A long time ago I learned the truthyism: nothing is constant except change itself. This is not a bad way to understand the world, but for some reason some people just don’t get it.
We have a situation in Assembly that requires some people to be moved from one seat to another. Particularly one person, Person 1, but the last person we moved, Person 4, was very unhappy about it. Person 4 was convinced I thought she had done something wrong. She didn’t of course. She didn’t believe me. She actually broke down into tears. Sobbing, fifty-year old women from Boston are pitiful, but because the change was important and necessary, I didn’t budge (I can’t tell you why Person 1 had to move unfortunately).
This set the mood for the day.
A client/trainee, Person 2, who was a tiny part of the primary reason for the change is someone who taxes the patience of the faculty and other clients/trainees. Person 2′s disability makes her cranky. Constantly. She is a very nice person, but if something sets her off she complains non-stop (Hey is for horses! I can’t drink caffeine. Current events is only supposed to be on rainy days! I hate Bingo! Tell the other faculty they can’t boss me. So-and-so is bossing me! etc.). We moved her to her new location, because she has been doing very well and we had been looking for a way to integrate her better into the group.
Today, the first day of the move and person 2 is happy with the change, but one of her new neighbors was not too thrilled and started picking at Person 2. Person 2 complained. Eventually, Person 2 had to be taken outside until her “behavior” subsided. I have been working with Person 2 for as long as I have been substitute teaching with Assembly (since early February) and so I know how to weather her worst storms and to also help her understand we hear what she says, listen carefully and value her. It did not take long for me to get Person 2 to agree to ignore her neighbor at her new table. Now Person 2 and her neighbor have a long history of strife. Both are hard working, competitive women with very different disabilities. To say the least, the needling continued. The neighbor dislikes Person 2 (“She’s annoying”). We had two more blow-ups, both went outside for “talks” and both lost their end-of-day rewards for good behavior, but Person 2 is still happy with the change. Eventually, the neighbor will come around to Person 2 and everything will be fine. The stress of change eventually goes away.
It is too early to see if Person 1 likes the change. He’s sneaky. Person 3 was just fine with the change. Person 3′s OCDs are extreme and I was expecting problems, but I got none.
At the end of the day, the last thing I heard from Person 4 is: “I didn’t do nuttin. I was good. Why did you make me change places.”