I have a client right now who is hell-spawn. I've had her for the longest, close to four months. She gets away with murder. The things she does have gotten other clients terminated long before. My boss's boss finally decided a few weeks ago that we were giving her a final deadline, when we would end our services to her. Somehow she determined it was going to happen, so she stopped calling me--when previously she'd call me at least twice a day to update me on things I couldn't give one care about. On the weekend, she pitched a fit about something wholly unrelated. The on-call staff, a woman utterly removed from the situation and knowing nothing about this client, was called to come in and mediate.
Somehow when Monday rolled around, and I got to work excited that I'd no longer have to work with this client in a week or so, I discovered her services had been extended, and she would not be getting the hell out of my life.
No one understands why we kowtow to her, and allow her to basically run our program, not follow the rules, and be a demanding asshole. I think the higher ups worry she's going to leave and smear our agency name to the rest of the city. I say, we have more than enough paperwork backing us up in refusing her services. And anyone who meets her more than once can recognize the manipulative soul-sucking individual that she is. She sure doesn't hide it.
Anyway. She works crazy hours, supposedly. Lately it's been 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. She came to see me Thursday morning, then took some sort of sleeping pill to sleep off the rest of the day. At 4, the other women's counselor, with whom I alternate this weekly duty, starting round up clients so she could start her support group. K told me my client was asleep, and that she was going to write a rule violation for her if she didn't show up to support group (attendance is mandatory unless you have a good excuse like an appointment or a job). I snorted. "Go ahead. It sure won't make a difference. She refuses to acknowledge every rule violation she's gotten so far."
K knocked on her door, woke her up, and told her she needed to be in support group. Several minutes later, I was in the hallway when my client approached. This woman is close to six feet tall, 200 pounds. She was a vibrating ball of anger. With narrowed eyes and clenched teeth, she spat at me: "That woman just woke me up. After I've been working nonstop and haven't been able to sleep all week. To go to support group??" The rage was radiating off her like heat waves.
"It's the policy of our program that if you're here at the time of support group, attendance is mandatory," I responded, turned, and walked away.
She rolled her fury down the hall and into the group room. I went into the office. Two co-workers were in there. One of whom yelled when I mentioned the client's response. The other laughed. "It's yall's fault she's still here," she said. "You allow her to act like that. Ellie, it's your fault!"
To be fair, she was teasing me. But I agreed with her. This client didn't dare talk to K like that when K woke her up. She doesn't dare talk to my boss's boss like this. It's me she walks all over. Me she talks to so disrespectfully. Me who has absolutely no idea how to handle her manipulative, lying ways. (Honestly, I don't know if anyone in the shelter would be able to rein her in were they her counselor instead of me. But I am the most passive, meek worker there.)
I hate her so much. I think she is a despicable human being--despite usually being able to see the good in most people.
I hate her the most because she uses me so ridiculously that even I can tell I'm being used. One minute it's "I knew you'd be the only one who would understand," after she talks about still being in love with her ex-husband who supposedly abuses her. The next minute, I'm her whipping post to take out rage.
The next morning, I was steeled for a complaint about the day before. I expected a tirade. And I practiced all night for it:
"We are not discussing this. And you will never again speak to me in such a threatening, disrespectful manner. If you are still upset with this, take it to my supervisor."
And then she pranced into my office, the day before forgotten, excited about finding a trailer to live in. I kept the meeting short, and cut her off when she started to gossip about her work--something she loves to brag about that is extremely tiresome--but still. She disgusted me, because I disgusted me. I couldn't even stand up for myself and let her know she needed to treat me like a human being.