NOTE: I previously posted this on the Back Fence, but there seems to be more people here, and I am in need of advice. I looked, and to my knowledge I am not breaking forum rules, please let me know if this is not the right place for this topic! Thank you.
I have worked with people with special needs for many years, and enjoy it very much. One of my current clients found me shortly after I got married and moved across the country. Another client found me in November, and I liked what the supervisor described in the care program: the supervisor has arranged for at-home care for her two severely disabled adult brothers, where they are given round-the-clock one-on-one care, including behavior management, academics, physical therapy, etc.
But, things have not been going well, for several reasons:
-The supervisor is almost never there. Her expectations are not clear, but I have enough experience to provide good care and to learn as I go. The problem is, since I don’t know what she wants, I cannot meet her expectations. (The phrase “everyone has their own way of doing it” has come from staff and super. Conveniently forgotten when she visits…) She has never given me *positive *feedback, but only *corrected *what I’m doing (or what she thinks I’m doing because she’s never there to see me work), and when I explain myself, or offer ideas for treatment, she looks at me like I have two heads, and says nothing. (For example, the other week she asked me: “Why aren’t you doing such-and-such this way?” I responded: “I’ve been doing it the way that I thought best, since I knew it was a goal, but I didn’t know you wanted it carried out in that way.” (Blank stare from super) “Well, do it this way from now on. Why can’t I set out a program and have people follow it?” She never mentioned this specific program to me, and my training didn’t cover it)
-It is understaffed. At the interview, (supervisor was 30 mins late) I was told they had a high turnover (red flag) and she spoke very negatively about a former employee (red flag). The staff, since they are stretched so thin, seem to carry an attitude that they are overworked victims because “another staff” is not working more. (Whoever is convenient to blame at the time) I have heard bad things about other staff from coworkers nearly every day since I started.
-There is no unity. The staff each do their own thing, which means inconsistent care for the patients, which results in a lack of progress. One staff, experienced with this disability, keeps his patient very active, while another staff, when she is with this same patient, lets him watch TV during her entire 14 hour shift, while she sits on her phone. She told me she could take him out in her car, but “doesn’t really want to.” (Car rides are a part of his therapy) She has zero respect for the most senior staff member who is trying to implement a consistent care program.
-However: this most senior member is 30 minutes late every day, and calls in sick 3 our of 5 Mondays. Always Mondays.
-It’s disorganized. I had to leave a meeting early to go to my other client, so I did not hear of a schedule change. It wasn’t until two weeks later, when I specifically asked about the schedule, that I learned it had changed. Because of this kind of disorganization, I have twice re-ordered my day and driven several miles, only to be called off at the last minute.
-There’s more, but I think you get the idea…
Why NOT quit?
-I love the job. I love working with these patients.
-The pay is good, and the hours allow me some time during the week to pursue my art business.
-I am VERY anxious about having enough money. We have student loans, old cars, and we’re still learning the fine art of “two people, one budget.” ('Though, I could get a different part-time gig. Heck, dog walking can pay well. Low stress.)
I got this job because I thought I would love it, it was in my field, and allowed me the time and money to build up my portfolio. My husband wants me to drop this client and focus more on my art, but it will be a big pay cut, and who knows when I’ll land a short-term design contract?
I am conflicted morally because I have only had this job for a few months, (the last job I had lasted six years) and what the supervisor is doing for her brothers is admirable. But she cannot manage a business. If I leave, they will have FIVE staff for 24-hour, one-on-one care for TWO patients. I will really deal them a hard blow, and… well, I want to do the right thing. I asked to drop my weekend rotation (very irregular, harms family time) I gave a month, but was told, “I"m working on it, I promise!!!” by the super.
I think the answer is obvious, but why do I feel GUILTY? I was thinking of giving it Lent and then putting in my two weeks if it’s still bad, but…
Any advice from the wise?
Thank you and God bless!