Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Thank You Sticks

I had a good conversation on Friday with Bea, a new client I started working with a couple of weeks ago. Bea is 1of 5 clients who were transferred to me from a case manager who left Empoder two months ago. Bea came to Empoder two weeks ago and since then we had three conversations (one face to face). I had an inkling initially that it would be hard for me to connect with her because I sensed our personalities don't mesh well together. Putting that aside, I also of course appreciated the Bea's challenge in starting to work with a new case manager after having known her old case manager for some time. 

During my first meeting with Bea she came in to talk about a lot of issues she was dealing with relating to her child, her personal physical and mental health, and her apartment. I tried to focus her in hopes of prioritizing what we need to work on and she didn't respond well. I eventually offered to advocate on her behalf with what seemed to be the highest priority for her and she didn't seem responsive though she did say that I had a release from the old case manager to talk on her behalf to this provider. I followed up with her and called her on Friday to follow up. At the end of our phone conversation she thanked me for calling her back. 

It's not like thank yous at my job are equivalent to myths of dragons. But for some reason, maybe because I didn't expect her to say that, it stuck with me. I repeated this moment later that afternoon when a client raised his voice at me. Running an errand later that evening a couple of people pushed ahead in line of me and I repeated it again. It felt good to have a moment like that stick.

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