Something Unexpected

So… this just happened.

I was sitting at a computer in the nursing station of the aged care facility where I work, when I received an email from my supervisor. I read through the contents quickly, making a mental note of everything that needed doing when the last line caught my attention…

‘Would you be available to chat today? I’ll be in at 3.30pm.’ 

My immediate thought was: Oh dear, I wonder what she wants to talk about. The second was: So polite…as if I could say no to my boss!

Throughout the day leading up to 3.30, I was slightly freaking out, trying not to think of all the scenarios that could happen post -meeting. My colleague, G, tried to calm me down. The 53 year old Singaporean father was kind and patient. Him being a fresh uni graduate, I thought it must be doubly hard for him to balance seniority with having to listen to a squealing 20 something who was also the more experienced therapist.  I was grateful though.

Time crept on like a stalking predator. At 2.30pm, my supervisor strolled in (she always speed walks) and said she’d like to talk to my colleague first. Without a word, G stood up and walked away with her to the hidden garden cafe where the residents liked to have their coffee. 10 minutes later, they returned, speaking in solemn whispers.

My heart began to crawl up my chest when it was my turn.  She seemed quite casual and I forced myself to relax. As we walked out back and sat at a round table amidst the trees, she said that she had just given G a warning about his performance from the previous week, thus the solemnity. I silently recalled the poorly written progress note that he had typed in a hurry (which caused some nursing staff to complain) and nodded.

We tried to make some small talk but I wasn’t really feeling it. The statement came rather suddenly..

‘So your six month probation is coming up.’ 

I nodded and started feeling hopeful. The past few weeks have been good and the workload had seemed manageable. I was well liked by the staff and could joke with each of them as we cared for the residents. Even the facility management team liked me. We were at odds before but they gradually warmed up and now we could work together just fine…

She was lingering and I half leaned in to hear the next thing she was going to say. Nervously I started laughing and tried to lighten the mood by voicing the worse possible scenario.

“So erm…am I fired?” I giggled. 

‘Well, the company has decided not to continue your contract…’ 

There wasn’t the comical pause you may expect in movies. WHAT? I sat stunned, the grin still half plastered to my face. She quickly explained to my shot mind that my prioritisation of tasks and ability to complete assessments on time were not yet up to scratch. She acknowledged that I have been improving a lot but the next month would bring an increase in workload and she needed team members who she knew could handle the burden.

My brain took over as my heart tried to process what was happening. I said I understood what she meant and that business was business. I could see where she was coming from… that my personality sometimes meant I would do things for people that was not part of my jurisdiction which led to delays in the actual work I was meant to do. As we stood up to leave, she commented I was taking this a lot better than she expected.

When I told my colleagues, they were all shocked. They weren’t expecting it at all. G began to sweat as he thought about his warning and wondered if he could be next. Even the facility management were surprised that our company decided to sack me. Many encouraged me saying that this was a new beginning and that I was still young… ‘something good could still come along’. I agreed, but I think that was more from shock…over the course of 24 hours I had gone from feeling confident about my work performance to dreaded Unemployment…

That all happened a week ago and a tumultuous change of emotion followed… as my heart caught up, I went from hopeful to downtrodden, then from despair to feeling ambitious…

To this day, I still don’t know what to do. There aren’t any jobs in my local area at the moment but…in the spirit of Easter perhaps I should look at this as a ‘new beginning?’.  I’d rather take the first step into this new world with vigor and enthusiasm. This could be history in the making?

Signing off,

Aly

 

 

 

 

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Festival of Flowers


‘Snap Dragons’. I love it! A mystical, otherworldly name for a vibrantly coloured, unusually shaped flower. Just one species of many on display at this year’s highly popular Toowomba Flower Festival (Queensland, Australia)
Hundreds flock to the ‘Garden City’ to witness the blooming of tiny bulbs that were planted a few months ago, signalling that spring has truly begun!

My dear friend Shara and I followed the crowd, driving 2.5 hours from the Gold Coast to Toowomba on an impromptu trip. It was the first time I heard someone whom just got their red Ps last week say they were so sick of driving!

We met up with Shara’s aunt and uncle  to watch the annual parade. To be honest, I wasn’t ‘wowed’ by the floats this year but some get A for effort. There were a few famous Australians going by in expesive looking cars including two Olympians. Other than that, some local organisations (e.g. RSPCA  Shine Lawyers, dance schools) put in their floats to let people know they are around. Great promotional opportunity for sure as a lot of people came and stayed throughout the procession. I liked the floats that had live bands on them and the ones with horses as big as buses!

It was a wonderful trip all around! I hope you are enjoying the unfiltered pictures! Everything is true blue vibrant colour with no enhancements whatsoever:)
Would definitely go again if given the chance! Must remember to bring a book and blanket next time I’m heading over there.

Signing off,

Ally

Lessons on Life… and Driving

Blue_(driving_in_Toronto)

To say I was simply jubilant when I passed my driving test, would be a bit inaccurate. I was more dazed, stumped, some part of me wanting to laugh, but also to play it cool as I listened to the driving examiner talk about how I could improve and what to be aware of on the road.

As I walked to the test center to get my new license, I was smiling from ear to ear. I scanned the center for my Dad, who was my coach and friend, so that we could celebrate with cake and coffee.

