2010-06-25 - 7:35 a.m.
Funny how for the life of me I couldn't even recall my ex boyfriend's phone # , but after finding it, the next day the memory of it had returned.
I was still at work at 6pm when I remembered I was supposed to meet him to return his guitar.
I had totally forgotten that 6:30pm appointment.
I was at least relieved the recall worked so I could leave a message.
This BRAIN FOG is so very terrible.
I met with my boss last night before I left, and all I can say is that I am SO BLESSED to have my job and my boss.
Some would not be empathatic, and some can't see the long term big picture and make impulsive decisions based on a moment.
I am blessed that she is not one of them.
If she were, I would be out of a job.
I awoke with the memory of a wonderful man whom I will name Daniel. Why Daniel? I guess because I think of Daniel in the lions den and this man was such an inspiration to me.
Danial was an older African American Man who was a Vietnam Vet who HR sent to me when I had a full time night shift open when managing a group home.
HE came to me with over 50 pages of documentation as his current boss was on a mission to get him fired.
So she documented.
It took me only 15 minutes of interviewing to know what the job preformance issues were all related to. It took me all of another 5 to think about how to tactfully raise the issue with him, which I did.
Danny had a problem with literacy which he had successfully hidden most of his adult life.
He only had a 6th grade education, and not surprising to me, could only not read as well as most 6th graders.
He was a hard worker, a wonderful spirit, and postivie person, and one who then went on to work for me-- no that is not right, went on to serve in loving work for the special people he cared for in that home for the next 5 years at least... perhaps he is still there. The last time I visited there were a few of the same long time employees who were really part of that family of caretakers. It is a unique job.
Point being, that Danny was just in the wrong job for his skill set.
He needed just one little thing to be ascknowledged and addressed and worked with. We found tutors for him and gave him testing verbally rather than in writing as necessary. He was able to be trained in the Medical couse we required and succeed when granted the test by our RN VERBALLY without expecting him to read and write the whole thing. We accepted that.
ANd I just shifted his schedule and responsibilities so that he was successful and he became quite beloved among both our staff and the people we served.
But that is not what made me think of Daniel this AM.
What I learned most from him was humility and graciousness and acceptance of ones stregths and gifts and limitations with a peacefullness that at that time was so amazingly inspiring.
I was a young, cocky and arrogant (at times!) know it all.. OK not that bad necessarily.. but the whole management team collectively WAS SUCH... and it was humbling for me to see this man, who had bad knees, get down on them to scrub a kitchen floor with such humbleness because I told him to do so.
That moment was a pivotol one in my mind. I didn't know that he had bad knees and needed an operation. He simply did as he was instructed to by his boss without a word of complaint or protest.
After all, he had the dicipline of having served in militaty and had suffered for far worse pain in life.
But after that moment, when it sunk in that this man, who had served our country was just told by an uppity 21 something college grad with no life experience to get down on his knees and scrub
Well , it made me feel shame at my lack of respect for him as a person as what I was so focused on was getting a job done, that I was not valuing or considering him as an individual at all.
What I think struch me this AM however was the fact of him having been a vet.
Daniel talked to me after that moment.
I apologized once I realized with horror how I had treated him-
Now that of course happened to our young Caucasian boys as well... but there is most definately a concern that the fact of race is also an issue in how we (and maybe even I subconsiously) have treated individuals based on the subtle messages we have received, unwittingly or not, in our great nation.
I wondered at that time, Would I have been as hard on him had he been a big white dude? Or one of the women?
I never will know-- yes I was a tough boss at times, with kindness I hoped, and I think my expectations were consistent and I like to think I was color blind- yet I wondered at that interction and later asked the question of myself.
Was it his humbleness, both beautiful and in a way tragic as it was developed after years of necessity to be so in a system in which Daniel WAS NOT treated with respect- and gracious submission is at times the best and only option for survival;
I mean would that moment have been DIFFERENT on my part if the person I was directing was DIFFERENT.
I look at those interactions at work at times and wonder if anyone is aware of how their perceptions and reactions might be influenced by the subconcious and how we , even when we DO NOT AGREE with some of the messages we were told or taught of shown implicitly in the world as we were presented it.
But all this is writing is because race does matter, and it is such a revelation when one comes to that realization after having thought they were colorblind.
And its interesting this is what I wrote of, as it isn't what I intended to write of.
What I intended to write was short and succinct.
I awoke realizing this BRAIN FOG is so clearly a full blown PTSD symptom and I have been doing all I can to address it.
It is hard.
that I will become stable again and a valuable employee again and a productive one again.
And I thank GOD for my BOSS who sees the forest beyond the trees of the now. Its kinda like there was a small forest fire and I have combusted in that triage of it, but there remains the roots and the soil which is being rejuvenated by the ash and enriched and there WILL BE REGROWTH and I will emerge stronger and more capable.
THANK GOD she sees that value in me and recognizes that after all the teaching and training that although not where we ALL WANTED ME TO BE professionally, I WILL GET THERE.
It is just taking me a little longer.
And this is just a little set back.
What I was going to write about was the startling realization upon awaking that Daniel suffered from PTSD. I spoke with him and he told me of his Vietnam experiences after I cared about who he actually was an asked. He was open and a wonderful person who assisted me in my growth.
I realized now that I had no understanding of what he experienced in life, but awoke with that realization that what goes around comes around in life.
We get back that which we put forth-- and at the time others wanted to ax him from our employ, I resisted and made the case for his value.
And he WAS VALUABLE and a very dependable fabulous employee in the end. We just had to invest a little MORE in patience and training and time to work with him due to his uniqueness.
ANd no one else at work ever knew his issues.
That was the key: providing that support while no one else knew in a manner that maintained the coheisiveness and intergrity of a team that worked together.
I succcessfully managed that orchestration.
Managing is much like orchestration of music in my mind...
I will move one more load this AM before work and will be ready for the girls in the new home when I pick them up tonight.
We will move the remainder this weekend.
WHEW... almost done with this whirlwind!