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2021-01-28 - 3:28 p.m.

I just received two lovely compliments today while working at my part time relief job at an assisted living facility.

I am a receptionist, however as I was a manager of a group home in the past, and worked in other roles in human services I do bring alot of not only human services, but also management and business acumen to a job.

There is also another wonderful receptionist at this place, who used to be in charge of the licensing of social workers for the state of VA. She is a rockstar at her work! This is her retirement job where she loves to come in and continue to help others. She is well into her 70s and a blast to work with. The small paycheck is likely used up buying coca cola, chocolate, and every Sunday morning that she works Dunkin Donuts for all the staff. She is just a super fun spitfire of a woman. This role of receptionist is a labor of love for her.

I have joked this is my "Retirement job" as I have dumped the income from it 100% into its 401K. I figure a good way to diversify my retirement savings. I make all of $5000 tops in a year at this job, working typically every other weekend for two short shifts.

They asked me to come in as an extra hand for today was the vaccination clinic. So while that was set up by a Walgreens, the local pharmacy in town, and all the residents and staff that wanted were vaccinated I was manning the front desk.

The compliments came from the Assistant Executive Director who thanked me for my consistent calming presence which she said is so appreciated.

And the Nursing Director came up to me and said,

" You are SO GOOD at management! You come in here just once in a while and have such an incredible way about you where you just guide everyone, and it looks effortless but you answer everyone's questions and keep everyone calm and really give attention to residents. You just have such a gift really of management. You could run a place like this. You should start a company consulting just to share how to work as a team somehow. How to lead a team. You are just a natural."

It was just so funny she said that so sincerely.

She said
"I am serious. I am a big fan."

I write here as one of the things that I think is really important for good teamwork is to understand that when you go to work, your title, your role, does not affect your ability to bring your talents to the forefront and if you are a natural leader you will help guide your team you work with regardless of what job you happen to have.

You can literally be the receptionist. Or the janitor. I am not kidding!

It doesn't matter your lane. You can stay in your lane and not step on toes and not overstep boundaries while STILL Leading by affecting the whole tone and environment of the space you are in by your attitude and how you listen to others and make them know they are valued and heard and a priority,

It doesn't really matter WHO THEY ARE in the space you are in.

The art of listening and being responsive and following up an anyone else's request, no matter how big or small, no matter how IMPORTANT it seems to you is truly one that can be learned and I think adds so much to yourself and the space you are in.

So it was a wonderful gift to me to receive such a compliment as I thanked her and said, " I so appreciate that as today I am working on my web site for my own consulting business. I was thinking of being very narrow in focus. But perhaps I should think about broadening as I DO have quite a bit of management experience and I LOVE TO DO THAT. I love that kind of work with teams."

We continued chatting and I said "I think I need to start narrow with the focus on the spaces I have been in of late, but then perhaps broaden to general management after I get some clients." I think that is a good plan! Before I transitioned to the industry I am in I had 15 years of management experience of teams of 25 people in three different jobs. One a supermarket, one managing a security team, and one at the group home.

So I actually have 15 years of managing teams of 25 that I did before I went to law school.
I told her it was funny, I took and FAILED the bar exam SIX times! Five in VA and one in WV as just can't MEMORIZE all the details. Heck its hilarious as acronyms are my Achilles heel. All the study guides used mnemonics and its funny as I can't remember the darn acronym when one is created. I have tried and tried.

Here somewhere in the archive of the blog is the silly song I think saved to recall the elements of a crime... what was it?
Mack the Knife re-written something about Marla...the criminal. I was trying to sing to recall all the elements of some legal term of art. I would have to look it up.

Heck if unemployed long enough I could perhaps learn how to play Mac the Knife on the guitar and then pull up my silly song and write a few more to memorize all those details I just have trouble getting down. Heck maybe I could do it yet...

But in the meantime. I need to work on my business as I figure I have as good a shot at business development and landing a client and working for myself as landing another job for someone else.

I have been interviewing for jobs which are a good fit of course. Never heard back on the development position. Nothing in the pro bono or human services sector I have found otherwise of great interest.
I apply for standard jobs in my industry equivalent to what I was working last when I find one. Recruiters call me ALL THE TIME for a position with one of my old employers. So I said Over and over "Sure you can submit my resume"

Throw the hat in the ring. Its the corporate job I had ten years ago. Same exact job description! LOL
HR likely has no interest..
but heck it makes it super easy to meet unemployment requirements of applying to a couple jobs a week.

