Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Stories People Tell

I'm always amazed by what people tell me during interviews for the aide job. During these rough economic times, it seems there's one story after another about 'why I'm applying for this job'.

There are parents looking to earn extra income to help put kids through college, college kids looking to earn income because there parents are doing poorly financially or have lost their homes or jobs, and single folks needing a second - or third- income just to afford cars, car insurance and a place to live.  Some folks apply for this position as a fourth job.

Sorting through all of these folks and their stories isn't easy. An online friend on Twitter told me the other day she would say a 'prayer of sorting' for me. I welcome that.

Sometimes I have to say no to someone who may need work and could do the job, but just isn't going to have the energy or time for it.  This is really better for everyone because I'm literally depending on these folks to be my arms and legs. If they don't show up or show up exhausted, it's not helpful and can wreak havoc in my life.

I told an applicant about that today. I told her my story. She looked at me thoughtfully and said she would never want to do that. I know, I said as kindly as possible.

I respect everyone's story. I really do feel for people.  I like people - a lot. My heart goes out to them in these tough times.

But I'm learning that in these interviews there has to be room for my story too. The story of aides leaving after a few weeks because they're suddenly moving or because they didn't plan child care and want to bring their kid along, etc etc.  Explaining how that causes havoc to me and my friends. Telling the story of what it's like to get a few weeks notice when it takes more than that to replace someone.

If telling my story prevents me from having to go through the same thing with someone new who didn't plan out exactly how they were going to actually show up and do the job, it's well worth it.

One thing this is teaching me- we need to listen to each other with more care and more often. So many people seem to have no one to talk to - it's so very sad.


4 comments:

yazzy said...

The worst is when they suddenly decide not to show up, don't answer the phone. One moment they're there, and the next, you find yourself wondering how to get out of bed!

Good luck with the search.

Ruth said...

Yazzy,
Yep, has happened too many times to me too :( Thanks.

Frank Tetto said...

Where do you advertise for staff? Yesterday, I was hoping we were going to hire someone for my daughter. She was a classmate of my daughter, the year she was injured. I thought my daughter and she would be able to recall events and friends.
The negatives soon started, She does not have a license because of a DUI, She has two children and does not have custody, She was arrested in a bar brawl where someone was stabbed. The trial is pending. In the meantime the live-in personal assistant left for 10 days to visit her son and has not returned or called. Today is day 14 since she left. It takes 6 to 8 weeks to hire someone through Easter Seals NJ.
Maria is fortunate because we have her living
in an apartment next door to us. We continue to fill in the many empty spaces, Our concern is what happens when we are no longer able to fill in the empty spaces.
Maria has a brain injury and her challenges are both physical and cognitive. We do not yet have a satisfactory answer. We have many ideas, ALL ideas involve having caring,compassionate,creative,resourceful ,and willing and able to work individuals in her life. Thus far we have found a scarcity of such individuals. It is truly sad.

Ruth said...

Hi Frank,
I advertise in different places and also check with local churches to see if anyone suitable is available. Also try community college student nursing programs. Every now and then I get someone who is truly compassionate, kind and reliable who stays with me for a number of years. When and if I find such people, I try to fill hours around THEM coming at regular intervals with other people who may not be as capable so that I at least have a core person to rely upon even if sometimes others aren't able to be as responsible, eg don't show up or leave suddenly. I also don't make hires of people I have doubts about at first glance - that usually never works out no matter how much I need help.
Good luck and God bless,
Ruth