The green and everything holy inbetween.
My apologies in advance if what I'm talking about isn't as clear as you'd all like, but I'm a little groggy from having a very interestingly awesome night so, sorry if this entry might seem kind of rambled and jumbled. I wasn't sure what to write for my first blog, but then it occured to me that I had a good topic and I have my girlfriend to thank because it's been her constant bitching and complaints about her job that inspired me.
We all have jobs that we can't stand and jobs we can't help but be unfulfilled with. Sometimes, we're just forced to suck it up and take the first opportunity that arises. My girlfriend landed a decent job that paid a few bucks above minimum wage, but it was something I could never envision myself doing in a hundred years; caregiving for the mentally retarded. Yes, I said "retarded" and I don't give a fuck about that politically correct horseshit. So, you're all probably thinking "hey, what's so bad about that job? Yeah, it might be gross, but it's easy!" I'm getting to why this particular home that my significant other works in is such a crock.
See, I could name the organization where she works, but I won't for various reasons, but I guess the main reason is because she's involved in some legal disputes right now and it wouldn't look good for her. Let's just call them "GS" for short.
Let's get right down to brass tacks. GS is a bad place to work if you aren't openly religious, ignore policies and kiss ass to the point where your lips are chapped. This might be across the board with every Christian-based group home organization, but keep in mind all information being discussed is from what I know after a little research and from what my girlfriend has divulged about her grievances. Oh, she's a Christian by the way, and despises just about everyone involved at GS. Loves her clients, but hates the company.
GS is a non-profit Christian group that is based in an area in California and has recently been gobbled up by a large Lutheran-based group home to assimilate into their collective like one giant Borg cube. The thing about GS being non-profit that rubs me the wrong way is that they're probably tax exempt based solely on the grounds that they ARE a non-profit religious organization (*cough* another way of saying "church!" *cough*). How is that fair to, say, state funded centers or hospitals that have their employees do almost exactly the same job, but don't reap the same benefits, whatever they may be, because they aren't recognized as Christian or the like? It is in horrendously bad taste and a de-evolvement in modern business practices. GS basically employs everyone on a don't-ask-don't-tell policy that seems congruent with military guidelines. The house that my girlfriend works in has about two or three lesbian employees and a few unwed tramp mothers that could give a fuck about their job or the six clients involved, one dying sadly. All of the homes in my town have six clients to them. Each has activities and objectives to work on and there's usually a one-on-one between an employee and the client weekly to work on developing what coherancy they have remaining. Here's where it gets sticky.
Their statement is about as Christian as it gets:
- GS's mission - To enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through services that share the good news of Jesus Christ.
- Christ is preeminent in all that we do.
- All people are inherently valuable to God and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
- Our Lutheran organizational identity guides our services and enriches our relationships.
- Christian stewardship of all our resources is expected of everyone.
- Fun and fellowship in the workplace are encouraged.
This is mainly their religious guidelines, but the others are pretty standard droning bullshit that most companies have. So, the first thing is educating their clients through the "good news" of Jesus. How is anything that Jesus said going to help a mentally retarded person cope? Shit, higher functioning retards have trouble telling their feet from their hands. Give them a ball or a coloring book and they'll smile for days. They don't need to read about a fictional man in a robe going around giving people metaphoric blow jobs to make them feel better.
Apparently, every decision that GS makes revolves around Christ. This includes disorderly conduct, etc. I assume that if you're gay that you'll be reprimanded and asked to leave, right? I mean, it's in Christ's teachings. The Bible cleary states that homosexuality is a sin so, why would they bother employing openly gay individuals? The truth? They're hypocrites. As long as the people that they hire can take orders without any objections or questions, they'll hire Richard Simmons in a tutu if they want. Most of the people working for GS are really dumb and only want money. They don't care about procedures or questioning authority. My girlfriend is the only one that gives a fuck enough to step in and confront people or correct her dumb-as-bricks boss. On more than one occassion, her boss has tried to force her to take the clients to church during the week and under their rules and regulations there is a clause that states that they cannot force any employee to attend church if it interferes with their beliefs (she believes in God, but dislikes church a great deal). How does that make any sense? I'm sure it's for legal discrimination reasons, but seriously, each company location is usually set in a god fearing place where each corporate employee is designated to handle the ways in which each home conducts it's activities and caregivers. Doesn't that clause go against their mission statement? You're Christian based. As ridiculous as that is to begin with, act like it.
The other goals of GS are pretty wishy-washy and they encourage every employee to treat each other with courtesy, respect and fellowship. They replace "understanding" with "fellowship" to give it a more Christian feeling. How cute and naive. Stop beating about the bush and cut the religious-based nonsense. You can't postulate the idea that mentally retarded people will gain a better grasp of anything or achieve a greater feeling for life through a book written by psychotic men back when the only pharmaceutical cure consisted of either stoning or chiseling a nail into your skull.
Ultimately, the fact that companies like these exist is really a sign that America is still deadlocked in terms of what we can't accomplish without religion lending a hand. The reality is that religion is business and business is religion. It's always been like this. Using the mentally retarded as a 'scape goat to get people to contribute money and items to further advance your beliefs is not only wrong; it's criminal.