I was awaiting the laundry to dry when I overheard Terri speaking to a brand new community service worker. I had seen him around the courtyard for the last 20 minutes, not really doing much. He had a broom in his hand but stared at the clients as if terrified. I don’t think his broom ever touched the ground.
“You can’t be saying things like that. We just don’t DO that here. If you say that to anyone here again, Greg will bring your paperwork back out here and escort you off the grounds.”
That was a first. I’d never heard someone tell a community service worker they would be kicked off the property. Of course, my curiousity was on edge. I so wanted to walk around the corner and ask what was up. But I knew it wasn’t my conversation to be had.
The community service worker pressed Terri, “But I thought maybe my money would be more help in a place like this than me sweeping shit up off the ground would.”
“Well, you thought wrong. You got ordered to do the work, not pay us money.”
My insides lit up with the joy of hearing someone do the right thing even when nobody was looking. In a place like this, I imagine the temptation to make an extra buck or two is high. So beautiful to hear a staff member exemplify the character I know they have. Funny to think a white collar worker in one of the high rises down the street who doesn’t have a felony on his record would be more likely to take a bribe.
The worker went back to “sweeping” for another couple hours and then left early. As he was signing out, I overheard Linda say, “See, it wasn’t that bad, was it?”
“Actually, yeah, it was that bad.” Was the smart alec reply.
Everything in me wanted to tell him where to shove it. But I shoved on myself and swallowed the outrage. Just like I watch the staff do every day.
The case workers are like parents who are permanently dealing with teenagers. If I had a dollar for every lie, every self entitled or defiant reply they receive, I’d be a millionaire. But then again, I asked Terri yesterday what he would do with a million dollars if he had it and he told me he would expand this shelter to have affordable housing.
Yeah. They really do care that much when others aren’t even watching.
They really aren’t that much different than midwives. They are selfless, tireless, loving to a fault even when talked down to or treated like the servants they claim to be and then there’s the bodily fluids of course. The judge told me he didn’t think I attended the birth I did for altrusitic reasons. Perhaps he is jaded and doesn’t know very many altruistic people. He’s obviously never been here.
There are people in this world who love for the sake of loving. These folks actually put midwives to shame. And that’s saying a lot.
When Wendy told Paul today, “Katie is a godly woman. She speaks the truth to me.” I was humbled, honored and in awe. Kind of like being called a good leader by Winston Churchill.