Sunday, November 03, 2013

Some nerve

One of my supervisors at my former job, Stella, was amazing -- in person. Every supervision session was supportive and a learning experience. However, she was difficult to email, because she responded irregularly, and impossible to get on the phone.

Then I was transferred to the other office, and when the clinical director of that location announced her departure, Stella threw her hat into the ring. Unfortunately, the coke-addled agency director promoted Snotty McBitchy, whose family coincidentally provides the agency insurance.

Stella started interviewing and confided in me. On one day when she had an interview scheduled, she was wearing a blouse and slacks. "I should have put on a blazer," she fretted.

"This is your lucky day," I said. I was interviewing in those days as well, and kept some interview attire in my office, just in case. I produced a neutral black blazer for her to borrow. She got the job in November 2010 and left.

I got fired in January 2011 and left her a voicemail to ask if she'd be a reference for me. She wrote back to me in February:

hey ayelet. i just got your message yesterday....i'm not good at checking my messages. yes, i am happy to serve as a reference for you! sorry for the delayed response. good luck on the job search...hope you're hanging in there!

I responded,

I'm trying... I saw an ad for a job at your agency. Any chance you could send them my resume?

She wasn't encouraging:

I wouldn't recommend it. I went on another interview today. Place is a total mess. OASAS coming back in march. Not sure we'll pass the audit.

OASAS is the state agency that oversees substance abuse treatment programs. I definitely didn't want to go from the frying pan to the fire:

OMG sorry to hear that Good luck. There are lots of jobs out there for LCSWs.

Her response surprised me a bit:

I haven't taken the test yet. Just sent in my paperwork last week! You're welcome to apply here, but I just wouldn't recommend it at this time. Maybe a year from now the place will be better. Its been mis-managed for a decade. Total frigin mess! Chaotic mess! And I'm responsible for fixing it! I don't regret taking the job, but it has been pretty difficult there.

She and I had always worked well together, but I was starting to get the sense that she didn't want me there.

Wow. Sure you don't want me to come on board and help you clean house? I understand. But if anyone can do it, you can.

She was sure.

Its pretty miserable there. 5 people have quit since the summer. OASAS may shut the place down eventually. Medicaid will totally destroy that place. So....that said, I can pass ur resume on if ur still interested. LOL.

I declined. We emailed sporadically in March and April, when she sent me a request for help:

Hey ayelet! I'm looking for a new u have anyone u would recommend? I would really appreciate it!

I immediately sent her contact information for an excellent therapist near where she lives. In May, I sent her an email alerting her that I'd had an interview and she'd probably be called soon. She said she would. In June, an agency helped me get an offer for a job that I ultimately didn't take -- but she took more than a week to call the agency after they asked me to ask her to call them.

Hi Ayelet. Just spoke to the placement agent - my apologies for the delay - I've had a few personal issues and have been out of the office. Gave u a good ref.

Fine, whatever, everyone goes through time-consuming stuff.

Then in early August, I got the offer for my current job. Sent her a nice email:

Hi Stella,

Hope you and Pam (her chihuahua) are well. I just got a job offer from (where I work now), which has requested two letters of recommendation. The recruiter's name is (whatever) and her email is I guess they want you to send in information so they don't have to call you. I appreciate your support and belief in me.


And... crickets

Ultimately, I contacted two people from my social work internships, because the other person at my former agency who said he'd give me a good reference also shafted me. And I got my current job. But it really stung that Stella didn't come through for me.

Last night I posted on my "real" account that I got my LCSW. Soon thereafter, I got an email from Stella:

hey ayelet!!! congrats on the lcsw!!! i'm planning to take in it mid-january. how was it? what did you study? please - any info would be very much appreciated!!! yay for you!!!!!!!

I really don't feel like responding. Even though I went to an excellent review course that made passing the test very easy. I don't want to bother. Because her agency is still up and running. I've helped her when she needed it. And she hasn't always helped me.

I know holding a grudge and being vindictive is poison to the soul, but how much out of my way am I obligated to go for someone who disappointed me profoundly? I know it's not personal, and I know she has "issues." But I have issues too, and I don't let my friends down like this when they really need me. At least, I don't think I do.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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