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Familiarity can be a Problem

I recently lost another job. This time the circumstances were very unusual. I was taking care of this wonderful man. He just happened to be very good friends with my in laws. They went to school together. Their wives went to school together. Their only beloved son went to school with my husband. I got the job because it just worked. Well, sometimes it's great for me to work for people I know. There's a great comfort factor there. Similar background, similar education, like minds create piece of mind. Well sometimes it's not so great either.We were sitting in his study watching the stock market channel. He was telling me about his son's newly diagnosed illness. He was devastated. I tried to console him. A bit later he told me that a friend was coming by to put in an A/C system. He couldn't manage the hot muggy New England summers any longer. I said fine. A while later a car comes up the drive way. I saw who was driving it and said "Oh my gosh, are you sure that's a friend? could it be a foe". I knew the man putting in his new system very well. He and his wife are very good friend of ours. We all visited cheerily together for a while and then they went off to have their meeting. I think it hit him then that I knew waay too many people that he knew. Maybe it wasn't such a great idea for me to be there so underfoot because I was learning all of the family secrets. He was a very private man/ He told his friends and contacts what he wanted them to know and that was it. Here I was, an outside person now on the inside. I would know everything before he was ready to tell, if ever. It made him very uncomfortable and so he called the agency I work for and requested that I not revisit.I was disappointed. I really like working for people I know and I really liked him. It's comforting for me to work for people I know. Their houses are similar to mine, their routines are similar, their holidays are similar. There's comfort in simpatico. I worked for another man once who was 100 years old. I hadn't known him before that time but I had seen him at parties and he knew a lot of people that I knew. He was now in a wheelchair and couldn't do anything for himself. I had to sponge bathe him and wipe his butt. He was always embarrassed at this and I promised him that I didn't talk about my work with others... and I don't, at least not by name. Occasionally, at Bridge,  I will tell a little story of something that happened but I never mention names or give identifying detail. Many of the people I take care of are completely out of the circles I live in so it's not a problem. I always respect someone's privacy.

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