The staff that was supposed to come in this morning to work and relieve me was - once again - a no call, no show. I can't even believe it. When I called, they didn't even answer their phone. In the ten days since I have been back at work, we have had 3 folks not show and not call, and one quit after 3 days with no notice given at all.
It drives me nuts. Seriously.
First off, not showing up and not calling for work is just plain rude. It means that I am stuck at work until I can find someone to come in to cover the shift. I work with Vulnerable Adults, so I can't just buzz out when my shift is over. It's not like a desk job or something that can be left alone for any length of time. Not showing up like that shows disrespect for me, the clients, and the company. It also makes me rip-roaring mad, which is never good. I tend to get a little...well, mean to folks who are so selfish.
It really burns me that the staff that are doing this are staff that came on board begging for as many hours as possible. They talked about how their hubby/boyfriend/whatever had been out of a job for so long, their phone had been shut off, the mortgage was two months late, their kids needed new shoes....you get the idea. So then we (miraculously) found some extra hours in the schedule that needed filling. There were nearly fistfights breaking out as staff tried to take as many of the new hours as possible. Everyone needed that extra cash so durn bad. But then when it is time to come into work, they don't show.
You would think that, with the economy being what it is, that they would all be working their butts off to make sure that they kept their job. Especially after telling such awful stories of how much they really need a job.
And then I start wondering "what is so bad about this job that I am just not seeing"? Seriously. I don't always like what my boss says or does, but mostly because I think she is to easy on staff, not because she is so tough to work for. And the clients are a pain sometimes (and have been lately, with all the upheaval in their lives), but for the most part they are nice enough and more than willing to follow the daily routines without much fuss. Sure I have to wipe the occasional backside, and listen to the guys yell when they are ticked. Sure I have to cook and clean and make sure they are safe....but that isn't all THAT hard. Really, anyone can do it.
That (sorta) brings me to my next issue. Imagine, if you will, that you have been living in the same house for 10 years or so. Everything is just about the way you like it. You know when bath time is, when meals will be served, what the rules are, and where to find things. You know that cupboard x holds your massive collection of puzzles, and that the dishrags are kept on shelf y. Meals, though not really imaginative, are familiar and tasty. You have a routine that is comfortable and comforting. You are content.
One day, half a dozen strangers come into your home. They start moving the furniture around, and don't know that the green blanket is yours and that the red one goes to your roommate. They start cooking meals that look and taste different. They hang new pictures in place of the ones you are used to looking at, and your puzzles have been moved to goodness knows where. All of a sudden bedtime and mealtimes have changed, and you really don't know what to expect every day.
Regardless of whether or not you like the new foods and new furniture, you are going to feel unsettled, right? You are going to be a little cranky when you see strangers messing with your stuff. They are moving things and changing things, and you can't stop them.
Now imagine that your cognitive abilities are impaired, and you can't understand why they are there or why they are making these changes. All of a sudden, what was a minor irritation becomes a life-altering experience. The routines that give your life structure and keep your anxiety and stress level at a minimum are gone, leaving you uncertain and frightened.
That's what my poor clients have been going through lately. New staff are convinced that they know better than the more experienced staff what the guys need, and are changing everything all at once. Understandably, my clients are acting out in the only way they know how. It is so frustrating to see my guys behaving badly in order to show their displeasure and discomfort only to be scolded for misbehaving when it is all the staff's fault. And I can't fix it for them until I convince everyone on the team that changes have to be made s-l-o-w-l-y for these guys. They need a chance to adjust to every little change. They need a long time to adjust. To everything. They are so dependent on their routines. One little change can throw them off for the whole day.
Not that I am saying that all things have to be the same all the time. Sometimes, a new staff will come on the scene with a fresh perspective and have really good ideas. But it needs to be done carefully and slowly to be effective and keep the guys from getting all confused and scared.
Ok. Rant over.