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I can’t believe that my niece—who was the flower girl in my wedding, and secretly had a crush on Greg –is 22!  We don’t get to see a lot of each other because she goes to college in Minnesota, but thanks to Facebook, we keep in close contact.

She has always been an old soul and sees the world differently.  She’s pretty, bright, strong and hilarious.  Her status’s on FB are always some fantastic observation with a cheeky slant.  Just the kind I like.

I got to spend a lot of time with her and my nephew, when we were in Minnesota last month.   Lots of late nights (by my standards) talking, laughing and having a drink.

K. started a new job about a month ago where she is the night desk person at a private—sort of half-way house for 4 mentally or physically disabled adults.  It pays better than her old job, and I think she thought it would be mindless work because it was in the middle of the night.  Whooo hooo!  Surf the web and make sure the residents don’t burn the joint down.

On her first day, she started at 6p.m.  No one there to show her the ropes, just come in sit down and make sure that everything’s kosher—see you tomorrow!  Then she learned that she would have to make sure she got the four residents to bed.

This is the chain of events as I have been told:  She is free to correct them …I believe this all took place between…say…6pm and 9pm.

40 year old man with mental disabilities thought that it would be fun to take K.’s keys and dance around the house with them right outside of her reach.  In spite of this childlike behavior, he does go off to a job building bird houses five days a week.

Then, after returning the keys, 40 year-old-man decides to try to kiss and tease another female resident in a wheel chair.  I guess she can’t stand him, adding to the distress.  Ultimately he gets her so worked up that she falls out of her chair.  I think at this point my niece is on the phone with her mom pleading for some guidance.  I’m also guessing this is when the call concluded, and 40-year-old man was banished to the basement to play video games.  (Herein lies the problem—“You have been so wonderful to your fellow roommates that you should definitely go downstairs and play your favorite games.  Hopefully they are Grand Theft Auto or Mafia, because surely they will tame your ambitious motives involving your friends.  Have fun!”

Meanwhile…back on the main floor…

One of the residents asks to use the bathroom.  K. doesn’t see any problem with this, until he’s already locked inside and she is informed by the others that he is supposed to use the bathroom last because he could be in there for two hours.  Great….thanks for the heads up.

While K. is trying to deal with the bathroom situation and the resident-having-fallen-out-of–her-wheelchair situation, 40 year-old wanders back up stairs and proceeds to point and tease this poor women on the floor–Who HATES him!  Somewhere in here, K calls her friend who got her the job and also works here and told her to “F off!”  Just teasin’…she called her for back-up and rescue to help get these people to bed.

In her efforts to get the guy out of the bathroom, she gets pummeled with toilet brushes and waste paper baskets after she knocks and opens the door to see if he’s alright.

She is still alive and working there, somehow she figured out the people she works with and is managing, although there is a woman who is a severe alcoholic and does some crazy stuff.  This begs the question of why she is living in this house, since she isn’t really disabled except for after a pint of JD…and who isn’t?

This also makes me wonder who better fits the definition of insanity—the residents or the employees?