So I'm part of this research project: providing parenting classes for families going through divorce and testing the effectiveness of the program. I'm going to be co-facilitating the classes with a colleague. I have the phone numbers of the people who have signed up and we are supposed to contact them, do the initial interview, and get to know their situations before the actual group starts. Many of these people do not return my phone calls, and another stood me up last night; I was waiting at HER house to do the interview, mind you.
Our supervisors say to keep calling, that these people are very very busy and we need to leave many many messages before we can hook up with them. Well fuck, you know, I'm really really busy too. And if you think about it, this effort doesn't make sense. So we're creating classes to help people cope with divorce, and we need to test how well the classes work. But in order to test how well they work, we need participants. But the participants aren't really showing an interest. So we're doing all this work to improve a program for which there is no demand?
Don't get me wrong, being in the social work area, of course I advocate education and preventative interventions. But with this experience I can't help but think of a fridge magnet a friend of mind has which says "Why solve a problem when you can spend time researching it instead?"