About Me

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Douglas, Alaska, United States
I have lived in Alaska since 1978, having come to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer. I fell in love with Alaska and now live on Douglas Island with my husband and two dogs.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A New Beginning

Tomorrow will be my last day at the Front Street Clinic. I have worked there since June 1, 2015.

My time there has been rewarding, frustrating, chaotic, and incredibly fulfilling. Up until January, when a new supervisor  started there. Our styles of communication were different. I need to have things spelled out and explained, she thought she could just give an order and have it obeyed without question. I prefer to discuss and collaborate, she thought I was difficult to work with, argumentative and rude. When she started, she changed the way we did things, which meant I had a very steep learning curve, and it took me awhile to get the hang of the new procedures. She thought I was being deliberately resistant to change.

Never once did she ask what I thought, or praise me or give me constructive criticism.

It all came to a head two weeks ago today, when I was called on the carpet and, with HR on the phone, was given a thirteen (THIRTEEN!) point Plan Of Improvement, to be implemented within 30 days, or face Further Disciplinary Action, up to and including termination.  I was not given an opportunity to respond at the meeting, but was told I could respond in writing. So, I went home that evening and responded (boy, did I!)

The next day, I had lunch with Charles and told him I didn't think I could take thirty days of "Improvement", being watched like a hawk for a month, only to be given a new list at the end of it. I told him I wanted to quit, but felt I needed to find a new job first. He said: "You don't have to stay there for a minute longer." So, after lunch, I went back to the office and submitted my resignation, effective tomorrow, August 9.

I immediately felt a great weight lift off of my shoulders and knew that I had done the right thing.  I am sad to leave the patients and the folks who experience homelessness who come to the clinic for socks and hygiene items.  I have come to love and respect many of the men and women who I have had the privilege to serve at the clinic.

So, this is a new beginning, a new chapter in the Book of Paula.

Those of you who know me personally might be outraged at what happened to me. But instead of being outraged or angry on my behalf, I'm asking you to consider making a donation to the clinic. They will still need socks, reading glasses, toothbrushes, and travel size shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap to give to the folks. If you are in Juneau, consider stopping by to drop off a package of Costco socks, or if you travel for work, save the shampoo, conditioner and soap and give them to the clinic.

That would be the best way to show your concern and support.


  1. I have a comment. I want to fly there and smite that nasty supervisor, but then I guess I'm prejudiced.

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