Love what you do, the old adage says, and you’ll never work a day in your life. By that standard, Tracy Berg, social services director at Marquis Hope Village in Canby, hasn’t worked in a very long time.
“I love it,” she says of her job. “I absolutely love it. Even on really hard days, I can see the difference I make in people’s lives in a tangible way. Not everybody gets to see exactly what their work is doing in someone’s life on a daily basis the way I get to see it.”
Berg has been with Marquis Companies for four years, most of it at Hope Village. Her job responsibilities include logistics — assisting residents and families with insurance and providers such as Medicare and Medicaid — and, well, “whatever comes up.”
“Pretty much anytime there’s no specific person to handle something it goes to social services,” she says with a laugh. “And that’s another thing I enjoy about my job: There’s never a boring day. It’s never dull here.”
Of course, working with vulnerable people can be emotionally trying — something Berg learned very early on.
“When I first started working with seniors, I had a hard time not taking stuff home with me because this is a 24/7 job,” she recalls. “Once I learned how to deal with that and it just became who I am, it’s gone really well. It can be really hard, but it just brings me so much joy, too.
“I work a lot with end-of-life care: stepping in during those last couple months, weeks, days, hours. The first time I held someone’s hands while they passed away, I realized I have the capacity to do this — I should probably do this.”