Thursday, September 04, 2008

Pictureless Post

We don’t have oodles and kadoodles of exciting pictures and adventurous tales right now (as you may or may not be anticipating) because REAL LIFE HAS BEGUN! Tuesday was my first day of work, and Lowell’s first day back at his (distance) studies.

If I were to sum up this first week of work in one word, that word would be OVERWHELMING. I know that most jobs are overwhelming at first, but I shall provide you with a list of the factors that contribute to the overwhelmingness:

1. I’m in a brand new country.

2. I’m working with a whole different population (age 65 plus as opposed to my preschool experience last year) doing both communication and dysphagia (swallowing).

3. I’m working out of TWO hospitals, so that doubles the amount of names to learn and hospital-y things to become familiar with.

4. My job is 100% community service (i.e., home visits) all around Auckland. Auckland is a giant city, and I am a geographically challenged individual with no prior experience driving on the left side of the road.

5. The hospital cars that I am expected to drive are STANDARDS (or ‘manuals’ as they refer to them as here). I’m familiar with driving a standard at home (and actually prefer it), but this could get pretty interesting pretty quickly with my (less than competent) left hand controlling the stick.

6. NZ lingo is different, and it’s tricky deciphering the accent at times- especially when it’s an elderly person with speech and language difficulties.

7. One of my mentor/supervisors is only a few years older than me but is SO SMART and SO COMPETENT which gives me a slightly panicky feeling in the pit of my stomach because I want to be that smart and competent…NOW.

But, it’s not all gloom and doom, no siree. There are also positives:

1. My colleagues are super nice (and have wicked awesome accents to boot).

2. Orientation is THOROUGH. Like, 3 full weeks of shadowing each discipline involved with community care (social work, OT, PT, nursing, dietician…)

3. I have every Monday off.

4. I love old people.

5. WE HAVE A GPS. I don’t know what I’d do without Jill (the GPS). With her traveling with me, I can focus on all the lefty loosey goosey craziness.

6. I have an extremely amazing husband to come home to.

7. I haven’t made a complete idiot of myself yet, but there was one close call:

Me: Oh, are those pictures of your kids?

Colleague: Sure are!

Me: So you have 2 sons then?

Colleague: No. That one’s a girl.

Me: Oh… .... ... she’s cute!

What the heck. Who says that? It’s really tricky to recover from those awkward types of comments, but it was a good thing that Rachael is so super cool and fun and it didn't seem to faze her. (Whew!)

Hopefully next post will include an abundance of pictures and exciting adventures (or at least one of each). Until then...cheers!


jill said...

Did you name your GPS after me?!! Ha! Just kidding it probably came with that name! Sounds overwhelming but you will get used to it!

Anonymous said...

i am very surprised that the left side is bothering you so much girlie. how are you liking the roundabouts? best creation ever, too bad no one here knows how to use them. and i feel incompetent in my job most days of the week so no worries. like today i had a kid in grade 8 who has autism introduced to me and i was like "what do i do with a grade that haas autism?"

so a couple words that i remember that may help you decipher their dialect:
1) first and foremost, the people that we spent time with added the word "azz" (not ass) to everything. FOr example, "that was a funazz hike"
2) heaps = lots
3) bonner = car's hood
4) boot = car's trunk
5) capsicum = green pepper
6) dodgy - poor; unreliable
7) hokey pokey - delicious treat in ice cream that is so good
8) jandals - flip flops
9) ring - to phone someone
10) rubbish - garbage.

that is all i can think of!! good luck. we will miss you this weekend.

Bloggy Mama said...

Sounds like a wild adventure, Julie. I'm still thrilled that you get to embark on such a cool adventure.

Lowell & Julie said...

haha, oh Kendra you're such a fountain of knowledge! And I should clarify... the left side of the road thing doesn't bother me (and I'm actually getting pretty good at it!), but that in combo with shifting with the left hand plus all the other unfamiliarity makes it worth mentioning:)

I'll miss you guys this weekend too. Have tons of fun and take lots of pictures!

And Jill- you ARE very special to us, but indeed it's the name of the voice:)