The one lady is older and she is hilarious. In fact, she might be the funniest person I've ever met. (Sorry SJ, you are hilarious and still in the top 5) When I first met her though, she told me she wasn't very smart and almost flunked kindergarten.
I thought she was joking.
The more I tried to train her, the more I realized she just didn't get it. Nothing was "hitting home" yet, I persisted on teaching her the same thing in a variety of ways. I even asked her if she was an audio learner, visual learner, hands on learner....etc....I just needed something to go by to help her understand.
She's been working two days a week and when she came in yesterday, she looked defeated. She had taken her normal work day off because her cousin passed away so I thought maybe she was feeling down about that, and so I asked. "Is everything okay?"
"You know, I just don't think I can do this anymore. I don't know if it's my age or how physically hard this job is but I feel like rice krispies...all I do is snap, crackle and pop. I really don't know how you do this every day. I heard she was hiring someone else so I'm just gonna let her know that I'm the weakest link and I really did try. You are a great teacher."
I give her a smile because I know how hard this job is however, I also know how much work we have to do and how desperate we are for any help, whether they can move fast or slow. "When she said she was hiring, that didn't mean she was replacing you, I promise, when we went over the tasks for this week, your name was on a lot of them. Maybe you can request some of the easier jobs or only one day a week?" I offer the suggestion because I know my boss is going to panic when she gives her notice.
As I left work that day, I gave my coworker a wave goodbye and asked if I'd see her tomorrow, since she was on the schedule. She shrugged and told me she'd call me and let me know.
This morning, I pulled into work and my coworker was waiting in her car. I opened up the door and gave her a smile. Without missing a beat, she said, "I'm sorry to disappoint you but I'm still here." She fills me in on the talk and it went similar to our talk. My boss told her we'd give her all the easy jobs....however, we still had the weeks plan of her tasks, which weren't so easy. I did my best to alter the plans but we still had to get it done for the shipment.
It was in the mist of all this, this coworker decided to give out nicknames....my boss is Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke. And I am Rose the Riveter. (It's not so random... we have the picture hanging up in the shop)
But this is when I made the connection my coworker is Dorie. Seriously. She has no memory. She's easily distracted. She's always cracking jokes. She is Dorie but in person! I came to this conclusion because I just finished showing her how to do a new job, and this Miss Kitty asked her to help her a second by holding the trash can down so she could pull out the trash. Dorie happily helped, and then emptied all the trash cans. She finally came back to her original task and said, "Ok, I don't remember what I was doing. First day on the job..."
Dorie did however tell Miss Kitty a few days ago that I needed a raise for putting up with her and training her and retraining her, and double checking everything. It worked! I was super excited about a well needed raise.
Anyway, we had a good laugh about calling her Dorie, then she asked us to never tell anyone her new nickname along with her real name because if anyone found out about it, they'd all agree 100% with me and call her Dorie for the rest of her life.
Later, I asked her why she didn't do stand up comedy because her comments are always so perfectly timed, and naturally, she answered with a comical response, without missing a beat.... "I'm too tired to stand up so I'd have to do it lying down."
She keeps us laughing. I really hope we can find some "easy" jobs for her because I really enjoy her humor. However, after today and her "easy" jobs, she's still considering surrendering to old age, even though she knows we desperately need her help!