O-R-I-E-N-T-A-T-I-O-N!

I hate orientating. I hate it because it means that I’m starting at the beginning again and have to learn everything all over again. Today I orientated at 16th House, a group home for 5 disabled adults. And it was okay.

I always fear what new clients will think of me. Will they like me? Will they try and manipulate me? How can I be firm, but fair, nice, but still lay down the rules? What if they hate me? What if they never open up to me? More excessive worrying by me – I’m very good at it. I had some good conversations with some of the clients today (I hate calling them clients, but it’s the only term there is. If I knew them better, I’d call them “my guys”. I’ll get there. Eventually…). It’s hard going into someone’s home and saying, “I’m going to work with you, and you don’t have a choice. Get to know me because I’m going to be here whether you like it or not.” So, endearing yourself to them – and not ticking them off – are the first steps. I think I achieved them. It’s funny how most of them remind me of the guys I worked with back in Saskatchewan. The home is run much the same as I’m used to back in Rosthern (yeah!), but getting to know the routines of the house and the little things about the clients will take time. But like usual I’m impatient and want to be the best residential care worker ever right now. “Patience, Nicole. Patience.” So much easier said than done…

But the good thing is that I’m making money! Woo hoo! Starting wage out here for care workers is $13.87 an hour. I made a whopping $9.62 when I left SK, and that was after working 1000 hours (that’s 1 pay raise). And coupled with my teaching gig on Fridays in Coquitlam, I might actually be able to make some decent money. And hilariously, Chapters called me this week, asking if I was still looking for a job. I said, “Sure!”, not sure how this whole casual thing with the group homes in Burnaby would work out. Plus, I want their employee discount (there’d better be one!). In other words, I’m trying to make myself as busy as I was in Regina, and that was insane. I’m well on my way to getting back to that level. I can’t wait!

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