Ever feel like your just going in circles and getting nowhere? I do, everyday.
First you drop a child off at school then hit the store before work. There's time, right? After arriving at the store you discover that you forgot your wallet on the back porch when you put it down for a second to chain the dog so he could do his business before you left for the day. You return to the house and grab the wallet, go to the store and make the original purchase.There should still be enough time to stop for a can of coffee at the only store with the reduced price so you don't have to go after work. Efficient as possible, right? You arrive, grab a can of coffee as fast as you can, get to register and realize you left wallet in car. Screw it and off to work blowing efficiency out the window on your way.
After work you leave in just enough time to pick the child up from school and from there you have to go back to the store with the bargain priced coffee driving completely out of the way. You return home with coffee and child and find yourself where you started, chaining the dog out back to do his business.
You have an appointment at a designated time & place. You've known about the appointment for two weeks. You mentioned the appointment when your oldest adult child says 'Let's do this. You'll have plenty of time before appointment' You agree and accompany her. Finished with time you spent with the older child the appointment slips your mind. You call the office but no live person answers so you make up a corny excuse with an apology on some answering machine so another appointment can be made, soon hopefully. No return call but you do get a letter days later that says 'Please call the office to reschedule.'
The next day you decide to stop at this office in person on your way to work hoping to avoid an answering machine. Instead you find a plump, short tightly permed hair , cold-blooded, no hurry harriet, titled 'receptionist' who makes an expression that makes you feel your mere presence is an interruption to her attempt at working. She hastily scribbled some numbers on a paper , pointing past you she says 'Use the phone behind you' adding a tone to her words as if to say 'You should have known this!'
Since it took this woman time to acknowledge you were waiting, by fiddling with misc items surrounding her computer almost purposely, work is waiting for your late arrival. All you can think is 'FUCKING RESCHEDULE HARRIET, THE COMPUTERS IN FRONT OF YOU! WHAT IS A RECEPTIONIST FOR IF I HAVE TO SCHEDULE MY OWN APPOINTMENTS!!!' but you don't scream at her, rather you just dial the extension to the original guy you called to begin with when you missed the appointment a week ago and no one answered or called back, just a letter requesting you call. You let it ring until you understand this man NEVER ANSWERS the phone even when the office just opened and the lobby is clear of people occupying the building. Even when he sent a letter directing you to do so. Even though your standing right there willing to solve this issue in person.
You no longer find this appointment important and decide it isn't worth the trouble, just a waste of time.
My occupation description is to help elder or disabled people in their homes shower, cook, go to their appointments, shopping, light housekeeping and companionship. I love my job, until last week anyway. I thought I was doing God's work helping unfortunate folks with life tasks. The man I cared for a very long time passed away as happens with people getting on in age and/or enduring medical issues. My Boss dutifully gave me another client adding with a smile' You don't need to do any housework because they are hoarders' They should have added 'Good luck... this message will self-destruct in 30 seconds.'
I arrived glad that I was lucky enough to find a full schedule with only one client until I attempted to walk in the door that is! No space, no plumbing, no air to breathe and a dying flea infested cat that won't leave me alone. Seven miserable hours. I refuse to return.
The Boss offers another older woman in a very clean duplex for the following day. It is clean because she mentions later she is allergic to dust. We have now gone from trash hoarder to germaphobic. The moment I walked in she is calling my boss explaining 'I don't know this woman, I told you who I wanted!' Tuff willies said the boss with the fillies, politely of course. So I spent the morning doing anything and everything one can to win her over. Lunchtime arrives and she says 'Would you like to go out to lunch, I'll buy?" Now we can rest easier. Another lucky spot of full time hours that are usually hard to find so quickly. She seems to like me.
The woman directs me to a small cafe in town where I have never been, and where she knows everyone. It begins pleasant enough. The order is taken and the woman mentions she has known the owner, who said 'hello' on her way past the table, since the owner was just a child. The food arrives and after taking a bite I notice and pull out what is a thick piece of plastic the length of my hoagie sandwich. "I'll tell her dear" the woman says and the waitress retrieves the infected food without a word spoken.
Moments later the waitress announces she will bring another. I suspected when 60 seconds later the food arrives that they simply removed the melted plastic, added fresh cheese and microwaved it. I was convinced but reluctantly ate it anyway. I did not want to injure my relationship with the woman now that we were getting along.
Some things are just never meant to be though.
This woman agreed we should not have to pay for this meal after the plastic episode. What she did not know and what the waitress and owner did not know was that my previous occupation for nearly ten years was waitressing. When the check came this waitress did charge me for the meal. My client says 'You should go talk to them' while I was thinking that she knows them, why doesn't she talk to them? But I say nothing and stood at the counter near the register where the waitress was cashing someone out.
When the waitress was finished she passed me with a smile so I quickly understood she was not going to stop and turned the check towards her with two of my five fingers. She looked baffled. I softly said 'I don't feel I should have to pay for this' She responded in kind with a higher tone and aggression. 'But I made you another one'
I did the same "But the first had plastic in it!'
She responded 'BUT, I made you another one!' and that's when I stared at her silently. It was the kind of silence where all the guests in the restaurant heard me! She was sarcastic about writing off the 'sandwich' only and I returned to the woman in disbelief as we left. I never once received an apology from the waitress and I will never again step foot in that cafe.
After we stopped at a store and the post office we resumed the day without incident although I felt a shift in atmosphere. Later that evening at home I spoke with my daughter saying 'I think the woman will complain, something just didn't feel right when I finished the day with her' One of those things you can't put your finger on. And I was right. The woman called my boss to say I embarrassed her at the restaurant, was disrespectful to the waitress and forced them to give me the meal for free. She did not mention details. Two down and lo and behold a third yet to come.
The 'third time' was supposed to be a charm so I heard somewhere. A nice enough woman on the seventh floor of a huge apartment building who held a nervous little poodle I was to take up and down seven floors three times during my shift. I was happy to do so because her studio apt was small and stuffed with years of of things collected from living in a house. I also was able to smoke during little Liquishes walks. The tiny dogs name was liquish. This too was full time all week, what are the odds or should we say 'How many crazy loons could there be in one small town?'
For two days we got along famously. Liquish was comfortable with me which made her comfortable with me. We found through talking that there was much in common between us. We both liked the same foods, like to color with gel pens, preferred horror movies, and even coffee creamer. International delight Vanilla! We talked the entire two days, while I vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, dusted, made meals. I thought I found the right person and better than that I could drop off and pick up my grandson from school without schedule conflicts. Ideal, right? Until the third day that is!
On the second day she mentioned she doesn't eat dinner unless someone else cooks it. I suggested I could cook a meal for her the day before then she could just heat it up at dinner time. She loved it! I made her a pot roast with all trimmings and potatoes in a crock pot for her. She said 'We will eat it for lunch together' The following day I brought no lunch with me since pot roast was waiting with plenty for her to heat up for her dinner.
On the third and final day I gathered her laundry which consists of four trips down four floors, three trips with licquish down seven floors and sitting at the dryer in a hot room guarding her clothes so no one would steal them. When I finally finished and brought the last load up she greets me at the door and says 'Look' She had filled the sink with water and removed everything off the stove saying 'You got grease on my tea kettle when you cooked last night!' I explained I wiped the stove but must have overlooked the kettle, so sorry. She became elevated as she explained that each time I do dishes I needed to wash everything on the stove and under everything on the counter because she also found crumbs under her coffee pot! When she insisted the washcloth had food in it I called bullshit. I rinsed and hung this clothe over the faucet so in no manner could the clothe have food in it. I said 'No, I'm not washing everything on your counter everytime I do dishes!'
She insisted that if I dirty her house why should she have to clean it? I assured her I did not dirty her house. But she was absolute in her conviction of the events. She made coffee in the morning, it was now noon. Why did she not notice the crumbs when she moved the coffee maker then? Why make up lies about the washcloth? I remained confused but pleasant and the day continued. I asked if she was hungry and should I prepare her a plate? No. I asked at noon, again at one and again at one thirty. She said 'no' each time and that was the extent of our conversing the rest of the day. I quickly caught on that she will starve herself until I leave to make darn sure I did not have a bite of that roast she promised that I cooked. I took Liquish for a final walk around the grounds and warned my boss what was happening. 'She'll be trouble' I text her after work.
That evening the woman called my boss at 9 PM. Why so late I wondered? She yelled at her saying the company sends lazy people, people with drug problems (though we are tested) and as far as her complaint against me, I ate all her food! She fired the entire company.
Now I wonder what tomorrow brings. What wonderful purpose I will serve for the next elder or mentally unhinged older person!
Better yet, could I get fired for even writing this?
Would that really be a bad thing?
I can only imagine how he feels!