Today I was going to rant about my most recent trip to BYU, but this now takes precedence, because of my Monday.
OLD PEOPLE! GAAAH!!!
|GET OFF MY LAWN!!!|
The subsection I'm referring to (and bitching about) today are the older people who 'aren't quite there' mentally anymore. They're slow to process, slow to talk, but ALWAYS want to share every little detail of their lives with you.
My new job has me working with the Aged population. Most of them are pretty sharp. You can be in your nineties and still have your wits about you. To you, if you fall into this category, my aggravation is not directed to you.
It IS, however, directed to the clientele AND THE COWORKERS who see me as the newest 'friend' of theirs, and I need to be caught up on everything I have missed in their lives.
One trip to a senior center, when I was newer and training with my boss, I had an old lady come up to me. She stood next to me for about a minute, not making eye contact... just staring off into the distance. All of a sudden she spins to look at me and asks, "Well? What do you think?"
I'm speechless... how do you answer that? Me, in my smart-ass-ness, paused for a second and quipped "Well, I try not to think about anything." She smiles at me, says "Me too, it makes my head hurt." and then walks away smiling.
Let's move to coworker #1. She works pretty close to me, so there is regular interaction. She's good at what she does, and when she's focused on her clients, things are cool. But when I interact with her, I apparently need explanation on everything.
She asks me to help her understand the new phone system, or fix the sound-output on her computer (as simple as turning the volume knob on the speakers...). I help her, show her what I did, and then the dam bursts....
Her: "Ok, thank you. I really wasn't sure what to do, because .....30-45 seconds of fluff here...."
Me: "That's ok, I'm just glad to help."
Her: "I appreciate that. You know my son usually helps me with these things... another 30-45 seconds of fluff..."
|mhm. really. wow. you don't say.|
"Whoops, that's my line! I have to go!" It's a great idea.
Next is a field worker that I interact little with. It's usually a simple "hello" and "how are you?" if anything.
Not this day.
I'm in training, and they want me to learn everything I can. I'm basically the information hub for the agency, so I have to know everything, right? Well Monday consisted of shadowing this lady into the field, and seeing what she does at the local senior centers.
This chick likes to talk. A lot.
|I'm hip! I gave Clark Gable a bj on the backlot of Gone With the Wind!|
During the brief car ride to the senior center, I learned these facts about her.
- She's agnostic
- She hates it when people get overly religious in front of her
- She's lived in all continental 48 states at some point in her life
- She likes to paint
- She has a fine arts degree and wants to be a museum curator someday (but today she's visiting people at the old folks home... go fig...)
- She doesn't like one of our interns because the intern talks too much (REALLY? Coming from you that says something, sister).
I said three words that entire car ride: "Really?" "Wow." And "California" (she asked me where I was from). The rest of the one-sided gab-fest was filled with 'mmhmm's' and 'uh-huh's' on my part.
Oh, and it gets better.
She's as old as most of the people in the senior center, so she gets along just dandy with the residents. We are officially here to visit one person, but "we're gonna check in on a few others, just to see if they need our services." The visit with our actual client takes MAYBE 45 seconds. Pleasantries, are exchanged, and she hands the frail old lady a business card.
At that point I'm thinking "ok, strictly business. Get in, get out, get back. I like her style."
We start visiting other residents.
People in old folks homes are usually a combination of bored and lonely. If you have a family member in one or know someone who does, you'll know you can easily get your ear talked off in one of those places.
Not this lady. She's in her element. The oldies like to talk, and so does she.
Somehow she has an anecdote to share with every single resident.
"Your last name is Miller? I know a Miller, back when I lived in..."
"Oh, you have an artificial leg? My uncle had a wooden leg, and my grandpa made it for him. Grandpa had an eyepatch, and they used to play pirate all the time... and..."
"Oh, you used to live on the west side? I bought a house on the west side built by such-and-such... did you know him?"
|By conversation #5, I was thinking of creative ways to kill myself.|
Bunny Suicides came to mind. I love those poor bunnies...
What was originally planned to be a quick half hour trip took about 90 minutes. By the time I got back to the office, my eyes were glazed over and my head was spinning.
Luckily it was lunchtime. I should have made it a 3 martini lunch, but I settled on leftovers and a Dr. Pepper.