Taking Advantage of Compassion

Three months ago received a phone call to start a new assignment, on Tuesdays 3 hours from 2 pm to 5 pm. The husband leaves his wife with Parkinson’s to go to his company. After I research the route I had to walk about 3.5 miles from my bus stop to their home. This complex is in a enclosed high security area,  you have to check in and they call the husband at work to verify, then you walk for another 10 minutes up a hill to the home.  Being January it is a pleasant walk for I do not mind the cold. But then I realized that in the summer is going to be murder for my asthma, I mention this to the husband and he told me to let me know a month ahead when I would stop coming.

Apparently the wife has someone in am until 1:30 pm then me and every two weeks a cleaning lady all on Tuesday. For the first couple weeks it was pleasant and interesting, then the am lady went on vacation and the husband would call me to come in at 10 am.

I did this for 3 weeks and then they told me that. The lady will not come back if I would permanently come 10-5 from now on, now its March.

The first day I went there at 10 am I was early and I found her on the bathroom floor waiting for me to com in, apparently she tried to lift herself from wheelchair and fell. I helped up and it was not an easy thing. As a companion there’s no hands on! We watch them we follow them so that they are safe and reach things for them but basically our low pay tells us we are babysitters. ($10 an hour, we get a 1099 for IRS and we pay taxes on that.) This family is private pay from my company, they get the high $$ we get the standard $10/per hour.

No matter, I could not leave her on the floor… I helped with her dressing, cleaning etc…

when we went downstairs I made her breakfast, reminded her of taking her pills every 2 1/2 hours and then she told me we are making apple pie form scratch with no ingredients available. The lady thinks she can do but she can’t , I ended up doing crust from flour batter rolling it ( no room, awkward as hell, ruining my wrist after the picking her up and rolling dough) and cooking dinner too!

After that I wore wrist band telling her I fell will not be able to use hand for anything!

Every week for seven hours without a break no offering of lunch or drink ( one time she offered me left over that they packed from a restaurant they ate at the night before!). she would order me around to do things and walk her dog twice a day and pick up dog poop! ( I din’t because dog never went! But never told her.)

The husband asked if I would be staying I told him yes, since I’m walking at 9 am, not at 1pm. So, it was settled that I would stay.

This week was a mess in the morning at 7:30 am, due to accident on highway, big fire on main-road where I travel from, traffic was dead stop. I felt so bad that I could not get to her on time, I got off the bus and walked for 20 minutes ( about 3 miles) to my next bus. I picked up bus only 10 minutes later, got off at her stop and walked another 4 miles to her house arriving only 5 minutes late!

I went upstairs and she told me that she would like to stay in bed for awhile longer why don’t I take the dog for a long walk! This after I had told her how much I had walked to get to her!!!! I walked the dog, we sat outside on steps and rested my poor legs! Then when I came back she want to change her soiled bed, she can’t do it, so I ended up doing it! (If my employers find this out…)

During the day she kept saying how she keeps getting wrong dresses for this August formal wedding. I felt so bad for her ( she pays someone on Saturday to take her shopping, but woman shops for herself and doesn’t pay attention to the lady she works for!). I offered to go with them and for free on my own time, she agreed and we settled on days I’m off.

When the husband comes in she tells him about me offering to help, “we pay enough already we do not need to pay more!”

The one good deed the husband does every weeks is dropping me at my bus stop, so that I don’t have to walk 4 miles. On the way to dropping off he told me if I’m in the mind to taking summer off because the lady that was doing it last summer would like to do it again this summer and she needs the money! ( and what do I need? I walk 4 miles on a normal day so that I can have the pleasure of being ordered about?) I did not say this, all I said was I thought we had settled that since I come at 10 am the heat would not be intense as 1pm! He did not answer that, he kept saying but she needs the money. My answer it’s up to you ( he wanted me to return in September). I did not say it that come September I will not be available even if I was. I’m a lady, a professional and I do not threaten or beg! But, he said it, I answered that if I find worked elsewhere then I will not be available. He said he is going to talk to his wife.

