I think one of the most rewarding work experiences I’ve ever had was when I worked in a Nursing facility (aka – Nursing Home) believe it or not. I know, you think that’s gross – but it truly caused me to grow as a person.
In the beginning, I could not even relate to my own Grandmother. We would sit together at family gatherings and I only knew how to chit-chat, use small talk to converse. And I hate that I missed learning from her, while she was alive.
I began working as Assistant Activities Director where my years of being a traveling musician really opened up this opportunity for me. I was able to lead the residents in sing-a-longs, picked the musical guests and even entertained them myself.
I think one of the things I most remember is being able to visit those that could not leave their rooms. I would often take my guitar and sing to them, while coming through the door – laughing and making up goofy songs about bowel movements or whatever it was they were dealing with that particular day.
Another aspect of this position was writing daily progress reports on each resident with whom I was assigned. I loved this part, believe it or not, because I seemed to have had a knack for writing the most beautiful, touching, reports about my residents (even tho’ this was mainly for the government to read – they were the ones interested in this information). I remember my Director would give me compliments when we were alone, yet in front of others – she loved to get the credit for all my work.
Now, you have to understand, I was in my twenties. I was young, immature, and loved being praised for a job “well done.” Come on, who doesn’t like that? But it started to really get the best of me and I began to become very bitter about it. I would plan these awesome activities and when the Administrators of the facility would come and tell her what a tremendous success we had in getting the residents to participate, she would take the credit. Always.
It wound up, that I wasn’t smart enough or I was too immature to deal with it that I let it consume me and it eventually cost me my job. Yeah, the one that I really enjoyed. The reason? I finally let her have it! Man, I told her where she could put it and that she would NEVER steal my hard work ever again.
After being asked to gather my things and basically, get the hell out, I even felt that I did the right thing. It wasn’t but a couple of days after that I came across an article that addressed that very thing. I wish I still had the article, but it basically said “Do your job to the best of your ability. Go all out! And if your boss chooses to take the credit, then let them have it! You are there to make them look good. And when you do that, you succeed and it will not go unnoticed in the long run.”
That takes a willingness to let go of our natural, selfish state that wants credit for doing good. Sometimes, that’s a hard pill to swallow.
I think if I were in that same position today, after maturing somewhat, that those petty things would bother me. Thank God I have matured. I choose my battles wisely, and have learned from my experiences, both good and bad.
What are your thoughts or experiences? Have you ever been in this position where someone takes the credit?
Image Credit – Nisha A. Flickr.com