This week work is making me do a two-day training. Fire training. I have refused, I have pleaded, I’ve tried my invisibility cloak. There’s no getting around it any longer.
There are a few obvious reasons I’m dreading this. I’m scared to death of fire. I’m physically unfit for the job. I tend to turn off when there are too many things needing my attention at the same time.
And some less obvious reasons I’m not liking this: It’s a training. Two days. In a classroom. With others.
My past scholastic career has given me every reason to dread this. Elementary school: Bullied. High School: Flunked. Nurse’s Training: Flunked.
I just don’t do the daytime-group-thing very well. I tend to get bored and cause mayhem. Or the energy of a group of people in an enclosed space is going to overwhelm me. I get exhausted and shut down. Yup, textbook gifted and over-excitable underachiever. Nothing new so far.
Why go through with it? Because work’s making me. Otherwise I’ll have to stop working nights. And I’m very comfortable working nights.
And what made me write this.
The training will be given in another nursing home. As it happens to be, it’s the very same nursing home I started working at twenty years ago, scrubbing toilets and mopping floors. By that time I had the vague notion I wanted to do something with my life in the direction of ‘care’. While mopping those wards and helping a nursing co-worker out here and there I found my “calling”. This was what I wanted. Taking care of people who could not take care of themselves.
I’d nearly finished my trainee-ship somewhere else when I dropped out. Not because it was too hard, but the responsibility was too much for me. I am much happier and more useful as a CNA.
Twenty years after mopping nursing home floors, fifteen years after dropping out of nursing school, many things have changed. I have learned a lot. About the world and about me. About why I never seem to fit in. One thing didn’t change. I’m still that person that wants to help out where needed.
Friends who’ve been out with me can attest to that. I can’t help it. It’s so deeply imbedded in me, even on the bus or in a shop. If someone needs a hand, I’ll lend it.
What does this have to do with that training? If I need to do that training to keep doing this work, I’ll do it. Sorry sod that needs my help when it comes down to that, but I’ll do it. I’ll hate it. But I’ll do it.
It’s Monday evening now. Tomorrow I’ve got a doctor’s appointment. She’s going to cut into my leg. Still something I dread less than going to class Wednesday and Thursday. I’m sure I’ll live though. On both occasions.