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.