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"Put your oxygen mask on first."

Or something like that.  It's been a while since I've been on a plane.

So, it's probably painfully obvious that work has been stressing me the hell out.    Problem solved.

No, I didn't quit.  Although it HAS been tempting.

I was hired to work weekends only.  That didn't last...well, actually at all.  I have made some noise about that (to the tune of "if I'm working during the week, I'm entitled to every other weekend off, right?").  Yesterday, I was called into J's office to discuss the next schedule.

Long story short, I've only been working these ridiculous hours "until T's car got fixed."  (Wow.  A whole month to fix a car?  What the hell does she drive?  And am I the only one who finds it slightly fishy that the winter holidays were involved?)    So, yeah, I've been replaced by a running car.

"But you can keep your hours for next week if you want..."

No, lady, you can take those hours and cram them up your ass.  I'll work weekends.  Period.  And I will forget how to answer my phone during the week.  And that offer of working 3rd shift....are you fucking kidding me!?!?!?

Kent flipped, of course.  Yeah, the money is nice, but there is that whole work/life balance thing.  And this job is slowly killing me.  It's not the residents;  it's the coworkers and the fucking politics.

I'll find a second job.  Something in food service, where I can yell back and not get fired for it.  Where peoples' lives are not on the line if I screw up.  And where "no call, no show" means you are fucking FIRED.

We had a huge fight last night, which isn't like us and was, frankly, pointless.  I have been busted back to the schedule I was hired for.  I didn't fight for extra hours.  I think J was half expecting me to fight for it but, frankly, I'm being done a favor.  I kinda think she was expecting me to drop to my knees and beg for more time.

Yeah....no.  This is me.  This is my oxygen mask.  I might help you with yours if I feel like it.

What is going to suck is telling the residents.  Of course, I was getting yelled at for spending too much one on one time and not cleaning the dining room, so....that was probably coming to an end, too.

Take yesterday, for example.  There's a resident who likes coloring books.  I found a bunch on my last thrift store run (50 cents each!  And there were only one or two pages colored.  If you like to color, I highly recommend checking out your local thrift store).

She was having a rough day.   She said she needed something to do, and would get in trouble if she wasn't busy.  "They'll hurt me, and I'm scared."

[I would love to know if there is a relationship between abused women and dementia.  In my limited experience, there certainly seems to be]

I took her back to her room and asked her if she would like a new book to color.  "I'll have something to do.  Thank you."  So we sat.  I helped her pick out a page and slipped out quietly.

Apparently, 20+ minute smoke breaks are okay.  10 minutes with a resident gets you "Where the hell did you go!?!?!?"

I am so done there.  But how do I leave the people I love?

 

Comments

( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
dreamsrundeep
Jan. 6th, 2017 03:22 pm (UTC)
Dear lord. I wonder if that toxic co-worker relationship is endemic to retirement homes and long-term care facilities. My work bestie became a CNA after we were laid off together and started working at the VA Medical center for their long-term aging patients and she described a LOT of what you have been describing. She finally had to leave after going on Xanax just to get through her work day. And she said the same thing – it’s not the residents (although, some of them are their own challenge, I’m sure!) but the coworkers. Lots of throwing people under the bus, very little collaboration and helping each other out, doing only what you are supposed to do (and most likely half-assed) and then checking out to take your 30 minute (non-schedule, not technically allowed) break while someone else might be struggling to get their work done – no offers of help, no one working together to be successful. GEEZ. In the end, isn’t it the patients and residents who suffer from such a stratification? It should be about THEM but it becomes some weird us/them. And even in the ‘us’ part, there’s such rank and division and favoritism that it’s irritating.

She left that place and went to a long-term care facility for people recovering from traumatic injuries and she says it is better… but she’s also finished her LPN and has moved up in rank. So, she thinks that has something to do with it.
cabochons
Jan. 6th, 2017 05:09 pm (UTC)
I am so, so, so sorry that you have a job you seem to enjoy (at least with the residents) but your coworkers are horrible. In my experience, coworkers can really make or break a job and in this case it seems like they are breaking it.

When your job becomes toxic, it's time to leave it. Perhaps weekends alone will be enough, and I understand how awful it feels to leave people you care about despite the situation being horrible. In the end, remember that you have to do what's best for you. You can't serve or help anyone else otherwise.
lorigami
Jan. 6th, 2017 05:48 pm (UTC)
When I was in college, and thought I might still want to be a teacher, I spent a summer working in what was supposed to be an early learning center, but was really just glorified daycare. I didn't last long, for reasons similar to what you list here, about actually caring about the people you are responsible for and interacting with. It's a tough spot, and I wish that the system would not penalize people who care for the sake of profit and ease. I hope you find a solution that keeps you sane.
twicet
Jan. 6th, 2017 06:30 pm (UTC)
From what I know of them, many nursing homes have the same problems, only the very well off ones, have enough staff to spend time with the residents.
promiseoftin
Jan. 6th, 2017 06:36 pm (UTC)
That's such a shame a job you love is being wrecked by coworkers. You've got such a good heart.
richaarde
Jan. 6th, 2017 07:18 pm (UTC)

