“In the confrontation between the river and the rock the river always wins…..
not through strength, but by perseverance.”
Do you remember your first job? I will never forget mine. As a naïve, sheltered teenage girl, who was afraid of anything that moved, I could have died from embarrassment.
I didn’t even drive, or have a car, and I knew Daddy wouldn’t be any help.
Ma held out a little money from her grocery budget, bless her heart, and she gave it to me. So I had a little saved up to at least pay for a taxi, if I did find work. I wasn’t sure where to start. I didn’t have any experience. I thought maybe it would be best to do some volunteer work first. My school had a program called “Future Nurses,” so I applied and they accepted me.
I had my little candy striper outfit on and it was my first night. I was a nervous wreck. What if I messed up? What if they laughed at me? One of the head nurses gave me a tour of the hospital, then my first assignment was to go around to all the rooms and give the patients fresh ice water. In the first room a man was lying in bed watching television. I tried my best to act friendly, hoping to hide the fact that I was shaking and unsure of myself. I gave him my best smile. “Well, good morning sir, how are you today?” He nodded.
I grabbed his pitcher and walked out of the room. I wanted to do a really good job so I filled it to the top with ice before adding the water. I walked back into his room and set the refill on his table.
He started laughing. “Wow,” he said, “that will be refreshing.”
“I hope so,” I said, “and I even gave you extra ice.” I turned and walked out of the room. When I talked to the lady at the desk, and questioned her as to why the man was laughing, I wanted to walk out and never go back. She told me that I had not filled his ice pitcher, but his urinal.
I eventually learned to do better. But I had dreams of all the things I wanted to buy for my family, and I needed money. Doing volunteer work at the hospital was not right for me. I stayed long enough to earn my cap, and a couple of stripes, then I began to search elsewhere. The Future Nursing position was only my first in a long line of jobs.
Excerpt from the book, “Daddy Never Called Me Princess.” Click HERE.