“Well, now that you have been on the job, let’s see…6 months, what do you think?” Laura asked Susan, the newcomer to the senior living community food service team.
“Do you have an hour? I have lots to say for an answer.” Susan replied in a joking manner.
“I’m listening and curious.” Laura knew Susan came to the community soon after she graduated high school and had never been in the workforce.
“First of all, I thought having a job was all about getting a paycheck and how I could spend it. Wow! That is way down the list below of the things I didn’t know. Our training sessions teach me important everyday ways of work that I never learned in my business course in school. The first up is working smarter with intention using the new skills I’m learning. I had no idea how much there is to serve a meal. It is so much more than I expected. I practice each new skill as shown to me so it will come naturally in time. Wow. Who knew?”
Laura grinned, encouraging her. “I still learn from our training meetings. It keeps my skills fresh, so I’m happy you appreciate them.”
“Oh, I do! My first day on the job serving meals made me aware of the difference between the older generation and the physical issues they have to contend with. At the same, I noted incidents I faced in high schools, like bullying. Some elders are darlings that I loved immediately. I practice being extra kind, knowing they may struggle with something I don’t yet understand. But I’m committed and determined to help overcome loneliness and the complications of aging. I’m learning. It doesn’t always come naturally. My coworkers help and are kind to me too. They advise me when they notice I need it and include me so I feel like I belong even though I am the youngest and the new kid on the block.
“COVID hit my high school friends hard, though we are all technologically savvy,” Susan continued. “Knowing about isolation and knowing it is much harder for seniors is constantly on my mind when serving. I chat and ask questions to build a connection, as was taught in the training curriculum. I rely on that curriculum. It reminds me why I want kindness to be a way of life for me. Already, kindness comes naturally.”
Kind Dining ® curriculum is for all employees, not only the newly hired. Kindness is core to their training of skills necessary to be a community seniors choose as their home. It is a new way of life and a challenge for them, leaving behind a home that was familiar and dear to them.
Be ♥ Kind Tip: Kindness is core to learning basic skills.