I've been taking different routes to the office every morning, but it seems not matter which roads I take, it still takes me about 28 minutes to get to the office, which is only about 11 miles away. If I took the highway, it'd probably take 45 minutes.. oh well, that's California traffic for you!
I went in for stand-up today and was all alone except for our boss. Everyone else was out and about and participated through the magic of conference calls. The only call from overnight was for a pt. at one of the SNFs. Apparently they've been calling us for supplies every night, so we're assuming the SNF is using this pt.'s supplies, funded for by medicare through our company, for other pts, which is ILLEGAL!! (hey, get your own chucks and barrier cream!)
After stand-up, my morning consisted of signing a million new hire forms and papers, having one of the nurses give me a TB test, and getting a work physical at a local health clinic. The nurse who took my vitals talked a lot to me about why I moved to California and all the great things about living here. He gave me his phone number, but he honestly seemed to be trying to be nice and help me get acquainted to the area and not hitting on me. The doctor was the exact opposite. He was apparently from Ann Arbor, MI and moved here 4 months ago. He doesn't like how expensive Cali is, all the traffic, and how rude the people are, and is planning on moving again...
Anyway, after leaving the clinic, I went home to take a break and look up some songs for later today. I got so incredibly depressed from being alone. Sometimes when I'm not doing anything concrete or productive, the feeling of loneliness here gets so overwhelming that all I can do is cry and kick myself for ever wanting to move so far away from home all by myself. I called my boyfriend and cried to him for awhile, and finally decided that even though I'm physically alone, I have a lot of wonderful people back home missing me, loving me, and supporting me, so I should just buck up and get back to work! :-P
I left at 2:00pm to go to a SNF (or at least I think it's a SNF) about 18 miles away. Of course it took about 40 minutes to get there :) The MT and I sang some songs for the "reminiscent" pts. (the dementia pts.) before our little Valentine's Day Celebration began. There was the cutest little old Asian lady who looked like she was about 4' tall and 50lbs. She was so happy to see the MT. The MT even sang "Amazing Grace" and dedicated it to her, which put a great big smile on her face. One of the pts. there objected to our music playing but sat and listened anyway. She seemed very grumpy and moody. I was later informed that this pt. recently pulled out a chunk of the cute little Asian lady's hair, and was consequently sent to a psych facility. The fact that she was admitted back to the SNF had a lot of staff and pts. a bit perturbed, understandably. The MT sang "He's Got the Whole World," and took turns putting all the pts. and staff's names into the song. "He's got 'Susie and Jimmy' in his hands..." When she asked one of the pts. in front what his name was so she could add it to the song, he just smiled and said "I don't know!" as if it was just a silly little thing he didn't know his own name. A staff member told the MT the pts. name and when she sang the song to him, his face lit up and he clapped along happily to the song. It's the little things like this that make MT so rewarding. It's nice to see people when they are genuinely happy or feel special.
After we left the "reminiscent" side, we came back to the main lobby where many of the other pts. were sitting either talking, sleeping, drooling, or watching TV. I set up my keyboard and the MT and I traded off playing and singing love songs or older tunes we thought they would recognize. I was nervous as I only brought with me one fake book, and most of the songs in it were either Christmas or religious songs, or I didn't know them. The first couple songs I played though, one of the pts. sang along with me the whole time, which helped me to know someone actually knew what I was playing! Soon I busted into the MT's massive binder of music and chords and played some of her songs. While we were playing, the volunteer director, one of our social workers, and a third lady walked in a listened to us play/sing. I was later introduced to the lady, and found out that she is our company's director! She was the founder of the company I'm interning for! She came all the way from Chicago and she just heard me play piano! Thank god I didn't know who she was while I was playing, or else I would have been much much much more nervous :)
What I learned today:
- Always allow 1/2hr - 1hr for travel time, even if the place is only 10 miles away.
- ALWAYS try to make a good first impression. You never know when you're going to meet your company's founder and CEO!
- MT stands for Music-MARKETING Therapist. Always schmooze over the staff when you're at a SNF so they remember you. Tell them what company you're from so they know that you are the only company that offers MT and that you always come in with a smiling face and have a good rapport with the pts. This way, they can recommend your company to other pts. Ta da! More business :)
- In California, THERE ARE DOGS EVERYWHERE! Outside, inside, in SNFs, in people's homes, in cars in the parking lot, right outside your bedroom window... AND, the more you don't want them to come over and lick you, the more likely it's going to happen. Ergo, dogs love me.