Saturday, May 9, 2009

Where's My Mary Poppins?

I received a huge box full of packing material earlier this week in the mail; here's a cat for scale. It contained exactly half of my order from Pottery Barn: one washcloth. The other washcloth arrived in a similar package a few days before. No doubt all of that plastic packaging was so that my fragile washcloth would not shatter during the mailing process. Yeesh.

We spent today hauling things to the new apartment and also interviewing respite care workers, which is kind of weird. I mean, I never quite know what to ask, other than the usual about references and background checks. Other than the obvious question given my son, which is: "You do feel really, really comfortable doing CPR, right?" After confirming all of those things, then we're left to figure out which care giver would be the best based on some sort of gut instinct. This is difficult. I'd kind of hoped that someone would come flying up, Mary Poppins style, and wow with their sheer awesomeness, but that has yet to happen, so we're stuck. Even worse, since a giant wind didn't blow away all of the other candidates, once we've made our decision we're left with the problem of telling the other applicants that we've picked somebody else.

I will attempt to foist this off on Jeremy, as I find it horribly difficult to disappoint anyone and find myself trying to come up with reasons why we need three respite care workers instead of just one so I don't have to tell anybody that they "lost" to someone else. I mean, when you think about it, the respite care workers who made it as far as the interview process are all more than qualified to take care of Connor, so it becomes a personality contest, and this is awkward for me. Jer is much better at using the word "no" than I am. I think it's my Southern upbringing that makes that word such a hard one to say. While I learned that it is perfectly acceptable to say horrible things about a person as long as it is prefaced with "bless their heart," and I can guilt-trip with the best of them, there's no passive-aggressive way to tell someone they didn't get a job-- at least not that I can think of. I may be out of practice, as living in the Pacific Northwest has forced me to set aside many of my former Texan habits, such as calling everyone older than me "sir" or "ma'am," everyone younger than me "sweetheart" regardless of gender, and waving hello to every person I pass on the street. Those actions get you weird looks here. As a sidenote, I haven't had a decent glass of sweet tea since I went back to Texas for Christmas. Nobody can make it here. They actually put artificial sweetener in it-- can you believe it? Where I'm from, that sort of thing would get you shot. Oh well.

We'll finish up our interviews tomorrow and make a carefully thought-out decision; possibly by flipping a coin. Then it'll be back to the business of moving.



Sweet Lorraine said...

I wasn't aware you were a sweet tea fan. Is that something you picked up down in Aggie-land? I can't say I recall ever having any of the stuff around our house - just Crystal Light Peach Tea.

Connor's Mom said...

Probably it is. We used to head down to a restaurant called Layne's and order it all of the time.

The Tex-Mex isn't the same here either.


Julia said...

Despite spending a good portion of my youth in Virginia, I'm not a sweet tea fan. (Just in case you were takng a poll....)

I've been on a bunch of hiring committees, and the term we use when it comes time to break the bad news is "fit," as in, "You were one of our top choices, and we know you're going to be very successful [somewhere else], but there was another candidate who was a better fit for the position."

gloria said...

You and Ryan! He still asks for sweet tea when we go out, in hopes that someone might have something decent. Nope. Combined with his accent, he gets the, "You're not from around here are you?" question all the time. We have sweet tea in the house, but it's just not the same as the sweet stuff in KY.

Michelle said...

Oooh, I do not envy you. Last year, when we received respite care funding, I had to interview agencies, which is much less personal than interviewing individuals. After I chose an agency, they interviewed us to determine which of their nurses could provide the best care. We had two nurses over five or six months and they were both amazing with Xander. If I had to choose a nurse, I would definitely follow my intuition, after asking the obvious CPR question, of course!

Michelle said...

Forgot to mention - I enjoyed your comments about Texan social behavior. I used to travel to Houston for work before X was born, and I really miss all of the friendly characters I encountered there. I still have to bite my tongue every time I have the compulsion to say "y'all."

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