Sunday, September 30, 2007

Wow.

That's all I can say. It's been that kind of a week.

The last week has been a real test for me. See, I used to work at a nursing home over in Monmouth, Illinois. I had been there for over two years. Until recently. But then I knew things were coming to a head. They just had to.

See, when you witness physical (or other) abuse of a resident (and you don't report it) you are held just as guilty as the abuser by not reporting it. I reported case after case of abuse to the nurses and the administrators. The person doing it was always the same, but with different residents. Well, somewhere during the past few weeks, I decided I had put up with enough. I was coming to a point where I had to take extra measures against the abuse, or just fold to the pressure to worship the same "sacred cow" employee that was always getting away with things.

I decided to take the former path rather than the latter. So I called the state. And, if that wasn't enough, the resident's family contacted me. They were related to a person who just happened to know me and got my number. Funny how God works.

They called me, and after I reported the situation to the state I asked them a no-brainer question that anyone who takes nursing 101 knows the answer to: "Is it ok if I discuss this with the family." Of course it is. No question.

To say the administration was livid would be a gross understatement. They wanted to know how the family got my number. Too bad the abuse itself didn't seem to bother them so much. But then, the real issue (to them) is hiding things and keeping communication from happening. Especially with the families because you can't bamboozle the families as you can the state; after all, they can pull their relatives out of the facility.

I found that the administrator apparently was willing to stoop to anything to get me to quit... she goes to our church and had a conversation with my wife (I was working that Sunday). A week later, during a phone conversation I had with her, she was accusing my wife of sharing private resident information (which she wouldn't be specific about...(couldn't. Never happened). Her real point was to construct a case against me -- alleging that I had violated said confidentiality by telling my wife about things at work. Again, she wouldn't be specific about what I had said because this was made up out of whole cloth. I had never shared anything about anyone at work. Duh. And the fact that I could verify her fabrication with my wife ("Let's see, believe my boss? Believe my wife? Hmmmm") didn't seem to cross her mind. Oh well, I think her only point was to get me angry enough to just make it easy for her and quit. I didn't.

So, I knew that the big investigation was this past Wednesday. The state and the family would be there. Again, the family had told me this. And guess what? On that day, I was terminated....over the phone...again to vague charges (which they would not [couldn't] substantiate). Obvious retribution for being a loose cannon. And, again, this comes from a person who -professes- Christ and attends our church.

I had told my boss (again, she professes to be a Christian) that she could do what she cares but my faith was in the Lord. My stand was that "He is bigger than this problem and will be able to deal with whatever happens". Well, in retrospect, It was kind of like "My God is able to deliver me from the fiery furnace but even if He doesn't, I won't worship you or that idol you set up any way." Didn't intend it to be that way but actually it worked out that way.

Guess what? Within 24 hours, that job has been totally replaced. Not with a traditional job, mind you, but with an equivalent income. One is cleaning rented medical equipment at a local firm. The other has to do with checking up on a friend's grandmother 5 days per week. And then, of course, is the computer work that I've seen more demand for recently...with no advertising effort on my part.

God is very faithful. And I give Him thanks for taking care of me and my wife.

Standing for the truth isn't easy. It doesn't come without a price but God is faithful. Short-term pain? Sure! But long term rewards. Stress? You bet. Anxiety? Had to fight it. But I knew one thing. What was going on was wrong, the cover-up was at least just as bad and I had no right to keep my mouth shut; before the state or God Himself. Too bad my old boss (who says she is a Christian) doesn't seem to understand that point.

Let me say this: over the past three years I've worked in as many facilities. In each case, a blind eye was turned to abuse. My recommendation? Don't believe what you see on any official "tour" that you get when you are choosing a home for a loved one. Go there after the administration has gone home, preferably after the evening meal when the staff are putting residents to bed. Sit in a hall and listen for yelling...generally by residents but also from staff yelling at residents who won't comply with the staff "schedule" for bedtime. After all, "we gotta get 'em to bed so we can have some free time".

They are human beings, not bowling pins.

No, never trust what you see when a facility representative gives you an official tour. Be sure that they have gotten everything ready for you. After all, they want your money. And they have all their ducks in a row to be sure they get it.

The person I'm going to be helping starting this week? She didn't neeed help until she left a nursing home this past week. Talk about timing! And again, my computer business (which is where my degree is) has been getting calls. Over the past year or longer, it has been zilch. But now I'm up to a call per day...and I've done nothing to advertise. They just see my sign out in front of the house. Go figure.

So be faithful. Learn a lesson from my trial. Are you facing a dilemma? Got to make a choice between obeying God or avoiding the wrath of a boss or someone else? Pick the human wrath, every time. It's worth it to side with God.

He's in control.

3 comments:

danfromtn said...

Good job, Tim! And I believe you'll be hearing a "Well done" from God on this some day. Thanks for sharing this example of how Christians are supposed to behave in tough situations.

Dan

Tim Brown said...

Hi Dan:

You know, I'm not into "dreams". When I dream something, I'm not one to look for some mystical deeper hidden meaning.

However, just before I woke up this morning, I dreamed that I was crossing the border to Mexico. I was in a building there, and noticed I hadn't brought any money with me. Suddenly my dad, in his 89 year old body, was there. I recall he was on his way back from a trip there. In any case, I told him I was going but noticed I didn't have any cash. Dad gave me a pile of bills. Odd looking stuff but I knew dad had given me what I needed without reservation. Just like him to do that.

When I woke up, it was like my late father was right there with me. Then all the sudden I realized that dad hadn't given me any money but my heavenly father did through the work He gave me when I crossed the border into "unemployment". It was a very profound moment.

No, I'm not into dreams. I'm not into interpreting them. But when something so simple comes along and I suddenly realize that it points to a greater truth, I don't question it.

It did leave me thinking though, that perhaps dad (who I believe to be with the Lord), knows what has been going on and was involved in a request to help me? Wow.

Blessings to you, Brother and thanks for the note. Nice to hear from you again. It's been a while.

danfromtn said...

What a dream! I do believe that God can and does use dreams to reveal things to us but some tend to go way overboard there - even contradicting the Bible.

But I'm glad that you received some insight from that dream and were blessed. I was blessed in reading about it.

It has been a while. I am trying to spend more time in good books (like "The Truth War") than on the 'net.

Blessings to you, brother.