Enough To Nurse A Grudge

| Working | June 26, 2014

(I work at a kitchen of a nursing home. I am walking to another side of the building to pass out snacks when I see a resident trying to stand up from her wheelchair. Three nurses are standing next to her gossiping and not paying attention. The resident almost falls forward when I run fast as I can and catch her and put her back to her chair.)

Me: “Where do you want to go, [Resident]?”

Resident: “I want to go and watch the movie, but they parked my wheelchair and I don’t know how to move it now.”

Me: “I’ll go take you to the movie room.”

(I go and take her to the movie room, and I go back to the nurses.)

Nurse #1: “—did you see that fat girl run?!”

Nurse #2: *laughing* “Yeah, I know!”

Me: *now angry* “You guys should have paid attention to her! She almost fell!”

Nurse #1: “Oh, she falls all the time!”

(Two of the three nurses got fired because the head nurse overheard. The head nurse also told me to come to her when I am done with nursing school and I can have a nursing job.)

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Working In The Office Of Outdated Ideas

| Related | June 13, 2014

(I’ve just started a new job and I’m visiting my cousin in another part of the country. She’s taken me to her local nursing home to visit my elderly auntie who I haven’t seen for several years.)

Aunt: “So, what does your husband do?”

Me: “He’s an electrician.”

Aunt: “Oh, that’s a good job. Are you working?”

Me: “Yes, I’ve just started a new job, in personnel.”

Aunt: “What’s that?”

Me: “I do payroll, and holiday and sick leave. Things like that.”

Aunt: “Pay? And holiday? I don’t understand. You’re a cook? A cleaner? What do you do?”

Me: “Um, I sort out pay for the workers. You know, their wages?”

Aunt: *looking very confused* “What?”

(I look helplessly at my cousin, not sure how to explain.)

Cousin: “Auntie, she works in an office.”

Aunt: “Oh! Office work. You should have said!”

(Apparently, in Auntie’s world, there are only three types of job for a woman – cook, cleaner, or ‘office work’!)

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Not Very Productive Thinking

| Working | May 7, 2014

(I have just received my first annual performance review. I am widely known as being one of, if not THE, most productive and efficient aides in the entire facility. I have received stellar marks almost across the board, but am shocked to see that I am given a three out of five in productivity. I immediately bring it up to my supervisor.)

Me: “How could I possibly get a three out of five in productivity? Most everybody agrees I deserve a five, but I would even accept a four as everyone always has room for improvement. But a three is solid mediocrity, and I know for a fact that [multiple far less productive coworkers] have received fours. Can you explain?”

Supervisor: “Well, you simply set the bar too high for yourself. When we see you come in here and always strive to give 110% of yourself, we come to expect that from you all the time. Thus if you’re feeling tired or under the weather and are only able to give 100% or 90%, it makes it look like you’re being lazy in comparison.”

Me: “O… okay. But you gave a higher mark to [specific coworker who is exceptionally lazy], for example, and everybody knows that she spends the majority of her shift at the desk playing with her phone when she should be in the patients’ rooms helping them!”

Supervisor: “Well, see, with her, we know that she usually only gives about 50%, but occasionally she’s having a good day and gives us more like 60%. Those good days in comparison to her usual make her look more productive than you on your bad days as compared to YOUR usual.”

Me: “Okay, just so we’re on the same page here: you really believe that someone who gives 90% on their WORST day deserves a lower score in productivity than someone who gives 60% on their BEST day?”

Supervisor: “Yes. I’m glad you understand. Did you have any more questions?”

Me: “… No, I think I pretty much got it. Thanks.”

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No Hopeful On Finding Opal

| Working | April 7, 2014

(I am volunteering at a nursing home. It is time to hand out breakfast.)

Coworker #1: “This tray goes to Opal.”

Coworker #2: “Which one is Opal?”

Coworker #1: “She has gray hair and glasses, and is sitting in a wheelchair.”

Coworker #2: “Then we have about 15 Opals…”

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How To Make Macaroni Cheesy

| Related | February 1, 2014

(My grandfather has spent the last several years in a nursing home due to Alzheimer’s. He’s long since failed to recognize family members, to our knowledge. It’s now Christmas and I, Mom, and an aunt are watching another aunt feed him dinner.)

Aunt #1: “Come on, Daddy. Eat your macaroni and cheese!”

(He takes a slow mouthful and chews. Suddenly, my mother starts singing with no specific tune.)

Mom: “Macaroni and cheese! Macaroni and cheese! Macaroni and cheeeeeese!”

(My aunts pay this no mind, but I look up and stare at her with my best ‘WTF’ expression.)

Me: “What are you doing?”

Mom: “Just singing. Can’t I sing?”

(She continues singing, and I decide that ignoring her along with my aunts is the best course of action. However, a minute later my aunts somehow get into the swing of things and start singing along with her, hardly even out of tune with each other.)

All Three: “Macaroni and cheese, yeah, macaroni and cheese!”

(At this point my grandfather is just looking around the room, and his eyes finally fall on me. As he stares at me amongst the impromptu choir, I can’t resist saying:)

Me: “Yeah, those are your daughters. Even if you don’t remember, you’re very proud. I promise.”

Grandfather: *bursts into chuckles, causing everyone in the room to follow.*

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