Friday, June 27, 2014

Yo-ho! Yo-ho! The Hermit Life for Me!

Hello everyone! I hope your weeks have all been more fantastic than the thought of narwhals playing rugby!

Just a quick reminder I will be at Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane for the Triple Threat Book Book Signing Event at noon on June 28th! Authors Katelyn Schneider, Su Williams and I will be there to sign books, answer questions and chat with anyone who wants to join us!

I have occasionally been accused of being a bit hermit-esque. The reason for this is that when someone suggests that we go somewhere downtown I have a tendency to be a bit resistant (and by "resistant" I mean the phrase, "Heck no!" often escapes my mouth).

This is in no way because I wish to avoid people. I love people. What I do not love is working on my weekends.

Being in social work, there are very few places I can go in Spokane where I won't be spotted by a client, past client, client's friend who met me once, someone who my client told I am a social worker...

Now don't get me wrong, I love my clients. What I don't love is when I'm not working and I end up having someone wander up to me in line at the bank, while I'm doing laundry at the laundromat or while I'm outside at a coffee shop enjoying a mocha, and verbally vomiting drama all over my previously crisis-free day.

Of course, it doesn't matter how much I try to avoid the client hotspots, they still find me.

Do I sound a touch paranoid? Well, before you start looking up numbers for local mental health specialists, read on! 

A couple weeks ago I went grocery shopping, which sounds innocent enough.

Grocery shopping for me is an activity that normally I treat like a spy on a secret mission. I quickly dart from aisle to aisle, grabbing my peanut butter and ibuprofen, as I scan the world around me for potential accidental case management situations. I have even leaped inside one of those round clothing racks to avoid eye contact with a particularly needy client.

That poor store attendant had probably never had to ask an adult to get out of one of those clothing racks before. I'm glad I could provide that first time experience for her.

This particular day I had only a few things to pick up, and I so I dashed through the store grabbing my few items. I paid for my purchases and headed for an exit, the glorious sunlight pouring in through the gaping maw of an automatic door. Freedom was so close.

And then I was spotted. I was three steps from getting outside, where I could logically have made a  run for it, when I heard my name called. One of my clients yelled, "Al!" and trotted over asking, "What are you doing here?"

I looked around at the aisles of groceries and then back at the client, "Umm... knitting sweaters for penguins, what else would I be doing here?"

The client immediately started pawing through my cart (which is rather typical when I get caught at the grocery store). Before I had a chance to give them my customary, "Get out of there!" they spotted my giant box of kitty litter.

"Do you have a kitty? Meow?" (Yes, the "Meow" was actually verbally said like I needed a second way to translate what they meant by "kitty.")

I smiled, "Nope, I thought I'd give the whole cat litter thing a try. I mean, if it works so well for cats, why can't it work for me!?"

The client's mouth dropped open and they flung down the kitty litter like it was suddenly made of mating cockroaches. I pushed my cart towards the door as I called back, "I'll be in the office at eight am on Monday, see you then!"

Of course, there are some lessons that can be pulled from the cart of experience.

1. Sometimes if someone is a hermit they have their reasons.

2. If you want to go into social work one of the side effects of your job will be constant client-sighting paranoia.

3. Apparently there is a way to keep clients from approaching you in the store anymore, just claim you poop in a box and they'll never try it again!

Want more fun from my life as a social worker? Don't forget to check out Case (Un)Managed

If you want to follow my crazy without trying to find me at a grocery store you can find me on Facebook, Twitter (@Allison Hawn) and Goodreads!

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