Not a Reflection on Me


I’ve dreaded writing this post and I don’t know why. I don’t care how other people receive it. I don’t particularly care what others assume they know about me. I guess I find this one hard because when I actually write what I have to say then it is permanent and I have to accept this fact.retirement-home1-edit

This fact that’s been weighing on me the last couple of weeks is that my employment was terminated. I can’t say fired, it’s too harsh. I’ve had and lost jobs before, for various reasons but never for performance issues. Same thing again. Apparently, the American big business firm hired to be the company’s administrator decided the retirement home does not need an activity coördinator, hence, I am not needed, I am expendable. I get it. What I did not care for was the way the termination took place.

I worked in Human Resources in the past, granted it was in the US, but I know the basics. This “lady” and I use this term loosely. She’s more of a bull in a china shop sort of person, but I digress. This person treated me as if I was fired for some gross insubordination. I can say that because I’ve seen it done. After being informed my position was no longer needed, she then told me what my rights were under the Labour (It’s Canada, we spell things here differently.) Law. Her information is correct because I researched it later.

Then, the nasty came out. Since the company was getting rid of my position, I am not allowed on company property. Nor am I allowed to contact residents or co-workers. She then escorted me outside the door without being allowed to say good-bye to anyone. That hurt.

I spent more time with the residents than any other employee. I know their likes, dislikes, I know who has children, I even know the names of their relatives, I can tell you who may need a bit more assistance, I know who gets juice with their lunch and what kind they drink, I can tell you if they are having a good day or a bad day just by looking at them. On my way into work that morning, one of my residents was being loaded into the back of an ambulance. I glanced in to see who it was, saw the resident, made eye contact and waved to her. I have no idea what has become of her. Is she okay? Is she able to return to the retirement home or does she need to be moved to a long-term care facility? Is she even alive? What about the resident who was scheduled to have his bladder scraped because of tumours? Is he back from the hospital and did they get everything? Is anyone inquiring who wants their hair done on Thursdays when the beautician is scheduled to be in? Did someone remind the residents that the toe nail lady would be there on Tuesday? And so forth. . .

I returned home that morning, broken. Did I mention I live almost directly across the street from the retirement home? Everytime I passed the living room window and looked out, I could see that building. And I felt bad. As if I had deserted them.

I ended up sending them a flower bouquet. Thanking them for allowing me into their home and heart the last four years, what a privilege and blessing my time with them had been. They received it that evening before dinner. The nurse on duty was nice enough to take it around to each table and read the card aloud.

In the last several days I’ve received tearful phone calls from residents and co-workers alike. I’m the one consoling them. I even got a couple of cards in the mail last week. Those are nice and very thoughtful indeed but I still can not shake how I was treated. I don’t know why it bothers me so much. I realize it’s more of a reflection of the company rather than on myself. I keep telling myself this and my gal pal, sk, is right there trying to give my ego a boost as well. On the other hand, our floors have never been cleaner! I have the time to really get down there and scrub.

The real tragedy is not me, it’s my seniors. They lost someone who gives a damn about their mental health, social life and spiritual wellness. You learn an awful lot about a country when you look at how they treat their vulnerable and I must say, Canada, you let your seniors down.

Peace.

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10 thoughts on “Not a Reflection on Me

  1. Oh Wow…I am sorry for your loss of the job, but more so for those residents who had come to love you I am sure, and they have already suffered the losses of a lifetime’s worth, then they lose you…not fair. That home needs to at least let you have visitation once a week or something, this is really awful. I wish you could fight it somehow.

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  2. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. My spouse and I were “let go” in the same inhuman way (also for the organization’s financial difficulties). It is very hard to feel treated like a criminal when all you did is give love and good vibes while you are there. It sucks, in fact. And so sorry for your residents who love you. I definitely understand what you’re going through, and can imagine what the residents must be feeling. Good luck sweeping the dust off your feet and lifting your eyes to your next new adventure!

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  3. Oh, this just sucks. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your job. It sounds like they handled it poorly and I can’t imagine why you can’t visit the residents just like any other family or friend of a resident. That’s unfortunate and it definitely has nothing to do with you as a person – that I am for sure of! Hang in there, its their loss.

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  4. Thank you so much, Rachael! And you are right, it is their loss but at the residents expense. I do not like it when seniors are treated unfairly and this is what is happening at the retirement home and long-term care facility. Thank you again for reading and posting a comment. Cheers.

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  5. Thank you, beijas, and my heart goes out to you and your spouse. I hope you have both landed on your feet and that new and better opportunities welcomed you. Whatever happened to treating employees like human beings? This is one reason why I worked for a small family-run operation. I didn’t expect the family members to retire and put their company in the hands of a big business. Sadly, their company and family name is not as well received as it once was, especially in this small town. Thank you again for reading and taking the time to leave a comment! Cheers.

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  6. Unfortunately, Mainely, what they did is legal. One of the residents even contacted the RHRA (Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority). Apparently, looking after a senior’s mental health, socialization and spiritual well being is not considered a “necessary” service and homes are not required to provide them. However, if the the home I worked at continues to advertise that they provide activities for their residents and do not fill that position, then they are in violation of some rule. I also found out they fired the activities director from the long-term care facility and are looking to hire. Crazy ass world.
    Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting. Cheers.

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  7. I am really sorry that you were treated so disrespectfully in so many different ways (as well as the economic impacts of being laid off). But not being allowed to say goodbye to the staff and residents is cruel. They are treating you as if you were a criminal and that is unfair to you and to the seniors.

    I use that terminology because there were layoffs at my workplace a couple of years ago, and no one was warned – we came into work and there were a bunch of goons in black suits outside the lobby. They checked out ID’s, and if you were “on the list” they send you to a conference room staffed by a “firing firm” where they told you that you were laid off and you were escorted by a rent-a-security-guard to your desk to clear it out and they were out of the building in an hour. I was OK, but I some of my office mates were laid off and it was horrible.

    I hope you are able to rebound and find a job with a better company. Meanwhile, keep reminding yourself that it was not your fault, and stay well.

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  8. Thanks for your kind words, JR. I’ve seen it done, just the first time it actually happened to me. Oh well, life moves on. I have to be open to the next opportunity or path that presents itself. Thank you for reading and commenting. Peace.

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  9. WillieSun! Hey, I like that, “hella harsh!” Hmmm, that just make it into my vocabulary. Thank you again for reading and commenting! It’s always good to ‘see’ you again. Cheers.

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