Tuesday, August 14, 2012
I've switched to night shift. The house manager asked me to train a young boy, acknowledging that the woman working with him on night shift is horribly impatient and she is afraid that they will lose the young boy. She feels that he has a good heart, and can become a good person to have on staff. I said yes. Mostly being tired of dealing with the immaturity of second shift.
Imagine my shock to go on nights and discover that the boy that I'm supposedly training has jumped ship to days, and I am now working with the horribly impatient woman on third shift.
She's awful. She swears constantly, and throws things. I'm kind of boggled that she gets away with this behavior, but she has. Mostly because there is no one else to fill her position, I reckon.
It's been interesting.
My first impression was that she was simply frustrated with the second shift people who simply do not do what they are supposed to do. Despite meeting after meeting, nothing changes. The attitude was summed up by their joy that I was leaving. There was fist pounding and the comment was made, to general hilarity, that it was 'their house, their rules.' That sums it up I guess, and telling them that it is NOT their house isn't going to solve anything.
I have been with the company for three months now, and at each of our monthly meetings, I've listened to my new partner blast second shift. Privately, I felt she was right, but the fact is, she was far more abrasive than she needed to be. Now that I am working with her, I see how it is: no one in the house can do things to her satisfaction.
I know that I am a hard worker. I take pride in this. I am a level headed person who has learned to measure her words. I'm kind of proud of that. I reported to my new shift, and I was not concerned. Except she has become bitterly angry that I do too much. I was flabberghasted by this. I work four 10 hour shifts, from 10 at night until 8:30 the next morning. I keep alert by keeping myself busy. There are plenty of things to do in a house, and so between patient care (which is far less at night), I keep the washer going, and the dryer going. I clean like hellzapopping. I was happy that the adjustment to third shift was easier than I anticipated.
Imagine my surprise when she threw a laundry basket and snarled, "This fucking bullshit ends tonight!" and stormed out of the room. I tried to reason with her, but she just refused to discuss it. It has steadily gone down hill. Lots of cursing and slamming, sarcasm, and unprofessionalism. I discussed this with management who readily acknowledges that she has a problem (she threw a walker at another coworker). They asked me to document.
It is an uncomfortable situation, being alone in a house with a woman who has no self control, and I am carefully documenting things. Everyone is assuring me that I am not the problem, but I certainly have one.
Yesterday, a boss called to check in. She was encouraging, and telling me to hang in there, that I am a great asset, etc. etc. It came to me clearly that what she was looking for was some sort of affirmation that I would not leave my job, and suddenly, it hit me. The truth of it came as a big shock.
For 55 years, I've been working at dead end jobs. I did them because I had no choice. I did them because I was a single parent with three children. I continued to do them to make ends meet when Tim and I married and suddenly were dealing with the expenses of a single household and five children. There were braces, and college educations. We both worked, and we worked hard, and we often worked more than one job. I had no choice but to deal with tough work environments because I had no skills.
I listened to my boss, and I realized what she wanted to hear, and suddenly it occured to me. Like a bolt out of the blue, I realized that I have a choice. I am working an entry level job for a crack at a professional job. I have also begun to apply for OT jobs. I listened to my manager, and I knew what she wanted me to say and suddenly it occured to me that I did not have to say it.
That is the value of education. You have a choice.
I did not say those words.