When “Care Facilities” Don’t

, , , | Working | CREDIT: Anonymous by request | December 10, 2020

I work for an assisted living facility in my hometown, and facilities like these are notorious for overworking staff and lack of people.

I have been working in our memory care unit, and I finally get three days off after working twenty-eight days straight. Half of my shifts were sixteen hours long; the rest were ten to twelve hours. Mind you, I was only scheduled for eight hours a day, five days a week.

I am resting in bed at home on my second day off when I get a frantic call from my boss.

Boss: “Our entire evening shift staff just quit. All four of them. I need you to come in.”

That means it would be just me and a new trainee watching our nineteen residents.

Mind you, I would be passing medications, bathing, assisting with dinner, and training someone on their first day. So I’d practically be doing all of this on my own. With no breaks.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m really not feeling well. This is my second day off in a row after working nearly a month straight. I do not want to come in.”

She begs, and I finally acquiesce, but on the promise that she stays to work the rest of the shift, too, so I won’t be the only one doing the work of four people. She quickly agrees, and I get ready and head in. I don’t want my residents to suffer and they surely would if it was just my boss. She is insufferable and cruel.

About two hours into this shift, I overhear the new hire talking to our boss.

New Hire: “I am missing my daughter’s recital, and I’d really like to be there.

Boss: “You can go ahead and leave after [My Name] passes out dinner meds and dinner is given.”

The new hire quickly agrees.

I am pissed because we are about an hour out from dinner and none of the caregiving duties are fulfilled, as I am still working on a pass that wasn’t completed by the previous shift.

Well, time passes, and sure enough, the new hire leaves. None of the important caretaking tasks outside of medications and dinner are done. My boss is of little to no help and doesn’t have an endorsement from our nurse to pass medications.

Come 8:00 pm, I am in full swing, running between rooms to assist residents with all needs before bedtime while simultaneously giving their meds.

My boss, who has been sitting down the entire time, pipes up.

Boss: “I’m tired; am I going to be able to leave soon?”

Me: “I’d like to remind you that the only reason I came in was on the premise that I wouldn’t work alone.”

She keeps pressing me, and I finally snap at her.

Me: “I worked twenty-eight straight days, I have had one day of rest, and I have been left by myself on a shift more times than I could count on both hands. I want to go home, too. H***, I could have been home. I came in to take care of my people because nobody else will.”

But that isn’t enough.

Boss: *Quips* “I understand that, [My Name], but I’ve been here since nine this morning. That’s twelve hours.”

I am so done. I finally look at her and say:

Me: “If you can let me finish my med pass, I will let you leave.”

Boss: “How long?”

Me: “I still have six rooms to finish.”

Boss: “Okay.”

I took up the entire rest of the night before the next shift came in, going as I had been before my boss piped in. I even got my showers in.

She was sitting down still, not saying a word as I moseyed along, giving my residents their medicines, brushing their teeth, and finishing up new briefs and bedclothes. She didn’t say a word.

I texted my resignation to the head administrator and reported the facility to the authorities the next day.

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Learning How To Swab The Deck

, , , , | Working | November 11, 2020

I am starting a new job caring for adults with learning disabilities. There is training to be completed as part of my induction, especially in regard to hazardous chemicals used for cleaning.

The training includes some “exams.” Thankfully, I am completing the training at home, as I can’t keep a straight face when I see these questions.

Question: “What does a ‘skull and crossbones’ chemical hazard symbol mean?”

Answers: “A) Corrosive, B) Flammable, C) Toxic, D) Used by pirates.”

Yes, “used by pirates.”

Question: “Do you know where the Material Safety Data Sheets are kept?”

Answers: “A) Yes, B) No.”

I wonder how they are going to mark this.

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A Sign Of Things To Come

, , , , | Right | November 3, 2020

After months upon months of having visitors pushing the right-hand door on their way out of the building and setting off the alarm, I have finally gotten permission from the boss lady to put a sign on that door saying, “Please use other door.” Halle-freakin-lujah!

I order a nice vinyl label for either side of the door with a large bold font and it arrives quickly. The day I put it on, I am joyful. My problems with the d*** door are over. I stick it on the door and go back to sit at my desk.

Reading this site as often as I do, I really should have known better. The very next visitor that went to leave… looked right through the sign — right at their eye level — and pushed the d*** door open, setting off my alarm.

They spoke perfect English, didn’t have any obvious impairment, weren’t a resident with a mental issue… and yet…

I hate people.

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We’re Adults And We’re Not This Mature

, , , , , , | Right | October 23, 2020

I am visiting my grandmother and grandfather who live in an extremely nice assisted living community. We are “out to dinner” at the on-site restaurant, which is almost entirely staffed by wonderful high school students. A boy probably no older than fifteen is serving us.

Teenage Server: “And what can I get for you, ma’am?”

Grandmother: “Well, dear, I would like the shrimp with the—”

She suddenly stops speaking and releases the longest, loudest passing of gas I’ve ever heard. My uncle can barely contain his laughter, but the young server doesn’t even blink.

Grandmother: “Excuse me! As I was saying, the shrimp with the collard greens, dear.”

Teenager Server: “Absolutely, ma’am, that will be right out for you.”

The server walked away still without any trace of a snicker or embarrassment. Now that’s professionalism! Just goes to show that age and maturity are not always connected!

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For A Talented Pianist, She Never Strikes The Right Tone

, , , | Right | October 20, 2020

I work as a concierge at an assisted living home where most of our residents have some form of dementia. Not all of them have it, though; some are here for other reasons, such as this woman who is here because she can’t properly administer her own medications or care for herself well due to physical medical issues. Her mind is fully intact. She is, however, quite self-entitled due to living a life of luxury in New York City as a concert pianist in her younger years.

Me: *Answering the phone* “[Home], this is [My Name], how can I—”

Resident: *Cuts me off* “I need to talk to the nurse! Now!”

Me: “Are you okay, [Resident]?”

Resident: “I’m fine. I need to talk to the nurse. Immediately.”

Me: “Is there something I can help you with?”

Resident: “No. The nurse. Now!”

Me: “I will tell [Nurse] that you would like to speak with her. Let me see if I can get her on the phone. Can I put you on hold for a moment?”

Resident: “Get her on the phone now.”

Me: “All right, [Resident]. Just a moment.”

I use the walkie and then the phone to try to get a hold of the nurse, who has more than seventy other patients to see to. The entire call, including me trying to get a hold of [Nurse], has taken less than four minutes. I go back to the resident, who is still on hold.

Resident:Finally! [Nurse]? I’ve been waiting on hold for an hour. This is unacceptable!”

Me: “It’s still [My Name], [Resident]. I was unable to get [Nurse] for you, but I will text her and let her know you would like to speak with her.”

Resident:I have been. On hold. For a d*** hour!

I drop into the same voice of superiority that she’s been using, albeit quieter.

Me: “Actually, as of this moment, it’s been four minutes and forty-five seconds according to my call timer.”

The resident is quiet for a moment and then speaks contritely.

Resident: “Just have her speak with me as soon as possible, please.” *Hangs up*

This woman is a trial. But I’ve found that using the same tone of voice she uses gets through to her. For the record, the nurse was able to see her within fifteen minutes of this. And what was the super urgent problem she had? She wanted her doctor’s phone number — something I could have easily helped her with, had she only asked.

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