It is such a funny thing to me. I observed in both THAT corporate job and the one I just left ONE toxic gossip who would act sweet in person and then say awful things about someone ( a leader) behind their back. I never engage in those type of conversations, but also never rat them out. I just try to squelch negativity.
I think its possible that sometimes the person being offended assumes I am the offender because they know I am vocal when I see actual issues that should be discussed and are challenging to raise. I raise THOSE issues. I think sometimes they then have misguided lack of trust of me.

Ce la vie... water under the bridge but I only now realized that seems to have happened in the FIRST corporate job I had and the most recent.

Some women gossip. I don't know why this is, but in my experience it has not been men that feed into gossip much at all. Perhaps it is not fair to call it gossip, but some women have an emotional need to vent and seem to feel comfortable to do so with co-workers rather than wait til leave and find a friend to vent to. Its also complicated and HARD to vent to anyone OUTSIDE of a space. I get that. We had NDAs, confidentiality matters and take them seriously.

So I get it...
but I think sometimes I have been the fall guy so to speak.

So as I named this entry already I can't forget to point out the last thing which I think it absolutely hilarious as I am at a juncture of change not knowing with certitude what comes next, but truly excited to see what manifests!

I love change frankly! I LOVE new opportunities for growth. I LOVE helping others grow and know wherever I am I can do so and can learn from others. So any ending is a chance for something new.

Yesterday I went to visit a dear, dear friend and just drop off flowers and some candles as she is in the hospital. A mutual friend of ours called and asked me to reach out to her as she really has no family. She is a mom of an autistic gentleman and has been focused on him solely and therefore it is challenging to nurture friendships. I haven't seen her in a couple years at least. But it was actually so delightful knowing she is OK to be able to spend time with her yesterday. She doesn't have COVID, other health concerns that required hospitalization primarily as she was dehydrated and could not eat anything so needed medical care there was no one to otherwise give to her. My friend is one of the most positive happy beautiful souls I have ever met and her bravery and positive attitude in the face of actual death ( after a few near death experiences frankly) is astounding.

Her gratitude and joy at me washing her hair and braiding it in a French braid was so wonderful. The whole experience of washing her hair was remarkable as she as so overjoyed and derived such pleasure from such a simple thing. Her sense of smell is heightened just now , as is her hearing, she said she things because her whole system has been emptied of everything due to her illness. Nothing left whatsoever, that her senses are acute.
I think after trauma one has that heightened sense of awareness, and her actual near death experiences I think may have awoken her senses. She said how everything was so much more acute. She can't eat so has not tasted anything since ill but said the sensory experience even of chewing ice is so appreciated with an awareness and pleasure of it being so calming that she could not have imagined before.

She is also on pain killers so this heightened state may be impacted by that, and if so, no wonder addiction to experience such state must happen. I wonder if there is a dopamine response when the pain killers kick in...

But she was so full of love and gratitude.
And so peaceful.

It was wonderful to see her getting such care and in a much better place that had been a couple days before.

She basically told me that our friend saved her life undoubtedly by advocating for her to get a hospital bed. There are a shortage of beds. They were going to send her away. My friend insisted she was very dehydrated and needed to be seen. Once they did see her indeed the doctor confirmed she was dehydrated and started a drip line and they found her malnourished and anemic and there was some severe issue with gastrointestinal problems.

She had been living with severe pain while taking care of her son.

Good news is her son is in a good space . She was still making calls and arrangements from the hospital. But the shortage of beds is a true concern just now.

Not everyone takes COVID seriously but the need to triage has created a real crisis.

No one should be turned away if they need care, yet some are.

So happy my friend OK and that our mutual friend was able to be there as an advocate for her.
We will continue to do what we can to support her.

After leaving the hospital I decided to stop at my favorite Chinese place to get take out. I was happy to see they had the place open only for take out, with a huge plexiglass blocking off the restaurant and a cool speaker system where you place an order then wait in your car. There was no one else there when I arrive so comfortably placed my order for my family and waited.

I figured my kids would like the surprise of Chinese food!
I grabbed one fortune cookie from a basket in the waiting area where I had ordered from as I walked out. Hey it was a good thing as I ordered three dishes for my household of four to share and when got home later realized of course they only threw in three fortune cookies.

I had been thinking it might be an extra! But at least I would get one as was not SURE if they would throw any in the bag.

So I opened mine in the car as I listened to a silly song from singer songwriter Tony Denkinos, "Little Chrome Fish" ( look him up if you like singer songwriters as he is entertaining I think- guy from PA , spelling of name might be off but close if I didn't get it right), waiting the 15 min for my food, and I read
"You would make a good lawyer."


I never had any doubt about that!

They won't however let me be one without the BAR Exam being passed.
Oh well....

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