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Death of a Social Worker, Tag: Hamish/Twin
Posted: Mar 3 2018, 11:10 AM
Siobhan rolled the muscles in her neck as she reviewed the case-file in front of her. Lachlan McLean. War veteran who was paralyzed in active duty. Well, Shiv had seen her fair share of veterans, they always seemed to be a little more difficult than the children, because you could tell a child everything was going to be alright, a war vet, especially one wounded in combat conditions? Yeah, that never went over very well. Flipping a page over, she went on reading the note previous social workers had left on him – disinterested in help, refusal of help, stubborn. Well, that was nothing new – not to her at least. Shiv sat back then, contemplating the best way to approach this case. The two of them, Mr. McLean and her, had an appointment today, that much was true, and she never really liked going into initial meetings with any prior thoughts about the person. Sure, she could trust the words in front of her, where others had tried, but she rather liked forming her own opinion about people.
Closing the manila file folder, she pulled a yellow post-it note from it’s holder and slapped it on the front, her pen quickly scratching out the time of their appointment as she went on to the next file to review – child placement with a relative after some sort of family blow up. She needed to field this to another case-worker. Grabbing the folder and her coffee cup, she left her office, heading into the main area, and into her co-worker’s domain, speaking briefly about the case, and seeing that they would follow up on it today. She needed to keep her afternoon open for her new one, but child safety was priority one, which meant making sure that someone else who had the capacity was able to take the case for review. That taken care of she wandered into the kitchenette at the office, tilting another cup of coffee into her mug “Be the person your dog thinks you are.” Emblazoned in gold script on a sea green background, a hold over reminder from the little yorkie she had before – her passing still preventing her from getting another companion animal, even if Shiv knew that a dog would help keep her grounded. She did too much work with the public, a companion animal wouldn’t be suited to her lifestyle at the moment, but who knew, maybe one day.
Sipping the black joy that now was keeping her going, she went back to her office, checking the time. Talking to her co-worker had taken longer than she realized, and Mr. McLean would be there soon. Sitting back, she waited patiently, checking over some other case files as she did. Some time later she looked at the clock, realizing that her appointment had never shown. Frowning, she checked the time in her log once again – no, he was now an hour late. Shiv sighed – so he was going to be one of those. Well, no matter – she had kept her day open for just such a case. Grabbing the file folder, her cell phone and keys, she dumped the items into her bag and then checked in with her supervisor – she was going to have to go out on this one.
The file had said he was staying at the local homeless shelter – and so that’s where Shiv headed first, hoping her hunch that he had just forgotten what day his appointment was for was right. Upon arrival, she checked in with the front desk, flashing her Department of People Services badge at the window, proof of who she was and what she was doing there. Clipping the badge to the lapel of her navy pea coat, she started to wander the shelter. Red hair and a wheelchair couldn’t be that hard to miss.
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Posted: Apr 29 2018, 04:43 PM
Lachlan knew he was supposed to be somewhere. Some garbage about someone helping him get back on his feet, figuratively speaking, and making a life for himself again. He’d heard it before. He’d been to the meetings before. But it was always the same- someone telling him how he should be feeling and how he should be living his life in regards to those things he should be feeling. They were so up their own asses they had no idea what it was like to be in his shoes. To be a wounded, homeless man with nothing worth living for and no reason to get out of bed in the morning. Didn’t even need the damn bed, really. They always thought they could change the world, but really they weren’t doing much more than puffing out nonsense they didn’t really understand and expecting people to follow along blindly.
No one really wanted to help him- they just wanted another good mark on their records. That feeling of saying they helped someone in need. Didn’t matter who that person was or what their issues were, just spit out the same tried speech over and over and move on to the next hopeless case.
Lachlan wasn’t interested in being a part of it.
So he didn’t see a problem with blowing off the meeting he had been scheduled for. It wasn’t like he had wanted the help in the first place. The government had an annoying habit of trying to get involved when it came to homeless veterans. Maybe they thought it would make them look better, too. Lachlan didn’t know and he didn’t care, he just wanted to be left alone. Was that really such a bad thing? He didn’t hate being homeless. He wasn’t suffering.
