For some, employees calling out of work means the work waits until tomorrow. Paperwork gets shuffled back, phone calls are delayed, co-workers cover, but hey… life happens. In the life of direct care, call outs are much like a tornado warning. The sirens are an indication that someone is not coming to work and therefore, those who are there or those who fully invest in others must scramble to answer the call. Children depend on adults 24/7 and taking a day off means children have no care.
Last night was a tornado warning. Like any drill, it came with no warning. Nearing the end of a 16 hour day for the Human Service Professional meant a quick drive home, a hot bath, a bite to eat, and finding a bit of humor for a few minutes of television. Exhaustion from another tornado drill earlier in the week had taken its toll and the time away was not only needed, it was welcomed. As the car pulled into the driveway, the siren sounded with the standard call of “I’m not going to make it in tonight.”
Calls were made much like the American Red Cross planning to man the phones after the disaster. Time after time roll call responded with “I’m sorry, I can’t.” Not new to the drill, the HSP sprung into action and called a co-worker to devise a plan. “I’ll cover, the girls are counting on me tomorrow.” A quick cup of coffee and a return trip meant another four hours of investment in others.
What keeps some people not only on the job, but fully invested? Thirty years of experience has taught me this. You cannot train investment in others. Having a purpose, answering the call for duty, or simply the refusal to give up on another are the key ingredients for those who are equipped to work in a group home. Those who instinctually respond to a call out much like a first responder answers to a 911 is not what many anticipate when joining the ranks of our world. For those who not only show up, but show up joyfully and fully prepared to get the job done to care for the communities children, we call them angels. They live here on earth among us, but they are wired differently.
Angels are the ones who are driving toward the direction where many others are fleeing. They are the ones who arrive on time, at peace, and sure that the work they are doing is vital to another. They are not openly polishing their halo or even flaunting their wings like a peacock showing a fan of colorful wonder, they are simply the ones on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year driven by pure desire and love for another human being.
For those of you who serve in the role of caring for another, be a first-responder. When the sirens are heard and others are contemplating a good night’s sleep in a warm bed or walking the halls of a group home in a night of silence, smile knowing that you are a first-responder. Children thrive in a home where their needs are met and they are not burdened with worries that many direct care workers face. They know that no matter what, those who care for them will spring into action at any moment to make sure their needs are met.
There is no job on earth more rewarding. P.S. We are hiring. Visit us at www.angelhousega.com to learn how to become a first-responder to children who count on us. Giving Girls Roots. Giving Girls Wings. It’s what we do.