My “other” job makes me look like a Bitch
I wish I could write full time and earn my living doing nothing but putting thoughts to words 40 or more hours a week. I am sure all of us share this goal.
My “other” job, the one that pays the bills, is one of “Authority”. I visit child care establishments with my Regulations Handbook in hand, walk around with my badge and clipboard and tell people what they are doing wrong. Sometimes I have to issue an Order to Remedy to them, which gives them a record of non compliance. This makes me look like a “b*tch”.
I also “get to” deal with being the enemy when I enter the establishments that I work in. Staff run around whispering “Licensing’s here” to each other that I am on site, lest they screw up and put themselves into non compliance.
I get, that facilities need to be regulated and are required to follow rules that the government has set out as mandates, and overall, I LOVE my job. Sometimes, it is just so very draining always being the BAD GUY.
The worst is when business operators fight back, and challenge you with Appeals, or they go over your head and call your manager to tell on you for being a bitch. I am fortunate enough to have a supervisor who will always have my back when I issue Orders to programs. The worst part, is I always have to return and face them again.
On the flip side, some days I can inspect facilities and everything is wonderful! Its all rainbows and unicorns and the operator is pleased that I have positive feedback. THIS part of my job is especially rewarding. Its not often I get to be the bearer of nothing but good news, after I walk around, judging people, judging the facility and matching it to the Regulations guidelines.
The trouble that I have with my career, is that I am SO NOT A BITCH, so when I have to hand out Non-Compliances, I feel awful. I don’t feel like there is any way to make a facility aware of the concerns I see, without sounding mean, to them. I am way too nice to people and have too much compassion. When I have to be tough, I really try to be…but I feel uncomfortable being the mean one that points out their flaws, especially the ones who work really hard to make their programs stay in compliance.
I also conduct investigations for child care programs. If someone calls in with a complaint or an injury while the child is in care, I investigate, putting on my “officer” hat and interrogate the staff involved. I also issue any non-compliances to the owner of the program, making them accountable for the actions of their staff. Investigating can be stressful, however, it is always interesting hearing all sides of the story. If there is an injury to a child, or a child is mistreated, then I am totally okay with being the bitch.
Recently, during a training session, we were lead in a “Coaching” workshop. All of us left the training scratching our heads, as we are a Regulation Based division. Our purpose is simple: TO ENSURE THE SAFETY, DEVELOPMENT AND WELL BEING OF THE CHILDREN.
As a parent, wouldn’t you rather have someone inspecting the premise and ensuring compliance, then having the staff have a “coach” to tell them what they are doing incorrectly when it comes to children? And hope that the coaching is effective? Its all wonderful to try and support a child care program if they require assistance for training staff, or how to program activities. To me, however, if the needs of the children are not being met, then who is held accountable and what will they do to fix the issues that prevent them to do so? Therein lies the issue of helping the owner along vs. ensuring that the program is doing their due diligence and caring for the children in their centers.
The reason I chose my career path is for my love and passion for children. As our future, it is imperative that little ones are cared for in a facility that ensures that learn, grow and flourish in their environments. If I have to be a bitch to ensure that this is happening, so be it.
The best part of writing, is I can be kind. I can be vulnerable, and even if I am judged, its okay, because I know I am not being the bad guy.