|Posted on August 8, 2012 at 10:45 AM|
After six months probation on the job I was able to apply to get a better job working for the state welfare office as a receptionist. The lady that interviewed me was kind looking, an older lady that had worked in the welfare office for many years, the supervisor of the receptionists. She seemed very fair and upright. I felt very comfortable with her and decided to be very totally honest with her. As a handicapped child I learned to judge people by how they judged me and she seemed to understand me on an emotional level.
I was honest and told her how I had worked for university library, that they had few reference books needed by graduates and that they were given huge fines for being late. I explained that some of the students were so desperate for the books to finish their dissertations and so poor that they would cry when they learned the amount of their fines. I admitted that I had reduced some of the fines as they had been wronged by the library policy.
Afterwards I felt I had been too honest and I would not get the job. I was amazed when I found out I was picked for the job. Later I asked my new supervisor why she chose me. She said because I was honest but mainly because I had enough empathy to reduce their fines. What a reason to get a job, but she said I would be good at working with welfare clients and honest enough to be trusted. She wins the title of being a hero because she could see beyond the words and into my being and give me a change to move ahead.
This was my first exposure to the public destitution of women and children on the system. It is a brutal system to say the least but a lifesaver for many to get a new start. The difference between them and me was which side of the counter we were on. I would not falsify any records, but I would listen. My bend towards counseling was growing.
In any bureaucratic system people will be wronged simply because the system can not see what it is doing to all others at all times, it is too immense and so it is inevitable. That time would come when I had to make a decision to helplessly suffer with the victims of the system or do something different. This would be a reoccurring theme over the years. There is always a call to action of some sort when you can not accept the injustice.