Nothing like a toxic workplace to keep things nice and stressful. I spent 11 years getting yelled at for stupid shit at a job that I now regret. I should have left there sooner.

yshaloo
Jan. 6th, 2017 08:19 pm (UTC)
It sucks that in a job where you should concentrate on the residents you get complaints for doing just that. I could understand if you were neglecting other residents to spend time with your favorites, but 10 minutes here or there shouldn't matter.
an_su
Jan. 6th, 2017 08:51 pm (UTC)
I'll just second that last comment - you shouldn't get complaints for spending a little moment with the residents... sigh..
millysdaughter
Jan. 6th, 2017 11:23 pm (UTC)
The residents will look forward to the weekends!
poniesandphotos
Jan. 7th, 2017 01:00 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry that work has turned into such a stressor. I find it so sad that your coworkers don't seem to care about the residents. :(
xjenavivex
Jan. 7th, 2017 05:07 am (UTC)

I'm sorry you are in such a tough situation.

communitybee
Jan. 7th, 2017 11:17 am (UTC)
My husband ran into the same problem. He made a connection with the patients, but his co workers were something else. The person's job he took, decided after three months he wanted it back, and his cousin worked there so they tried to get my husband fired... Pretty cut throat.

I hope you find a fabulous second job. Xo
annelaure
Jan. 7th, 2017 12:51 pm (UTC)
It sucks so much that coworkers can make any work position so awful..
nightshade1972
Jan. 7th, 2017 05:56 pm (UTC)
Toxic coworkers (and management) are the worst. When I was a grocery store cashier, the last store manager I worked for wasn't shy about letting me know he wanted me gone. According to him, "all the other managers agreed with him" about what an allegedly terrible employee I was. I went to each one of them, individually, to ask them if that was true. Each one of them said, "No! You're one of the best employees we have, Store Manager doesn't know what he's talking about." Yet, during my termination interview, where one of the assistant managers was there as a witness, SM listed a whole litany of complaints he had about me, and asked AM if she agreed. AM, who just the other day had told me what a wonderful employee I was, asset to the company, etc, had young kids at home, and she needed her job. She promptly agreed with everything SM said, and he fired me right then and there.
corellian_sugar
Jan. 8th, 2017 01:07 am (UTC)
This post broke my heart a little. You were so excited to finally get a job there and love the residents so much -- it's a bloody shame that your co-workers are such a pain in the ass when the job itself comes with a fair amount of sadness already (especially with those residents who suffer from dementia or other maladies).

I'm thinking of you. ::::hugs::::
corellian_sugar
Jan. 8th, 2017 01:07 am (UTC)
This post broke my heart a little. You were so excited to finally get a job there and love the residents so much -- it's a bloody shame that your co-workers are such a pain in the ass when the job itself comes with a fair amount of sadness already (especially with those residents who suffer from dementia or other maladies).

I'm thinking of you. ::::hugs::::
nucleosides
Jan. 8th, 2017 03:18 pm (UTC)

*all the hugs*

zimon66
Jan. 9th, 2017 03:40 am (UTC)
Shit, I'm sorry :( Unfortunately, from what I know about long care places, that's the norm for some of them. It's sucks those most need of care, get stuck with the short end of the caretaker stick.

If you quit/find work elsewhere, could you comeback as a visitor? There are volunteers who spend time with residents.
celluloid_jam
Jan. 9th, 2017 06:23 am (UTC)
Good for you, lady. Do what you need to do for your own well-being. If you don't, even the best of intentions may eventually end up doing more harm than good.

Hang in there. And: Hugs!
celluloid_jam
Jan. 9th, 2017 06:23 am (UTC)
Good for you, lady. Do what you need to do for your own well-being. If you don't, even the best of intentions may eventually end up doing more harm than good.

Hang in there. And: Hugs!
wherdafux_d_cat
Jan. 9th, 2017 07:24 am (UTC)
I'm too trapped in my own head right now to be usefully coherent in response to this. But I can offer something I think will give you a few positive vibes to help offset the suckhole of work. I had to look it up myself but my first thought when I saw the explanation was that you and Kent would thoroughly appreciate it. :)
https://wilwheaton.tumblr.com/post/155581955749/i-need-this-to-be-real-i-desperately-need-this-to
weebleswobble
Jan. 11th, 2017 02:45 am (UTC)
kent can suck it. he's not the one being worked into the ground, you are.

and if they hired you to work weekends, then thats what they need to be scheduling you for. seems employers are always trying to make you work more and more hours. i tried to work only part time hours and its a chronic fight. i ended up walking away because it was too many hours.

take care of YOU first. i know you care about the residents, but you arent helping them by shooting yourself in the foot.
kk1raven
Jan. 22nd, 2017 12:40 am (UTC)
That sounds dreadful. I'm sorry that you and Kent fought about it. That seems like added insult on top of injury. I hope you can find another job that is less horrible.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )