Saturday, October 29, 2011

Growing my diplomat balls

Not much in the way of news. Work continues to go extremely well. I learned that I am a member of the senior administration at the clinic. That made me happy, but a little nervous, since I am now charged with helping the clinic demonstrate enough concrete improvement to pass our next audit. We have 8 weeks.

Preparing for audit will involve more meetings with the other senior staff and more administrative work on my part, like monitoring how many patients are testing positive for illicit substances and following up with case conferences and treatment changes. The clinic manager's direct supervisor (DS) also entrusted me with a very delicate responsibility: communicating to her any emotional distress or conflict among the staff at the clinic. She knows there are a lot of big personalities involved, and she wants to make sure everything runs smoothly.

I don't want to be a tattletale. On the other hand, I respect the DS's interest in keeping everyone at the clinic reasonably content and working together well. So I have to be really careful about what I say to her about what I see going on. In the past I haven't been renowned for my tact or diplomacy. Now I have to hurry up and grow a pair of diplomat balls.

As long as I listen more than I talk, and try to assess situations by the degree of functional impairment, I think I'll be okay. DS seems very cool, matter-of-fact, open to feedback, and willing to admit she might be wrong. She doesn't want yes men; she wants honestly. I just have to be careful how I deliver it.

In other news, I joined a gym. So far my knees don't hurt but my shoulders and back are spasming. I need to take things very, very slowly. I've already decided that I'm not going to try to monitor or measure my progress. I'm not going to have ambitions of getting ripped, losing a ton of weight, or significantly improving my cardiovascular fitness. I'm going to go two or three times a week and do something, because that's better than doing nothing at all. Any added exercise at all is going to have some benefits; I'm not going to try to maximize them.

I joined New York Sports Club because I got a discount through work. It happens to be the official gym of the FDNY, but so far I don't think I've seen any firemen working out.

Last night I went to a Shabbos dinner thrown by my friend ET, who was visiting the West Side. It was good to get out of the house, but I didn't feel like I belonged there. I had a few friends, and I spent some time catching up with them. I also talked shop to another clinical social worker who knows a lot about methadone, which was interesting.

But at various times nobody was talking to me, and I felt very disconnected from everyone. I don't think this is my community anymore. Question is, then, what is? Where do I go?

And I did something naughty a few nights ago. I sent that photo of my breasts to one of Ayelet's Facebook friends (as opposed to the friends I have on my "real" FB page). Her name is Cassie; she lives in Tel Aviv. I'm not sure how we became friends, but we've been trading comments and messages for a while, and it became clear that Cassie is bisexual. Actually, to be honest, she's more of a lesbian who found a man she liked enough and decided to marry. Cassie still has sex with women on the side, which her husband's apparently cool with. I asked if they're into threesomes, but apparently he doesn't like sharing Cassie with anyone in person.

I'm still not bisexual, though, not really. I think women's bodies are beautiful (although I probably have tastes similar to the average Jewish male), but there is no way I would want to perform oral sex on a woman. I just think it would be icky. Cassie thinks it's the greatest thing but isn't pressuring me to try it. I was gratified that she loved the picture of my breasts, and the pictures she sent me were gorgeous. (She modeled part-time as a teenager).

I'm kind of tempted to sleep with Cassie next time I go to Israel, just to have the experience, but I might need to get drunk first.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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