The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The last perfect thing

October 31, 2006

Instead of black, Halloween here in Canada where I am was white.

This morning, bits of snow fell. As midnoon approached, the sky generously unloaded its immaculate-white patters. Cool, as always--literally and figuratively--especially when you're indoors, watching the view through the windows.

Work at A&W this morning was okay. As always, my coworkers were nice to work with. As soon as I got off at 2 p.m., I called a taxi. I'd be running to my other job, an evening shift at Tuxedo Villa (nursing home), 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Cab fare: $19! Imagine that! I really need to have my own vehicle next year, after I pass the road test. I don't mind my taxi expenses, for the meantime. Anyway, that's just an hour-and-a-half slice off my one-shift salary as a healthcare aide. Better this, than not accepting the whole day shift.

Work today at Tuxedo was unnecessarily tough, compared with my previous shifts there. The reason? My healthcare-aide partner was--grr!--very unhelpful. She was too independent to a fault. She was the type of worker who follows the principle, "I won't help you because I don't need your help."

As soon as the shift started, she relayed to me the tasks as if I was her subordinate. I overheard another coworker's telling her not be too harsh with me for I might get scared. I responded by saying, "Oh, I don't get scared. Nothing intimidates me. This is not my first work. I've been working since 1992. And I've encountered far worse situations." Even though I felt irked by that coworker, I bit my tongue. I would have said, "I've encountered far worse people."

Anyway, soon as that encounter occurred, I never bothered her, unless I really had to. I was glad that the Filipina nurse in our team was helpful. She was usually the one offering her assistance. However, I didn't take advantage of her kindness. I worked throughout the shift almost on my own, asking for help only when it was called for--like for instance, in operating the mechanical lifts, which require two persons.

Minus that disappointing coworker, the shift was okay. As usual, I was in my sunny self. Both coworkers and residents frequently make positive remarks about my zanny personality.

For yet another time, I was mistaken for a non-Filipino. Two coworkers--both Filipinas--on separate occasions--were surprised to learn that I'm Filipino. Both of them mistook me for Spanish. Do I look like Ferdinand Magellan? Oops, Magellan was a Portuguese. Hehehe!

Anyway, the negative energy emanated by that *&@# coworker was balanced by another Filipina coworker during dismissal time. The snow was blowing hard. It was already about a foot high in the streets. Luckily, a Filipina healthcare aide saw me waiting by the door of the villa. She asked me if I was waiting for my ride. I told her that I was waiting for the bus. She offered to drop me off somewhere. Her husband was picking her up.

Such a streak of luck, the couple live somewhere in Tyndall, a place near my friend Roy's house where I now stay.

In short, they dropped me off right by the door of Roy's house. The trip took only about 30 minutes, so I got home before midnight. If I went by bus, I would have reached the house at past one. And to think that the chilly wind was blowing hard, and the snow on the ground was getting higher and higher.

Tomorrow, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m, I'll be working again at A&W. I'm thinking of not accepting an evening shift at the nursing home. I want to go to the mall finally to buy my Winter gear--lightweight Winter jacket, boots, scarf, and gloves.

By the way, the unhelpful coworker I was talking about was Black. But don't think that she was like that because of her color. I've worked with many South African Blacks (Ethiopians, Jamaican, Eritrian), and most of them were kind and helpful. Don't think also that all my Filipino coworkers are willing to assist a newcomer. I've already encountered a few freaking Filipino coworkers, who would not even smile at you. Caucasians? Just the same--there were those who didn't want to be bothered, and there were those who would offer their assistance and would engage you in a friendly conversation.

Bottomline? Race has nothing to do with a person's attitude. We should not stereotype. There are the good and the bad in every race.

As for me, I'll just continue being myself. Tried and tested, I acquire more friends than detractors.

One last thing, there was this octagenarian resident at Tuxedo Villa who called me stupid, just because I ignored her nonsense proddings. Instead of getting back at her by uttering a similar remark. I just smiled and said, "How did you know that I'm Cupid--the shooter of hearts, making people fall in love?" Her aggression suddenly turned into laughter. But still, I didn't go near her. You will never know...especially when you're working at the geriatric ward, where the thing most lost is the mind.


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