Monthly Archives: January 2013

I appreciate your appreciation

  • Not really List related, but something I have been mulling over in my head all week.
    As a C.N.A., I get to see the best and the worst in people: not just residents, but their families too. Some families always take care to talk to me as a person, to ask how I’m doing, if I’m having a good day…and then there are families who only seem to see the uniform. They only ever seem to talk to me if there is something to complain about.
    Thing is, I do understand the latter’s perspective. They’ve heard, or experienced, horror stories involving nursing homes; they know that I have a lot of people to take care of and don’t want their loved one to suffer the short end of my limited time. They want to feel like they are doing everything they can for their loved one (whether they are or not); they look at me and see all the money they are spending. I get it. I don’t mind families asking questions and keeping me on my toes–I welcome it. It means they are paying attention; it means they care. It’s not the questions or even the nitpicking that bother me: it is when they never bother to learn my name or say “thank you” even once. It’s written all over their faces for me to see: they ¬†assume I’m just there for the money, that I don’t care at all about my residents. They think that it must be just a job to me.
    But I am not my paycheck. I am not “most aides”. I am not the work I do, or a piece of machinery like a hoyer.
    I am a person, and I never forget a “thank you”.
    Yes, I do the dirty work, I sometimes make mistakes, I may not make the bed exactly to your specifications…but I do take damn good care of my residents.
    “Thank you” is far from an empty phrase. To me, it is an acknowledgement of the work I do, the job that I take so much pride in. It lets me know that you see and you respect what I do. A family member, or a resident that just cannot be pleased, that will always find something to complain about, what they are conveying (intentionally or not) is a simple lack of respect for me.
    It’s hard to try your best when you know it will never be appreciated…but hey, that is why I’m a professional.
    After becoming a CNA, I try very hard to say “thank you” to all the people whose jobs we take for granted: people behind the cash registers, sweeping floors, bagging the groceries, and yes, the people wiping butts.


Categories: CNActivist | Tags: , | 2 Comments

The List

I’m back! This may not be immediately obvious to all, for due to a variety of wetware to software malfunctions, I have had to create an entirely new blog. My prolonged absence from the blogosphere has been mostly due to the crazy rush that has been my life. My return is almost completely due to the incessant hints and pleas from my family. PaPa, this one’s for you! Also, I’ve missed blogging.

The List

For the past few months, this has been the label/handle of an idea in the back of my head: things I’ve never done, but wish to do. Some call such a list a “bucket list”, but I don’t think that mine is inspired by a sense of imminent mortality. Mine is more, I think, brought on by a sense of living life. I’m not shy, but I am reserved. I’m a cautious person; despite my wanderlust and big imagination, sometimes I struggle to move. Specifically, I struggle to move forward. Looking back, staying still: these are things I have perfected. On a bad day, I struggle to appreciate myself and the life I have; on a bad day, I make lists in my head. They always begin: “I’m such-and-such age and I’ve never…”. From there, I list everything I think I should have done, everything I’ve wanted to do but never gotten around to, everything other people say I should have done already.

Not today. Not this year. This year, I am not reacting; this year, I am doing something about that list. I’m not naive, I know that I will probably always have those bad days, that sense of dissatisfaction. I’ve grown up enough to realize those feelings are internal to my being, not necessarily contingent to circumstances. But this year, I am actively doing something, even if it is only to make those lists slightly smaller. So, in 2013, each month I am going to do something I have never done before. Nothing too expensive or too wild…probably.

Each month I’ll pick something and post the ensuing story here. So, PaPa, you are at least guaranteed 12 posts! To figure out what I haven’t done, I had to make list of the things I’ve done. It turned out longer than expected…

I have been punched in the face, broken multiple bones, been escorted home by multiple police officers, been high (off a bad reaction to doctor prescribed albuterol, let’s be clear), lived overseas, flown halfway across the country by myself, exchanged phone numbers with a guy over a Redbox machine. I have been drunk, shot a gun, was a green belt in martial arts, had a tornado blow through my front yard, been interviewed by a reporter, been Employee of the Month, nominated for Employee of the Year, called my boss a bitch over the phone (this is related to the albuterol story and NOT the reason I have since changed jobs), been to rock concert. My essay was chosen for Best Narrative Essay at college.

What do I want to add this pile next? The other pile, the “never” pile is filled with things like rock climbing, paint balling, singing karaoke, going to a bar and actually drinkingng. I’ve never ridden a Tarq bus or a train, never dyed my hair or been to a midnight showing; never been dancing. I’ve never finished a novel.

So, what first?

Categories: ordinary life, The List | 3 Comments

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