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Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Five: Rules

Jan posted this interesting Friday Five" After a family vacation with our four children and three additional "partners," I am more aware of rules, spoken and unvoiced. Expectations are not always clearly expressed, but are still expected. . . . unbeknown to all unless one is not fulfilled! So how about writing about rules in your families and workplaces? Choose one or more for each category, especially if one seems odd or funny to you now."

1. Formal rules in family of origin.

When I was young, always call if you're going to be late as someone was always picking me up. Later on the same. I was an only child and I don't remember many formal rules.

2. Unwritten and unspoken rules in family of origin
I grew up with an alcoholic father so I'm copying Jan's response here with:
Don't talk
Don't trust
Don't feel
Which are so true in these situations.

3. Formal rules in current family or workplace
Two adults in this family so rules are not so important. At work-for the state government as a counselor-lots of ethics guidelines/rules. Some rules about what to wear which are very loose. A lot of rules about confidentiality as we are dealing with issues of disability and mental health and HIV, things we had to sign and have notarized to on employment. Actually endless rules that change endlessly, now that I think of it. If you want to read them go to:
Go ahead, knock yourself out! It helps with insomnia, but I spend a lot of time looking endlessly for answers in there.

4. Unwritten rules in current family or workplace
At home, call if you're going to be late or I'll worry. Talk to me about how you're feeling. I need to know
At work, if you're going to be late call me directly-I'm the manager of a unit of counselors- Let me know in writing when you're taking time off. I'll pay for holiday parties, but you have to take collections for birthday parties. Try not to piss anyone off because I have to answer for it.

5. When was a time that you became aware of different rules in different places/families than your own?
When my family moved to a suburban neighborhood and I became friends with kids not related to me. One kid got "spankings" with the cord from the electric coffee maker. I was horrified and I was 11. My friend across the street's mother treated her like a maid.


Jennifer said...

Hard memories, but I'm sure they contribute to your being a fine counselor.

angela said...

I'd guess it's hard to do anything one way or another with all the rules you must have as counselor. It sounds frustrating.

Jan said...

I saw this on FB, too. I can see why you are a counselor. You've lived, learned, and recovered. I appreciate all the time oriented "rules," as that's important to me, too. Combines with respect, I think.

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

wowzers... your work environment sounds challenging! and electrical cords? geesh what 11 yr old wouldn't be horrified?

Mompriest said...


Barbara B. said...

I totally relate to the "call if you're going to be late or I'll worry" one!