Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Walking The Walk-Rather Then Just Talking The Talk.''

Today I was dispatched to pick -up at one of our  seniors residences. On arrival I saw two personal support workers{P.S.W} standing by a very elderly woman in a wheel chair.Of course my first reaction was "oh great this is going to be a time consuming pain in the ass".(A piss poor attitude from the get go.)
 One of the psw's opened my passenger door and told me "we have to get the lady in".You have to get her in, not me, I replied.Furthermore I told her we have a wheel chair van available and that's what you should have booked.The psw claimed she wasn't aware of that-and asked if we could give it a go with my car.
 Go ahead I mumbled, as I engaged myself in a rather juvenile "shit fit".I sat there fuming as they struggled with this poor woman-who had to weigh all of ninety pounds.I turned the meter on as they jostled her around, trying to figure out the best way to get her in the car.Christ almighty I thought-and "these two, do this for a living!"Mean while the old woman was having a shit fit of her own.She was shaking like a leaf and voicing in no uncertain terms her lack of confidence in the two psws ability to get her into the cab, in one piece.(so that made two of us)
 When they did finally manage to get her in,she was pretty much horizontal across my front seat.I managed to get her vertical enough -and thus off my lap-to get her seat belt fastened.I then put her wheel chair in the trunk, tied the lid down-and we were off.As we drove I asked the psws "what in God's name was this visibly fragile woman doing going out".She has a dentist appointment at the mall-came the reply.
 Apparently she had not been out of bed for a year-the dental visit was an urgent matter.As we continued on towards the mall-I started to have a case of the guilt's.I was thinking about all the times I preached the golden rule to my friends."No one gives a shit about anyone other then them selves" I can also often be heard lamenting.
 I thought of my late mother-fragile herself in her last years.What would she think if she saw how I treated this old woman- with such impatience and indifference.I was feeling rather ashamed of my behaviour as we pulled into the mall.
 Wanting to rectify this-I told the psw's to leave the lady-and that I would get her out, and into her chair.
I took on a completely different attitude as I opened her door."Listen darl'in" I told her, "I am a big strong guy and I want you to just put your arms around my neck-like you were giving me a big hug".'Well you do look strong she replied"-''you won't let me fall will you?"Not a chance I told her-"I will hold on to you like it was our last dance"! This made her smile as she reached out and timidly put her arms around me.I gently lifted her up-she panicked a little-and I reassured her that she was safe in my arms.I slowly got her turned around and was able to get her comfortably into her wheel chair.
 As the psw's  prepared to wheel her into the mall-I told them that if the wheel chair van was not available when they were ready to go back-to just ask for me and I would come back for them.Which I ended up doing a couple of hours later.With a little attitude adjustment I was back "treating people the way I would want them to treat me".


  1. I bet your change of attitude not only made the old lady feel better, but you too.

  2. Good Man Joe! You might have been the only person all day (or month) that made her smile...

    Great Job!

  3. What a heartwarming story. I thank you for changing your mind about how to deal with this situation. I think I will have to read all those stories now.

  4. I agree old people are a pain in the ass, but the need a taxi and it's my job so I just roll with it. No pun intended... Usually they are quite pleasant and just want to talk. I enjoy your blog, and linked to it on my site. Here is my link if you have the time or the inclination to take a look.

    Take care

    - Henry

  5. I find myself having the same initial reaction when I get a call like that. Its a good thing you took the high road and handled the situation the way you did.

  6. Thank you all for your comments,as usual they are very much appreciated.

  7. *Note-This woman has since passed away-actually not long after I had written the post. So I am doubly glad ,that In the end ,I had shown her some compassion .

    1. sometimes we have to remember to treat others as we would like to be treated.You did a great job and I'm sure made her feel like somebody cared!!

  8. Joe . You are one great man and brother. The story is beautiful. Rare to see such kindness and big heart. Wish I had seen it earlier my friend.! You are indeed a very rich man in so many ways. John luv Big guy.