I am currently out in California working for Visiting Angels, an in-home care franchise whose mission is to provide a workplace that gives caregivers love and respect while providing compassionate care to clients. They have been providing companionship and care to those in need since 1998, but our little Sacramento office has been open since 2015.
In the mornings, I tend to get to the office building a little before everyone else. I unlock the gate, go inside, turn on the lights, put on my badge, find my seat, and listen for the phone while waiting for the other staff to arrive. Lately, I have been sitting at the receptionist desk because my coworker Savannah’s computer hasn’t been working too well so she reclaimed her old office, but someone has to be at the front desk to greet people and transfer calls. Sometimes I still have to transfer the call to a different staff member so they can answer questions because, as an intern, I am still learning a lot.
My current role in the workplace is to make things just a pinch easier for everyone in the office. I answer the phone, take messages, keep up with the Visiting Angels social media and website, and handle filing or whatever other needs there are. For example, I spun our NOW HIRING sign on the corner of our block and walked between street corners playing classic rock to catch people’s attention. I stopped traffic twice, but we got a few calls from potential future clients while I was outside. I don’t feel as though I do much, though I am told that I am actually very helpful.
Overall, this experience has helped me get closer to figuring out what I want to do with my life and has maybe changed what I want to focus on for my degree. It has also given me the chance to become more educated about mental health, which leans into the psychology area of my degree interest. Since I am keeping up with caregivers and am involved with the behind-the-scenes work, I am learning more about the caregiving system and the reality of what happens to people when their family members cannot do it on their own anymore. Geriatric care is both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time, but it is something I feel like I need to know about with my long-term goal of going into social work.