A Different Kind of Job for a Different Kind of Nurse
Maybe you’re working in a hospital, running back and forth between patients. Or maybe you’re used to working in a nursing facility or homecare, caring for the elderly and disabled, doing your best to increase their quality of life and make them as comfortable and healthy as you can.
Well, this job is none of those things. Not even close.
You see, I’m rather odd. I have such an advanced case of muscular dystrophy that I can move nothing but my face, and yet I’m the CEO of a company with employees around the world, I speak several languages, and I pay out-of-pocket for round-the-clock nursing care.
The simplest explanation: I’m a genius. It’s both a gift and a curse, and I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t admit working with me is a little unusual.
The best way I know to describe it:
I’m Sherlock Holmes, and You are Watson
I’m brilliant, demanding, and will probably ask you to do things that will scare you. At the same time, I’m fiercely loyal, I’ll make you laugh until you cry, and my antics will give you a never-ending supply of stories to tell your friends and relatives.
Of course, not everything is the same. I’m in a wheelchair, and I have no desire to chase super villains. Not yet, anyway.
I’m also a lot more polite than your typical Sherlock Holmes. While I can be difficult, I’m rarely rude, obnoxious, or vulgar. On the contrary, I’m one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.
I guess that’s one reason why most of my nurses stay with me for years. Most stay at least a year or two, and I had one stay with me for 16 years before retiring to play with his grandkids.
So, I’m well accustomed to working with Watsons. You won’t be the first.
And I’ve noticed almost all of them share the same traits. The nurses who work best with me are…
- Pleasant. Let’s face it, we’re going to be spending a lot of time together. If you’re in a bad mood, you can’t get away from me, and I can’t get away from you. So, in general, you need to have a pretty sunny disposition.
- Laid-back. This might surprise you, but for all my weirdness, most of my life is pretty relaxed. If you have an intense or high strung personality, you’ll be absolutely bored to tears around me.
- Smart. No, you don’t have to be a genius, but you should be able to solve problems on your own, pick up new skills, and adapt to whatever bizarre situation I put you in.
- Precise. This one often catches people off guard. When I want a tablespoon of olive oil for a recipe, for example, I want you to grab a measuring spoon and make sure you get precisely 1 tablespoon. I also might ask you to move my hand half an inch or even just a few millimeters. That kind of precision drives some people crazy. Others love it. Hopefully you’re the latter.
- Exceptionally tidy. I don’t have OCD or anything, but I do keep everything exceptionally neat and tidy. My mother was in the Air Force, and she passed along to me her habits of keeping everything organized and spotless at all times.
That being said, let’s talk about some of the specific things I need you to do:
A Short, Incomplete List of Your Responsibilities
Working with me involves three different types of tasks: caregiving, medical, and work.
On the caregiving side, I need you to…
- Assist with bathing, personal hygiene, using the restroom, and other private details. No lifting required.
- Drive me to where I need to go without killing us. I have a minivan with an automatic ramp and tie downs where the passenger seat normally goes. Just to warn you, I don’t like my driver to be reckless, but you can’t be a slow poke either.
- Stretch my hands, arms, and legs. Sitting all the time, I can get quite sore, and it helps to do a bit of stretching every day. I’ve developed an exercise routine of sorts.
- Remind me to drink water throughout the day. I get so wrapped up in what I’m doing I often forget and get dehydrated.
Nothing extraordinarily difficult for a person of your talents, I’m sure. In fact, you might wonder why I don’t save myself a small fortune and hire a CNA.
I do. To cover all the other shifts, I employ a small team of CNA’s.
But there are some things CNA’s struggle with. For instance, I also need you to…
- Serve as a liaison between myself and doctors. It takes a small army of them to keep me going, and you’ll be in charge of making sure the lazy bastards (did I just say that out loud?) do their jobs. You’ll need to communicate with their offices, maintain all of my records, and manage an increasingly complex plan of care.
- Administer my medications, some of which are controlled substances. You’ll need to give them to me during your shift, as well as measure and track their administration from other shifts, refilling them when necessary and doing your best to safeguard them from anyone who might be tempted to steal them. It’s happened before.
- Become an expert in the treatment of my disease, continuously researching the best technology, specialists, and treatments available to me both in Austin and around the world. I will connect you with scientists, engineers, and programmers, and while I don’t expect you to understand everything they say from day one, I do need you to learn to communicate with them, ensuring that I stay on the cutting edge of medicine at all times.
- Manage my team of CNA’s, including hiring, schedules, keeping track of hours, and making sure everyone does a good job. In general, the CNA’s that work with me are top-notch, but somebody has to be the boss, and that’ll be you.
