If They Hate You, It’s In Their DNA

, , , , | Working | September 13, 2017

(I take a job in a home for the developmentally disabled as a habilitation tech, someone who helps the residents with daily living. I am filling in a chart at the nurse’s station while my supervisor, with whom I don’t really get along, stands nearby. A resident bounds out of the TV room and goes up to my supervisor, who isn’t doing anything.)

Resident: “Hey, [Supervisor], would you tell me what DNA is? We just saw it on TV and none of us knew what it was.”

Supervisor: “I can’t tell you. You aren’t smart enough to understand.”

(I stare at my chart, appalled at the insulting response, until my supervisor leaves and goes into an office. When I look up, the resident is looking at me, much subdued.)

Resident: “[My Name], could you tell me what DNA is?”

Me: “Well, did you know that your body is made of tiny cells?”

Resident: “Yeah, I understand that.”

Me: “Inside each of those cells, there is something like a tiny book that has instructions about how to make you. It tells your body to make your eyes brown, your hair brown, and how tall you should be. Those instructions in every cell are called DNA.”

Resident: *now smiling* “Thanks for explaining it.”

(As the resident walks away, I look back to where my supervisor had gone. She is standing in the doorway glaring at me. I look back down at my chart without a word.)

Resident: *in a clear, bright voice to the others in the TV room* “[My Name] is much smarter than [Supervisor]! She told me what DNA is!”

(I know I cringed. My supervisor moved into openly hating me after that. I quit not long after. The home closed a few years later.)

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