Busted Brain Journal: Going to the Show

Busted Brain Journal: Going to the Show


Yesterday, my boss needed me to join him for some work off-campus. I am a Housekeeper for a brain and spinal cord rehab center and residence and the company owns a couple independent living apartment buildings around town.

I change all the names of people I write about on this blog, just as I refer to every male friend of mine in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous as Mitch. That way I protect everybody’s anonymity and the only person I refer to by name is myself. That way I’m not culpable for “outing” anyone and I try to keep my bitching about people to a minimum on this blog too. I guess Mama and Papa raised me right in that regard. So we’ll call my boss Ross. In his truck on the way over, Ross told me that he had pondered on my request for a new schedule and possibly additional duties at work to make up for the wheelchair cleaning position I was being paid overtime to do before they dissolved the position and I went back to a 40-hour week. I can’t live on the income of a forty hour week at my wage so we’ve been tossing around the idea of me taking on some additional Housekeeping duties.

Turns out, Ross has something else in mind. When I get back from my vacation in Rhode Island next week, I’m going to a 7 AM – 3:30 PM schedule, which is good in case HR doesn’t see the prospect of me getting time and half doing additional Housekeeping duties conducive to the needs of the company and I can look for a second job.

More importantly though, I will be switching from one campus where the brain and spinal cord patients who require 24 hour care live and moving to the main campus.

This is like being called up from AAA ball to play in the majors. All the company brass is on the rehab campus. All the short-term residents, the people who stay at the campus for the first 90ish days after their brain/spinal cord injury, live down there. I’ll be adapting to working in 9 separate buildings instead of the one big one I currently work in.

I’m scared shitless.

Well, let me back that truck up. I’m not scared as much as I am a steaming, bubbling blue-green concoction of eager, apprehensive, terrified, exhilarated and confident.

I’ve worked with people before both pre- and post- brain injury. It took my last relationship with a black-as-night introvert to truly embrace my status as an extraverted introvert (I’ve always wondered, is there even such as thing as an introverted extrovert? I picture a guy who comes to the party fashionably late, laughs and backslaps all his friends, flirts with the woman he’s sweet on, then sits down on the living room sofa to play Solitaire for 3 hours.) But I was a reporter before I got sick and I had a side hustle as a waiter/bartender for a full 9 years before I got sick. I’ve worked in customer service in some capacity almost since I joined the work force. You almost have to, or at least should have to, if you are an American. People go off for service jobs in Africa and South America or join the Peace Corps or Teach for America all the time. I think, for at least three months, every American should have to work a job in customer service in some capacity. That way, after that three months is over, you will have internalized the “Wow, some people really, really suck. I don’t want to be a person who really, really sucks. I’m going to change!” mindset.

Anyway, In addition to all the brass having offices on the rehab campus and all the short-term residents, there’s trainees, trainers, accountants, receptionists, volunteers and the general public. As Ross put it, it’s like going and working somewhere completely different.

Honestly, add “excited” to the witches brew of emotions. I want to do this. This is, honestly, the kind of gig I wanted to be doing at this company to begin with. I think part of my issues, aside from the neurological ones that have been swirling for the last 9 months in which I have had a new work schedule it seems every three months and three different jobs with three different lists of tasks. I’m going to be working more with the people who just got their life turned upside down and the staffers helping them try to hack through the foliage with machetes searching for a new way to go.

I’m not going to be a pitcher or a catcher. But I’m gonna try to be the best damn groundskeeper I can be.


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