I am writing this column after coming back from a farewell BBQ for our handyman Rob. I was really fortunate to be able to share lunch with the Maintenance team and enjoy the laughs and stories they told. As I arrived I said hello to Noel, the subcontract electrician who has worked on our site longer than Village Baxter as a company has existed and I was reminded of how the Village has been a consistent presence in the lives of so many people for so many years.
As I looked around the room it was lovely to see that amongst our current staff, there were familiar faces of past staff who had retired but still feel connected to the Village and come back to share in friendship and these special occasions. I have not heard of this happening in other companies and we are really blessed to have such a great team of people that all work together to ensure the Village is something to be really proud of.
Open Day is a wonderful demonstration of how we do all work together for the collective benefit, and as we do our best to work through the Open Day planning, it is also a reminder that we all look at life through the lens of our own experiences. For each of us this provides a difference perspective and finding common ground on a daily basis is one of the challenges in an environment of 300 staff, 900 Residents and thousands of community care clients.
I know that all staff, myself included, are capable of making mistakes or decisions that don’t please everyone, or sometimes not always being at our best for reasons that often go unspoken or unnoticed. Those of you who were at the September Residents meeting in the Chapel may have noticed my voice slightly trembling as I spoke about safe driving and reporting your concerns about unsafe drivers, I may have even seemed a little ‘rattled’ about what appears to be a common topic that is raised on a fairly regular basis, but there is context for that. This week, one of our maintenance team, a young Dad just doing his job, was nearly hit by a speeding Resident driving on the wrong side of the road on a bend. I know that I am particularly sensitive to careless driving incidents because for a number of years, I have been the sole carer for two boys whose mum died in a car accident, this shapes the way I think about safe driving and workplace safely. It’s all about context and recognising that sometimes decisions or outcomes can be influenced by issues that we are unaware of.
Even when we don’t all agree on all of the issues, Village Baxter continues to be a great place to live and work, and a source of comfort and stability in an ever changing world. As we move out of what has been a bleak long, winter I hope that you enjoy the blue sky, sunshine and fresh spring air.
Kim Jackson, Executive Manager