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What'd you do this summer?
Oh, I worked.
What'd you do?
I was a job coach for developmentally disabled adults.
You were a whatsit for a whodunnit?

This was a typical conversation I had with someone when discussing my activities in the summer (besides my trip to the gay bar). Of course, before I worked as a job coach, I had no clue as to what that was, and I could understand the confusion at what I said.

A job coach (from my experience as one) is someone who basically does the job title-- he or she coaches people in doing their jobs better. Of course, I worked with developmentally disabled adults, so there was an added twist to this. Several towns in Westchester County hired "clients" (the developmentally disabled adults) from Community Living Corporation to do jobs throughout the community. These jobs included housekeeping, garbage pick-up, fire hydrant painting, flower watering, office errands, etc. Teaching these basic skills to my "staff" (often I'd go out in groups of 4 or 5) was challenging, because as much as they loved the idea of earning their own money and having a job, none of them liked to work (who does?). And they voiced this opinion. Endlessly.

The toughest thing that I had to learn was not to do the jobs for them. They had to learn how to do it, and I had to let them learn. I had to wean them off of, "You do it, and I'll watch."

So, this summer, I was paid to watch people work and make sure that I didn't work. What a tough life.

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