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good day, bad day

I rock.  Seriously, I do.  My bosses told me so.

As I was cashing out yesterday, Big Boss slipped me an envelope.  I thought it a bit weird, because we usually get our tips held together with a paper clip and a yellow sticky note with our name on it.

It was a thank you note and a gift card to Flyleaf (local indie bookstore).  For "constantly striving to make sure our customers have an awesome experience."

The cynical part of me reads that as "yup, she could find common ground with and chat up a post if necessary," but my inner Hermoine is bouncing up and down.  And...free book!  I'm still trying to decide what I want.  If 'Bossypants' is out in paperback, I might have to go with that.  I've been wanting to read it forever.

Or I could avail myself of their excellent used book section.  Because my "to read" pile is SO small.  ;)

I've actually been wondering about re-reading of Mists of Avalon.  I got rid of my copy after everything came out about MZB, but part of my soul is really craving those words.  I don't know.

But!  But, but, but....I have a book!  I am planning on setttling in with 'Memory Stands Still' by the wonderful michikatinski this Saturday (did I mention that I have this weekend off?  AND next weekend?  I don't know what I'm doing right, but I need to figure it out and keep doing it).  I see a reading binge in my future.

Okay, now for the bad part.  Kent came home from work utterly destroyed last night.  He called me at around 6:30 to tell me he wasn't up to having Pete over for Jeopardy.  I asked if he was okay, and he said no and that he couldn't really talk.

[He didn't get home for TWO HOURS after that.  Wanna know how Worst Case Scenerio Girl handled that?  NOT WELL.]

Turns out he met the ugly truth of working in an assisted living facility face to face.   I was afraid of this.  He has never really spent time with the elderly.

The harsh truth is that people get sick.  They are in pain.  They die.  Or they're in so much pain they wish they'd die.

I won't go into details, but let's just say he was not prepared for this.  And I know it's just going to get worse.  He's learning names and food preferences and...this is not going to end well.

And all I can do is triage, which is frustrating.  I just want to take his damned job.  It's a refrain that won't get out of my head:  "Let me do this.  Let me do this.  Just let me do this."

He said she looked like Granma.

How in the HELL am I supposed to support him when that took me back to a place where I can't bear to go?  I'm pretty fucking tough, but those words took me back to that room, that moment when her hands were in mine and she was in so much fucking pain.  And I prayed to my gods and her God and the Blessed Mother to just MAKE IT STOP.  And felt like I was betraying her, because I knew that release would only come one way.

I don't quite know how to do this.  The past is the past and I have to carry my own baggage.  What do I do to help Kent, who is going to have to deal with this day to day?


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 9th, 2016 12:01 pm (UTC)
Maybe oddly, I find all of Pratchett's Witches/Tiffany Aching Discworld sub-series to be deeply comforting on the topic of death. The Witches bring people into the world, and they help them find their way back out again. It's a crucial part of their care for their people and territory. It's a repeated theme, more in some of the books than others (but especially in Shepherd's Crown, the final book Pratchett wrote, and the one where he was clearly addressing the readers on topic of his own impending death), and the way in which it's incorporated is soothing to my soul. I like my deep truths embedded in satire and sociocultural snark. But in between the giggles and plot, we're reminded over and over that the true magic isn't the flashy showy stuff, it's the hard work, the carrying of pain, the mundanities of care (making sure old men's toenails get clipped comes up in multiple books). I think it might resonate for you.

I don't recall if you've read Discworld, although I can't imagine you haven't run across it at least in passing. Although the Witches characters are based in hoary stereotypes, I think what he does with them is respectful enough, and subversive enough to those stereotypes that it wouldn't end up alienating you.
Jun. 11th, 2016 11:13 am (UTC)
Thank you so much for the suggestion. Kent's only exposure to Prachett was 'Good Omens.' Maybe it's time for both of us to re(read) his stuff. Thank you!
Jun. 9th, 2016 12:04 pm (UTC)
i don't comment much but i have to say
i understand and will try to send some energy
i know those places
Jun. 11th, 2016 11:13 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Jun. 9th, 2016 12:57 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's a nice recognition of your work. Great boss, that.

I stopped short a little when you mentioned MZB and "the things that came out" and had to google it. Woah. How could I not hear of that? Especially as I am in a group of at least 20 women who call themselves Renunciates and follow her codex?