Last but not least, I need you to help me stay productive at work.
You see, I’m a shameless workaholic. While I do have some fun here and there, I also work 80+ hours per week, not because I have to, but because I absolutely love my job.
What do I do, exactly?
It’s hard to explain, but the bottom line is I’m a teacher. Instead of working at a school though, I write articles, teach online classes, and speak at events, teaching the world the things I’ve learned.
And when I say “the world,” I’m not exaggerating.
Over 200 million people have read my articles. Right now, I have 16,000 students in my online classes. I speak in front of audiences of thousands of people.
It’s awesome. It’s also really, really hard work, though, beyond what many people without a disability can do. To keep doing it, I need your help.
- Accompany me to business meetings. I often meet with CEOs of companies, best-selling authors, and other celebrities, and I’ll need you to perform the impossible task of making me look cool, calm, and collected, despite whatever difficulties I may be facing that day. My reputation depends on it.
- Travel with me to conferences. Normally, I don’t travel very much, because it’s a big hassle, but occasionally (say, once or twice a year) I get an offer to speak at a conference that’s too good to refuse. I’ll need you and one of my other caregivers to accompany me on those trips. Don’t worry, I’ll give you plenty of notice.
- Help me survive my schedule. Even when I’m not going to meetings or speaking at conferences, I still have a fairly brutal schedule. On some days, for instance, I have telephone appointments every 30 minutes for 10 straight hours with only half an hour for lunch. I’ll need you to bring me water, help me scarf down a snack, or quickly assist me in going to the restroom.
In general, though?
Help me change the world.
I know, it sounds hokey, but listen… lots of people dream about getting a job where they can help people, where they can truly make a difference.
And that’s what this job is.
Every year, I touch millions of lives. By helping me, you’re also helping them, changing the lives of people aroundthe globe.
Together, I believe we can make a dent in the universe. Assuming I can afford you, of course. 🙂
How Much Do You Get Paid for This Insanity?
The starting pay is $55,000 per year, plus health insurance. You’ll also receive two weeks of vacation and one week of sick leave.
Over time though, I’m open to giving you raises and/or more time off. Assuming you’re a great fit, of course.
In general, the more valuable you are to me, the more I will be interested in giving you a raise, but remember, this isn’t a giant corporation with an unlimited budget. I’m paying you out-of-pocket, and my personal finances affect things too.
Not that you should be worried about it. I’ve never missed payroll. I also keep a healthy rainy day fund, in case anything bad happens.
And I’m frugal. Yes, I may negotiate hard to keep expenses down, but you can also count on me to always follow through on what I say because I never overcommit myself. I think that stability counts for something.
The bottom line:
This isn’t a job you take because you want to get rich. It’s a job you take because you want to work with an extraordinary person who is doing extraordinary things.
What Are the Hours?
Monday through Friday, 8 AM until 4 PM
It’s also a big plus if you have a flexible schedule. If one of my other nurses needs a day off, I may ask you to cover some or all of it. I need someone with me all the time.
And should you receive the job, I’m looking for a minimum of a one-year commitment from you. If you decide to move on after that, there will be no hard feelings. All I ask is you give me at least two months (not two weeks!) notice so I can find another caregiver.
The Hiring Process: 5 Steps to Getting the Job
Here’s what to expect:
- Submit Your Application: After reading through everything on this site, head over to the application and fill it out. I’ll ask you a bunch of pointed questions, and by the time you’re finished answering, you’ll probably know whether this job is a good fit for you or not.
- Phone interview with my nurse Jenny.
- In-Person Interview: If you get past Jenny, we’ll then schedule a time to come hang out in person. Don’t worry, this won’t be a stodgy old-style interview where I ask you about your favorite colors and whatnot. Mostly, I just want to get to know you.
- Tryouts: By this point, I’ll have narrowed down to probably 3-5 applicants, and I’ll want to work with each of you for a day or two. You’ll come in and spend the entire day with me, doing all the work you would if you get the job. I’ll pay you for the day, of course.
- Background Check: Here, I’ll make the final decision on who to hire, and if I choose you, I’ll let you know and we’ll start the background check process. I’ll talk to your past employers, go through your driving record, verify you have no criminal history anywhere in the world, and in general, do an extremely thorough background check.
Ready to Submit Your Application?
When you click the button below, you’ll be taken to the application. It’s 27 questions and will probably take you 15-30 minutes to complete.
Jenny will look over the application and send you an email letting you know if you made it to the next stage of the process.
To start your application, click the button below: