Workin for the Weekend….and Vacation!

It’s kind of funny what one falls into – career wise, as one gets older. I started out 30 years ago providing direct care to folks over 22 with mental health issues and developmental disabilities. For those that don’t know – that’s kind of like nurses aide work without the blood pressure checks.  I worked in residential when I started out – awake overnight shifts and relief shifts while I was in college. The stories….. and I can attest that the full moon “theory” is a fact – just so you know.  Those full moon weekend shifts were off the hook!

I steadily moved my way onward and forward moving into day programs and working with the elderly; becoming an activities director at a local nursing home part time for a short time.  I moved back to residential programs and became a House Manager for another short period of time.  I can honestly say that those folks are paid nowhere NEAR enough for everything they have to do – and on salary.  I averaged 70 to 80 hours a week but got paid for 40 and was on call one weekend a month.  My longest week was 115 hours.  I passed out from exhaustion at the end of it. OK yeah, I was only 27 years old at the time – but a girls got her limits.  After several months of me unplugging my phone when I was not on call (in order to avoid the late night  ” there’s no milk in the fridge – what should I do?” calls)  and yes, I got those regularly – as well as the sick calls where I ended up having to cover the shift myself – hence the long work weeks – sigh.   I realized this was not my cup of tea. I moved into working in Day Programs at another agency in 1991 and haven’t looked back. I discovered how nice it is to work M-F and not dread the sound of the telephone ringing when I was home. I started in direct support again and moved up to case and program management, then into QA case management and administrative – where I  currently “reside.”  Years of lugging and tugging clients and the occasional aggressive episode left me with a bad hip and shoulder so I don’t do direct support with the clients anymore – can’t.  I prefer that term to the current “consumer” as “client” infers that I provided a service -which I did. “Consumer” infers no reciprocity, and I gained so much from working with my folks – they didn’t just take from me.  Anyway, that’s my meandering career path to now.  What a long strange trip its been.

The last three months of my life at work have literally been taken up by a massive annual project – recontracting with the state for Fiscal 14.  My background is not accounting, business, or finance, as I’m sure you noted when you read the beginning of this post -. so this was a real challenge to me to fly “solo” this year. The process was self taught and I am so thankful for the great mentors I have who were available to answer my questions and “point me in the direction of Albuquerque” when I got stuck. But I have to admit I’m fried and in dire need of this time off.  So today, I’m not dreading the inevitable return to the Monday grind. In fact, I’m planning a little road trip with my youngest daughter for a couple of days.

And, this coming Friday is our 28th wedding anniversary.  June 21, 1985 – which was also a Friday. I will have to do a “Tales from the Northland” post to commemorate the event. So you all  can look forward to my  wedding recollections when we get back from our road trip. (heehee)  So now, I must take us all back to yesteryear…. Glam Rock and Girl Power!


14 thoughts on “Workin for the Weekend….and Vacation!

  1. Happy anniversary D.We will have our same number one later this summer. Your life stories are always interesting and fun, especially the full moon one. Good luck on all fronts and go hold hands with the Viking this weekend and stroll a beach. Take care, BTG

  2. Hello my dear, Isn’t work lovely? Looking back isn’t as painful as how you feel at the end of a long shift, is it. You and your special guy are going to celebrate 28 joy filled years? I recall being there and taking pictures of the nuptials, and it really does not seem as though all that time has whizzed on by? Good Lord!! Love ya, I’ll be in touch….? Auntie H.

    • Hi Auntie!!!! Yes you were there! If I recall the guest list at our event correctly the players were as follows: Me and The Viking 😉 The JP. Mom, Dad, and Joe. Sandy and Gary. You and Uncle David, Grandma and Grandpa. Susan and John. Pam, Steve and Pammy – my flower girl. Steve took the photos. I still have the dress, but its too big for me now. I suppose I should think about getting it altered. Great Times!

  3. Thanks for the fun blasts from the past! Love the Go-Gos still (altho “Head over Heels” is my personal favorite!). Must be ’80’s weekend; my husband and I have been singing and laughing over certain songs the last few days. Happy upcoming anniversary!! Our 16th was Friday! 🙂

    • Happy Anniversary! Its been an iTunes weekend for us definitely. I have very eclectic taste in music ranging from 20’s jazz, to big band and swing, to 50’s, surf music, blues, glam rock, heavy metal, alternative, punk, pop punk, and the current growling stuff (which my daughter and her friends showed me). I’m not a huge country fan, and I can’t stand hip hop, rap or most r and b. But other than that, most anything goes. I even like tejano music (Selena!) and reggaeton. My husbands got control of the tv remote today, so I am spending time on the computer – hahaha. (photo editing, facebooking, and blogging) I got creative with some flower arranging yesterday so please look for those photos later today. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend! Btw – where are you two from? Hugs! D.

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