Yesterday at work, this woman ^ who usually speaks in word salad greeted me clearly, with affection.
My Job Review
After lunch I had my dreaded job review with my boss, and it went really well. I finally got to see some of her frustrations, which was what I wanted most of all--to glimpse shared humanity through a crack in that shiny surface.
We talked for more than an hour (a first!), kicking around all sorts of ideas.
"I want to work together like this more," I told her.
She said she did too but was frustrated with how she never has time, she's so busy catering to residents. I suggested that meeting with her staff is a legitimate use of her time too.
So, we're going to meet every-other week, and she's also going to try to check in with me daily. It seems to me that should be standard practice, but since it hasn't been, it makes me really happy.
I really saw her humanity, though, after she told me with some chagrin that Corporate denied my request for a merit-based raise saying that they don't give raises before the scheduled 1% after one year.
"But that's ten cents!" I said.
"Is it?" she said. "Oh . . . yeah." [We innumerates!]
And then she started saying how frustrated she was with Corporate. Of her own volition [I didn't even have to suggest this], she said she is going to take this to the administrator of our place. He's under Corporate, but maybe he has some sway.
I'm not counting on it, but I love that she's willing to go to bat for me. That in itself makes me glad I screwed up my courage to ask for a raise.
Another "I See You"
After the review, I went back to the floor and set up our ongoing Baby Bib Sewing Project. (Follow up to the Hot Pad Project).
An RN came along and asked if she could borrow one the residents, to interview her.
She apologized for the interruption, saying, "I'd rather leave her here, this is more important."
"Well, what you do is important too," I said.
"No," she said, "I'm under no illusions about my job: it's to fill out papers. This..." ––gesturing to the table of people cutting out cloth––"this is way more important."
I didn't know what to say [rare].
I not only basically agreed with her but was also a little stunned at the contrast with how Corporate sees (rewards with money) our relative worth.
End result: I want personal connection and meaning way more than I want money.
The work is self-evidently important; the residents and I already connect every day; and if my boss and I can start to support each other, then I can work well without a raise.
For a while, at least...
My boss told me she'd written recommendations for an earlier assistant who'd let her know she was looking for another job that paid better. She doesn't want me to leave, but "I'd do that for you too," she said.
I expect it'll come to that, eventually. But for now, anyway, I am re-energized.