PASS THE BUCK, PLEASE
Or the buck doesn’t stop here
For the first time recently, a new family pointed out some negative comments by former staff about Bellamy and Watson on social media.
The buck does stop with me, so I don’t brush off the comments or try to explain them away and I absolutely take responsibility for everything that happens at the Fields.
I’m just at a loss for how to reach people who I might have helped if their comments were founded and they’d bring them to managers attention but the anonymity of social networks and websites makes this impossible.
Health care workers in geriatrics have the hardest jobs in human services. I’ve been a garbage man, a hot steel night shift factory worker in a foundry, a Teamsters truck loader, a house painter dangling 40 feet up on a wooden plank, and a caddy. I respect hard work and the workers who respect the dignity of my guests.
It’s hard to take care of an elder with dementia whose incontinence makes him feel crummy and scared and liable to take a swing at the people trying to help get him cleaned up. It’s hard to sit with a dying person whose disease produces sights and smells that test our humanity.
Both of these examples, however, bring out the best in us and I try to hire the best people all the time. The Dover High School LNA class is training at Watson today, as I write this. I gave them my pep talk during their orientation and apparently didn’t scare any of them away.
My father’s father was an Irish mine boss during the depression, sending men 1000 feet underground in the wet pitch dark to dig out anthracite coal in Northeastern Pennsylvania. He sent his son to college who sent his son to college but made him work some of the stinkiest jobs in America.
The thought was that doing the stink would make me a better man who would appreciate the dignity of others who do the stink.
I am and I do.
I welcome the chance to make the Fields an even better place for your elders to have hospitality and health care and dignity after great long lives.