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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Oh stunning day

I had my performance evaluation today. It couldn't have come at a worse time, since I have one client raging out of control and going to the executive director to complain about what a horrible case worker I am, and another bullying the hell out of other clients. However, my boss was incredibly generous. I even scored Almost Perfect on two or three things, the only one of which I remember being "Remains calm and non-judgmental in all circumstances." In light being being the target for some vicious hatred and disrespect, I think my boss was inclined to bump that up to Perfect after hearing about my latest run-in with That Client. It was good to talk about it; my boss very tactfully stated that she'd like to see me learn how to be more assertive.

So would I. So would I. But I feel very empowered and confident from the very positive review. It is really fantastic to feel appreciated and supported, and to hear constructive criticism on the job. It's been, egads! nine months, and I feel settled in my job, but I didn't know objectively how I am doing.

And I discovered one of my favorite parts about the job is one completely incongruent with my meek personality: leading support group. I, strangely, feel in my element in front of a group of clients, leading discussion. Last week we discussed the Power and Control Wheel of Domestic Violence relationships; today I brought homemade treats, a CD of piano music, and led a quiet hour of reflection and writing. I had the women write a letter to themselves from three perspectives: to the self they were when in their battering relationship; to themselves now; and to who they want to be in the future. After a while, we discussed what it was like to reflect on their lives and experiences. Hard, most people said. But good.

I get all excited when I hear quiet, shy, or traumatized women share something personal and hear others saying, "Me, too," and supporting each other. I know it's about getting comfortable with each other, but I can't help but think that my quiet, comforting, safe presence also is a reason for that, too.

And more on the stunning day: as I write this, thunder rolls, crashes, and, well, thunders above my head. The weather phenomena here are spectacular. Each night this week there have been gorgeous lightning storms in the sky.

Tim and Meghan were featured in the Lifestyle section of the paper today: an interview about their roles in "Winter's Tale," and darling pictures of them dancing. I showed the spread to all my co-workers and clients; I even sent an all-staff e-mail around bragging about it.

I am came home to a big Crate & Barrell package. Evidently it's customary to send anniversary presents? (Pony up, bitches. Our one-year is in nine days.) One of my parents' friends sent an orange glass vase and matching platter. And a friend sent me a kick-ass Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot concert shirt.

What a good day.


Blogger QueSaraSara said...

Ellie, I love the paragraph about leading the support group. It sounds like you are an incredible leader for these women. Your whole post made me happy for you.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

You're amazing, LE. I'm so proud of you!

9:10 PM  
Blogger joolz said...

I can't believe it's almost your anniversary! Congratulations, lovely.

It's wonderful to hear about you feeling better and happy with where you are.

12:03 PM  

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