My next thought was to text my driving instructor, who had played a tremendous part of my growth. Here was a man who has been in the business for so many years that he could tell when I’m having an off day just from the feel of my driving. “You don’t seem very confident in your driving today” or “Hmmm…you seem to think about the past a lot. That mistake you just did, shouldn’t affect your driving now. Forget it, brush it off. Focus on the present” or “You control the car! The car doesn’t control you!”

Somehow, all of this struck me as good advice I would get from a visit to the counsellor or a psychologist. It surprised me, but I found this to be true: driving is actually a reflection of your personality.

A few things that I learnt about myself that would make good content for a book on life:

1) Don’t focus on the past or worry about the future. Focus on the here and now, on what you can actually do something about
2) Be the driver of your life! Take charge! You shouldn’t let others rob you of your vision and direction.
3) Be humble enough to acknowledge your mistakes, but don’t carry it around with you.

Ally:)

 

Getting the Hat: The Aftermath

The mortarboard flew into the air and danced across the clouds, before falling back to earth in a slow, graceful arc and landing with a gentle bounce. Between posing for the camera and positioning my hands to catch it, my outstretched fingers had narrowly missed the black felt. Bending down quickly, I picked it up and straightened to look at the people around me, dear friends who were cheering, fist bumping, back slapping, bicep flexing, hugging (or suffocating) each other and being all round joyful. As a grin spread across my face, I caught my sister’s eye who signalled with her DSLR to get ready for another shot. Standing in a row beside my peers, getting ready to throw our hats again, I felt like a million bucks. My face felt tight at the cheeks from smiling for hours… and why wouldn’t it be? Never has a day been waited for longer than this one…

Hello! To be honest, I started writing a few blog posts for this site, editing them and making them presentable.. but this is the first one that I’m truly happy with! (Hope you like it) I will post the others when my perfectionism has been satisfied.

As for the topic of this post, (in case you didn’t get it from the title and the little literary excerpt) my friends and I have just completed our Bachelor Degrees!

After 4 long years, we are now graduands of UQ’s Bachelor of Occupational Therapy! (Finally) and as it comes to a close, so ends a chapter in the ‘Book of Memories’, an entity that is unique to every individual and carries the precious moments of our lives.
(End Shakespeare mode)

If you asked me what my course was like, I would say it felt like a blur, a rushed blur of papers, ‘Swotvac’ exam week snacks, late night chats in the library, and before we knew it, time was already up and we were in hats, gowns, and weird black, white scarfs that couldn’t be worn without help. My family literally had two rounds of photo taking, one on the actual day and one the next day, whilst wondering the beautiful corridors of UQ and posing with the red blossom trees that dotted the vast grounds. UQ is better known for the red blossoms’ cousin, the purple jacarandas, but my personal favourite is the former for its rich scarlet colour that is reminiscent of the colour of sunsets.

Now, 30 days exactly after the last photograph was taken, I’m living in what they call that ‘grey period after graduation where no one knows what to do with themselves’.

To be honest, right now, I feel like I’m on the edge of a cliff. A very tall, very windy cliff top with sharp rocks at the bottom and a wooden sign planted in the ground that reads ‘Working Adulthood’ in big bold letters. Though overused, this metaphor explains what I’m feeling pretty well; a bit of uncertainty, little bit of vertigo and yet immense excitement at being so close to the edge.

Unlike some, I have been blessed with a… flying car of sorts. Through a good friend of mine, I managed to land a job working at this private company as an Occupational Therapist and now have until February to sort out the odd bits and ends e.g. Getting insurance cover, registering with the national professional board, finally getting that driving licence. Honestly, feels like I’ve run headlong into a brick wall labelled “Real World here”

As exhilarated as I am to start work and CHANGE THE WORLD, this is going to be the first job I’ve ever had😄 So, there are lots of things to figure out like… How do you talk to your boss? I want to be friendly, but not unprofessional; serious, but not without a sense of humour. And being organized, holy crap! I drew up so many plans and schedules in university that I literally have a folder full of them, number followed: 1%

“The worse thing that you could do in your 20s is think that you should have life altogether”

True that, Mr. Whoever-wrote-this. Not many people, think about life after graduation until it’s ‘after graduation’ (me being a prime example), but when the real world hits you and you feel like you are floundering in deep water, I take comfort in the fact that I’m not supposed to know everything. That there is help in the form of wiser, more experienced people, personalised Yodas if you will. Mine would be my parents, my working friends, the colleague that introduced me to this job and my boss who will hopefully like my ‘stunning’ personality 🙂

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Random question for you, dear reader. Do you remember what it was like to graduate from university/ high school? I would like to read about it in the comment section below😁

See you all later😄
Signing off,
Ally

Welcome, Readers!

Dear Reader,

Welcome to my new blog page! I really appreciate you taking the time to visit my little corner of the cyber universe! I picked the title ‘The Little Writer’ because I have always wanted to become a writer ever since I was a kid, when I picked up my first hardcover Enid Blyton book or dove into the marvelous worlds of Hogwarts, Wonderland and Narnia. So this blog is to encourage me to practice my creative writing skills and hopefully become good enough (not to mention rich enough) to publish some good works and leave my mark on the literary cosmos 🙂

Some of the posts here will be part literary genius (hopefully) and part ‘slice of life’ stories, because what can be more intriguing than life itself, am I right?

So sit back, relax, grab a cup of coffee (or chai latte, if you hate caffeine) and let me take you on a ‘journey’ (dramatic pause)… cough…

Will see you again, dear reader.

Ally