Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thoughts on the new job

My new unit was described to me using the words "unique" and "urban." Read into that what you will, but we are essentially housed in a repurposed unit and do a lot of making-do. Our office is in the dining hall. Our nurses sit at card tables. It's awesome and totally ridiculous. I think I'm going to love it.

The staff at this prison is much older than the staff at my old prison. On one hand, it's very weird to be the youngest, and obviously so. I went to the tech department Wednesday to figure out a computer issue and the guy was scrolling through looking for my name. He landed on it, but then said, "Wait. You're not a psychologist. What did you say your name was?" When I assured him that I was a psychologist, he asked if I was sure. Seriously. So the other staff have a lot more experience under their belts. I spend a lot of time pretending to know what they're talking about.

This job is hitting some of my insecurity buttons, but I'm also really excited about the potential. At old prison, I knew what I was doing and I was good at it. I was fast and efficient and could bluff my way through most things. There was little oversight of my work and because we were all at the same stage, career-wise, we didn't challenge each other much. My new supervisor asked me to send her all my notes at the end of the day (maybe indefinitely?). At first I was a little offended. I've done all my "supervised work" and the state of California says that I'm competent enough now to work alone. But then I got feedback today on my notes, and it is good. She called me out on parts I pencil-whipped. She respectfully commented on my clinical assertions. She pointed out things I flat out forgot. And she did it all in a way that didn't feel like she was belittling me or attacking my abilities.

I applied for this job months ago, when the layoffs first were announced. One of the things I outlined for my job search was that I wanted a job that would allow me to thrive and excel, that would challenge me to be better. I was good at my old prison, but I think that this new experience is going to make me so much more. I needed a good kick in the butt, and I think I've found it. I am so, so glad it doesn't suck.


  1. YAY! Sounds like a blessing. :) Also, card tables? Really?

  2. I love, love, love your perspective on this new job. So positive & so inspiring. Whereas another would be complaining about not having a real work area & having a supervisor check their notes you say, "this is totally quirkly" & "awesome, I am totally going to grow in my profession". This is why I adore you so :-)

  3. So happy it doesn't suck! Good for you to see the quirks as positives. Hope the homefront is going just as well. Love you!

  4. I'm so glad your supervisor rocks. It is so incredibly rare to find someone who is a respectful, kind, and knowledgeable teacher. I'm envious & I'm sure you'll rock that learning curve!! And I agree with your other friend; way to have an awesome attitude about having notes reviewed. I would be a little butt hurt, but you've got a great perspective. Admirable!