With my drive from Prosser Washington to Pasco twice a day, I've been listening to the Freakonomics Podcast (something that you should check out if you haven't already... it will make you feel smarter). It's been really interesting, I'm I've had a lot of things that I've thought about writing about, but just haven't made time to write about yet. So you get my random thought of the day. The episode I was listening to was titled To Catch a Fugitive which is all about the economics of bounty hunters. As always, it was a well put together episode that was informative. They discussed the efficacy and some of the tactics that bounty hunters use.
As I was listening to the podcast, I found myself wondering if I could be a bounty hunter. That led to thoughts of how mental health case managers (i.e. my current position) are like bounty hunters. The most obvious similarity is sometimes the general tasks required. Frequently I find myself trying to track down clients and engage with them. This might mean calling collaterals, going by their homes or places that they hang out, and trying to get them to re-engage in services. This especially true when they have an appointment with our psychiatrist and they haven't responded to say that they would show for their scheduled appointment.
They discussed that a good bounty hunter will build relationships with police and the community members. This also is true for case managers. I feel like an important part of my job is being the face of Tri-Cities Community Health in the community, building relationships, networking to be better able to connect clients to resources, and everything in the community.
I find myself, as I am trying to connect people to resources in the community (especially at DSHS), waiting around a lot. This means I need to find ways to be industrious (i.e. making phone calls as I drive with my bluetooth, something else discussed that bounty hunters do) and that much of my job is boring. In the podcast I believe that Bob Burton said that bounty hunting is 90% work and 10% adrenaline. I guess on this point, while I may not be kicking doors down or handcuffing people, there is that 10% that is super exciting and engaging and that reminds me of why I do what I do.