I was waiting for a meeting. Others were waiting for other meetings. 'Waiting rooms' are, therefore, well named. The woman overseeing all of us, greeting us when we arrived, having us take a seat, offering us something to drink, familiarizing us with the layout of the place and ushering us into the appropriate corridor at the appropriate time was a lovely, warm, woman gifted with generosity of spirit.
A young woman arrived, also in a wheelchair, with her staff. They were guided to a seat. Wonderfully this waiting room, unlike any I had been in before, anticipated people arriving with their own chair. Spaces were left such that chairs didn't have to be removed, people could just back in. The staff, after positioning the chair, sat down beside it. The receptionist, the woman I've described, obviously recognized the woman in the wheelchair and began to speak to her, offering her something cool to drink. The young staff, obviously not having been here before, spoke up, fairly loudly, saying 'She doesn't understand a word you are saying.' The receptionist turned to her and said:
'There isn't a soul in the world that doesn't understand the sound of respect.'
Love it. Wow. I think I have a new mantra for times when staff (or others) voice ignorance.
Beautifully said and so very true. I hope that made an impact on the young staff.
They also need a simple lesson on receptive and expressive language. They have no idea what that woman understands.
Ohhh, and the sound of disrespect also, being trumpeted loud and clear by the unsupportive "support worker," who disrespected everyone in the conversation and probably in blissful unawareness of what she had done.
What an insightful receptionist and an obtuse support worker Unfortunately there are too many like the support worker and too few like the receptionist.
Please go back there and give that receptionist some flowers. From all of us.
The receptionist is a beautiful, wise person. I would love to know her.
That will be my new saying that I'll put up in front of my desk.
Love the receptionist's reply. But disturbed (not surprised but truly disturbed) that a support worker would carry that attitude.
Thanks for sharing this
Thanks for sharing.
"They also need a simple lesson on receptive and expressive language. They have no idea what that woman understands."
While I agree that many people understand more than you think, it is possible with some to be pretty certain they don't understand. For example, the girl I worked with who reacted the same way to 'splash', 'don't splash' and 'you're going to get splashed' (said as another participant prepared to jump in the pool) ... I'm pretty certain that in those three statements, she only understood the word 'splash' (which she responded to by splashing).
But whether she understands the words or not, she'll understand the intent. The receptionist is right about that.
Oh shivers. So true
Ohh goodness this hurts my heart. As a group home staff member it's sad to hear of others saying stuff like this. And how embarrassing for the woman, to be loudly announced as incapable of interaction.
I know I made similar mistakes once...that's why education on respect is so important in this field (shout out to Colleen for being a fabulous instructor to me in college!). It's so easy to be disrespectful like society at large is, when you've never been shown the error.
Post a Comment