Saturday, April 5, 2008

Paragraphein: from para- “beside” + graphein “to write”

I made it through my first week at the new job.

I love the new company. Practically the first thing the executive director said was, “People work better without bosses looking over their shoulder. You need to feel free to be creative. I find that giving people space lets their passion and creativity drive them, and they do good work that way. We figure if we’re promoting the recovery philosophy externally, then we need to practice it internally; you’re an adult, you know what you need to do your job and to stay well, so do it. We’re flexible. If you need to flex your hours a bit, fine. If you need to go somewhere, go. If you need guidance, or mentoring, or ideas, or resources, we’re all here to help… but we’re not looking over your shoulder or telling you how to do your job. You decide how you do your job.”

(And after this speech, I nearly kissed her.)

As for the work itself… I feel a bit lost. Not for lack of ideas (have tons), but because there are decisions the steering committee of the coalition needs to make, before we can proceed full steam ahead. We have a teleconference next week, so that should help.

I spent this week glued to my computer, with intervals of being glued to the phone.

There are bits of history and politics I’m still figuring out. My direct supervisor was away this week (but called every day to offer hints and help). She’ll be back Monday morning; hopefully then she can catch me up on some missing pieces.

The work itself is so meaningful. This coalition I’m coordinating will be a big piece of the puzzle in transforming the mental health system in PA. Not because of me, but because of the people who will join the coalition. Because of the collective voices of people with mental illness who will have an avenue for making their voices, their collective wisdom and insight, heard. Because it is one more way to make services recovery oriented, person-centered, and driven by the people who receive services.


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