Working together



The worst part about having stuck around the nursing home for a long time, I decide, is all the teams I’ve been part of. Well, missing all the teams I’ve been part of. It feels like no sooner do we really start to get a good thing going than somebody quits…for whatever reason. Often, one person leaving sets off a chain reaction and I feel like I’ve missed the invitation to the Exodus.

Then I’m left, once again, to find a new team dynamic with new aides. Sometimes it’s fun; sometimes it’s hard. Right now I’m struggling for patience. The newest old team…we were good together. Everyone got along and we had a good mix of seriousness, compassion and humor. I miss that.
This new team doesn’t mesh as well. It’s not that our virtues don’t mix, it’s that our failings clash. When I’m stressed out, there’s now no hard-but-kind person to tell me “chill out”.
When I’ve edging close to the line of “had enough”, I spout sarcasm. While this usually helps me retain some sanity, it annoys the hell out of my new hall partner. When she’s annoyed, she takes a bunch of little breaks. This bothers me as I never know if she’s going to be available to help me. Round and round it goes.
I take a deep breath. Care is best when its cooperative: that means it is in the residents’ best interest if I find out how best to work with her. We have to figure out how to…put up with each other’s quirks.

I pass her in the hall; we both wear identical expressions of grim got-get-through-this.
“Your lady’s going nuts,” she tells me.
“Your man just exploded out the back end,” I tell her. “Which do you want, crap or cussing?”
She looks at me, perhaps a little surprised I made the offer. We’ve mostly been avoiding each other and sticking to our own groups.
“I’d rather deal with cussing, honestly,” she replies.
“Okay,” I reply. “Why don’t you go to lunch first then, when you’re done.”
“But you go first,” she objects.
“I do believe that you’re going to be done first,” I say. “By quite a bit. Go ahead, seriously.”
She nods and walks off.

When she comes back from lunch, I’m still cleaning up the explosion. She shoos me out of the room.
“I can finish,” I protest.
“Yeah, I know and I know you would,” she replies. “Get going, would you?”
Yeah, we can make this work.

2 thoughts on “Working together

  1. Judy Gibbs Strack

    I work night shift and i haven’t had a good partner in a long time…there are 2 of us at night and we basically stick to our own hallways and only do something together if we need help with one of our residents…it s gets lonely ..


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