Saturday, March 6, 2010

Previous Occupation

Warning: Sexist material to follow.

One of the many pieces of information that we have on our residents is what they did to make a living. The ones I find the most interesting are the women who worked outside the home. Most of my ladies are between 75 and 95 years old. They were CNA's, LPN's, School Teachers, Shop Keepers, Waitresses, Farmers, Bar owners (yes, we have a couple of those) and Domestic Technicians. All of them had children. Somehow, they managed to work, keep house, raise children and keep a man happy (at least for a little while). Some of them worked away from home when it was looked down upon. (As if contributing finacially to the family were shameful.) Keep in mind, too, that this is "The South" and we're a good 10 to 15 years behind the times as far as acceptance of women as equals.

Sometimes when I'm talking to them, I get a glimpse of that steel that kept them going even when they were bone tired from work and still had children to bathe and dishes to wash. It's no wonder they've outlived their husbands and, in some cases, their children. They've been going so long, they don't quite know how to stop.

So, what's the point? When we think work is rough, try to see it from their perspective. They watch us work and they've already been there, done that and sewn their own t-shirts. They got through it and they expect the same from us. Frankly, they don't want to hear our complaints, they just want us to take care of them the way they took care of their customers back in the day. (Well, maybe not the bar owner who used to chase unruly patrons out with a broom, but the rest of them.)

It's the least we can do.

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