October 23, 2008

Educated Idiots

I'll apologize upfront that I'm going on a rant here. I need to vent and this is how I'm gonna do it!

It's no secret that I work for an interventionist in Boise and that I generally get to a lot of stuff, including run the Boise office and travel around for this and that. I find the job generally fulfilling, but there are some downsides, namely I don't like dealing with morons. I'm not talking about the families or even the IP's (identified persons) we work with day to day, but the so-called "educated" people and their dumbassery (it's my rant and I can make up new words).

We co-hosted a conference last month over in Santa Monica. It was the 4th time we've done so and they've all gone off well. Sure there are little issues here and there...always is, but the participants generally have a good time and come away with valuable new contacts and some Continuing Education Units (CEUs). The focus on this conference has always been networking and getting some education for people who want to be interventionists. Until very recently anyone could simply call themselves an interventionist and hang out their shingle. Most are Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselors (CADC) with years of experience and probably decades of sobriety themselves. Like any segment of the population, others are ass-hats who have no business doing this work......the kind of people who are dishonest and basically suck other people dry for a living...I've met a few, but I'm not talking about them today.

A group of interventionists, known as the Association of Intervention Specialists (AIS) have been working on putting together essentially a third-party credentialing board known as the AISCB in order to get some measure of professionalism in the industry. The AIS and AISCB websites don't even have the year-old logo yet.....but the third-party credentialing board has something.

Anyway, we've worked close with AIS and the AISCB in allowing our conference to satisfy the general intervention training/education towards credentialing. Like every other legitimate credentials, the educational piece is just one part of the requirements.

I know this is a bit long winded, but bear with me because I'm about to reveal the dumbassery!

A small group of educated idiots, the kind that have Dr. in front of their name, are demanding that my company refund their conference registration and reimburse them the cost of their airfare, hotel, and lost wages. All this because the following statement on the conference website: "Conference participants have the opportunity to acquire in depth information about the process of Intervention for Addiction and Mental Illness and receive certification in one of three Intervention Models - The 21st Century Johnson Model, The ARISE Model or the Systemic Model. "

These rocket scientists have filed complaints with the Boise Better Business Bureau that I have had to respond to.....repeatedly. The conference website and the brochure, which all of the complainants admit to having reviewed, state explicitly what the requirements in certification with the AISCB require.

Ok, I know I have at least one reader with an English degree reading this blog occasionally. When I break down the "questionable" sentence I get: Conference participants have the opportunity to acquire information and receive certification. All that is promised is the opportunity to do do two things: receive information and receive certification. It's not promised that you'll learn anything or you'll actually get a fancy certificate credentialing you as an interventionist. Common sense says you'll have to take some action on your part other than coughing up some cash and parking your ass in a chair for three days. I don't know.....maybe that's how they got that "Dr." in front of their names (was that too much?)

Oh, to be "fair" there was a general question during the process asking which intervention model the participant would like to be certified in. This was not an explicit promise, just a question so we could figure out who needs which meeting space at the conference. I'm wondering if I could sue Boise State for tuition reimbursement because they asked me what degree I wanted when I registered for classes? Maybe we could start an class-dumbassery lawsuit against BSU?

"Seriously" though, if one could simply pay $400 and sit in a chair for three days to get some fancy certification what would that certification be worth? I'd argue far less than $400.

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