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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Lessons From The Drop-In...

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If you want to survive in the drop-n you had better have a sense of humor...
watch the video

They surely do not teach you this in school....how to survive working in a drop-in with the homeless....

Some things You Should NEVER DO if you work in a drop-in lol

Practical Lessons In Survival I was so naive.....

There are some very important things you need to learn very quickly if you want to survive working in a drop-in for street people. Man, was I christened within the first few days . Looking back, it really is quite funny to me how naive I was then. Didn't take me long to wise up some. It was a matter of survival, mine and theirs.

First, and this is a definate NO-NO. Do not empty the ashtrays. Well it seemed to me that if they had butts in them, I should clean up some and empty them. Makes sense eh? NOT!!! Well , my first day I was going around cleaning up and I couldn't figure out why I was getting some "looks". Not to mention some rather rude comments. I won't go into too much detail, but it is good I have a thick skin at times. Then all of a sudden, like a light bulb, I get it. People want those butts. They want to collect them, empty them and make themselves a new butt to smoke. Oh yea, okay, got it now guys. Stop giving me the evil eye okay....I'm learning!!!

Second, don't put sugar out with the coffee !!! Never, ever do this. Do any of you have any idea why this is???? Well I'm making a new pot of coffee. (large pot, 50 cups worth) and I'm making two of them. So I put the milk out, and a nice big bowl of sugar. Silly me!! Well here comes this guy to get a coffee. Next thing I know he takes the sugar bowl and starts pouring it in his mouth. Well I'm thinking "what the ----??" why does he want to eat all that sugar? Seems when people are coming down from a really good "high" they CRAVE SUGAR. Helps them feel more "normal". Man am I learning some" stuff" here. So what I have to do is mix the sugar in the milk, or else it will not survive.

Oh and another lesson, this is important....One day a man had a seizure and hit his head. It left quite the nasty cut. So the visiting nurse guy, who happens to be there, sends someone to get rubbing alcohol for the cut. I give it to him, just not thinking. He proceeds to open the bottle and chug it down. Drank the whole bottle. After they have a shower, don't give them the after shave either, or they will drink that too.

Oh, and lastly I needed lessons on what to tell a young man following me around, who looked like Jesus, and was asking me every few minutes when we could have sex.....No lessons for this before I was hired....lol. But I would do it all again in a heartbeat. And the end of the month, when people get their checks, pure insanity. Whatever addiction they may have, there are some who will use that check to feed their drug of choice. Well I'll tell you about a day at the end of the month some other time.

Talking about coffee, I am going to go make a nice French Vanilla coffee. Yum..



About the Writer

Barbara MacDonald is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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8 comments on Lessons From The Drop-In...

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By HomeRearedChef on November 04, 2012 at 01:03 am

Well, Barbara, I can honestly see all they why's and don'ts, but I, too, don't get why the guy was asking YOU for sex. I guess you need to have tough skin, and loads of compassion, too, to work at a drop-in. And I guess this is a job that you learn as you go.

Thank you for sharing.

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By Uttam Gill on November 04, 2012 at 03:33 am

Barb you are quite seasoned in handling such people...With your experience you did a great job...I understand surely it is not see easy...Thanks for sharing valuable tips

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By Barbara MacDonald on November 04, 2012 at 04:48 am

Thank you Virginia...this was written tongue in cheek , as you so needed to ba able to keep ypur sense of humor to handle some things...The guy that was asking me for sex, did not realize he was saying anything wrong. Many of the people had different mental illnesses. Often it had been caused by years of abusing drugs and alcohol.

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By Barbara MacDonald on November 04, 2012 at 04:50 am

Thank you Uttam, yes you do learn how to handle most situations fairly quickly, if you do want to survive.

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By melanie jean juneau on November 04, 2012 at 11:26 am

You are a wise woman. I think that everyone but most especially social workers must understand that inorder to empathize with people we must keep our sense of humour.It is impossible to help others if we absorb their pain because miserable cannot help the miserable

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By Barbara MacDonald on November 04, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Thank you Melanie, my sense of humor is maybe why I never "burnt out" so to say. Over the years I have found what helps me cope. When I was running the group for survivors, I use to have to come home and ride my stationary bike for a half hour at least, just to be able to let go of some of the pain I had witnessed. Yes I do agree, miserable never is going to help anyone. :-)

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By Angie Alaniz on November 05, 2012 at 04:11 am

You're an Angel in disguised!

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By Barbara MacDonald on November 05, 2012 at 08:06 am

Not an angel at all Angie, a flawed human being, part saint, part sinner. Thank you though. I do believe in angels and have had many come into my life when I needed them. My Mother was one for sure. :-)

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