Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Ms. Thing, 1, Student, ?

Yesterday was a really unpleasant day, so hard that I came home utterly unable to study or blog.

My field advisor, who supervises my progress at my internship, was coming in to find out what was going on. Before she got there, Miss Thing called me and my supervisor into her office, and began blaming me, again, for what had happened 11 days ago when my supervisor was out. She began saying that when she asked me to leave the A.C. office, I could have gone anywhere in the facility, and it was only for 15 minutes, so she didn't understand why I was fixating on it. She said that my inability to go anywhere else showed that I wasn't integrated into the facility, mentioned again that ONE PERSON had complained about me not saying "good morning," criticized my excessive (in her view) use of the computer, said that when she was an intern she came in with the knowledge and skills to do her job (apparently she's never heard of evidence-based practices), and in general was so unpleasant that soon I was shaking with anger.

So I said, "I really think we should wait until my field advisor comes to discuss all this."

And she wouldn't stop. She kept criticizing and harassing me. Finally I said, calmly, "I don't need to listen to this from you." After talking about my situation at The Bad Place again this weekend, I was particularly sensitive to harsh and unwarranted criticism.

A malicious delight came over her face. She quickly wrote down what I said, and I left the office.

I was angry with myself for putting things that way; later, my field advisor told me I should have just said that she was making me very uncomfortable and I needed to leave. But discussing the day with Joan last night, I realized two things: one, there was NOTHING I could have done or said that Miss Thing would not interpret as rude and inappropriate, and two, I called the clinical director because she TOLD me I could.

When I met with the clinical director back in February, she gave me her business card and told me to call her if I had any questions or problems. That's why she was the first person I thought of when I was standing in the hall 10 days ago. The internship department and my field advisor have been ripping me a new one for going up the chain of command instead of calling them first. But the clinical director told me to call her, and when she wasn't there, I spoke with Mr. Thing.

I emailed the internship director and my field advisor last night to tell them that.

The good thing is that my field advisor saw just how hostile, unpleasant, mendacious, undermining, interfering, and evil the associate director is. Miss Thing is too stupid to even try to pretend to be friendly to the school representative who could yank the student out of the internship; she was hostile, rude, inappropriate, and beyond defensive. She refused to say why she wouldn't let me into my supervisor's office, even though my advisor kept asking her why and even pointed out that had she let me into the office, I wouldn't have called the lead agency. She again tried to criticize my "excessive" computer use; my advisor just said that she didn't understand why Miss Thing was trying to criticize and control what I did, since she is not my supervisor.

My advisor told me that if I stay there, I will have to cope with Miss Thing as she is. But Miss Thing did say several times that she has nothing against me and only wants me to have an enriching educational experience. (My field advisor used that catchphrase once, and Miss Thing repeated it endlessly. Of course, she never said anything about my educational experience before my advisor questioned whether I could have a good one at the shelter.) So now, if she tries to prevent me from doing something I should be doing, I can say, "But my education plan, which was approved by you and by my school, says that this is something I should be doing."

I'm debating whether I should apologize to her. I don't think it would gain me anything; it certainly wouldn't make her like me. Especially since, as I found out, Miss Thing doesn't like Jews.

I know this because in the afternoon I went to another office to get a drink of water (it's really hot in my supervisor's office, and although the director and associate director have air conditioners, she doesn't.) A few staff members, including Miss Thing, were standing in the hallway, and I heard one of them start yammering about "the Jews." The Jews have all the money, and black people don't have any.... That's what they do, the Jews.

And Miss Thing was standing there laughing and commiserating.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

1 comment:

  1. Well, that certainly does explain quite a bit. Maybe all of it, in fact.

    You should have let her see you see them-- I bet she would have been real nice to you from then on.