Her Ever Last Nerve!


KPC prompt is “something overheard”.

As we were eating at a restaurant one Friday night, I could hear the conversation at the booth behind me. I am generally not one to eavesdrop, but the dynamics of the relationship caught my attention.

“She done get on my ever last nerve. That woman she has.” This was a statement of exasperation made by a woman about thirty-five, maybe forty, years old. I am guessing she was a healthcare worker, maybe a nurse’s aid, at a nursing home. I detected this by the colorful scrub top and white pants.

“Why she always so mean?” This was asked by the much older and frail woman sitting with her.

“I don’t know. She just be like that. But today I tell you she got on my ever last nerve!”

I surmised they were daughter and mother. The younger woman was concerned with the older woman’s health and pointing out the older woman’s favorite foods on the menu. It was clear that she knew the woman well and cared for her.

“Well, she always be like that? How about Mrs. (name inaudible)? She hateful like that?”

“No ma’am. She be nice as she can be. She pleased as punch ‘bout everything I do. But that other woman in that room, she done get on my ever last nerve everyday. Today she done did it though. My ever last nerve I tell you!”

“So, what she do?”

“She be complainin” ‘bout everything! She want the blinds open. Then she want ‘em closed. The food ain’t good enough. I can’t do nothin’ right for her. That old lady just be gettin’ on my ever last nerve!”

Most of the conversation continued this way. We were leaving the restaurant at the same time. I watched her help her mother to her feet and hold onto her elbow as they walked to the car. The older woman stopped and took a deep breath.

“Are you ok, Mama? Are you lightheaded? Is your stomach hurting?” Her concern was overwhelming.

“I just need to rest. My stomach feels a little funny.”

“Let me help you in the car. I’ll get you home in no time.”

I listened to this loving exchange between these two women, and I couldn’t help but think that the daughter was a caretaker in every sense of the word. She was caring and attentive. I have every reason to believe she is like that at work as well as home. I couldn’t help but wonder about this “old lady who got on her ever last nerve”. I wondered if this woman was lonely or in pain and took it out on those around her. I also wonder if she was just one of those negative people that tries to bring everyone around her down.

I hoped for the healthcare worker’s sake that the positive sunny patients far surpassed the number of negative ones. This woman had such a good disposition and soft heart, I hoped that the old woman didn’t push it to REALLY get on her “ever last nerve”.

I always say that if you have a negative person in your life, it’s better to keep your distance and not let them rub off on you. I have limited contact with joy suckers. Many of us have family members who suck the life right out of us, and we can’t really cut off family the way we drop friends. But what if our profession requires us to deal with them, what can we do? There is no use changing jobs or career paths because there are joy suckers everywhere in life. We can’t just hold our breath and wait for it to pass. Usually, our attitudes have little bearing on the attitudes of joy suckers. Maybe, we do have the choice of whether or not we will let them affect us negatively. Yeah right, I know that is much easier said than done. My Mama always said to just kill them with kindness.

35 thoughts on “Her Ever Last Nerve!

  1. Your mama gave good advice. I’m not sure I’m really that charitable, I think sometimes I just like to play devil’s advocate. Recently I ran into a couple that were sort-of friends once. There was a falling out that involved a mutual friend, that just mushroomed into something much larger that it should have been. Anyway, I knew these people really wouldn’t want to talk with me, but I could not just ignore. So I was ever-so-friendly, smiling and asking how they were doing. The responses were stilted to say the best – but the little devil in me was giggling and loving it! But we were all smiling. Okay, kind of smiling.

  2. If this lady does indeed work in a home for the elderly then that in itself proves she really is a caretaker. How sad for both her and this woman who got on her every nerve.

  3. That’s so sweet — and funny. There was a woman who lived behind my parents who was just a sucking pit of bitchiness. My Dad drove her all over hell’s half-acre and did whatever she wanted, but she was impossible to please. Some people are just like that. Luckily there are people like that woman to balance it out.

    • There are some people that the more you give the more they expect…I know someone like that. And on the other end, I know someone who is eternally grateful and gracious for every simple little thing I do.

  4. ha- don’t listen to my mom up there- she is the epitome of patience. I think I got it from her. You’d think me being emotional that I’d be less patient- but I pride myself on smiling and going on with dificult people. Being a mother helped hone these skills 🙂
    It is nice to know that the lady, as lucky as I, has someone to grump to about people getting on her ever last nerve. I love I can do that with my mom and she doesn’t hold it against the nervewracker.
    Both she and I do realize our limitations though- and have learned through our years when it is necessary to put the nerve wracker in timeout- or put ourselves into time out before we are tried too far.
    {the linky thing is up on that post for a week- I gripe every monday to get it out of the way before the week starts}

    • Kat, I’ll see if I can come up with something…actually something on my mind, just don’t know if I can blog about it or tone it down…my post before this one was a rant!

  5. ” I always say that if you have a negative person in your life, it’s better to keep your distance and not let them rub off on you. I have limited contact with joy suckers.”

    Me too, Suzie! I truly believe there are “energy vampires” in this world, and that they will try and suck the joy and happiness out of you. Those people, I stay away from. And yes, even some family members.

    However, like you shared….there are people like this everywhere, so there’s no use changing jobs or career paths to try and avoid them. At my job, it’s easier for me to deal with joy suckers because I keep my relationships with the people I work with (and the customers)….work related.

    As usual….FABULOUS post, dear lady!


  6. It’s funny how you come to your own epiphanies while listening to others converse. I love the term joy sucker. If I feel worse after having a conversation with a certain person, I know this person is toxic and I do my best to avoid another encounter.

  7. Her phrasing was so cute! I have a brother who is like a storm cloud, truly misery personified. I guess you won’t be surprised then that I haven’t talked to him in three years now. I just can’t take it. Of course, the fact he’s 53 years old and has been living solely on my mother’s handouts for these last three years, right after he cheated with my other brother’s wife (now ex-wife)…that has some bearing on it too.

    Holy crap. My family sucks!

  8. I pray when I get that old I will and can remember to treat others as I would like to be treated. I enjoy your story sweetie.

  9. The caregivers that had to look after my grandmother in her last years in a nursing home were varied in their patience. I’m grateful for the aides who were especially kind to her — even when she couldn’t communicate her needs to them and got agitated. My grandmother was never a “joy sucker” (great term!) — more like the opposite in her capacity for mirth — so her lashing out physically when she lost access to language was largely out of frustration.

    Enjoyed the dialogue in this post. The daughter’s personality comes through so clearly.

  10. Yeah, if I have to work with them I would try to kill ’em with kindness. I have come to the conclusion that a lot of old people are just angry because they used to be young and their bodies are betraying them. It HAS to be frustrating.

    But . . . I don’t know.

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