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Day 264 - The Hubbub

Friday, August 21, 2015

I had to deal with a situation today that, if it was happening when I was in college, would have totally escaped my purview if I weren't in this position.

Registered sex offenders are allowed to take classes on our campus, but they have to be registered with the campus police department. This semester there are 3 guys, one of them an old homeless man that has serious mental illness. I had to field three complaints against the old guy today, and he missed his appointment with the counselor today. She was going to tell him that he would be meeting with one of the police officers tomorrow in one of the offices in the administration building. He isn't reachable, although he lives in the homeless camp behind the campus. It's sad and awkward, because he really shouldn't be taking classes (he does not have the mental capacity) and he behaves inappropriately even when boundaries are clearly established, but he's homeless and lost.

It is a challenge to be respectful to people, and we have to protect them just like we have to protect the other students. It's a balancing act, and I'm learning to walk the tightrope.

Tomorrow my predecessor Carla will be in all day (after the faculty meeting from 7:30-8:30). She is an expert at all the budgetary issues that I need to deal with, and she will help me get through a lot of the invoices, statements, and work orders that were in piles all over my desk before I arrived. I'm looking forward to working with her tomorrow.

I will say that I am going to leave the office no later tomorrow than 4:30! I've worked from 7:30 until at least 6pm every day, and then at least another 2 hours in the evening. I can't wait to kick back and have fun this weekend! Our friends Joseph and Tim are coming up for the weekend with their friend Lisa. It will be great fun going wine tasting on Saturday and boating/swimming on Sunday.

Remember to give everyone you meet a little respect. Their situation may not be ideal, but they will appreciate a smile and a kind word.

And keep sparking!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have my own thoughts on sex offenders. Put them on an island and let them offend each other! Well this is obviously a challenge you have to face in your new job that you probably didn't think about before you took it, not that it would have changed your mind, just saying it probably wasn't something you ever thought you would be dealing with.

    I am sure you will handle it appropriately and kindly. You are that kind of guy.
    2018 days ago
  • RHOOK20047
    I meet all type working with St. Vincent de Paul all the time. I have to look for the face of Jesus in each and everyone, so that I don't look down on people. There is good in everyone even though it is hard to see sometimes. I don't envy you having to address it, but I am sure you will do it with diplomacy and love. I always say a quick prayer before meeting like that and ask the Holy Spirit to guide me in my dealings with difficult people. Hope your weekend is great!
    2021 days ago
  • FITNIK2020
    You are doing wonderfully well at your new job and I doubt the school recognizes the kind compassion you have brought. While I can sympathize with the sex offender , I would never be able to deal with that situation fairly. You can supply my reasons why. I do have to question why this person is in a classroom situation with vulnerable students. It's a policy I could never support. How do the instructors cope with this individual ? Does he interact at lectures ? How does this benefit him if he hasn't the capacity? All my questions do not negate your sensitive approach and reflect the victims point of view. And btw you are a gifted writer...thank you for your insight.
    2022 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15118206
    I can relate! I see people every day at my food pantry that society has turned their backs on, including, sex offenders. It's difficult and challenging at times, but I try to keep the balance on the "tightrope" as well and put it in His hands. As someone stated earlier, you're exactly where you should be.
    Have a fabulous week-end! You deserve it!

    2022 days ago
  • no profile photo JEANNETTE59
    Steve, you know that i have worked in advocacy for many years. One morning when our community breakfast was almost over I was telling the 200 or so folks that had been served about some new programs, that Feast of Justice would be offering.
    As I spoke a woman, who always sat alone, got up from her seat and walked up to the lectern, where I was speaking. She smiled at me and turned to face the gathering and began to sing a hymn of praise in her native Creole. She had the most beautiful voice and we were all blessed to hear it.
    You my friend are exactly where you need to be because it is exactly where you are needed. Just remember the phrase, there but for the grace of God go I, and you will be able to handle anything that comes your way.

    Relax and enjoy your weekend and have a glass of vine for me!
    2023 days ago
    I feel for you and completely understand and agree with you having to show compassion for those less fortunate. We run a karaoke show on Fri & Sat nights. There are a few homeless people who hang around our building (they are not allowed inside) hoping someone will drop a few coins into their hands or pick through the ashtray outside. I keep a cup in my car in which I put any coins from purchases as I don't like them to weigh down my purse. One night, I saw one of the regular homeless guys, David.. one who never ever has asked me for anything,... I opened my car, took out the cup and called to David to come over to me. I said "Hold out your hands". He put out a hand. I said, "You're gonna need two hands for this". I poured the contents into his hands. He looked up at me and with a smile and TEARS flowing said, "God bless you, Lala. Thank you!." I said, "Spend it wisely but enjoy". It made me feel so good to do that.
    Wow! You've been working some long hours! It's easy to do when you enjoy what you're doing!
    I hope you have some rest time with Steve this weekend! emoticon
    2023 days ago
    Hope you can reduce the amount of overtime you are working soon and that can help you go through those invoices like a dose of salt!
    We have similar situations with homeless, helpless people at the culture center I work for - you do┬┤nt want to offend them, but it is very difficult to really help them too... I hope you have a great weekend with your friends and the boat and manage to relax too.
    Thanks for the congratulations on the safe arrival of Jonna, Steve.
    2023 days ago
    2023 days ago
    I work in ed, and sometimes, I wonder why certain people are allowed to enroll in the first place - it's not in everyone's best interest to be a college student in a holistic sense. The only advantage is that sadly they may have access to resources that they wouldn't otherwise, even if they are taking out student loans that will eventually come out of their disability checks when Uncle Sam comes knocking for payment. And sometimes, doing best by a person, truly looking after their interests, is making a decision about something that is contrary to what they want.

    I don't deal with their school issues, but their issues outside of the bubble, and sometimes, people just need to be listened to and heard - makes a big difference.
    2023 days ago
    I love your message of respect.
    2023 days ago
    Well said Steve - have a great weekend.
    2023 days ago
    you are a wonderful man, Steve. So compassionate. I am truly blessed to have any type of interaction with you.
    (no sarcasm font needed for those statements - they are FACTS!)

    and you made me think of Leon Russell. My sister was a big Leon Russell fan when we were kids.

    so, thanks for that!

    I'm up on the tightwire
    one side's ice and one is fire
    its a circus game with you and me
    I'm up on the tightrope
    one side's hate and one is hope
    but the tophat on my head is all you see
    And the wire seems to be
    the only place for me
    a comedy of errors
    and I'm falling

    Like a rubber-neck giraffe
    you look into my past
    well maybe you're just to blind to - see
    I'm up in the spotlight
    ohh does it feel right
    ohh the altitude
    seems to get to me
    2023 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/21/2015 4:26:06 AM
    I can't help being sorry for this man. I wonder how he got so screwed up. Our society spits people like this out like they were nothing, and I approve of you thinking of him, and understanding that he shouldn't be in school, but yet having enough empathy for you to see his plight.

    I assume there will be a number more fine lines you have to wade through. I cannot think of anyone more capable.

    Have a wonderful weekend. You deserve one.

    Spark on.
    2023 days ago
    2023 days ago
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