Adventure is all about the interpretation…
We’ve been at sea for 13 years. We’ve seen 40 foot seas in the north Pacific Ocean; we’ve seen 20 sunsets in a row without land; we’ve seen a dozen squalls blow over New Jersey, one after another!
We’ve also spent time in an apartment writing music in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. We’ve written books in a house in Kallatumukku, Kerala.
And now, I (James) have seen an old pianist slip and fall in a laundry room in Groton, CT. And it made me weep like a baby.
And now, I (Dena) have seen an upright, lithe woman with early Alzheimer’s look for a phone so that she could call her daughter and get a hotel room. Because she needed a place to stay the night, though she lives right upstairs. And I showed her that she had a key on her wrist and helped her find her apartment.
In Denver, we were in the last and smallest class for the type of training we did. There were six of us, three couples, who were hired and flown right out to sales training. In the future, couples will spend a week in a community first. Those couples will know the emotional aspects and the time requirements and the pressures far better than we did as we made our way down to a hotel meeting room, day after day for two weeks.
On the side, of course, we maintained our lifestyle by hooking up with an old friend and a family known as the Bozos.
The training focused on sales and didn’t even try to touch operations. We role-played and drank coffee and iced tea and took notes and struggled to stay awake while we learned how to sell an invisible product to the aging populace and their variably caring familia.
After flying away from the classroom environment and the nose-bleed altitude and dryness, we walked.
And we walked.
Returning the rental car that got us from the airport meant walking about 8 miles back to the boat.
The next day, we walked (duh) the 5 miles back to the community.
We showed up to a community that should be run by 6 people, but had 13 managers in residence. A madhouse.
The community has suffered one failing management team after another for years, leaving us with a pile of bills, a low residency rate, and a backlog amount due from the residents in excess of a hundred thousand dollars. We also have a staff that doesn’t know who to listen to, if they feel like listening at all. And 90% of the open apartments aren’t ready to rent. That is our new job.
We thought this would be a good deal. It’s not. But we’re up for the challenge and, in four months, we’re determined that this job will be the scheduled, enjoyable experience that was promised by our interviewers.
Today, we battened the hatches in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy. She sounds friendly, like she’d be willing to grab you a beer or a margarita, but that’s not how she’s behaving this week. We pulled the sails belowdecks and lashed the boom to the deck. We pulled every single loose item and tucked it below or in a lazarette.
We’re ready for the storms.