Tuesday, March 15, 2011

being annoyed with Anita

Sometimes I tend to be a very judgmental person. I know that its one of my faults and unfortunately one of the huge downsides to my personality. The problem is that I seem to be able to justify this judgmentalness a lot of the time, and so I make more light of it then I probably should. I think it’s just because I place really high expectations on myself, so it’s hard for me to find patience in others who might not have those same expectations in place. Then I pretty much just give up on them instead of wanting to find out what their positives facets may actually be. I had this happen recently at the wildlife place with a fellow volunteer named Anita.

Anita showed up a few weeks ago on my Tuesday morning shift. It was the week that I had cut my foot, I had been in contact with the director of the place saying that I still wanted to work my shift but I would have to take it a little easier and not do some of the tasks that are expected of me. They told me that I should do as little as I was able, they totally understood, and that I didn’t have to come in if I didn’t want to. I was like no; I want to, I’ll just take it easy. Anyways Anita showed up that same week. She said that she had been volunteering for the last few months and was doing three days a week to try to become one of the senior volunteer. In order to become a senior you have to have completer 120 hours of time. Basically if you do the once a week shift like I do its roughly 6 months. She wanted to try to bypass this by doing more hours each week. She seemed nice enough and at first I was glad to have a little more help. Me and Maureen had been doing this shift alone which is great went its slow but in spring and the babies arrive its going to get insane with just two of us. What started my bad impression of Anita was that when we were having our early morning start meeting with the rehabbers and I was telling them all about my injury. She totally interrupted to inform us all that she has a major back issue and was unable to lift, bend, carry, or heck even walk up hill. Basically most of the things that you are expected to have to do when being a volunteer at a wild life rehab place.  I was kind of like WTF? why would you pick a place to volunteer at that is very very physical, knowing that you have a back injury that prevents you from completing the tasks required, and much less work three shifts a week at it. It was kind of strange, and it instantly rubbed me the wrong way.

Anita is in her late 40’s, she has an older son who is out of the house, and she has been out of work for almost a year.  She is also kind of slow… I know that sounds really horrible but it just seems like her brain isn’t able to comprehend as quickly as other’s are, so she struggled at very simple tasks.  She wasn’t willing to listen to anything that I or Maureen would say to her and instantly went to the rehabber with her questions instead of us. It was almost as if she didn’t trust us to know something she might not have. I wish that I could have said she is a hard worker but she isn’t. She is also kind of rude to me and the rehabbers. And the thing that annoys me the very most is that she will drop what she is doing just to try to see everything exciting and fun. She isn’t there to complete in the process, not understanding that you have to sometimes earn that right to be involved in the cool stuff, not just force your way in. And because of this behavior she wouldn’t care that by her doing that made the rest of us have to pick up those tasks she abandoned.  She quickly got on both my and Maureen’s nerves and so we tried our best to just avoid her and luckily most of the work there is independent, so it was fairly easy to do.

I mean I always tried to act nice to her and ask her about her life, so over the last few weeks I have learned a lot about her hopes and dreams. She said that she was in college to do wildlife work and dropped out to get married and have her son. She was then a stay at home mom for many years and eventually went back to an administrative job. She was really excited to be back in her one true love of wildlife rehab. She was looking hard for a new job and hoping that if she found one she would still be able to have the time to volunteer. I started to feel kind of bad for her, because even as annoying she was at least her heart was in the right place, and maybe she just is clueless about her crappy behavior. I vowed to try to be a little more patience and try to just be nicer to her and not so quickly annoyed. I figured that I would make a little more effort to be nice and maybe teach her some of the things that I am lucky to be able to pick up quickly.  I felt good about making this decision. I mean ultimately both of us are there for the same reasons, and all we are doing is giving our time to a place we all believe in. So I came in today with a renewed attitude. 

Imagine my surprise when she didn’t show up this morning.  I figured that she got a job or something and was no longer able to do the Tuesday morning shifts anymore. But as I went about the tasks that needed to be done today I noticed that she wasn’t on the schedule any of the days anymore.  I didn’t think a lot about it until I drove home and then I started to feel really bad. I mean I hope that she didn’t annoy everyone and get “fired”, well I mean as fired as you can get when you’re a volunteer. I know that the rehabbers were frustrated with her just as much as I was. It was hard for me to have to deal with her just once a week where they had to do three times weekly. I know that hey worried because when the spring babies arrive you really have to handle a lot of tasks independently and it gets really really insane. I know that there was talk that she wouldn’t be able to handle that.  I truly feel really bad if they let her go though, because like I said I know her heart is in the right place. And honestly I do think that she was finally doing something she loved and unfortunately maybe this thing that she loved wasn’t her strongest suit. It’s hard when you have larger dreams to aspire to then what you might ever be capable of achieving in. I also feel bad that I couldn’t have just been less judgmental, maybe a little bit nicer, and take some time out to help her instead of just writing her off.  Anyway I hope that maybe I’m totally wrong about the situation and she did just get a job that isn’t able to allow her to volunteer right now.  I hope that she is happy is whatever she is doing. I mean just cause I didn’t like her doesn’t mean that I want her to be miserable either.

None the less I am going to take away this lesson from the Anita situation. I am going to remember that some tasks come really easy for me but remember that is not the same for everyone. I am going to give people the benefit of the doubt first and foremost. And I am going to throw away the expectations I have for myself as being what everyone else has to live up to, and stop writing them off so quickly when they don’t.  I really need to work on that in the future. it’s a really bad flaw to who I am, and honestly makes me kinda  ugly where I am so not such a ugly person in whole.  So I am really going to try to be a bigger person from now on and grow in my adulthood more positively. So from now on I am going to live by these principals whenever I meet new people in any sort of situations I come across.

1 comment:

  1. nice reflective writing martha-love a story with a moral to it ....