I admit I don't follow celebrity news at all and it's not so surprising that I didn't read it myself. I am a bit shocked though that none of those women even cared to mention it in the group. Have they all decided to "hush up about it"? So strange for a group who is advertising women's liberation and yadayadayada....
Jun. 9th, 2016 01:22 pm (UTC)
I know if it was my relatives, I would be so happy that someone like Kent is there to make sure they eat well and enjoy their meals. Can he spin it so that he sees he is part of the good in their lives at the end? No one lives forever, but I find it comforting and wonderful that someone as caring and talented as Kent is over-seeing their diet and keeping an eye on things. Yes, it is hard when someone reaches the end, but knowing it happened in a place where they are cared for.

And good on you for getting the kudos from your boss! That is wonderful!
Jun. 9th, 2016 02:05 pm (UTC)
Glad you had s good day and feel appreciated.
Elder care is some of the toughest work. Hugs.

Jun. 9th, 2016 02:13 pm (UTC)
I could not work where Kent does.
Jun. 9th, 2016 02:42 pm (UTC)
Yey books! As for MZB, it's all really sad. The people taking over her royalties for her books, etc. are donating all the profits from her books to child abuse and rape charities now, though.

Working with the elderly must be so hard. :/ I remember visiting my grandma is assisted living and just thinking about how tough it must be there all the time helping and caring for the people there.

Edited at 2016-06-09 02:44 pm (UTC)
Jun. 9th, 2016 04:55 pm (UTC)
Yay for kudos from your boss, and lots of good thoughts to you and to Kent. I know that I couldn't do that job - I get attached way too easily. It takes a strong person, but even strong people falter in the face of death. :(
Jun. 9th, 2016 05:47 pm (UTC)
Well done your boss!

I am sorry for Kent, it is hard when that reality becomes real for you. The abstract we can all put to the back of our minds, but actually see it in relation to those around you is something else.
Jun. 9th, 2016 08:00 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, that's really cool of your boss! It's nice to know that your work is valued and appreciated.

Wishing Kent the best; that seems almost impossibly hard to deal with, but I imagine people learn to cope. Maybe there are some co-workers who can give him advice?
Jun. 10th, 2016 01:45 am (UTC)
I was a hospice volunteer for a couple of years. Not everyone can do that kind of work. There is no shame in that.

Initially, I was a big blubbering baby when dealing with such an intimate time in people's lives. It is tough. The training I went through really helped me deal with some of the emotional aspects. You are in a place to help not only the patient, but family members, understand and cope with a very real part of life. You can make a difficult time easier.

Kent will need to decide. I respect him deeply for stepping in and trying. There may need to be an adjustment period.

I'm so glad your employer is recognizing your efforts in tangible ways. You go, girl.
Jun. 10th, 2016 02:47 am (UTC)
They totally love the sh!t out of you there. I'm not surprised in the slightest. ♥

Also, I googled "Marion Zimmer Bradley scandal," because I didn't know what you meant, and I was all, What the holy fuck. D: When Ariel says, "How can a world that makes such beautiful things be bad?", she didn't realize that horrible people can make/do beautiful things.

Man. Ugh. I mean, I loved Mists of Avalon. Damn.

Your last memories of your Granma sound so painful. I'm sorry, my friend. I'd reach across the thousands of miles to give you a hug, but I haven't installed my Go Go Gadget Arms yet. ♥
Jun. 10th, 2016 06:43 am (UTC)
I'm glad your boss acknowledged your work like that!

Poor Kent, that sounds like such a hard job. I would definitely find it upsetting too. But it's good that they have someone who cares there.
Jun. 10th, 2016 09:21 am (UTC)
Just got to the second part of your post today. I'm so sorry for Kent that he has to go through this. Does he get supervision? I mean, that phenomenon is well known and for ages, so there is help and usually when you work in such an environment, this help is even mandatory. Make him take whatever offer there is, and if that doesn't help, he needs to get a new job. Nobody can shoulder the pain of the whole world all the time. *hugs*
Jun. 10th, 2016 09:24 am (UTC)
You DO rock!!!!

Mike had the same problem at the assisted living facility where he worked... A woman fell and he could not help her up and it bothered him...
Jun. 10th, 2016 01:59 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, I love her books but I kind of wish I hadn't looked it up now. :(
Jun. 11th, 2016 12:04 am (UTC)
Yay for the book! Great job.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )