It sits in front of me, wrapped in gray paper with the words “Happy CNA week!” scrawled across it. It was given to me by my supervisor, along with the words “thank you”.
I don’t know what’s inside…I haven’t had a chance to open it until just now, hours after it was given to me. Too many call lights going off, too much to do. Some would say that this is the prettily-packaged perception that the facility wants to present going smash against the reality of what a nursing home is really like.
It’s just a small gesture, after all, doesn’t change anything…right?
It’s just a gesture, offered once a year, doesn’t balance the scales…right?
Except…the last place I worked never celebrated CNA week. There were no gifts, no cookouts, no free candy. Nothing. No gestures.
I start ripping the paper off like a little kid at Christmas. Gestures can’t be measure by how large they are, but by how genuine they are…and this one feels pretty damn genuine. The “thank you” was sincere. It’s not my supervisor’s fault I’ve had a lousy day on the floor; it’s not my facility’s fault that the rules are stacked the way they are. We’ll never win the fight if we fixate on the wrong bad guys. We’ll never get anything more than small gestures if we don’t say “thank you” too.
My place is trying. That’s enough–or rather, that’s a start.