Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Miss Sadie: Supervisor Extraordiniare

*EDIT* I gave the meds. No one died. Success!!
Also, I found a pile of bones under our Christmas tree this morning. But that, my friends, is a story for another day.

Last night I started training to supervise at work. While I am excited to be able to help out and fill in when a Supervisor is needed, I am also a little scared by this prospect.

The supervisors are in charge of giving medications. I would venture to say that around 80% of our kids come in with a long list of meds, so this can be a big job for the supervisor, especially when we have 30 kids at the shelter. After Karen explained the med log to me, I said "Ok Karen, I understand all that, but what happens when I mess up, which I inevitably will? I mean, what do I do when I give someone the wrong medicine, or the wrong dosage, or forget to give it out at all? What I mean is, what do I do when I act like myself??" And she said, "Well, you call the on-call worker and if needed, you will call the pharmacy or poison control center. You would obviously also document it in the med log." "Ok, so in the med log I would write something like 'Gave poison instead of medicine.' Got it."

It is safe to say, the meds freak me out. Tonight I am taking an extra trip up to the shelter to help take care of the babies, and to hand out meds under the watchful eye of Miss Karen.

Another scary thing about supervising, as I explained to Karen last night, is that generally I pawn all of my crap onto the supervisors. If a kid won't take a bath, call the supervisor. If a kid won't do their homework? Call the supervisor. If a kid refuses to go to bed? Call the supervisor. If a kid is running up and down the halls, wearing nothing but thier underwear, screaming "I WANT BIRTHDAY CAKE!" and throwing stuffed animals? Call the supervisor?

So this means, on that inevitable night when there is that one kid who will not take a bath, not do her homework, not go to bed, and is running up and down the halls in her underwear screaming "I WANT BIRTHDAY CAKE!" and throwing stuffed animals, the staff will call Miss Sadie. And I will not know what to do, so I will most likely try to distract the girl away from throwing her fit which means I'll probably do something like dance and sing a silly song while all the other kids (and staff) look on and think to themselves, "Well, this is certainly going to be an interesting night."

There is a certain power that exudes from the supervisors. The kids may be slightly afraid of some of the staff, but they instinctively know there's not alot we can do in the way of discipline. We can sit them in time out...and that's about it. But for some reason, the supervisors are scarier. Now in general, the kids are even less scared of me than they are of other staff. I don't know why this is, I can be just as stern as the next staff member. I worry that the power of the supervisor will not effectively transfer to me, so when I am called to deal with the cussing, kicking, spitting, ornery kid, I'll walk in and he will say to himself, "Pssshhhaw, it's just Miss Sadie. She's not scary. She's just weird." I'm afraid I will sense thier lack of fear, and my presumed power will be chopped from beneath me quicker than you can say flapjack. Then I will be reduced to dancing and singing again.

This extra helping of responsibility? Is overwhelming.


Mario said...


These is but one simple solution to this potential problem. Ready? You simply pull them aside, look the child straight in their eyes with your most calm appearance and ask them,

"Do you want to die?"

There yah go. Easy, huh? Well you don't have to thank me. Just remember me when they promote you to run the whole damn shelter.

barebranch said...

there you go....exactly why i hate supervising. when i am required to supervise, someone always does something stupid and i have to chastise or punish or get rid of them, and i always wonder: "why do people do stupid stuff?"

then i remember that i constantly do stupid stuff while working and wonder why my supervisor hasn't gotten rid of me..

not that your supervisory role is akin to a "work-place" supervisor.....

my suggestion: always begin your chastisement with: "it should be intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer"

dawn said...

i think being so cute (and also pregnant) kind of takes away your scariness. but you could wear a scary halloween mask when you supervise. one that looks like... al gore. he might be a nice guy, but he looks pretty darn scary. that would solve all your problems. that's why he won the nobel peace prize. he solves the world's problems just with his face.

sean said...

"that lime baby"?

Like, "sublime?"

Soooo ... when we see picture?