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Posted Dec 13 2012 4:23pm
So, today I was at work. I needed to talk to my boss. We are like two ships that pass in the night, really, because I'm everywhere, but today, we were in the same building, and I was not going to let that opportunity pass. I had a favor to ask.

There's a COTA who works for the state, but provides services for some of our clients. I've heard of the therapy, read about it, but I want to see it. Work with her. Understand it. I'm willing to do that on my own time. Actually, I'd knock people down to have the opportunity. But it's a dicey proposition. I'd be in one of our buildings, not on the clock. It could ruffle feathers, so I figured to ask permission. I was prepared to beg if the truth be told.

So I put it forward, laid it all out for her. She stared at me, and I knew it. Her answer was going to be no. I said, "This COTA has a wealth of experience, and she is willing to work with me. I think it would be in the very best interests of the company. It would amount to free training..."

She said, "You know, you're a rare bird."

I froze a little inside, stopped talking, and looked closely at her face.

I was remembering other words. The clinic manager at the nursing home told me, "I've never had a student like you before. You're so terrible, I don't even know what to do with you." Those words made me cry, in front of people. She wouldn't let me speak. I felt like a failure when I left that facility, and I knew that not being like everyone else was a bad thing.

This time, though, there was a smile. She said, "I hate to see you not get paid." Seeing that I was about to get what I wanted, I quickly said, "I don't care about that. I want the experience. I want to be good at what I do."

She gave me permission. I AM different. But sometimes being different is a good thing.
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