WHILE WE WERE INVOLVED with Mr. Bob's medical condition, the Manor population swelled and we find ourselves far behind on both the residents' directory and the one we put together for the staff. While we were bringing the album for residents up to date, it was somehow easy to approach people, but now with new folks, I'm finding it a little awkward to say essentially, "I'm Jane. You don't know me but now I want to know all about you".
We made a little headway last Saturday when we were seated for dinner with Asta, a new resident who was born in Denmark. While I'm asking questions of the interviewee, Mr. Bob snaps several pictures and we ask the subject to choose the photo they like best.
Cynthia is a new server who is intent on doing a good job. She's very conscientious and something that I've noticed about the waitresses from the Philippines is that they read back for verification what a person has ordered, which cuts down on possible mistakes. (In an old folks' home, there's every chance that the resident might forget her choice between the moment of ordering and when the plate is put in front of her.)
Saturday was Blake's first day on the job. The evening before, he had the leading role in a play that opened in a small theater. When I asked if he'd leave us if a better part came along, he said it would take a long time. And he remarked on the positive atmosphere that one feels on coming to the Manor.
Sergio is from El Salvador. We were to meet at 2 o'clock in the lounge after he finished his duties, but I, with a full tummy, forgot all about it until a phone call reminded me. Sergio seemed all forgiving and even gave me a hand up when we were finished with the interview and picture taking.
We have miles to go before we get caught up on the directories. It's a never ending task, but so rewarding in getting to meet the people who seem to know that we regard them as special. We're the lucky recipients of lots of friendly nods and waves. It's a good job we've taken on.
"To do a really good interview, you have to be truly interested in the person."