Last night I pulled the pin!
My last evening shift at work was filled with phone calls from both nursing staff from the agency and Administration nursing staff, from the various facilities the agency provides staff for. All of them expressed regret at my leaving. Several asked for my new address, so that they might keep in touch. Funny thing...I know that they actually will!
The majority of these people I've never met. Somehow, over the course of 2yrs and 8months, a bond was forged. I know many of their problems and have shared some of their happy times, through the telephone line. I have mental pictures and no doubt they are totally different from what the actual individuals look like. Voices on the phone...
Voices mean so much. They express warmth, humour, anger, frustration, professionalism and desperation . When you've spent as much time as I have, dealing with 'voices' it would be so easy to be dismissive and cut the 'not so nice calls' short. I guess I've spent a good deal of time being, what we call, an 'Auntie Mary'. It's easier to difuse a situation at the begining than have to deal with end consequences.
I've had some pretty desperate calls from staff who are lost on the way to a nursing home or hospital. Imagine me, someone who really doesn't know Sydney, trying to direct a nurse to a facility, when all I have is a UBD and they really don't know their exact location at that time! I've never 'lost' one yet...but that was pure luck.
Working out how to get a nurse from one side of Sydney to the other, using trains and buses, has been another challenge. It's more so, when that particular nurse has only basic English skills. My North Queensland accent has been just as unintelligible to them as their North African (for example) has been to me. Some of Sydney suburban names and street names are SO difficult for overseas people to grasp. (They are for me too!)
My friend Monica, whom I met 'on the phone' became a real life friend and if I gained nothing else from working at the agency, I am grateful for that. She came to our wedding and added her own particular charm. Marguerite, an RN with the Agency, who hails from Columbia, has been a delight. She came to see me before the wedding to give me a ring with a Columbian emerald in it. She also lent me a beautiful pair of gold earrings set with emeralds. So much generosity and trust, from someone I'd only actually met twice before.
I must mention my mate Jodie. She left her position as Community Co-ordinator, with the agency, a couple of weeks ago. Frustration and stress are not something she needed in her life, so she did what she'd been threatening to do for sometime. Congratulations! I'm going to be keeping in touch with her too.She and her husband came to our wedding too.
I actually enjoyed most of my work time at the Agency. The women I worked with, especially Bette, Jodie, Helen, Lin, Jane, Louise and of course Connie, made me welcome and feel an integral part of the team. I shall miss them. Thank you ladies!
On a last note, the business has been sold to a couple of nice guys, who intend to put some real drive behind the agency. Wouldn't you know it? The first thing done was to have the computer IT guys go through the place and today they are installing another brand new server. I said, from the time they put in the previous one, that it wasn't up to the job. One of the new bosses (who I worked with for 3 days) asked me for my ideas on what needed to be done around the place...nice to be asked for input. He also told me that if I ever came back to Sydney to live, he expected me to go back to work for him.
Retirement (for the second time) is really attractive. I've not yet accepted the fact that I am, as of today, just that...Retired! I expect that, once I get back to Gordonvale and the house and garden are back in shape, I will be looking to start my own small business venture. It will probably be working part time on my jewellery and part time trading on e-bay. There are lots of auction and garage sales in the area, with some very saleable items to be picked up for a song. In the past, I've bought some terrific things through the auctions held in the Cairns Show Grounds.
OK...so now I'd better do some work around the house, so that the bread-winner comes home to less of a shambles!
I'll be back soon,
Posted by Midus at December 3, 2004 11:02 AM