He felt like he was where he ought to be. He didn’t deserve a great many things, and it wasn’t like he had the height to go and reach for them anymore anyway.
The crabby man was in the shelter, as he had been all day, just sitting in the common room in his wheelchair. A couple of the other homeless were there, too, just going about their business and more or less leaving one another alone. Someone was watching the tiny TV the place provided, while someone else was sitting at a table, looking over the job ads like he was actually going to be able to change his life. Foolish guy.
Lachlan, meanwhile, had positioned his chair at one of the small, plastic tables that surrounded the room, sitting there with a book in his hand and another on the table. He liked to read- it kept him distracted from all the annoyances in his life. And it helped pass the time as he willingly ignored his obligations.
He glanced up from his book when a women far too well-dressed to be homeless walked in, looking fresh-faced and ready to take on life. Oh no, his case worker must have come looking for him. Exhaling an irritated sigh, he immediately looked back down at his book, hoping that ignoring her would make her go away.
Posted: Jun 16 2018, 05:55 PM
Siobhan turned from the check in counter in time to see a shock of red hair duck down back into a book, and she raised a brow at the sight before making her way over, taking a seat across from the man in question, crossing her legs and waiting. She wasn’t one to be hurried through something, especially when it came to meeting new people, and she knew she hated to be interrupted when she was reading as well, so she waited. She had cleared out the rest of the day on her calendar for this one, and she knew how tricky it was to get people to talk. So, she sat, pushing a lock of blonde hair back behind her ear, making no moved for her case file – she had memorized all the important details already, there was no need to pull it out and make a show of it.
He had avoided the appointment purposely, which meant that he didn’t want help – that was fine, most people didn’t want help even when they could use it. That was something she had been used to in the past with other clients. He chose to remain at a homeless shelter, when he was fully entitled to a bed at the VA – that meant that he wanted to distance himself from his past in the military. Perhaps he had found affront in the war, or maybe it was personal preference, which ever it was, it spoke that he didn’t want the hand out, it spoke to pride, and pride was a hard thing to get over, especially when help was so desperately needed. Disabled at the moment, which meant that he could be in a state-run rehabilitation center if he wanted, and yet, he had turned that down too, so it wasn’t just a snub on his military record that had him avoiding help, it was something deeper still. Shiv’s eyes roamed over his face as she watched him, wondering how long it would take him to crack and yell at her to go away – most like him eventually did yell, especially when there was a feeling like there was something left to prove. She didn’t mind that. Most times by the time she was yelled at she knew she had finally made an impression.
Tugging the edge of her navy skirt down further so that her knees and a good two inches above was less visible, she waited still, returning to her mental assessment. Her eyes went to the hand on the table – larger, pale skinned to match his golden red hair. No companion animal, when he was entitled to a guide or mental health companion, which meant he didn’t want any obligations to weigh him down. Spending his time reading, instead of languishing at the television or doing something to improve his situation, that spoke of resign to his fate, possibly even a willingness to stay where he was on some sort of misguided notion that he didn’t deserve any better.
Damn, was he going to be a tough one to crack.
Shiv folded her hands on her lap finally, turning her face to look out the window. It was a pretty enough day outside, but he remained inside, possibly… Shiv finally turned her eyes back to the man, her mental assessment of him complete.
Lachlan McLean didn’t have anything left worth living for.
She’d seen cases like his before, worked one or two, and they were the hardest that she had ever worked. Sometimes she still saw them, out on the streets, well adjusted now, back in life. So, the question was now, what did Lachlan McLean need to feel that life was worth living still? And was the man ever going to look at her or talk to her so that she could confirm her mental assessment. Maybe not today, but there was a reason she was given his case. She didn’t like to give up, that much was true, but not because she had a chip on her shoulders, or that she liked getting the praise for a job well done, but because she actually did care for her cases. Everyone needed someone to care about them.
Shiv’s eyes returned to Lachlan’s face, but she remained silent, a patient smile on her face as she waited.
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