I have a confession to make…I’m a really lousy crisis worker…

If he can do it, why not me?

I am, really bad…

You see, I’ve been doing this job for a long, long time, off and on for about ten years and frankly, it’s getting a little old. If unfamiliar with crisis work, what I do for a living is I get calls from doctors and police officers in various hospital emergency rooms, or maybe jail corporals at detention centers to come to the scene and speak to the client for the purposes of determining the least restrictive setting where the client will be safe, until they can get follow-up professional help. If at the jail, I might place them on a special watch status which can include suicide gowns and isolation. If at the emergency room, I will determine whether they can go home, can go to a crisis house or go to a behavioral hospital either on a voluntary basis or under an emergency detention called a Chapter 51, where they will be escorted to the hospital by the police in handcuffs.

And truth be told, I’m not very good at making these decisions. I don’t want to go so far as to say that anyone has made a succesful attempt because of the decisions I’ve made, but if they did, I’m certain I wouldn’t have just received the usual bonus for a missed call, I would probably instead be put in charge of the entire Adult Crisis Program.

That may sound like an odd system of rewards, but over the past ten years, social work has largely undergone a transformation from something that was once a total client model to the more black and white corporate model. Sure, the clients are still important, don’t get me wrong, but moreso is the money. Billing, cutting costs, so much of social work today is about billable time and productive, measurable results.

No, I’m not complaining about this. Being as bad at this as I am, it’s probably the only reason I’m still employed.

In fact, the ongoing transition to the corporate model has even improved my career prospects and the many opportunities to receive promotions and raises.

Need another example of how this works?


Transocean gives safety bonuses despite deaths in Gulf of Mexico oil rig explosion


Tony Hayward may receive bonus of eight million pounds


BP increases monthly fee for claims czar Kenneth Feinberg’s law firm to $1.25 million

or, how about this old favorite…

President Bush Wins 2000 Election!

For a long, long time, in the field of social work, traits such as compassion, empathy, client rights, maintaining client focus and making a difference in people’s lives, no matter the cost were how the true worth of a social worker were measured, and in Adult Crisis work, client rights and client safety were preeminent.

That’s why I came close to getting fired, a few times.

But now?

The system plays to my strengths, or should I say, lack of them.

Just like the Transocean guys involved with the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, or just like Tony Hayward and the destruction of Gulf Coast lives and ecosystem, or just like Ken Feinberg who couldn’t efficiently pay a claim if his life depended on it, or just like our former President who couldn’t even find oil, in Texas, just like all these guys…rather than being fired and left on the streets for my incompetence, the corporatization of social services has got me looking at promotions, bonuses and hell, who knows? If I really screw this up and somebody should die, well, according to the corporate way of doing things not only in the Gulf, but across the country, I could be looking at a promotion to Director of Social Services for the entire state.

It could happen…

Hey, maybe it’s time for some new blood.

I certainly have both eyes on that corporate bottom line, a lackadaisacal work ethic, a solid understanding of corruption navigation and a total lack of concern for the welfare of others which, when you put it all together, might just make me the ultimate envy of every other social worker in my field.

I tell ya, the county I work in better promote me soon because I expect a job offer from Feinberg’s Gulf Coast Claims Facility any day now. My total amoral response to people in distress is sure to make me quite the draw. 

Lord knows, I could certainly use the raise.

Have a nice day.


I’m back! Return of the New Orleans Assassin…

Killing, with a conscience...


Yes, I still kill people for a living.

And first off, I just wanted to extend a hearty handshake, a nod of the head, I’d even be willing to give a little lead time to every French Quarter resident who voted down the French Quarter Security District.

Yes, that was nice, too kind and now that those two to three security guards won’t be wandering the Quarter and getting in my way, I am completely free to accept jobs there. Just put an “X” in chalk on the farthest left, third pew to the back inside St. Louis Cathedral and walk away. Don’t worry, I’ll find you and perhaps we can do some business. Despite usually doing only government work, I like to oh, I don’t know…”give back” so to speak and keeping that in mind, I am here to let you in on a bit of a secret. Call it a thank you, just a small token of my appreciation.

You ready?

Okay, your government?

