethics  – as in, will I be expected to violate mine?

I will also ask about expectations, sanitation and common sense.

This weekend I met with my favorite former professor who volunteered to babysit while I cleared out my office when I told the tail of RFTT where I was hired to be a social worker for their ODR ( Office of diversion and re-entry) housing program. I have had multiple conversations with the CEO about her practices and asking to see an employment contract and job description. In addition to conversations, there have been emails and texts about needing supplies and support. Really, if six adults share a bathroom there should be a working lock on the door and hand soap.

HAND SOAP people. #SOAP (Don’t worry, I brought in in some from my house.) I also provided file folders, a hole punch, stapler, highlighters, fan, paper fasteners, and notebooks among other items because handwritten lists, emails and verbal reminders did not make these office supplies appear.

Another problem I had is that the laptop I am currently typing on somehow became the corporate computer because for the first 4 weeks we had none. I worked unpaid hours at night, and from home as well as brought my machine to the office and shared it because we were yelled at if DropBox files were not created and populated with forms.

Most concerning, I was expected to place confidential data about mental and physical diagnosis on the internet – as well as in loose stacks of paper in a home hall closet guarded by a thumb lock – the type I have been picking since I was 5. This home is almost always unlocked and the residents are free to come in and out at will. – Also in this closet, each day at 3pm, ziplock bags of medication are placed in a Tupperware type storage container and placed in the top of the closet next to HIPAA information.

The unpaid groundskeeper has been going through the medication box and handing out medication . This odd procedure invoked feelings of such anxiety in the residents that one of them left the property.  Of course, there is not alot of security for the nurse’s room.

Secure door locks are not really their strong point. There is no secure private area anywhere there.

Groundskeeper’s texting the in-house nurse to give reports on what he thought about the meds also happened.  This weekend that nurse quit. Her resignation joins that of the Program Director who left last week. To be honest, I was going to quit but was saved by the phone call that I was not needed. 

BUT – where is my check? Reach 4 the Top told me I would have to wait 3 weeks for my check and it might not cover the periods I was denied a lunch even though the staff was directed not to take lunches until last week. (Not as in “not reminded to take lunch”, we were directly DENIED lunch breaks until last week). When I expressed that I expected my final check today because California law says I am to be paid at the time of separation and I expected accurate pay, the young woman I met with baulked. I said I would be in the area for 2 hours to give the CEO time to cut a check or it should be messengered to me today. It is 9 pm and I have not heard back.


So, lesson learned. But, um, how do I get paid? Mr. Thomas – can you help? @MRTempower


Published by Homeless

Mommy. Social worker. Nice lady seeking to end homelessness and end poverty. FightOn

2 thoughts on “First Post Grad Job – False Start

  1. This is the message the nurse (I helped… a lot) sent to the county, and the reason I was let go. The cou ty nurse, Manka, says that the prepackaging meds for others to distribute is fine ….

    Ladies and gentlemen,
    Your contract with Reach For The Top, INC. has just begun and there are massive problems.

    I***** G***** owns the company and has just started taking in ODR clients at 2*** S O**** Drive, LA 900**. It is easiest if I list my concerns – in no particular order…

    Confidential information and medications are stored in the hall closet which uses a basic thumb lock but is often left open in a room where the residents have unfettered access

    Confidential HIPAA information is posted on the internet in a DropBox file where all staff can see it. This Dropbox was set up by a nonstaff member

    . Residents are allowed to hold their own medications at night, even though they disappear down the street to sell them and nobody is able to ensure the medication is taken

    There is no working telephone – or access to it for the staff or residents – this was a problem when someone wanted to call 911 but could not.

    Residents are being given their meds by an unpaid groundskeeper, and this happens at their convenience – not on a schedule

    The nurse quit this morning due, in part to this action

    The Program Director quit this week

    Multiple workplace violations have happened. For 3 weeks the staff were made to work through lunch but were not paid for lunch periods.

    For the first 3 weeks, the staff had to provide their own computers and hand soap – even in the staff bathroom which does not lock.

    There is no first aid kit

    Staff provided medical supplies such as Benedryl after multiple verbal and written requests

    An unpaid groundskeeper has unfettered access to the buildings and has been given work assignments such as head counts and medication dispensing

    Agency owner is substituting her judgement in place of the staff’s. Any request made by a client is granted including letting residents hold their own medication, being granted preferential room assignments based on homophobia, sneaking residents off the property without telling the staff.

    Staff is being told to drive clients and are instructed that the agency won’t cover the car insurance so in case of an accident the staff must say they were driving friends around

    For the safety of the participants, please visit the program and address these items. Her staff have instructed and advised her but she won’t take suggestions.

    Also the agency has been handing out the staff’s personal numbers to clients and case manager

    We have tried repeatedly to speak to the country nurse and have her visit to address these issues. I understand growing pains and start up problems but Best Practices and client t safety must be a priority

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