The new job, and the reason that we moved, is a staff psychologist position at a large women's prison. From what I understood, I was going to be starting a chronic pain program and carrying a caseload of therapy clients. The reality is that I'm part of this program that is not quite developed yet. It's me and one other psychologist who's never worked with inmates before, which is a whole other issue. We'll talk/rant about that one later. I'm also doing this triage thing where I essentially hang out in the living units and see everyone before they get referred to a therapist. I also deal with any emergencies that may come up in my area. The kicker though? The best part? On the days that I'm on the units I may be expected to ride a tricycle. Seriously, a tricycle.
The chronic pain program, and it's other groups, are still totally undeveloped. The mental health staff is bigger than any other place I've worked, and there's all these political cliques that are complicated and super nasty. I'm working my way through them, but every day feels like I'm walking in a minefield. Also, no one uses first names. At all. Ever. So every meeting, every walk down the hallway, every silly chat in the mailroom sounds like some Monty Python skit. It's only been a couple of months since I've been able to officially use the title, but I'm already tired of being called "Doctor." On top of that, some people, including my new partner, shorten it by just calling people by their last names. So now I'm being beckoned by people just yelling "Chiconky!" in the courtyard. I don't have an office, or a desk, or even a drawer to keep my stuff. That's been pretty humbling in and of itself.
It's not all bad though. My boss seems to really like and appreciate my style (even calling me "abnormally normal"). Because the program is so new, I have the chance to develop it in a way that works for me, and because my partner is new to the population I can take more of a leadership role. The needs are so great that I can start pretty much any groups I want and there will be a need. For example, I'm going to start a group for sleep issues while I get my pain program up and running. The population is awesome and the officers have been great. I've already had quite a few really cool opportunities, like sitting in on a treatment team meeting in segregation and seeing Condemned Row. I've also met a few really great psychologists. My supervisors are great, and a lot of the staff is right out of internship. It's nice not to be in the minority.
So like I said, the jury's still out. I'm hoping that as I get more comfortable I'll begin to like the job more. It's definately not what I signed up for, and a lot of the time I'm thinking to myself "What the f*$# is going on here?", but all in all I think it will be okay. Plus, E and C are doing so well that it makes it a lot easier to put up with some of the BS. C says "There's a club for people who don't like their jobs. It's called 'Everybody' and they meet at the bar."