I got a phone call 2 hours later from the wife telling me that she discussed with her husband and they will take my offer of going with her to help find a dress for the wedding! My answer was, “sorry but I got called to work and will not be available on my day off!” The nerve 2 hours earlier he wanted someone else for 2 months while I twiddle my thumbs, and they now want me to give them free time too!!!!

I learned that I have to detach myself and be insensible to people needs only do what I’m paid and no more!


Not What We Know

It’s a Sunday afternoon and I made my way to a new client.  The daughter sounded desperate when she called me, all she wanted was ‘Time Out’ her mother and her illness was overwhelming her.

I arrived 15 minutes early as is my custom to give them time to assess me and I them. I knocked on door with locked bars, finally after 10 minutes a lady appears at window and waves, and still shes not opening the door.  A car pulls up and and two women get out and ask me if someone is coming to the door. she finally knocks on window and the woman unlockes the doors and said theres too many of us.  But she lets us in.

Apperantly she over booked, she had me to stay with her mom and she was interviewing a coworker from my company also and this woman she brought slong as a possible aide…

I walked into a home where the old lady’s bedroom is in the livingroom, the diningroom beyond it was full of paper towels cleaning stuff and diapers…

The mother was in bed with her geriatric  underwear half way down her knees and curled up in the fetus position. 

I introduced myself and the others followed suit. After listening to her story and what has been happening to her and her mother my coworker speeds up by telling her that the aide will come on Monday on  the said  time and she’ll return on Tuesday.   But before they left they forcefully put the mother in the wheelchair. The mother is naked from bottom down ( she keeps pulling her diaper down and takes the blanket off and keeps on folding it.) They left, I asked her how long she needed me and she told me 3 hours  because she needed to go to church. We had spent already 1 hour,  she left, I moved the mother to the window and raised the drapes for the old woman to enjoy a the view ( school yard where people walk dogs apperantley).

She had visitors her sister and niece came to visit. They stayed for an hour they cooked for the  old lady and I feed her and they left, I had 1/2 hour more to stay, when the daughter calls me and tells me that she did not go to church but went to get her hair dyed… can I stay for 5 hours, ok,  what could I do she already was at the place….

When she came back we worked a schedule for the rest of the month, she advised me that she was going to try me out this month then she was going to try two more companions next month ( she took all my prime time! Saturdays and Sundays with 2 Wednesdays, they are allowed 30 hours a month).

I left with a bitter taste in my mouth…

Wednesday I came at 1pm and she told me her mother was in the wheelchair since the night before uncleaned, full of filt and she would not get up… ( the old lady is incontinent, has severe dementia …) I can’t help her, there is no hands on but when I heard the situation I offered to help, but the daughter is not doing anything, she said she needs an attendant because her mother is not listening to her!  I finally pulled mother out of wheelchair and bent her over the bed… but the daughter just stood there! Finally I told her to clean her mother and be done! That was  a pitiful process… it was done! the place was dirty, stunk and it was unhealthy with smell and I suggested she needs to fumigate…

The mother is back by window I had to go to bathroom to take my gloves off and clean my hands, what a joke… toilet is the size of a bucket, sink is size of lunch box, no paper towels, no soap… I asked her where do I wash… I could not believe it. You go in there, then with dirty hands you open door and clean yourself in kitchen sink… in the mean time you are touching evetything someone else has touched… need I say more!

She leaves after an hour and she said she’ll be back by 4 pm when I’m supposed to leave.

4 pm and she’s not back, I call her and I go to voice mail… I call cousin.. she tells me she does this to everyone, leaves and doesn’t show up until she feels like it! Then the niece instead of helping me she’s trying to set me up on a date with somone she knows… 

Conclusion… she daughter finally shows up and I tell her that it will not be feasible for me to continue….

I went home threw my clothes in garbage and took a shower for an hour scrubbing myself clean of that experience and smell!