I was promised by my boss that I would be able to sit in on the interview process. It was necessary after all, since the person hired would be the second half of a two person team. We needed to be able to communicate and work well together. As nurses we would be responsible for the whole floor on the night shift, no secretary, no nurses aides, just us teaming together to take care of 15- 20 patients. I had already been doing this for months and I had the perfect system down pat to facilitate the maximum amount of work in the shortest amount of time. And I thought that I knew it all when it came to making sure each and everything was done in a timely professional manner.
My manager surprised me one day and informed me that she had already filled the position with a very experienced nurse that she felt would be perfect. I asked what happened to me meeting her first. I was told "Don't worry, she's perfect."
Well it took me about two seconds to find she wasn't perfect. She drove me crazy!
She talked a lot and used large words frequently, as if she was trying to make everyone around her feel stupid and show her superiority. I considered myself intelligent. I had graduated top of my class, and I knew what the words meant but I thought it was inappropriate in our small town country hospital, after our patients were country mountain folk most without a high school education. The second thing that made me know that this was not going to work was the fact that no matter what anyone told her she answered with one word, "Interesting." Just interesting, you never knew if that meant she understood you or if she agreed with you or if she was just tolerating you. But the greatest thorn in my flesh was the fact that she took way to long to do anything, good grief she would spend an hour in one patient's room just chatting. It drove me nuts. I had a system and it worked. The patients were supposed to get certain medications and certain treatments at specific times and she was messing it all up. Until she came I had never been late with anything! She was not efficient and she was making my life miserable.
Every morning I would wait til she left and run into my managers office and demand she put this nightmare to an end. I could not work under these conditions. We were not combatible and something had to be changed. My manager would just smile at me and simply say, "Nope, work it out."
Of course, I had no idea that Lisa, my worst nightmare, was also going to the manager and getting the same answer to the same question. So unaware of each others feelings and not really caring we both went home everyday upset, crying, and frustrated. Venting to our spouses that we wanted to end this nightmare and that the other person was driving us insane.
Finally, as God would have it, it all came to a head. We had a particular busy group and lots of medications. In about an hour into the shift I could not find my counterpart. In frustration I passed all the medications and some hour or so later she showed up at the nurses station. I by this time was irate. I asked her where in the world had she been and if she was going to spend the whole shift in one room what did I need her for. She burst into tears. So I looked at her more that a little irritated and asked her to follow me into the break room. I spilled my guts, all about my system of proficiency, all about how I didnt understand her need to be so touchy feely with the patients but I also said that I was willing to compromise that if she would help me get the necessities done then I would be willing to learn to be more touchy feely. I poured my heart out and in turn I let her pour out hers. I told her that I was willing to work with her and I wanted her to tell me immediately if I did something to upset her and that I would really appreciate if she learned a new word other than "Interesting" .
That was 5 years ago and today Lisa is my best friend. My manager was so right there were things I needed to learn from Lisa, how to be more compassionate, how to make the patient see my concern for them, and how to not be afraid to share myself with my co-workers and my patients. And in turn Lisa need a little bit of my time management skills and to learn that everything was not necessarily interesting.
What started out as a relationship of frustration has developed into one of the most important relationships of my life. Lisa has taught me it is ok to cry and it is ok to let the world know you have feelings and you are not just a proficient machine. She has also taught me that God loves me even when I am at my worst and He knows that I am not always sure of myself. And my Ms. Pollyanna, as I laughingly call her, has taught me to find the bright side of every situation.
So for my Lisa, wife, mother, grandmother, and faithwriter's master writer, I want you to know that I thank God daily for your friendshp and that you have taught me to be a better person, a better Christian, and you challenge me to push the limits of my expectations of myself.
It amazes me everyday that God can take the most unlikely pair like us and teach us new things we need to know but also teach us to love the things we hated about each other so much in the beginning.
So I want the world to know, maybe there is someone in your life that just rubs you the wrong way. Just wait, listen , and look to God for his plan because that just might be the person He wants you to learn from. And then you too will find this life's journey, Interesting.