We had more fun at work then humanly possible. I absolutely lived to make her laugh. Her smile and giggle just light up a room. We had so much fun in that office. We worked together ~6 years.
So last month I ran into Panda at KFC.
I start to say "I quit my job..."
She cuts in, "I know, I read your blog."
"I'm taking the summer off and then loo..."
"I know, I read your blog." She says.
Well fine! pppbbbbttt!!! then we have nothing to talk about!
It was amazing to see her. I just love her so much.
She was alone in Medical Records, and off on a vacation when it was determined I was officially "permanently partially disabled" and unable to return to my job as a nurses aide. Work had to do something with me so they stuffed in in med records to help her.
Now imagine going on vacation and coming back to find a strange insane person in your office with no experience and you get told its your job to
In an interesting side note, Panda never took a vacation again...LOL, I guess one surprise piglet stuffed in her office was enough for her to never to make that opportunity available again.
Keep in mind I had spent the last 9 years on a locked geriatric psych unit, working night shift. I was post therapy but I had the social skills of a snow shovel. I was absolutely neurotic being up and about during the PM shift. It was very strange to be around that many people.
At first she only trusted me with opening and closing the file cabinet draws.
Even that was too much trust in me. She underestimated my ability to be a nincompoop.
The very first thing I did was lock the file cabinet by the door.
"Where is the key to the file cabinet?" I asked quietly, after I locked it.
She was busy writing and replied without looking up. "If we have one, it's in the top draw of the cabinet."
Bwhahahaha!!!! oh geeze, I pondered my predicament and tried the drawer, hoping to find it unlocked. Sheepishly I turned around and faced her. "Um, I accidently locked it."
Her look was priceless. A cross between disbelief and trying to determine just what kind of a boob had been pawned off on her.
A frantic search of all the keys in the desk drawer yielded the cabinet key.
She didn't give up on me after that and slowly began training me.
It was discovered I had rain man like skills as far as medical records went and in no time I was up and running full speed.
Of course, being up to speed lead me to have free time to get into trouble with. Bwahahaha!
I started writing notes with goofy animations to go along with them. She loved them. So of course than the game was on. The notes eventually evolved into notes like this:
Which I left on her desk. Before too long everyone was reading and solving my notes. It sure helped pass the dead time, on my shifts to think up and draw the notes. Panda still has all my notes. I have all of hers to me. Mine I keep to re-read cause they always lift my heart. She keeps mine to sell someday on Ebay. LOL.
(I wanted to dig some out and post them here, but there has been no time with the new job. Her replies to me are just as funny as my notes.)
Why was I not working at those times? Well cause it takes a LOT of work to keep me busy. I have this ability to ....hmmm...be at six places at once and fold space. Over the years work tried to stump me with more work then could be humanly possible to do in 8 hours, and they always found it done the next morning.
My favorite was when we absorbed another nursing home and had to "admit" them plus the staff into our system. It was a huge job, involving a lot of paperwork. The new Director of Nursing was talking with the Administrator and lamenting that the just running and preparing all the paperwork would take someone two days to collate.
He looked past her to me and said "P will have it done tonight."
She glanced at me then back to him. "She'll need help!"
He glanced at me again, then at his watch. "She's probably already got it on your desk."
It became a huge game. Try to give P more work then she can do. I loved the challenge.
Panda's lessons were wonderful and gave me a lifelong skill that has made me a valuable employee.
But beyond that....her friendship and attention to me helped me grown into the person I am today. It was the perfect follow up to being in therapy. It was like 1:1 social lessons.
She is more then a co-worker/boss/friend. She is my panda mother. I owe her more then I could ever explain.
We parted work company under bad circumstances. It broke my heart. The company forced her out, by making the environment hostile. I was left in the middle, wanting to support her, but being forced to choose sides.
I should have left with her.
Work was never the same after that and the light went out of it.
When I did leave. I collected my things and stood for one last look at my office. I laid my keys on the desk and then walked over the file cabinet, took the key out of the lock, opened the top drawer and tossed it in on top of the files. Shut the drawer and pushed the lock in. Checked it to make sure it was locked. "That's for you Panda." I said aloud, and them doubled over in piglet laughter.