I updated my website last July. On a lit bit of an adventurous whim, my wife and I took an opportunity to do a “couples” job in Arizona managing a retirement community.
The facility, Desert Springs operated by Hawthorn Retirement Group, is located in Oro Valley, Arizona—several miles northeast of Tucson at the foot of the Catalina Mountains. We had heard about the opportunity through an online job site for couples, and having had our youngest child just graduate from high school, we decided to give it a shot.
We just returned to Salt Lake City after seven months at Desert Springs. The job was an immense challenge, mainly because of the time commitment for exempt employees, particularly the property managers. Our contract was for 48 hours a week, which we soon found out was closer to 60. There were several stretches where we worked over 80 hours in a week. We realized after several months, that we couldn’t do the job right, and get our hours down to a more “long-term” level. This was the downside of our experience, and the primary reason why we didn’t stick it out for a longer period of time.
The upside to going to Desert Springs, was the experience with our over 100 residents. Jaydra and I developed a special bond with many residents, and also honed our management and people skills that will prove invaluable to us in the future. The night we left we had many of our residents come to the activity center to say goodbye. There were tears and lots of hugs, and it was one of the most emotionally rewarding experiences of my life. Serving these wonderful—and sometimes challenging—people was something I’ll never forget.
So now that we are back “home” I plan to make more regular blog entries. A special thanks to my family and friends during my absence.