I spent 25 minutes on hold this morning waiting to find out about training program that is available for people who have lost their jobs and are enrolled in school full-time. When I finally got through the lady was super helpful, but at the end of the call notified me that my claim had been denied because I was in school. This information differed from what I was told on Friday afternoon at 4:30pm on my last call with the OED. The woman told me not to worry about it, fill out the paperwork and fax it back to her ASAP. I appreciate her sentiment, and for the time being I have enough resources in place not to worry about it, but what if I didn't?
It really made me think again about the importance of the language I use as a social worker. Even with good intentions, I need to be aware of how it can feel like I am dismissing someone's very legitimate concerns, especially if they are in a place of high stress. Perhaps a simple, "that sounds really frustrating, here's what I can help you with..." would have been a better response.