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.
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.