They really don’t care about you. I know, I know…big surprise, but I don’t mean that in that in the “disgruntled throw away comment over a beer at your favorite bar – grousing” kind of way. No, I mean, they really do not care. You should hear the shop talk my brethren and I have. You know we refer to citizens as “cogs”? We do, but lately I’ve been thinking even this is a stretch. To imply that people are mere cogs in a machine would indicate that if one of you is removed, the machine might break down and this is simply not the case. I think a more apt metaphor would be like people are the dirt on the floor below the machine. When necessary you’re just swept away, and the machine keeps running, just fine. I know, kind of hurts, don’t it?

Sorry, but I think after you all did me such a solid, I had to return the favor even if that favor is a little painful.

And this brings me to that whole BP oil spill thing. What I want you to realize is the spill and all its after-affects is not a be all, end all to a situation, it is just a symptom of the main problem, kind of like Katrina. It isn’t the disease. It’s merely a symptom to the greater, overall virus.

And the virus itself?

To the top 1%, you are mere chattel.


But don’t take my word for it. Want some proof?

Let’s talk food safety in the Gulf. How many times have you all heard by now from “your” government the food is safe, go ahead, eat away, we opened the waters for fishing, have fun? This is absolute crap of course. Look, your government, what they want are people to have jobs and the tourists to come back, and whereas this could be construed as admirable, unfortunately they are willing to risk the health of everyone in the Gulf Coast in the process. Opening waters for fishing and tourists being about revenue, revenue for states means more government services and fewer cutbacks. This brings about votes for those in power and those in power want to keep their power. So, the FDA uses shoddy tests that don’t detect PAH’s and toxic metals and then go about telling everyone how safe it all is, despite the fact that PAH’s and toxic metals cause cancer. Meanwhile, independent scientists are finding all sorts of goodies in the seafood, even seafood that is already on its way to market for consumption and nobody, I mean nobody seems to want to look at the long-term effects of eating this stuff on a regular basis. You might be inclined to think if the government cares, they should care about the long-term health of its people. Yeah, you’d think that, but they’re far more focused on short-term politics and cash.  A health catastrophe twenty years down the road is a problem for those assholes twenty years down the road.

Want more?

No problem.

How many of you out there have accounts at Bank of America? That “too big to fail” thing is primed for a comeback. Yeah, the largest bank in this country is in trouble and they are doing their best to conceal it, but when appraisers estimate your institution as being only worth half as much as you say it is, it ain’t going to end well. Your government is going to be again put in the position of giving them a bunch of money, all while the bank CEO’s give each other bonuses, all while they use fraudulent paperwork to foreclose on your homes, all while letting all of you out there lose everything.

And while people are losing everything, the Obama administration, as much as I appreciate all they and the previous administrations have done for me, they agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts thus further reward those who are making life so difficult for all of you. With the loss of revenue, there will have to be further cutbacks, and rather than take back the money they so gratuitously gave to the wealthy, Obama’s own fiscal commission has recommended severe cutbacks to the poor by way of social security and medicare cuts, all while suggesting the retirement age be raised to 69 0r 70.

So yes, I’m sorry to be the barer of bad news and yes, I do understand how some of you might wonder how I feel that what it is I tell you could be considered a “thank you,” but it is.

As an assassin, I work in cold, hard facts: trajectory, wind speed, rifles, bullets, distance and time.

And as a citizen, once you realize the facts, this prompts newer, more effective insights, thoughts and finally, solutions.

If your government has broken the “social contract,” is it necessary for you to continue the struggle to fulfill its obligations?If I walk up to you on the street, shake your hand, smile and then slap you in the face, would you continue to stand there while I apologized and then did it again? How about the tenth time? The twentieth? The hundredth?

Your decision.

Think about it.

As for me, as I am sure you can understand, business is booming. Especially now that the French Quarter has been freed up. Still making plans on my condo. The dog’s doing well. I stay away from the shrimp, work out, read when I have the time. Check out Will Self’s “Quantity Theory of Insanity.” It’s a good read, for a Brit. Oh, and if you want an idea about how you might take the power of your community into your own hands, check out Common Ground Relief for a few ideas. If you can’t reform the government, substitute the lost function of government with an organization of your own.

Believe me you, a few of the people running that place are being watched but I won’t accept any of those jobs. I may be a killer, but I got a strong sense of right and wrong.

Have a nice day.