Work Scenario #3 – Part One

June 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Posted in Work Scenerios | Leave a comment
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Disclaimer: So that some work scenarios make more sense, I’d like to describe the organization I worked for. A mobile mental health team served severe and persistent mentally ill people in a county in Maryland. Some descriptions may seem vague or cryptic, it is to preserve the identity of clients, organization, and co-workers. Some documents are redacted via pixelation. My specific duties will always remain intact.

This scenario will be one of my most complex.  I’m splitting it up into different parts that will show particular problem solving plans.

Below is an example of training that I developed and conducted for my team for the audit.

Due to privacy protection, some things have to be left out of descriptions.  This information is irrelevant to understanding the processes that were developed and succeeded.

This past year was the fifth audit that I had prepared for.  The four earlier years had given me a chance to learn what did and didn’t work.  It was the first year I prepared an extensive training manual for the process.  There were co-workers that had been through the audit before, but a refresher avoids any confusion.  You can never assume that an employee has all the information.  Since most of our office spent 75% of their time in the field, having a hard copy of instructions and notes would be more helpful.  I did go over the manual in a one-hour seminar that supplemented the information contained in it.

I believe it was our blueprint for success.  I believe there is nothing that helps a worker more than understanding why he’s doing a project.  My training booklet started with two paragraphs explaining not only our goal, but also why it was important.

The second goal was to make it understood that following the book aided me.  Once all the information was entered, I was the one that had to sift through it all and extrapolate the information that needed to be evaluated.

The largest part of the manual was about the importance of the online documentation.  At least 6 points on our fidelity scale (specific measured areas of work) were based on the documentation of the workers.  Five types of notes and data had to be included for each client (approx. 100) to be able to correctly score those points.  I explained why they were necessary, how to make them comprehensive, and gave examples of how it’s done correctly.

The hard-copy documents couldn’t be ignored.  Part of the refresher was going over some of the more important documents and signatures that need to be included in filed records.  These were kept track of regularly.  See my first work scenario on quality assurance. It goes over the QA process I developed for those records.

Finally, I quickly went over two things that were done everyday, privacy of our clients, and the extensive responsibilities of the worker that is in charge of each client.  We had to be especially diligent during our yearly two-day audit.

That’s how it started this past year.  The subtitle of my of my handbook, Reminders About Fidelity Scoring and How to Make the Team Look as Good on Paper As It Is In The Field, sums up the purpose.

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112 Days

June 28, 2011 at 11:31 am | Posted in Interviewing, Job Search | 1 Comment

I’ve been unemployed for 112 days.  I’ve applied to about 118 jobs.  Of course I didn’t start looking for work the next day. In fact I’ve read articles saying you shouldn’t.  You need to pull back and take a breath.  Anyway, out of those 118, I’ve had 5 phone and in-person interviews. Tell me, how do you not get discouraged with stats like that?

Common Courtesy Is Rare

June 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Posted in Business Ops, Interviewing, Opinions | Leave a comment
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What has happened to common courtesy?  What about basic business communications?
I realized this week that I have had no replies to very specific e-mails I have sent inquiring about past interviews.  This includes two interviewers and my contact at a temp agency I have signed up with.

I still see one of these jobs in the e-mail alerts I get from several different sources.

Does it mean that the HR department is waiting until they get all the applications after a certain period to review them?  Is it that I wasn’t right for the job and they are still looking?

I guess when you have a job you can’t empathize with the people who are anxious about being able to work again.  One more thing to keep me a cynic.


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Unemployment, Politicians, and My Rant

June 24, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Posted in Economy, Opinions, unemployed | 2 Comments
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WARNING-This is one of my political rants

I’ve become and avid reader of anything I can find about unemployment on the internet.  Below are what my research has found over the past couple weeks.  I don’t think any other preface is needed.

Senator Paul Rand:
“As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that’s less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again,” Paul explained.  “Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen.”

Sharron Angle:
I would have voted no, “because the truth about it is that they keep extending these unemployment benefits to the point where people are afraid to go out and get a job because the job doesn’t pay as much as the unemployment benefit does.  Moreover, what we really need to do is put people back to work.”

Senator Judd Gregg:
Said extended benefits undermine the economic recovery because they “basically keep an economy that encourages people to, rather than go out and look for work, to stay on unemployment.”

I disagree with all these comments because I’m not given the credit of being a citizen that has self-respect, wants to contribute to the society, and earn my way.  I’m well-educated and have a Bachelor’s degree.  I was told that this education would make me a valuable employee that would be in higher demand.  I don’t know about other people receiving unemployment compensation, but I’m only getting about two-thirds of my pay when I lost my job and I’m not getting any satisfaction in using my unemployment card to pay for things.  I don’t feel entitled or that I’m on some vacation the government is paying for.
I still have to pay taxes on the money I receive from unemployment insurance.  I’m someone who hasn’t been out of work for the past 24 years, I’ve been unemployed for three months now and I want a job!
My dream would be for any of those people, or anyone who believes what they say, to lose their job.  I want them to go through the process of applying for Unemployment Insurance.  I want them to be told to practice saying, “You want fries with that” and take that job just to get off Unemployment.

Remember this: thoughts turn into words and words into actions.  So far, all I’ve heard are things like “we have to get people back to work”.  What’s the plan out there that will help the span of the middle class?  All I ever hear are ideas that seem to be “short-term economy”.  If you think I may have some facts or information wrong, please enlighten me.  I have done several searches to try to find any information, biased or not, that has a real plan for the high unemployment.  I’m tired of reading rhetoric and listing to spin-doctors.  I’d almost rather hear “we don’t know what the plan is yet, but we’re working on it” than the crap I’ve heard so far.

Finally, let’s check the statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics .  According to the most recent stats (those of May), 13.9 million Americans were out of work; of those 822,000 were “discouraged workers”.  Discouraged workers are persons not looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them.  That means that only 6% have stopped looking for work, usually that means they can’t collect unemployment either.  To collect, in most states, you must be able to prove to the state that you have looked for work over the past two weeks.

If you don’t like the situation you’re in, if you don’t like what your government is doing, if you don’t even understand where others stand on the issue of jobs and unemployment let your representatives know and do research.
A good place to start is The Office of the Congressional Whip’s page on jobs.

For more information on how to get in touch with your legislators check out my How To page’s section, Write Congress

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Inspiration-Whenever You Need It

June 22, 2011 at 12:22 am | Posted in Daily Life, Positive | 2 Comments
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Just watch this and smile

Work Scenario #2 – Meetings

June 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Posted in Position Description, Work Scenerios | Leave a comment
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Disclaimer: So that some work scenarios make more sense, I’d like to describe the organization I worked for. A mobile mental health team served severe and persistent mentally ill people in a county in Maryland. Some descriptions may seem vague or cryptic, it is to preserve the identity of clients, organization, and co-workers. Some documents are redacted via pixelation. My specific duties will always remain intact.

As part of my daily routine, I directed the morning team meetings.  These meetings included the full staff of our office.  I believe these meetings transmitted some of the most important information of the day.
The information for each client, usually around 100 individuals, that was disseminated included: appointments, medication distribution, mental status, transportation needs, and housing needs, to name a few.
I helped to develop a way to keep this information clear, concise, and complete (my three C’s)
Clients had a monthly calendar I created with their name on it.  I went through the book of these calendars and recorded all pertinent information.  This included appointment times and who was seeing them, days medication was distributed or needed to be, reports of a change in mental status, any hospitalizations, and pertinent somatic information, substance abuse problems and on call events, and precautions the staff needs to take, just to name a few.  There were aspects of the information that needed to be included in monthly outcomes and yearly audits.  My contributions in these will be described in separate work scenario posts.
I was consistently able to keep the meeting moving to fit into our scheduled one-hour sessions and keep the information that inevitably would be needed that day, most times by me, to handle phone calls and questions.  I was able to quickly record all the particulars, no editing was necessary, and all information was available on all clients immediately after the meeting.
This meticulous recording was an asset to the team and the upper management that I had to report to monthly.

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