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It's the Little Things

Okay. Normally I try to make my entries interesting or whatever, but this is turning into a really lousy week and I want to write about my day.

As I said the other day I was going to be working at the VA today. For the sake of confidentiality I'm going to call the vision coordinator Jeff, and the three guys I worked with Pete, Matt and George. I knew all three of these guys, either through their assessments that I did on them previously or, in the case of George, through casual association. When I went there this morning, Jeff picked me up. We got to his office and I set up the SARA Scanning and Reading Appliance since that's what I was supposed to be training these three vets on today.

So, Pete is my first guy. He comes in and I spend time with him. He does quite well, and I have no problems with him. So after a couple of hours we stop and I went and got some lunch. I had probably some of the best apple crisp ever made, in fact.

After lunch I got Matt. I did a very extensive evaluation on Matt a couple of months back and he said he really wanted the scanning machine. He wanted his independence back and the ability to read without having to rely on others. Before starting with him I reviewed the notes I had taken on him, and set up the machine exactly the way I had done it during the evaluation. We ran into problems pretty much right from the beginning. He remembered nothing of what we had discussed previously. Okay, so this is somewhat expected; the man is 80-something years old. So I went over the two buttons that I didn't have covered up which are the scan and read buttons. You really can't get much easier than this, right? Well, unlike last time, he couldn't remember where the buttons were even right after I showed him. We went over it and over it, and he sort of started getting it after a while. Then he says, "This machine sure is complicated, and I don't know if I can do it." So here we've got a complete 180 from the last time. Then, out of the blue he said that he was tired and wanted to stop. Okay, we weren't going to push him. So Jeff called his cab and he left.

By this time, George was ready to come in. I figured this would be easy. Man was I wrong.

George came in and Jeff told him to have a seat by me. Not realizing that we knew each other he introduced me. George just stood there. Jeff and George's girl friend told him to sit down but he wouldn't do it, stating that he wasn't sure if he was going to stay. This kind of confused us and Jeff asked him what he meant. George said that he wouldn't work with me. He said that he knew me, had a problem with me, and didn't want me involved in the training. Jeff told him that I was the instructor, and if he wanted the machine he needed to work with me, but no go. George just would not change his mind.

Now, I've known George for about 9 years, and Snowflake actually knows him too if she remembers him from the summer she worked the cafeteria at WSVH. But, in all that time, I can't think of one thing I ever did to this guy accept for the time I told off his friend because the guy was being really rude to me. Apparently he holds a grudge, forever.

First, I was really shocked that he'd say anything with me sitting right there. If I'd been in his shoes I would have asked Jeff if I could speak to him privately, but I never would have said right in front of someone that I didn't want to work with that person. Several things ran through my mind that I could have said, but I chose to say nothing. I just kind of sat there taking it all in. George wouldn't even look at the machine with me there, so Jeff said he wouldn't be getting it. He wanted something else anyway, so an appointment was set up for next week; one that I obviously won't be attending.

In the past year and a half that I've been with ATR there have been several times I've had to work with clients that I knew previously. There have been people that I've enjoyed working with and people I haven't liked. However, whatever personal issues I may have with an individual are left at the door when I'm working. That's just common sense, right? Well, I would have thought that George, a grown man with a lot of experience behind him and plenty of smarts, would know this as well. What happens during a session stays in the session, except for what I tell others like this, and the names are completely changed. So I guess my question is, what did I ever do to him? My ego isn't big enough to assume that everyone should automatically like me, because that's just not going to happen. But, I would like to think that even if you can't like me that you could at least respect me enough to be conscious of my feelings. I do consider myself to be good at what I do, and up to this point there have been no complaints, accept for one person who complains about all of us so that one doesn't count. After George left I told Jeff that I couldn't believe that he'd said that and Jeff agreed.

Anyway, after that both Jeff and I decided that enough was enough. he wanted to go home early too, because it wasn't just me that was affected by these two guys. The machines had all ready been ordered, and in fact were all ready in the office waiting to go home with these guys. So somehow Jeff had to find other homes for the units in order to be able to justify the purchase. So, neither of us were really having the best of days.

Jeff and I headed out of the building and he told me to wait by this railing thing while he went to get his van. I was standing there and a car pulled up. A couple of people got out and started walking toward the building. Now, I have to back up just a little. When I go out on a job like this I have a light blue shirt with the company logo and one of those hard plastic magnetic name tags that I wear. I chose to do that today even though I'm a frequent visitor to the VA because I guess it helps me to feel more professional. So anyway, I'm just standing there and a lady that was getting out of the vehicle turned to me and out of the blue she says, "That blue shirt you're wearing really brings out the color of your eyes." I hear things like that a lot from people, even strangers. People are always telling me that I have really nice-colored eyes that are really bright blue. So I'm used to hearing it. But, after today, I thought it was even more of a compliment. Sometimes it's the little things that can make the difference, and I doubt that lady will know how much I needed to hear something positive today.

Well, I've got to go write up the report on these guys so I'm going to go, but I really needed to write about this first. No, this isn't a normal entry for me, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.