Thursday, February 26, 2009

30% of Life

I love my workplace. It's very inspirational. They train and employ disabled people to work in the community or the more disabled work in our facility. I don't work directly with the clients, but I do occasionally have to go to their side of the building for things. Sometimes, I wonder if I actually work for an asylum. Someone will let out a blood curdling scream - her way of letting the others know she is having a tantrum.

One lady who is probably close to 50 years old comes in the door swearing. She shouts, "So shut up you d*** b**** sh**!" I found that a little humorous because it was out of context, but I've felt like that before.

Then there is a man, probably 50+, with shaggy sideburns and has the mentality similar to a six year old, I'll call "Dee." Whenever he sees me he says the exact same thing almost word for word. "Hey! I'm gonna watch that movie on Friday. And you're in it. Really. You look just like her, same face and everything." I'm embarrassed to say who Dee thinks I look like, but I look nothing like her. Maybe it's because we both have blonde hair. Then he asks, "Do you like me?" I say, "Of course I do. You're one of my favorite people." Then he asks, "Do you love me?" "Sure I do," I say. Then Dee says, "Okay."

Dee sometimes has bad days and though he has the mind of a child, he has the strength of a man. I was warned that he can be violent at times. So he was talking to another secretary and I hear his voice escalate, "Oh yeah?! Well then I'm gonna..." (Crap! What do I do?) "throw a pie in your face." (Whew! Relief!)

When I go in the back, all the clients are interested in who I am. I stop and talk to a few of them. They liked my pink cast. This little cute man with Down's Syndrome who is as wide as he is tall shows me his ace bandage on his knee. It took a full minute for him to lift his pant leg up. I asked if he hurt it and he says, "No. It's..." He looks at his hand and stares at his fingers which were about two inches long. Then he returns to the moment and says, "Limp." I can't tell you how stinkin' cute he is. "Marty" wants to be a police officer because he wants to help people. He wears a police baseball hat and T-shirt. I said, "You're looking nice in your police hat, Marty." He watches me walk by and then shouts, "And joo bjoo-tiful!"

I get to work with some of the most wonderful people ever and I could probably write an entire post on each one of them and how fascinating their lives are. Some have survived cancer, buried a child, triumphed over tragedy. You would never know it because they exude strength.

3 comments:

Joanne said...

Sounds like your work place gives you a daily reminder of what is really important in life. We all need that.

Nancy said...

Oh, Kudos to you!! Really, people with those kinds of disabilities need fun people like you who aren't afraid to just have a sense of humor with them and treat them as happily as they would all the rest of the world.

Gil said...

When you were six years old, you had the mind of a twenty year old. In fact, I remember knowing many mindless twenty year olds ... perhaps you had theirs!

Yo Ho Ho!