Today I got a call from a friend asking me if I was her Golumpki Fairy. It seems someone had left a dish of stuffed cabbage on her doorstep, and for some reason, she thought it may have been me. We had a good laugh and chatted a bit, then she was off to hunt down the person who'd left her such an amazing treat. The moment the phone disconnected, I felt sad. She and I used to work together and there were times when I was indeed her stuffed cabbage fairy. Since she's single and doesn't cook like this anymore, anytime I made a giant pot of those treats, I took some to her. I was sad because I miss the camaraderie of working with others and until my week from hell, I didn't really recognize that.
At least with others around, I could let off steam and work my way through a difficult problem with the assistance of my colleagues. In the ICU, there were plenty of people willing to help me through a tough spot, not the least of which was a security department. I'm more or less on my own in this off shift job and on Friday night, there were some tense moments when I didn't feel safe doing my work. Even with time off from the weekend, I'm still feeling anxiety over that situation. I've received a couple of calls from people who wanted my take on what transpired, but only one of those calls was from someone who wanted to be sure I was doing OK after my adventure into the snake pit.
In my line of work, we call this debriefing. For the most part, this is an informal process although on occasion, it can be very formal and offers the staff an opportunity and venue for decompressing. Working through problems together as a group of colleagues is like geese flying in formation. The racket the geese in the back make keeps those in the front going strong. I miss all that honking.