(Revised in more detail)
Ever since I can remember, I always had this edge for Independence. "I want my own this", I'm going to have MY OWN that.. "I could do this on my own"...
(Which at an early age backfired on me when I purposely missed the bus, tried to walk home from school, got lost, and had teachers and strangers looking for me-all because I didn't want to go to daycare!)
When I got my first job in retail at 16 years old, I was already making plans to save money so that I can have my own place.
By the time I was 18 years old, I had over $800 in my savings account- Ready to move out!
Even though I had almost $1,000 saved up at 18, it was nothing like receiving it as a gift at a time where your profession and your work often went unrecognized by hierarchies, and when your employee pay wage was at an all-time low.
It was the week before Christmas, and I will NEVER forget because the instant it happened, it boosted the business ego inside off me, (in a good way) and confirmed that when you continue to naturally go above and beyond, you will get noticed by the right person, and you will be rewarded!
Despite what most people say about this industry, there are Seniors and family members who will notice your work and sincerity, will give you extras, and pay you very well.
I was introduced to a private paying Senior Client and their family by an Independent Caregiver at a facility that I was assigned to through an agency.
She needed help and asked if I was interested in having a private paying Senior Client on her days off.
The whispers started again, but this time it was about me! Read-Private Duty Caregivers-So What's The Secret?
The other Private Duty Caregivers and Nurses in charge were always smiling and staring at me every time I passed them by in the hall...
"Where are you from?"
"What's your name?"....And the good part, "I noticed a change in your Client since you have been assisting her!"
I was "the new kid on the block" and also fairly new to Houston, Texas- but confident, passionate, and serious about my work.
As my new Clients family member casually handed me an envelope after a visit with their mom, an unusual feeling of excitement welled up inside of me!
I tried to suppress it and tell myself that it was a Christmas card- maybe with a little cash in it.
Or, maybe those REALLY REALLY fancy shimmery Christmas cards that I always love receiving, I thought to myself.
But the other voice within told me to close the door to my Clients room before opening the envelope!
My heart was beating fast!...Calm down Tiff, it's just a Christmas card- but then I got a flashback snapshot picture in my head of the way the family member looked at me when they handed me the envelope....
Calm, with a little smirk. Almost as if they wanted to say, "Wait until you see what's inside", without giving it away!
After the family member left, I sat down on the couch waiting for my Client to take her regularly scheduled nap.
I watched her eyelids slowly drop, and then I began to quietly open the envelope.
Every time I think about this moment, I can still hear the sound of paper tearing...., then stopping...., tearing...., then stopping,....as I tried my very best not to disturb my Client.
I peeped inside the envelope first as if something was going to jump out at me!
Noooo Christmas card...Noooo gift card....I pulled out a check, turned it over, and seen it written out in my name for $1,000!
I wanted to jump up and down and scream!! But I couldn't!!... Instead, I kept my composure smiling so wide until my cheeks hurt!
I then picked up the phone to call my Clients family to thank them, but the other side of me blurted out, "You didn't have to.."
They told me that I was good, they liked me, and "mom does too!"
Shortly after I hung up the phone, it rang loudly waking my Client up. I didn't even get hello out when I heard at the other end, "Did you get your Christmas gift yet?" It was the other Professional Caregiver that I was helping.
"I didn't tell you because I wanted it to be a surprise."
"How much did you get??"
After hesitating to tell, she says, "I already know- you must have gotten the thousand because I got $800, last year I got the thousand!-
They do this every year, but this year, I have been slacking."
Listening to her talk, I realized how much the Clients family watches you even when you think that they are not.
Even when they are not there...
I took note-Never get complacent!
My bank account was overdrawn, so I went to the 24 hour check cashing that night.
The line was so long that it led all the way out the door, but I refused to wait until the next day!
It was an unusually cold winter that year in Houston, Texas.
While standing in line waiting outside,
listening to about 10 different chatty conversations, I looked around blissfully at all of the Christmas lights and cars zoomimg by on the busy streets in front of me.
As people tried to keep warm by rubbing their hands vigorously together- striking up small talk with me, I commented, nodded, and smiled...
My mind was on cashing my $1,000 check!
I was inside the building now, and after waiting for over an hour, I was finally at the window eagerly handing my check to the representative.
He quickly greeted me and immediately got on the phone to confirm it.
Just seconds later, he came back to the window to give me the phone.
"Tiffany?" "What is this place...?" I hear my Client's family member on the other end of the phone say.
"Whaat...?" "I've never heard of them".
(Though it was very popular with many chains in the city)
"I don't trust them! I'll tell you what, I'll be by tomorrow to visit with mom and just give it to you CASH!"
Long pause...Big gulp..."Okay"!
At the EXACT time in which they promised over the phone, they came and casually counted the cash right in front of me with another envelope to put it in.
Their warm smile eased my former feelings of embarrassment.
"Sorry about that, I just didn't trust them...Here you go!"
That Christmas, the Christmas of 2004, is a Christmas that I look back and reflect on every single year around the Holidays and the beginning of the New Year.
The Christmas of 2004 set the tone for a higher paying money mentality for me as a Certified Nursing Assistant and Professional Caregiver.
By working for an agency and having a new private paying Elderly Client that year, I was able to get a new car, and later pay off my overdraft fees!
Traveling In The Snow
I had traveling plans that Christmas. It was the first year that my ex and I agreed upon shared parenting for my older 3 children, and it was also the very first year ever that I had seen and experienced snowfall.
I got 3 miracles that Christmas. $1,000 cash, another good check from agency work, and my oldest daughter wishing it would snow for her birthday which is 2 days before Christmas.
My children and I ran, played, and laughed in the snow!
I felt very financially secure as I watched them lay on their backs, flapping their arms and legs up and down to make snow angels!
PS: It is it advisable that you do not accept gifts from Seniors or their family members if they are not your own private paying Clients.
Welcome To Extraordinary Care1
My name is Tiffany Tene' Armstead, and I am the owner, founder, and CEO of Extraordinary Care1-a small, independent, private paying Care Service for Elders, Seniors, and the Disabled.
Whether you are new to Senior Care, or experienced, my goal is for you to have everything that you need, to begin your own mini Senior Care Service, right here on my website-with just a CLICK of a button!
Join me on the island of Nueces Bay, as I continue to reinnovate, and transition my offline business, to be 100% online and virtual.
Feel free to Contact Me or chat with us right here on the website.
©2017 Extraordinary Care1. All Rights Reserved.