DETROIT—Suggesting she’d better “sit down and buckle up tight,” officials from Michigan’s Child Protective Services bureau urged caseworker Hayley Reynolds on Thursday to brace herself, because she was in for grade-A doozy.
The case, described by fellow CPS staff members as a real humdinger, is reportedly the kind of investigation that only comes along once every 15 or 20 years, and will require Reynolds to “muster up everything she’s got” if she wants to come out of this mess still in one piece.
“Hoo boy,” said CPS deputy director Matthew Jackson, who nervously drummed his fingers on the thick manila folder and warned Reynolds to keep her afternoons free for the foreseeable future because she was about to get handed a biggie. “Don’t even worry about any of the other stuff you’ve got on your plate; Linda’s going to handle it. You’ll need all the strength you have for the storm that’s coming.”
“Let me put it this way,” Jackson continued. “Remember the thing last year with that kid from Highland Park? Multiply that by a hundred.”
According to sources familiar with the case, what’s coming down the pipe is a “no-holds-barred whopper” that will make anything Reynolds has worked on before feel tame by comparison.
Additionally, CPS personnel confirmed, Reynolds is going to want to hug her family “a lot.”
“I don’t quite know how to put it, but given the exact circumstances of the case, don’t plan on making it home at the normal time for quite a while,” said Jackson, shaking his head and looking down at his feet. “Sheesh, just thinking about it makes me a little uneasy, and I’m not even the one who has to deal with that kettle of fish.”
As word of the case spread throughout CPS’ downtown Detroit offices, employees were reportedly sympathetic but at the same time grateful they hadn’t been assigned a case that they characterized as “oof” and “whoa, just whoa.”
CPS officials said that while Reynolds has a good head on her shoulders, cases like these have been known to break even the most battle-hardened social worker. They acknowledged that, in the past, among those who have decided to continue with the profession after being assigned a first-rate hornet’s nest like this, few were ever the same.
“You’ve been here long enough to have paid your dues, but after taking on this behemoth you’ll really be part of the CPS family,” said Jackson, handing an extra box of tissues to Reynolds. “So maybe I’ll just leave this case file here. You can go into the kitchen, gather your thoughts for a little bit, and when you’re ready, have a look.”
“Sweet fucking Jesus,” continued Jackson, who reportedly raised his eyebrows while exhaling deeply. “This thing’ll knock your socks off.”
Jackson added that Reynolds has the skills, the training, and the experience to handle what’s in store, and the only thing that’s left to say is “yikes.”