Thursday, October 13, 2016


Author Shelby Londyn-Heath

 No one ever talks about the hazards of working. Yeah, I know, we live in a “work hard and get ahead culture.” There’s truth in the cliché of following one’s goals with determination and sweat to be successful. But what about the clerks at night working in convenience stores, the ones who are robbed at gunpoint while they struggle to earn their seven or eight dollars an hours? What about security guards who walk around dark, vacant parking lots at night, looking for intruders and wannabe thieves lurking outside shopping centers? What about the eight-hundred people working in America who are wounded or killed on their jobs every year?

You think this doesn’t happen? Let me inform you it does. Why?  There are many reasons why. . . jealous co-workers, anxious associates going through divorces, stress of financial melt-downs, addictions, and people working next to you who are psychologically unstable. There is rarely a warning, no sign of danger, and no manager cautioning and protecting you, because, you got it─most managers are untrained to do so.

The Twiligh Tsunami
My book THE TWILIGHT TSUNAMI pits a Child Protective Social Services worker against a system that disables him every day. Grey, the main character, investigates child abuse reports: children who have been beaten, sold, molested, and are at risk for suicide. His job is an important one and he helps many children escape abuse. But what does such a system do to the workers? How do they survive the constant assault of battered children and violent families? How do they deal with parents who lose their newborns because of drugs, how do they deal with the sight of children burned, children with broken bones and their baby teeth knocked out?

Photo by Graur Lonut
Grey holds it together for many years until a new worker comes in. She is meticulous and hard-working. But she is also think-skinned and paranoid. She envisions herself to be the savior of a system that is shredding the psyches of its workers. Many of the social workers are coping by imbibing prescription drugs and alcohol. They are exhausted, burned out, and yet they arrive at work every day armed for battle, another day to put themselves at risk of being harmed by irate and dangerous parents.

When she, the dagger queen, the savior, enters meetings in the Child Protective Services, tension fills the air and ugly dramas ensue. She finds ways to drag down everyone around her. After all, they are already weak from their work traumas and drugs. She, a great strategy designer, customizes plans to destroy other workers, to undermine and manipulate her way to the top, by creating their downfalls.

She almost gets there but something happens to her. Something unexpected. She makes a mistake and miscalculates a worker she thinks she has destroyed. He retreats, and then rises to meet her in a new way. She accidentally exposes her “Achilles heel.” One of them must be destroyed or transformed. What happens to the other as they wrestle the truth of who they are and what must endure?

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